This past weekend, there was a large variety of different events that relate to the entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem in Malaysia; while I didn’t go for the first one, I did get the chance to go for the second one, which was Jobstreet’s Seekscapes – it’s not exactly related to entrepreneurship exactly and more related to the idea of employment and seeking a career, which does reach at the core issue that’s at hand when we think about jobs but isn’t completely related.

There were two groups of people that I wanted to meet.

The first? There were Tien Ming and Wei Fong; Tien Ming I’d known from the time that I offered free JPA Scholarship consultation and guidance sessions, and Wei Fong started looking for people who understood how to code in Developer Kaki.

Tien Ming I’d known for ages but not met in a while, and he’d reached out again with a quick “PM Tepi”, after which we’d decided to meet – I wasn’t too sure where to meet him exactly, but figured that since Jobstreet Seekscapes was happening on the day that we’d agreed to meet that we could meet there for lunch – we ate at this Indian restaurant that served some pretty unique food, laughed about gimbals (there was this dude who kept touching my gimbal but thankfully that didn’t persist for too long).

Anyway, it was a great decision, leading to many productive connections and also to a ton of learning!

There were two days during Jobstreet’s Seekscapes, but I could only go for the second one because I had a few commitments and clients to meet on Saturday, which meant that I didn’t have the time to show up…

But show up I did, which gave me the chance to meet the second group of people:

The speakers, Chen Chow and Daren.

Both had very different perspectives to share, both of which were valuable and interesting for me and no doubt for the rest of the audience as well.

Beyond Chen Chow’s present role as one of the co-founders of Fave, I’d known him for many years since Recom and @usapps days; I will try not to overstate things but will say that what he has done to support education in Malaysia is difficult to estimate and ever-compounding, and the man’s work has touched lives far beyond himself across dozens of different organizations across Malaysia and certainly beyond it as well.

Daren on the other hand is founder of Developer Kaki, the largest developer Facebook community in Malaysia – we’ve not known each other for very long, though he’s clearly ambitious, talented and hardworking, will no doubt get where he wishes to go, and has good taste in chairs (apparently he discovered my chair persona a while ago LOL)

The challenges of entrepreneurship and the inevitable tests of character embodied in challenges that are inclement to building something meaningful – the idea that life is a game with rewards and choices through which we must fight to initiate on a limited time scale; both of these sessions were valuable in different ways.

Beyond this, there was yet another twist: The third group of people.

On the left, we have my Taylor’s juniors, and on the right, you have another three new friends who came along to speak with me at the session – both groups I met completely by chance on account of stuff that I don’t completely remember anymore.

The first? I met them through a free math workshop that i conducted for charity for Taylor’s for A Levels a while ago, and the second through a conversation that I was having with Luno’s Jeroni Khoo after his Partnerships and Affiliates session, during which they decided to ask me about the AI podcast that I’m interested to start 🙂

What unites them both is that they’re groups of people that I was asked to support at a random time – I don’t think I was fully ready back then to support the Taylor’s kids yes, but I wasn’t fully ready to teach the kids on the right about AI either – whether you go left or you go right, what remains seems to be that I was brought into a position whereby I had to provide my support through my mind and the things that I do in ways that I wasn’t entirely prepared to.

It’s funny, because I remember that during our lunchtime conversation, Ming and Lean quizzed me how I got into entrepreneurship, asking if there was a specific moment in time when I knew that that was what I wanted to do:

I answered that I didn’t know if there was a specific moment – things just happened the way that they did one moment and one opportunity at a time, and before I knew it, I had just become an educator and had started serving people in the best way that I could, even if I don’t know at the moment what the best possible ways to do so happen to be.

Still, I guess I stepped up at that time and I’m happy about it and the opportunity to enlighten many young minds 🙂

Cheers and thank you for reading!! Can’t wait for the next days ahead!

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

A Few Things I Did Recently

There are so many different and new things that happened recently that it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. I’m sorry for not updating, but that is just what it is. If you follow me on Instagram or have watched my YouTube channel or been aware of some of the things I’ve spoken up about, I guess you would know. But if you’re just reading this for the first time from lord knows where, then here are some things that happened in the past couple of months. 1. Interviewed every single member of Yale’s class of 2028, and 3 out of 4 of Harvard’s class of 2028 from Malaysia, and several Stanford, Columbia, KYUEM students. It is a bit of a skewed sample, and I hope to demonstrate excellence in a more diverse form in days ahead. If you have any suggestions for future interviewees or people whom I should consider speaking to, please feel free to reach out and drop me an email at! Also and videoed legendary economist and Council of Eminent Persons member Dr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Wan Nadiah, President of the Harvard Club of Malaysia, Emma Davidson of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Malaysia, and Mr. Jarrod Sio of Sarawak’s State Education department. Some future interviews include interviews with the CEO of Teach For Malaysia Chan Choon Seng, as well as Mr. Khairy Jamaluddin. Interviews I wish for are those with Ms. Fadhlina Sidek, Minister of Education of Malaysia, Mr. Rafizi Ramli, Minister of Economy of Malaysia, Mr. Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn, CEO of EPF, and Tan Sri Lin See Yan, amongst others. 2. Reached out to His Royal Highness Sultan Nazrin Shah to ask about economic history and his Economic History of Malaysia project and the ex-CEO of 1MDB as well, all part of that initiative to understand history a little better. This is an […]

