Remembering...Part 1
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 29, 2005 Posted: 6:26:56 PM EDT

Do you believe in ghost?

I don’t.

I’ve always been unwilling to give credence to so-called 'supernatural experiences', 'sightings of ghostly apparitions' and other craps like that. I bet you must've found some of those stuffs in your Inbox before. Well, I guess I just don’t like to entertain experiences that I cannot validate against the laws of our physical world.

Yeah Ok, I did enjoy the Twilight Zone series as a teenager. I guess it must have been the uncanny yet funky theme song or something. But those stories were incredible sci-fi postulations more than anything else. They entertained and piqued my mind but they rarely touched me beyond that.

Now I remember, when I was a little boy, I used to have to walk about 3 miles to get to my school that sits on top of a little hill with beautiful Angsana trees. Yes, those trees with small, beautiful yellow blossoms that rain down with the evening breeze and carpet the playground while we play “police and thieves” or shoot marbles under their shade.

To go to school everyday, I will have to pass through village houses with small durian orchards in their backyards and shady rambutan trees that would drop leaves spiraling onto quiet compounds that sometimes would rustle for reasons unknown.

But I can always recall the final part of the journey most vividly. I'll have to walk through a dark and mossy lane canopied by hibiscus fences rising from both sides. That pathway scared me quiet a bit.  But it wasn’t ghosts that I was afraid of. It was something else I can’t really tell... maybe it’s the sounds of those rambutan trees in the wind I hear sometimes but I can’t really see. Some days they make sounds like little children whimpering in fear of being left behind.

Were those really rambutan trees?

I don’t really know.

Well, Ok I have to agree. Pontianak in white staring down from durian trees, wandering Chinese corpses at forgotten graves overgrown with lalangs, (never heard of Indian ghosts, I wonder why…though I've heard of the mysterious haunting of Jasmine fragrance at midnight) and other spooky Malaysian tales are fun to listen to when the occasion is right.

Like a Scout camp by the waterfall deep in the rainforest. 

A sleepover with my friend whose family lived in a pre-war shop-house with creaking staircases and a mossy toilet with small rows of peep-holes high above.

A rainy midnight when you can sometimes hear cries of laughter amidst the raindrops pattering on the zinc roof. 

But I don’t believe in ghost.

But a few days ago, something happened to me and it started me thinking about an experience that took place some years ago.

Something that I thought I’d forgotten.

It's about my father and what he saw before he passed away...


0 Comment(s)

Oops...something's not right with my blog page
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 27, 2005 Posted: 4:31:26 PM EDT

Sorry for the bug.

Right after posting my Iacocca entry a while ago, I noticed my blog page 'sudah senget'.

Apahal nie..?

No, no it's not your's your brain!


Not funny.


I''ll get it fixed asap.

NOTE : I fixed it. A bug caused by the HTML editor...

2 Comment(s)

Lee Iacocca : An Autobiography
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 27, 2005 Posted: 2:44:58 PM EDT

I am currently reading the autobiography of Lee Iacocca. This is the tough-talking CEO of Ford who is the father of the American classic, Ford Mustang.

Iacocca was born in Allentown to Nicola and Antoinette Iacocca, both Italian immigrants.

His given name was Lido Anthony Iacocca.

Iacocca graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in industrial engineering. After graduating from Lehigh, he began a career at Ford Motor Company as an engineer. Unhappy with the job, he switched career paths at Ford, entering the company's sales force. He was very successful in sales and moved up through the ranks of Ford, moving ultimately to product development.

Iacocca was involved with the design of several successful Ford automobiles, most notably the Ford Mustang. He promoted other ideas which did not reach the marketplace as Ford products. Eventually, he became the president of the Ford Motor Company, but he clashed with Henry Ford II and ultimately, in 1978, was forced to leave the company.

After leaving Ford, Lee was aggressively courted by the Chrysler corporation, which was on the verge of going out of business. Iacocca joined Chrysler and began rebuilding the entire company from the ground up, laying off many workers, selling Chrysler's loss-making European division to Peugeot, and bringing in many former associates from Ford.

The above is taken from Wikipedia. Here's Lee Iacocca's full bio as listed.

