Malaysia, Truly Asia!

Someone should inform the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia about this new tourism ambassador for Malaysia. This ambassador goes by the name of Rosalinda…..and she has a “Welcome to Malaysia” music video on YouTube that is starting to go viral.

Rosalinda in Welcome to Malaysia

Teen singer Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ was badly panned and because of the huge publicity online, it became a massive viral hit. I personally think Rebecca Black is okay but if you think she is bad, then wait till you watch this video by Rosalinda.

I think a better title for Rosalinda’s video would be “Don’t Come To Malaysia.” Netizens have commented that this is a good example of how to chase away tourists from Malaysia.

In the video, Rosalinda prances around and sings in nearly unintelligible English, replete with cheesy video effects.

A sample of her singing: Letti Chentelmen, Letti Chentelmen, Let Go Let Go Chopping Let Go Let Go Chopping.

Need I say more? “Enjoy” her video now.

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Spanish clothing brand Desigual began its winter sales season in a truly original way that made people show up at its store in nothing but their underwear.

Desigual Undie Campaign participants

Would you brave the cold weather and the media exposure for the chance to take part in Spanish clothing brand Desigual’s  “Come in underwear, leave dressed” campaign? Well, thousands of people around the world did just that, spending hours outside Desigual stores, hoping to be among the 100 lucky ones that would enjoy the brand’s offer.

Come in underwear, leave dressed

Desigual Undie Party on 34th Street New York

Desigual Undie Party at its Soho shop in Broadway

Under this “Come in underwear, leave dressed” campaign at selected Desigual stores, Desigual challenged its customers to show up outside its branch stores in underwear, and leave with a free full outfit. Unfortunately, only the first 100 people over 18 years got to enjoy this ridiculous sale.

Desigual undie party - The lucky ones who made it inside the store

Some people actually showed up outside the stores at 3 pm the previous day, to make sure they are among the chosen few, but those that didn’t make the cut also had something to be cheerful about. Desigual decided to give them half-price discounts on all the items in the shop.

Desigual undie party ---one of the lucky ones

Desigual stores in Amsterdam, Madrid, Lisboa and New York already held their undies parties. Other cities that would witness these parties this week include Barcelona, San Sebastian and Marbella.

If one of the clothing retailers along Singapore’s Orchard Road were to hold such a campaign, sucess is guaranteed. Why? Because of Singapore’s kiasu attitude! I bet the queue would stretch the whole length of Orchard Road ( or at least a few hundred meters, haha!).

Fancy Parkson holding such a campaign in Malaysia…. I have no doubt that the response would be fantastic, not only from the public but from the government authorities. There will be long queues of people wanting to take part but I am pretty sure there will also be a lot of our government authorities standing by for action, awaiting to arrest those who strip to to their undies in public. For this campaign, I am afraid Malaysia Boleh Tak Boleh!

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What do Liu Wen, Aki Hoshino, Eunice Olsen, Aishwarya Rai, Shin Min Ah, Nadine Ann Thomas, Sonia Sui, Jessica Cambensy, Dominique Agisca Diyose, Aung San Suu Kyi and Cherman Ploy Boonyasak have in common?

They are all listed in Esquire magazine’s “atlas” of sexiest women alive 2010.

US actress Minka Kelly is at the top of the heap as the Sexiest Woman Alive, and was made Esquire’s cover girl for its November 2010 issue.

Minka Kelly on the cover of Esquire Magazine November 2010

A total of 195 women were singled out by editors of Esquire’s 17 international editions. They were picked for representing “something different, something beautiful, something that reveals a little bit more about who we are.”

Read the rest of this entry…

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International Man of Mystery Low Taek Jho, who parties with Hollywood celebrities and is now Malaysia’s most famous socialite, has aroused so much worldwide curiosity that there has been a lot of online searches about him.  He recently granted an exclusive interview to The Star, the leading English daily in Malaysia, to shed some light into his background, his life, his career and a whole range of other points.