Pathways To Excellence

Pathways now has a podcast – please follow it! In the past couple of days, I’ve had the chance to speak to some very, very smart people, and it’s all the result of a weird series of coincidences. Or maybe they’re not really coincidences, and maybe they’re just fate. I don’t know what it is, but either way, I realized that every single member of Harvard’s class of 2028 and Yale’s class of 2028, as well as Stanford’s class of 2028, was watching Pathways to Excellence. Why do I know this? I know this because I ended up speaking to almost every single one of them, only to hear that they were aware of what I was doing, that they had watched the videos, that prepared for their Harvard interviews, or otherwise in some way, shape, or form. It’s also been interesting to watch things play out, as I’ve secured interviews that are very different along the way, with people of rather unique backgrounds, which I’ll perhaps talk more about in the days to come. It’s very inspiring to speak to smart people – I have no idea how that’s going to influence my future just yet, but the outlines are there, but I would have done this regardless of what had happened anyway. What is clear for sure though is that this is meaningful, something I’m honored to be a part of and a journey that I will continue to value in the days to come.

Malaysia’s Harvard Class of 2028

Recently, Malaysia was very fortunate to receive the news that four Malaysians had gotten into Harvard University. Congratulations to Elisa, Victor, Thamini, and Bryan! (And thanks for watching/appearing on Pathways ^^) It’s always fascinating to see the country’s very top talent and the way that they are celebrated in this way, but maybe even more fascinating to become friends with them, which I inadvertently did in different ways. It’s cool that Malaysia can produce people of this caliber of talent for sure – but there’s naturally always going to be a question for each and every one of us: Can it retain them? Honestly, the answer to that question is unclear even for myself. You need to be strong to stay in this country, after all. V.

Random thought

One thing I’d definitely like to do a lot more this year is make myself capable of doing large batches of work all at a time. I don’t mean just going out there and working as hard as possible to put myself through a suffering that is inhuman, impossible to bear through, but instead the simple act of understanding how to schedule things so that you have more time in between the moments when you obtain inspiration such that you have a natural reminder to continue going out there, enter the game, and do as you will do. Willpower of course is a very important thing, but it is limited. That is why we create systems, things that automate our labor, but of course no system can operate without the willpower in the very first place even as it is true that expecting continual, consistent, and unrelenting willpower is a recipe for burnout and self-damage to degrees unreasonable even for the most hardened of men. In this upcoming new year, I look forward to being able to find many more systems that will continue to make work easier for me, to be able to more delicately navigate the balance between willpower effort and also attainment of actual results in the days ahead. I’m given the sense that somehow or another, that needs to be a continual part of everything that I’m doing going forward. How exactly that is going to work out and how it will happen, I am not totally sure just yet, but ideas and intuition abound, and what I’m confident of is that in many ways, this is a knowledge thing. By simply elevating yourself from an initial phase where no knowledge is present to one where awareness has been developed, a person can lift themselves up to heights hitherto unknown. That has been the experience that I’ve […]

Assessing English Standards in Malaysia: An Analysis with the CEFR

Often in Malaysia, people talk about how our standard of English is either sufficiently good that it is the basis of a thesis for investment, or they say that our English is abysmal and needs drastically to be improved – discussions go on and on, and people fight, oftentimes in what seems like a battle for the soul of our society. But what does it mean, actually, that our English is good or our English is bad? Some say that Malaysia aligns itself to international standards in creating its curricula, but others squabble day in and day out, constantly complaining about the quality of English amongst graduates who come into the workforce, observing that many of them lack basic skills that they would expect graduates to have. How can it be possible that Malaysia calibrates itself to international standards while at the same time its graduates languish in terms of their English language proficiency? But at the end of the day, who’s right?  As it turns out, investigating a little further tells us that the answer is both. Here’s where the subject of our blog post for today comes in: The Common European Framework for Reference, otherwise known as the CEFR.  The reason that I’m making this comparison today and telling you about CEFR is that Malaysia uses it to calibrate SPM writing standards.  The CEFR operationalizes language proficiency in accordance with six dimensions, from A1 up until C2. It is an international standard that is utilized by examining bodies across the world in order to designate proficiency levels and descriptors that students attain after courses of study, and it is used also in designing curricula so that students can reach a certain defined standard. Source: CEFR operationalizes English proficiency according to numerous level descriptors, providing explanations of what a user of the English language should be able to do […]

On Facing Judgment’s Shadow

Picture this. You’ve written a post that you want to share on social media, or you’ve made a video somehow or another. You’re sitting there on the edge of your chair, just about to click post, but you look at what you’ve written, what you’ve made, you notice that final error, you question yourself, thinking about the manifold ways in which people could be judging you silently and from afar, contemplating in your mind’s eye the dialogues that must be taking place. “Oh my gosh, this person wrote this?” “Oh my gosh. Did he really make that grammatical error?” “Wow, this is boring. Why am I even watching?”“How could he make such a video?” And so the thoughts come out, percolate like coffee through filter paper, and eventually crystallize into little gems of self-doubt, blocking the nervous signal that would have caused you to click. You turn away from your plan, and you declare:”Maybe later, but not now.” Before you know it, the entire project is abandoned. If you’re anything like me, you may have faced this, this feeling of wanting to do something, but realizing, or at least thinking that you weren’t good enough, that the manifold imperfections that existed in you would come out, and that people would judge you one way or another. Well, here’s a fact, though. People certainly will judge you. I mean, how could they not? Everyone encounters something as a first glance, thinks about it, and evaluates it on their own terms. That’s just how it is. The judgment will happen. There is absolutely nothing that you can do about it, and your feeling certainly is right. The thing is though, that even though it is right, this isn’t a valid reason to run away. Because truly, the only way to get past it is to face your fears, to accept judgements as they […]