Lee Iacocca : An Autobiography

Get it a Barnes & Noble or like me, at MPH Subang Jaya.
Lee Iacocca : An Autobiography

The best part of the autobiography is when Iacocca narrated the genesis of the classic Mustang and the euphoria that comes with its success. More engaging for me, is the story about his acrimonious relationship with the despotic Henry Ford II and how Iacocca was sacked.

' When I got home (after being sacked by Henry Ford II), I received a call from Lia, my younger daughter, who was at a tennis camp - - her first time away from home. She heard about the firing on the radio, and she was in tears.

When I look back on that awful week, what I remember most clearly is Lia crying on the telephone. I hate Henry for what he did to me. But I hate him more for the way he did  it. There had been no opportunity to sit down and talk to my kids before the whole world knew. I'll never forgive him for that...  

My father always used to say that when you die, if you've 5 real friends, you've had a great life. I found out in a hurry what he meant.

It was a bitter lesson. You can be friends with someone for decades. You can share all the good times and bad with him. You can try to protect him when the going gets rough. And then you have some rough luck yourself and you never hear from him again.

It really makes you ask yourself the big question. If I could do it all over, would I have protected my family better? The pressure on them was awful. You watch your wife get sicker - Mary had her first heart attack less then 3 months after I was fired- and you wonder. A cruel man and a cruel fate intervene and change your life.

I was hurting pretty badly after the firing, and I could use a phone call from somebody who said' Let's have coffee together, I feel terrible about what happened'. But most of my friends deserted me. It was the greatest shock of my life.'

Friends, how do you find 5 of them in your life?

True Friends...

Will your friends bleed for you?

4 Comment(s)

Interview with The Malay Mail & Evening Talk at Jobstreet
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 26, 2005 Posted: 3:47:14 PM EDT

Mary Chen of The Malay Mail came over to interview me this morning on the 'career path of The Alchemist'. The interview will hopefully be featured in the career page of the upcoming The Sunday Mail. 

Here are some responses I've prepared before-hand...

  1. Define your profession - how would you introduce your job to an acquaintance?
    I am in the business of Interactive Marketing. I deliver results to my customers using web design, multimedia design, email marketing, SMS marketing, Internet applications to establish positive brand impressions and the creation of a “buying state of mind” in the targeted consumers for my customers.

  2. What is the public's perception of this profession? What is the biggest misconception about this job?
    Most of the time, an average person don’t really understand what my company do. So often, it is easier to say I am in the IT business, which is partially true. We are in the business of using the Internet as a platform for sales and marketing, communication, branding and e-commerce. It’s called NEW MEDIA, but well, that’s a term that will make an average person’s eyeballs roll in its sockets.

    I don't know if she will use them...I answered about 10 questions in all. This interview will hopefully helps you cool dudes out there who are considering a career in Interactive design and marketing.

    Check out the feature write-up at Sunday Mail here : Multimedia Design for Marketing

  3. I am also going to give a short talk tomorrow, 8.00 pm at Wisma MCA under the banner's of Jobstreet and MCA. 

    The title of the talk is 'How to be a professional job-hunter' or 'Panduan Mencari Kerja bagi Graduan-graduan.'

    Download the slides here :


4 Comment(s)

Voice of Putra Gunung Ledang
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 25, 2005 Posted: 3:56:48 PM EDT

Hi all,

I just want you to know my blog entry on Panduan Mencari Kerja for Jobless Graduates has  been receiving thoughtful and well-argued views from one Putra Gunung Ledang. I know Putra GL cares about our young ones and is very engaged with the issue of unemployed graduates within Malaysia.

Click here to read his views.

We will also appreciate your views if you can share them with us here.

Thank you.

Chief Alchemist


0 Comment(s)

by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 22, 2005 Posted: 7:52:12 PM EDT

You are not here merely to make a living.
You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply,
with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.
You are here to enrich the world,
and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.

~Woodrow Wilson

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Blink With Malcolm Gladwell
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 22, 2005 Posted: 11:09:24 AM EDT

I've heard about Malcolm Gladwell but I've never felt the need to read his first book, The Tipping Point : How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference. Last Wednesday, after sending out a Poslaju package, I dropped by the Popular Bookstore at AmCorp Mall to chill a bit before walking back to my office. 