The Star...The People's Paper

Jho Low, aged 28, was born in Penang where he lived till he was 16. At 16, his parents sent him to Harrow School in England. He is the third and youngest child in the family of Datuk Larry Low, the founder of the engineering company MWE. He can speak English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Hokkien, Teo Chew and Basic Arabic.

Low attributed his success to being in the right place at the right time and going to the right schools – Harrow School in England (A-Levels) and The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, in the United States (Bachelor of Science in Economics majoring in Finance). Harrow had lots of children of prominent European, Asian and Middle Eastern families, enabling him to build the core foundation of contacts for the future. At Wharton, he expanded his network , further cementing his relationships with Arab royalty and well-connected Middle East friends especially those from Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.

Harrow School

Wharton School of Business

Jho Low made his first million – in US dollars – when he was barely 20 years old when he took a semester off from The Wharton School of Business to set up an investment fund called The Wynton Group with US$25mil from family and nine South-East Asian and Middle Eastern friends. The company started out by dealing mainly in portfolio investments around the world. It later moved from just buying and selling public shares to private equity. The company, in which he owns a stake, now has offices in Malaysia, Singapore and headquarters in British Virgin Island and is now worth in excess of US$1bil.

Wynton is planning to launch a new US$1 billion real estate and hospitality fund sometime in October, mainly for investing in real estate, hotels and hospitality projects around the world.

A US$250 million entertainment fund is also in the pipeline because Wynton believes there is some synergy between real estate and entertainment. This fund covers the whole spectrum from fashion to movies and so forth. Shooting Hollywood movies in Malaysia is a vital part of Jho Low’s plans to help attract investments to the country. He has been trying to convince his Hollywood friends like Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx and Leonardo di Caprio to use Malaysia as a location for movies.

The third fund will be a US$250 million general fund.

All these fund sizes are the initial first phase equity commitment that the company is securing which means that actual fund sizes and purchasing power could be much larger. An equity of US$1 billion could have a potential purchasing power in excess of US$2 billion or more after leverage. The new headquarters will be a 20,000sq ft office in Sowwah Island in Abu Dhabi.

An impression of Sowwah Island

An impression of Sowwah Island

Jho Low was appointed to the board of UBG Bhd as group adviser and non-independent & non-executive director in 2008. He is also group adviser to several international corporations involved in global private equity, M&A and buyouts.

He lives a globe-trotting life covering Los Angeles, New York, London, St Tropez, Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur. He parties with Paris Hilton, Megan Fox, Jamie Foxx, Lindsay Lohan and Usher but claims that news reports about the parties are exaggerated. His Arab childhood friends and investors are actually the spenders, not him. He is the person who calls to make the reservations on behalf of his Arab friends and investors.  His name is thus all over the place, putting him under the global spotlight.

On that particular occasion when the New York Post ran the article about him and his lavish spending, it was in reference to a party that was thrown for a friend’s engagement. He was just helping to coordinate the party arrangements as usual. Even his lavish 28th birthday party in Las Vegas was a surprise party thrown by a group of his close friends.

He is not going out with Paris Hilton but they have been to several parties together because he is a friend of her parents, Rick and Kathy Hilton. Things had been blown out of proportions by the media according to Jho Low.

Low vehemently dismissed talk that he was “wasting a lot of money partying”.

“For me, we all work very hard. Of course, we have a disadvantage where at our age, people may perceive it differently. At the end of the day, I handle the investors’ money prudently. I generate returns for them.

“I am not an excessive person. Excessiveness with alcohol is just not me.”

On the home front, Jho Low dispelled talk that he is involved in the controversial redevelopment of the TUDM Sungai Besi airbase. He denied the allegations that he had received a RM500 million contract for the project. He stressed that he has no involvement whatsoever.