It was a hot and humid afternoon. Around 36 celcius, I think.

Malcolm Gladwell
Photo taken from bio section of Malcolm Gladwell's personal website

At the display counter, I saw Malcolm Gladwell's brand new book Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. 

I bought it.

Let me see...hrm...I bought it because I am keen to find out more about the 'mystery of split second decisions we make' and how justified they can be despite the lack of any prior evidence to support our actions at the point in time.

The designer in me liked the cover design very much too. White cover with a clean font-type for the title. That's always a plus. :-) If you get to read the book, you will find out that there's a section about how the packaging of a product influences consumer's perception of its 'taste'. 

Gladwell also explores the celebrated Coke vs Pepsi 'blindfolded sampling' phenomenon. Apparently the Coke bottle or visual representation of the brand do influence consumer's experience of the 'flavor or taste' of the said product.

OK, let me phrase it this way. If you drink Coke knowing it is Coke, it will tastes better compared to, say, if you drink Coke without knowing its Coke. In other words, Coke doesn't tastes as good on blindfolded samplings because the 'Coke brand' influences the drinker's experience and modifies his perception of the flavor of the cola drink! 




Useful information?


I am about 3/4 through with it. I intend to write a review about it or perhaps a commentary of some sorts. For now, let's just say this is a book about the 'science of making good, spontaneous decisions without being hampered by too much details...'

Yep, it's a book that explicates our, 'gut feelings' or 'instinctual decision-making capabilities' which we are said to rely on all the time in the course of our daily lives.

It's a good read this far.

Check out Malclom Galdwell's Personal website here:

Blink : The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Check out this book at Barnes & Noble.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
The Tipping Point : How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference
Check out this book at Barnes & Noble.

0 Comment(s)

2 Songs : Learn To Be Still & The New York Minute
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 20, 2005 Posted: 10:30:16 AM EDT

Learn to be still (Eagles)

It's just another day in paradise as you stumble to your bed.
You'd give anything to silence those voices ringing in your head.
You thought you could find happiness just over that green hill.
You thought you would be satisfied but you never will learn to be still,
Learn to be still.

We are like sheep without a shepherd, we don't know how to be alone.
So we wander 'round this desert and wind up following the wrong gods home.
But the flock cries out for another and they keep answering that bell.
And one more starry-eyed messiah meets a violent farewell.
Learn to be still...
Learn to be still.

Now the flowers in your garden, they don't smell so sweet, so sweet.
Maybe you've forgotten the heaven lying at your feet.

There are so many contradictions in all these messages we send.
We keep asking how do I get out of here?
Where do I fit in?
Though the world is torn and shaken,
even if your heart is breaking,
it's waiting for you to awaken
and someday you will learn to be still,
Learn to be still...
You just keep on running,
Keep on running…

The Eagles 

The New York Minute (Don Henley)

Harry got up, dressed all in black, went down to the station and he never came back.
They found his clothing scattered somewhere down the track
and he won't be down on Wall Street in the morning.
He had a home, the love of a girl but men get lost sometimes as years unfurl.
One day he crossed some line and he was too much in this world
but I guess it doesn't matter anymore.
In a New York minute, everything can change.
In a New York minute, things can get pretty strange.
In a New York minute, everything can change, in a New York minute.

Lying here in the darkness, hear the sirens wail.
Somebody going to emergency, somebody's going to jail.
If you find somebody to love in this world, you better hand on tooth and nail.
The wolf is always at the door.
In a New York minute, everything can change.
In a New York minute, things can get pretty strange.
In a New York minute, everything can change, in a New York minute.

And in these days when darkness falls early and people rush home to the ones they love,
you better take a fool's advice and take care of your own.
One day they're here, next day they're gone.

I pulled my coat around my shoulders and took a walk down through the park.
The leaves were falling around me, the groaning city in the gathering dark.
On some solitary rock a desperate lover left his mark, 'Baby, I've changed. Please come back.'
What the head makes cloudy, the heart makes very clear.
The days were so much brighter in the time when she was here.
But I know there's somebody, somewhere, make these dark clouds disappear.
Until that day, I have to believe, I believe, I believe.
In a New York minute, everything can change.
In a New York minute, things can get pretty strange.
In a New York minute, everything can change, in a New York minute…


0 Comment(s)

This one for the girls...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 19, 2005 Posted: 3:28:52 PM EDT

Wei...die die oledi la...where can come back one..?
Photo from

My previous 2 blogs on SEPET THE MOVIE. 

Sepet : Beyond A Malaysian Love Story

Sepet: Crossing To the Other Side

I guess Jason/Ah Loong won't get to die peacefully after all. 


0 Comment(s)

True Friends...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 18, 2005 Posted: 7:05:30 PM EDT

Friends, how many true ones have you got?

I mean, true friends...

Let me tell you a story.

Sometime ago, I was working with a client whom I got to know a little better than others. Enough for me to know during a meeting that he's having problems with his business.

So I asked.

Turned out that when he started his business, he went to a couple of 'old friends' and shared with them his product idea. He was hopeful that they will help finance his 'killer-app'. So over many sessions of teh-tarik and roti canai, his friends hatched out a plan to 'finance' him. And he was glad that he now have the financial backings to realise his 'cool product idea'. He reasoned to himself that he wasn't a money person and he just wanted to develop his product.

What he didn't know was, his 'friends' sat down together and put together a shareholders' agreement, all 100 plus pages of it for their investment of a little over RM100K. Yes. What's worst, it was put together in a bias and unfair manner.

What do I mean by that? 

The agreement gave his friends the rights and might to edge him out of the company when they want to.


Ask you a question... are there true friends in the business world?

Can people see beyond their personal gains, to honor the trust on which friendship is built upon?

I remember what this client of mine told me one drizzling Saturday morning under the concrete pillars at the Kelana Jaya LRT station. He was struggling to find the words to describe his hurts that was written so clearly on his face.

I'd parked my car beside the road and he'd asked to be excused because he said he needed to smoke outside. Sitting on the curbside with cigarette in hand and his brows knitted tight on his sleep-deprived face, streaked by the morning drizzle, he said;

'Even if I have to give up this dream of mine, I will not go back to them anymore...'

'I don't know how to put this, man...

...but it's like...the love is gone.'

Have you experienced something similar?

Someone you loved, someone you cared about, someone you'd trusted, someone you'd looked up to, have gone beyond your beliefs and expectations to betray your trust in them?

Not a great feeling...


3 Comment(s)

I feel like a Monday...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 16, 2005 Posted: 11:31:33 AM EDT

I went out with a friend for lunch at Sunway Pyramid on Thursday. He's been down. There are somethings that happen in a man's life that will take away his will to carry on. 

We've been exploring work opportunities together. So we talked. We exchanged ideas. When's the next big break coming in? Where are the opportunities? Who are the people to meet?

We had words.

But we know deep inside us, we didn't have the comfort of silence. Silence that comes with certainty, that calms the soul. Didn't someone say in a song, when you are at mid-journey, you have to learn to be still?

Learn to be still...

He didn't say it. I didn't want allude to it. I've wanted to eat my noodles with meatballs. It was good.

After that, we walked back to my car and I drove him back to his workplace. He's got several calls ringing on his fancy handphone. He didn't pick them up.

Calls from his boss.

Bon Jovi was rocking on my CD player. 

It's my life, and it's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive

I dropped him in front of his office. Before he left, we traded some dates and things to follow-up on. As he was about to shut the door, he said to me; 

'I'm waiting, I know my ship will come in one day...'

Hey man! I'm alive I'm takin' each day and night at a time,
Yeah I'm down, but I know I'll get by
Hey hey hey hey, man gotta live my life,
I'm gonna pick up all the pieces and what's left of my pride
I'm feelin' like a Monday,
but someday I'll be Saturday night

Lyrics from Bon Jovi's

Listen to the song here at SmashHits USA
Someday I'll Be Saturday Night


0 Comment(s)

Perseverance & Success
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 13, 2005 Posted: 8:32:06 PM EDT

Every great work, every big accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision, and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement.

~ Florence Scovel Shinn

Kertih, Terengganu (BPPA) 2005

Let's do it Dragon-slayers!

0 Comment(s)

From Good to Dud...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 11, 2005 Posted: 7:09:55 PM EDT

You know the saying, if you want to be successful, 'hire the best people then step aside and allow them to get the job done for you?'