Jho Low thinks Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had great vision when he was Prime Minister with big spending in Malaysian infrastructure which resulted in Malaysian-based construction companies becoming leaders in the global construction arena. Many Malaysian companies are now doing sophisticated construction work in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and all over the Middle East.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

He talked about his superstar friend – Usher – who wants to help him start a charity programme for children here to learn the business part of the entertainment industry. He has known Usher for a long time. He met Usher in New York when he was working with Usher on Usher’s New Look Foundation, a charity assisting children who want careers in the business side of the entertainment industry. He mentored these kids, advising them on writing business plans.

Usher

Usher

Usher's New Look Foundation

Usher's New Look Foundation

With this interview by The Star, we get a glimpse into the life of this international man of mystery and Jho Low achieved his objective of de-mystifying himself. No more “Jho Who?”. He is Low, Jho Low….licensed to kill invest your money.  May the force be with Jho!

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Malaysia, truly Asia. This little phrase is Tourism Malaysia’s slogan. Over the past many years, we have all been bombarded with this slogan from Tourism Malaysia’s billboard, radio and TV ad to the point that some people are finding it annoying. And in the past two years or so, we have been bombarded by the 1Malaysia campaign. Malaysians are a funny lot. I propose another slogan for Malaysia. 1FunnyMalaysia, truly Lat Lah!

1Funny Malaysia

Malaysia's most popular cartoon character Lat

See how funny Malaysians can be!

Malaysian Starbucks

Who in the right mind would want to press the durians?

A Malaysian balancing act

A giant Malaysian bumblebee

The Malaysian government's drive to encourage reading is so successful that Malaysian dogs also know how to read!

Malaysian higher education?

The advantage of being a male in Malaysia!

Malaysian shopper

Another Malaysian shopper

Shopping Malaysian style

Shopping Malaysian style

A rich Malaysian telling the whole world about his wealth

A no-signboard coffeeshop in Malaysia

A stool for males

Malaysian helmet

Two Wong Fei Hong visit Malaysia

Malaysia, truly Lat!

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Lee Ching Wei finally did it! He clinched his first All-England championship in the men’s singles final at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham yesterday. It was his seventh attempt to win the All-England.

He overcame a stubborn Kenichi Tago of Japan 21-19, 21-19 in a 47-minute final to be crowned the champion at the centenary of the world’s oldest badminton tournament.

With this win, Chong Wei has become the first player ever to win three back-to-back Super Series titles.  Prior to this All-England title, he has won the Super Series Masters Finals in South Korea and Malaysia.

Syabas, Chong Wei!

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Zee Avi….her story sounds like a modern day fairy tale. Born in Miri in Sarawak (one of the 13 states that make up Malaysia) on the island of Borneo, she grew up in a liberal, encouraging household with a daddy who is very much into music.

Zee Avi

Zee Avi

At 17, she used to lock herself in her room for hours on end to learn guitar playing. But guitar had to take a back seat for 4 years when she was studying fashion design in London. Upon returning to Malaysia, she picked up the guitar again and began writing songs and performing with a band.

Zee began recording her songs on a webcam and posting them on YouTube. How she came to record her debut album in Los Angeles is a 21st Century tale of the immense potential of the Internet.

The day before her 22nd birthday, she posted on YouTube what she intended to be her last video, a holiday song “No Christmas For Me”.  When she had time to check her emails, she had almost 3000 messages including a slew of record label offers. One of the offers came from Ian Montone of Montone Label after he had been shown her YouTube clip. And the rest is history.

Take a look at some of the rave reviews that have been heaped upon Zee’s debut album:

Then.S.Chong, Portland, OR USA5.0 out of 5 starsA lesson on originality and complexity, August 26, 2009

I am blown away by how someone can turn simple music into such pleasure. Zee Avi does not rock, she is a reminder that the joy and therapeutic value of music is from the heart just as Jimi showed that the mastery of the electric guitar is from the soul not by the skills we hold acrobatic chords or scales.