Yes, I think there's a lot of wisdom is that, especially the part about 'stepping aside'. 

Apparently, it is not so self-evident to many people...

I've met many a Type A personalities (whatever you call them, anal? neurotic? obsessive-compulsive?) who would not step aside gracefully to let you work magic on projects they are paying for, mainly because they don't trust themselves enough to trust you and to allow you take them towards the envisioned goal through the shortest route.

Sometimes, it is such a pity because all it takes just is a little bit of humility...

Image Credits to University of Iowa

There's nothing so sorry looking as a proud person floundering helplessly in his own pride and mistrust of others but still would not grasp the life-bouy thrown in his direction. More so if they are hardly more than 30 years old.

Yes, such people can burst the saintliest desire to reach out and help. I am sure you've met one. Well, I do think we can do ourselves a big favor by being humble enough to say;

'I don't know. How can I help you to help me..?'

That will make a great difference in our lives and those around us. 

Shall we lead consciously from now onwards?

0 Comment(s)

Two Poems by Robert Frost
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 10, 2005 Posted: 2:44:21 PM EDT

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could.
To where it bent in the undergrowth,
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


1 Comment(s)

A Korean Affair!
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 8, 2005 Posted: 7:31:46 PM EDT

I mean, a Korean BBQ dinner.

We celebrated Andrew's birthday at a Korean restaurant at Sri Hartamas. Don't ask me, I can't remember the name of the place.

For goodness sake, NOBODY spoke a word of English there. For one, we had to use vigorous hand-signals and exaggerated facial expressions to get seated. Ordering our food made me feel like a starving, excited primate, accompanied by several other hungry and frantic primates. Imagine this, we pawed the menu, looked at slices of meat and nodded excitedly, making hooting sounds (hoot! hoot! hoot!) to indicate our pleasures at the sights...meaning, we wanted to eat those.

Hoot! Hoot! Hoot! 

Hoot! Hoot! Hoot!

OK OK, I am kidding you. It wasn't that bad. We weren't hooting.

But really it was fun.

I had a sense of deja vu. Korean food tasted so much like Hakka food. I mean, pickled stuffs all over. Kimchi, that's sooooo much like food I used to eat inside my Hakka neighbor's kitchens as a kid. And the kimchi soup with noodles, gotta eat that to understand why Koreans are the way they are. Yep, now you know what this hooting business is about.

Hey, I have a theory. Koreans are Hakkas! HEH! HEH! Hakkas are KOREANS! Hrm....

Darn...anyway, we had fun!

The corn-flavoured tea was good. And oh, Soju, Korean rice wine tasted like minyak kapak-lar. Only slightly sweeter.


Happy Birthday, Andrew! ( You ate all the BBQ Beef, you evil thing!)

Breaking News:

Flo, our kimchi-loving 'female primate' remembers the name of the place. Have a hooting dinner there, sometime. Hoot! Hoot! Hoot!

Daorae Korean BBQ Restaurant
No9-1 Floor, Plaza Crystal Ville Center,
Jalan 23/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 KL.
Tel : 03-62032616


3 Comment(s)

Re-designing XiMnet's Website
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 7, 2005 Posted: 3:53:33 PM EDT

Andrew and I and the rest of us at XiMnet have been deep into finding the direction for XiMnet's new corporate website. We hope to make a leap beyond cliched ideas. And we have talked about it for a while, over lunches and dinners. One thing for sure, we are aware, it is always tough to design your own website, especially if you are an interactive agency yourself.

Having said that, we want nothing less than setting 'thought leadershi'p in our creatives and art direction this time. We want to explore an 'out of the box' online identity set within the context of a multi-cultural Malaysia but set with a global outlook. Yep, no more mindless mimicking for us, the sensibility of our Western buddies or implementing half-integrated art direction that is neither elegant in design nor excellent in concept.

How do we put ourselves on the map as web designers and web developers with a clear sense of who we are, what we stand for, where we come from in terms of our 'cultural identity and consciousness' in the larger context of our global village. 

How do we embrace common standards yet stand out distinctive?

How do we brand Malaysia? 

And yes, we have seen many agencies falter, tripping over their creative narcissism and technical smugness.

What can I say?

We've just brainstormed and reviewed our 1st prototype.  

I am excited.

It looked promising. If you are interested to find out about the outcome, watch this space.

Stay tuned... 

0 Comment(s)

The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 6, 2005 Posted: 8:08:59 PM EDT

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

0 Comment(s)

Back to lecturing...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 5, 2005 Posted: 8:17:22 PM EDT

I really do love teaching. But I walked away from the life as an aspiring academician some 10 years ago. Now I have a chance to relive some of those memories.

For one day...

Oon Yeoh, my friend had asked me to stand-in for him around the middle of April. He's got an invite to Redmond, USA for a Microsoft function. I've forgotten what it is about. But anyway, lucky him, flying all the way to the US on an all expense-paid trip to talk about things he loves-TECHNOLOGY.

I am to talk to his class about what a Content Management System is. These are students who are taking a course in New Media at the New Era College, located at Kajang.

Yep, like you, I too have never heard of this college before.

But oh, Kua Kia Soong...

I know him...

0 Comment(s)

Panduan Mencari Kerja for Jobless Graduates
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 4, 2005 Posted: 3:58:04 PM EDT

Keywords: Graduan menganggur, jobless graduates, looking for a job, job vacancy, resume, how to find a job, tips to apply for a job, panduan mencari kerja, job interviews, 18,000 unemployed graduates.

8 Things You Need to Know to Land that Job!

Yes dudes and babes, we have all been there and done that. I know it's tough duduk kat rumah atau menumpang kat bilik orang. Orang tua nagging siang malamlah, member tunjuk muka boring, tiba-tiba kunci biliklah...

But you've got to get a hold on yourself and do yourself a great favor. You can stop being a part of the statistics. There are jobs out there, I assure you.

Here are some pointers to land that 1st job. Selamat ber-interview!

  1. NOBODY owes you a job!
    Yes dude, nobody owes you a job. I mean nobody. Not your teachers, not your parents, not your friends. Not even our Kerajaan Barisan Nasional. Dia orang banyaklah nak kena buat. Macam-macamlah kena risau. Globalization-lah, investor belah pergi kat Negeri China-lah, orang curi balak-lah, politikus buat projek kat hutan simpanan-lah, ramai sakit kencing manis-lah, macam-macam, you tau kan?

    So, you now dah belajar sampai dapat professional qualification, takkan sampai nak kena suap kot?

    So get real, you've got to EARN THE JOB offer. Prove to others they are making a good choice by giving you the job. Fikir sikit, why would someone give you a job for nothing? Why would a businessman or a company give you a monthly salary? Sebab you hensem? Because you nampak macam Siti Nurhaliza berkonsert kat London? Better dia simpan duit dalam bank, kan? (Oh, yang jenis nak rekrut you pasal you lawa macam Siti tu, baik you berhati-hati beb, nanti jadi kes perempuan simpanan).  

    Nope, you have to convince your prospective employer that you can help him/her make his company or team better. In other words, you can and will add value to his company. It's all about value my friend. He/She gives you a job and a monthly salary for you to deliver value back to him.

    At least, you can do the work others have no time to-do. 

    And you bukan welfare case, kan? So, tunjuk terror sikit. Tapi biar betul, dude.  

    Kita cakap terus-terang, there's no free lunch la, dude.

    Elaa...jangan buat drama, beb! Tension nak tengok. No matter how many hours you menangis, memaki, mencaci, you won't get yourself a job. You can bruce-lee kat your bantal sampai kekabu melayang pun, orang takkan bagi kerja kat you. Worst, if you look and behave like a loser, you will never get close even for an interview.

    So stop feeling sorry for yourself. Keep yourself occupied productively. Read a book, research into what line of work you would like to do. If you can, take-up a job at 7-11, a supermarket, anything to earns yourself an income and the opportunity to interact with others. Exerciselah banyak-banyak. Don't berborak kat mamak sampai 3 pagi sambil makan nasi-lemak dan teh tarik. You will look like hantu borak.

    So, think positive, act positive. Smile always, walaupun terasa nak nangis dalam hati.