David Hutchins, Charlotte, NC USA5.0 out of 5 starsTerrific singer and songs, July 10, 2009

The title track ‘Bitter Heart’ grabbed my attention (probably heard it hundreds of times by now) but every song on the CD is very good, appealing melodies with catchy rhythms. Zee Avi has a beautiful voice and her style of singing is arresting. Highly recommend the CD. To view live performances of some of these songs search for her on youtube.

R.Willis, Bellingham, WA USA5.0 out of 5 starsGreat dinner music, June 27, 2009

This CD has everything you need for an evening of relaxation. Zee’s voice is so smooth and beautiful and the songs are catchy. You will be singing them later in your head. I am a massage therapist, and have even played this CD during a massage. She has the Amy Winehouse feel…. only better.

The Sideman, Boston. MA USA5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic!!!, May 30, 2009

As a huge fan of the whole Brushfire label I generally like most of the artists that they put out. In this case I can easily say that I LOVE Zee Avi!! Fantastic voice, simple but wonderful lyrics and just the right amount of accompaniment (a lot of singer songwriters tend to over produce) this album hits all the right spots for me. I am thoroughly enjoying this while I wait and hope she comes on tour near me.

Juan Pablo Rodriguez, Miami, FL USA5.0 out of 5 starsGreat Discovery, May 19, 2009

I discovered this wonderfully talented singer today while checking some of the featured videos for some people I follow on YouTube when I discovered a video of some live performances by Zee. I was instantly blown away by her great voice, fun lyrics, and generally mellow mood of her music. It’s not often that you see somebody like this with natural talent and is not produced from some manufactured formula. If your a fan of anybody along the lines of Norah Jones, you’ll definitely enjoy Zee.

All the above reviews were by Americans. It is so rare for an Asian singer (and a Malaysian!) to receive such glowing reviews from the Americans. Zee Avi has definitely struck a chord with them.

Whoever is reading this, please just sit back, relax and enjoy this YouTube video in which Zee performs 4 of her songs.  And if you enjoy the songs, go grab her CD but if you are from Miri, you may have to wait for a while as the local stores have sold out her CD. I know because I have been trying without success to buy her CD for almost a fortnight already. The Speedy Stores inform me that they may receive fresh stock this week……I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

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Today is the 46th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia. Malaysia Day is held on every September 16  to commemorate the establishment of Malaysian federation on the same date in 1963. It marked the joining together of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo to form Malaysia. The formation of the new federation was planned to occur on June 1, 1963, but was later postponed to August 31, 1963, in order to coincide with the sixth Hari Merdeka (Independence Day). Several issues related to the Indonesian and the Filipino objection to the formation of Malaysia delayed the declaration to September 16 of the same year. The postponement was also done to allow the United Nations team time to conduct referendums in North Borneo (now known as Sabah) and Sarawak regarding the two states participation in a new federation.

Distrust and ideological differences between leaders of the State of Singapore and the federal government of Malaysia resulted in frequent disagreement in politics, economic, financial and social policies. On August 9 1965, the Malaysian parliament voted to expel Singapore from Malaysia. On that fateful day, Singapore became a new nation with Lee Kuan Yew as its prime minister.

To all Malaysians, I wish you Happy Malaysia Day!

The first stamp set issued by Malaysia on September 16 1963....this is my "greetings" card to all Malaysians!

The first stamp set issued by Malaysia on September 16 1963....this is my "greetings" card to all Malaysians!

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Today is Malaysia’s 52nd National Day and to all Malaysians, I wish you all Selamat Hari Kebangsaan.  I know there are a lot of people who are not in a celebratory mood due to worries about H1N1, the economic downturn, the political situation and other issues.  Yes, it is sad to watch what is going on in Malaysia but let’s unite and pray for a better Malaysia irrespective of religion or race.

Which Malaysian has not been seen this image of Tunku Abdul Rahman declaring "Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!"?

Which Malaysian has not been seen this image of Tunku Abdul Rahman declaring "Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!"?

Let the Malaysian flag fly high!

Let the Malaysian flag fly high!

Let the Malaysian flag fly high!

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