  3. Get the RIGHT ATTITUDE.
    Yes, differentiate yourself. Be a person with a positive outlook. Be hardworking, be humble, be polite. Be willing to listen and learn. Always go the distant in any thing you do. If you have a positive attitude, you will act like a magnet that draws good jobs to you. If you have bad attitude, habislah.   

    Please lah, buatlah resume betul-betul. Make it simple and clear. 1-2 pages cukuplah. You baru graduate, saya rasa kalau lebih dari 2 pages tu, kira sudah tulis yang bukan-bukan dah. Your interviewer is also bukan free sangat nak baca your novel. If you want to write about yourself in English, make sure your 'karangan' tu grammar betul-betul. Ask someone with a good command of English to help. Kalau bikin cincai saja, masuk dalam bakul sampah jawabnya. Yang cuba berbunga-bunga bahasa tu, jangan terlebih-lebih. Kalau orang nak baca poetry, dia boleh cari kat library. Write clearly and in short sentences.

    Check and recheck your resume, sampai perfect.  

  5. Do the homework about the field you are applying for.
    Now this is one thing a lot of young graduates don't do very well. Many of you would just write in for a job without knowing what it is about. For example, if you nak apply jadi designer, tunjuklah portfolio yang terror-terror. At least show something you have worked very hard on. If you want to be a programmer, show the work you can do, real examples. The worst thing to do is, to talk about your passion for the work and have nothing to show. Like this;

    Applicant: O, I love the web. I love web design. I am totally passionate about a career in interactive design.

    Interviewer: Oh good! Can you show me something you have done?

    Job applicant: Ah...I haven't really got anything. I was thinking about preparing some work.

    Interviewer: Oh, but you said you have been looking for a web design job for 6 months. If you are so passionate about this work like you say, you would have something to show...

    Applicant: Yes, but...

    Faham, kan? Jangan pandai cakap saja, biar pandai buat jugak. 

    Sure, you have a big fat degree. For 3 years, you believed you were the para cendekiawan-cendekiawan dan golongan pemimpin negara masa depan yang berwawasan.  And so do thousands of others.

    Get real, you won't land a job because you have a degree, you graduated from so and so university or you scored good grades. And please, don't expect a pay to support your clubbing or Proton car modification habits.

    A typical employer often have a lot to worry about. I am sure he/she won't recruit you if you look like a 'walking problem'.

    Tell him/her that you are totally happy to be given a chance to learn. Ask only for a pay to survive for a start. If you show promise, I guarantee you he/she will give you a raise. If not, you would have learnt something about your line of work. You can get another job anytime with that experience. But please stay more than 1 year to get a good foundation.  

    So start without unrealistic expectations. Be really glad to be taken in and given a chance to learn.

    You can count yourself OUT if you do the stuffs below; OK, let me try to say this clearer.

    • Submit a resume full of grammatical and spelling errors
    • Gambar pasport 'hensem' macam Marilyn Mason. If you are not photogenic, don't include any photos, for goodness sake. If you are not sure you are photogenic or not, ask someone. Don't ask your mother. She won't give you a useful answer.  
    • Late for interview. Always come 15 minutes early. Kalau naik motor, wash your face and comb your hair first.
    • Dress inappropriately. Common sense counts. Iron your shirt and pants, dudes. Baju putih yang sudah kelabu tu, tak payah pakai lagi-lah. Don't try to be sexy to get a job, beb! Dress smartly and professionally. 
    • Don't smell bad. Kalau you merokok, make sure your mouth and clothes don't smell like an ashtray. Memang menganggur seumur hidup macam tu!  
    • Don't ask, 'Ah, you work on Saturday ah?'
    • Don't ask about working hours and off-days and benefits during the first interview. You can ask when you are offered the job later. At least, jangan nampak yang belum dapat kerja sudah fikir nak kaya.
    • Don't look like you are afraid of hardwork. Chickens should sit on a plate in KFC.
    • Email your resume to all targetted companies in 1 email blast ( that's spamming, not job application!), macam Rambo. Tembak machine-gun satu row, nak harap kena satu! Apa nie...?
    • OMG, I don't have to say this but terpaksalah. Here goes... please, please don't use emails addresses such as,, , , , , the list goes on. You are applying for a job, not flirting over cyberspace. Yes, your nicknames tell too much about you, so please use some common sense here.

    Employers like cheerful people. If you smile, you will have 85% chance of getting a job compared to applicant yang bermuka macam asam-boi. So, senyumlah selalu. Sampailah orang kata you macam orang kurang waras. Takpe-lah. Asalkan dapat kerja. Yang lain, lain hari kira...

    So think and act like you are happy and motivated to learn. Lama-lama, you will also feel more positive.

    Gua gerentee!


20 Comment(s)

What do you expect of our teachers...?
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - April 1, 2005 Posted: 2:37:33 PM EDT

Early this week ( I think it was manic Monday), I was stucked in a morning crawl at NPE's exit to Jalan Templer. I had the Light & Easy radio station on and the deejays popped this question on air.

What do you expect of our teachers...?

A very good question indeed. I guess we know that today, the quality of the people who end up as teachers  are not what it used to be in the 60s and the 70s. That said, I think teachers are also truly overworked and underpaid. We have a screwed up system with too much emphasis on exam grades and paper works. The world is changing faster than our school syllabus and desk-bound methodologies. I wonder what kind of people we are producing with a system that's so out-of-touch and out-of-synch.

Back to the question.

I went to primary school in the 70s. I must say teachers make a huge difference in the lives of our children. I had some really great teachers who made me what I am today, who gave me the foundation on which many others help build and I today continue to work on.

To me, a teacher must have love in his or her heart.

Yes, capital L.O.V.E.

The kids don't know how much you know, but they certainly know how much you care about them. And if you care about them, you would have breathe life and inspiration into the subjects you teach. And if you care, your words and actions will resonate in the lives of those lucky children for many many years to come.

Oh, and they certainly know if you don't care about them. If you cheat and try to cover up your lack of interest in your chosen profession, you will be kidding yourself to think they can't see it. They might not know how to say it now but they will recall one day.

Anyway, I want to remember some of the teachers (lecturers included) who have made a difference in my journey in life. 

Let me tell you the truth why I am blogging about this. Once a year, I get this urge to respond to NST or The Star newspaper, Teachers' Day special feature page. I have wanted very much to thank some of the great teachers in my life. I don't know when we celebrate Teachers Day but before I forget, I want to put this down. 
I want to list down the names of my teachers who have made a tremendous difference in my life. One day, I hope to tell them face-to-face how much I really appreciate their gifts of love and knowledge to me and how their words and actions still resonate in my life today. They are;

    1. Ms. Saw, 1973  English Primary School, Bukit Liki, Kulai, Johor. 
      (Beautiful human being, totally inspiring teacher. I wish I can meet her again).
    2. Mrs. Siva, 1974, English Primary School, Bukit Liki, Kulai, Johor. 
    3. Mr. Yong, 1975, English Primary School, Bukit Liki, Kulai, Johor. 
      (A man with wonderful sense of humor, I remember how much you care and really try to give your best to us) 
    4. Mr. Jeya, 1976, English Primary School, Bukit Liki, Kulai, Johor. 
    5. Encik Sulaiman, 1976, English Primary School, Bukit Liki, Kulai, Johor. 
    6. Ms. Kueh, 1978, SM Munsyi Abdullah, Kulai, Johor.
    7. Mr. Wong AC, 1978, SM Munsyi Abdullah, Kulai, Johor. 
    8. Mr. Chandra, 1980, Headmaster, Sultan Ibrahim School, Kulai.
    9. Lim Chee Seng, University of Malaya.
    10. Abdul Majid N.B., University of Malaya.
    11. Tang Soo Ping, University of Malaya.
    12. KS Maniam, University of Malaya.
    13. Niloufer Harben, University Of Malaya
    14. Edward Dorrall, University of Malaya.
    15. Margaret Yong, University of Malaya.
    16. Fadzillah Amin, University of Malaya 
    17. Reza Piyadasa, University of Malaya. 

Thank you, teachers! I hope our children today will continue to find teachers like you in their lives.

3 Comment(s)

Wiley Chin
Chief Alchemist
XiMnet Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

An alchemist of the Internet and marketing strategies, leading the charge to put our creative and software talents into serving companies who are out to slay the global giants. Also known as Chief of Caffeine Consumption and hallucinates between projects. Yes, that accounts for his “giant slaying” stuff.

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