Tuesday, 3 May 2016


Pergh.. Tobat sedap baq hang!! It is as sedap as the tagline literally writes. I first noticed this food stall in February when it was first open. There were such a long queue along the main entrance into Sungai Penchala that it was so hard to missed the prominent red signage shop that had made a name for itself for the longest of queue.  I am not the type that would queue and try but I will queue if I know for sure that the food is good. 

Daging masak merah Loqstaq was originated in Jalan Sultanah, Alor Star Kedah 30 years ago and was formerly known as Nasi Azmi Jalan Sultanah. Sungai Penchala is their first branch and they are opening another branch in 2 weeks at Mutiara Damansara. The Daging Masak Merah Loqstaq adds to the wonders of Sungai Penchala list of delicious affordable food alongside Sambal Hijau, Ewa, 123 corner,  Muhibbah as well as dozens of others.

During the labour day weekend, after a get together with my senior COBC bootcamp instructors, Corporal Wong (in purple tee, cover picture above) suggested we should try the Daging merah loqstaq which he gave a two thumbs and two toes up!! We could not resists. Corporal Amir and Sarge Chun had never tried it too and was eager to taste it. Sarge Suresh whom had it with Wong once before, attested to the delicious meal.

The stall is open at 11am every day and we arrived sharp at the opening hour. There weren't so many people when we arrive (thank god) and we ordered our meal. The stall served two meal set, daging masak merah and ayam masak merah. All of us red meat carnivors had the beef. Each meal cost us RM6.50 per set with a free flow water. There were 4 types of water served (including H20).

Thursday, 28 April 2016


Dato' Muhammad Ibrahim appointment as the Central Bank Governor is a positive news to Proton Eco system. When he was the Assistant Governor, we had a few fruitful engagements in particular on the slow approval period averaging more than 7 days by Banks for Proton buyer's hire purchase loan application which Mohammad Ibrahim personally find it unacceptable. Other past engagement we had with Dato Muhammad Ibrahim includes those period when Banks uniformly charged higher interest rate on Proton car buyer compared to those interest rate charged on non-national cars and when there were cases of discriminating treatment on Proton car buyer's loan application compared to non-national car buyers.

We lauded and look forward to further engagement with the new Governor. There are various policies that can further improve our ecosystem, that is totally dependent on support from Banks for car buyers end-financing.

Saturday, 23 April 2016


Dato Ahmad Fuaad Kenali leading his team for a dialogue and Q&A forum with the dealers. 
These has been missing over the past many years.

23 April 2016. PUTRAJAYA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE. PROTON EDAR held its annual dealers convention for all its 4S / 3S / 1S + 2S dealers nationwide including Sabah and Sarawak. The registration starts as early as 730am. At 830am Dato Ahmad Fuaad Kenali, Dato Radzaif Mohamed, Rohimee Shafei, the board of directors and Proton Edar management was at the door to greet and welcome all the dealers into the hall.

The conference started at 845am sharp, have to give it a thumbs up for event punctuality. The Emcee took the floor and we started with a doa selamat followed by a welcoming speech by Rohimee Shafei, the new Proton Edar Chief Executive Officer. After Rohimee's speech, the much awaited Dato Fuaad Proton Holding Chief Executive Officer began his speech. 

Dato Ahmad Fuaad's speech was well structured, organised and eloquently delivered portraying his professionalism and a person of details. He put a good word for YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir thanking Tun for all his contributions and and his appreciation for former Proton Edar Chief Executive Officer Norzahid Zahudi. Most importantly, he acknowledges and assured PEDA's issues and requests will be accommodated and plead for all dealers to be united and champion a common goal. This was the second engagement we had with Dato Ahmad Fuaad. The first engagement was barely two weeks ago and he did leave quite a good impression. We know we are in good hands.

The dealers conference took the whole day from 8am and ends at 10pm. Part of the program was the viewing of the new Perdana, Persona and Proton Saga. I fell in love with all the cars. Have it my way, I would want to own all of it. These new models were built to be faster in 0-100 acceleration, cheaper cost of ownership in term of both fuel consumption and pricing and last but not least a more awesome design. 

Thursday, 21 April 2016


I was invited by Amir Afif Azmi, the creative producer for Cradle TV to participate in a business talk show called the Start it up ala Jimmy Fallon. Cradle TV is an online video platform that records seminars, talks, event and news on technology. The Start It Up business talk show will be the first business talk show series in Cralde TV with 13 episodes. I am on the 11th episode.  The talk comprised of 2 segments with the first being a casual and a fun short interview followed by a game show. 

The only game I have played my whole life was the board game monopoly & scrabble (and chess as well as the malay board game called 'dam haji'). I am not too fond of this game but heck, of course I will try. What is better than to try out new things. The downside for losing, the loser will be showered with bubble foam recorded on TV.  The host, Razif Hashim was the only person I knew (or probably in Malaysia) that actually graduated with a degree in Acting. No doubt he was very natural, funny and hilarious.

The other participant on episode 11 with me was Jazz Tan from YouthsToday.com. Youthstoday.com is a platform that connects over 40,000 youth events with corporate brands reaching out to millions of youth across the world. For corporate companies or businesses that wants to reach out to the youth, you can contact youthstoday.com.

Sunday, 17 April 2016


If we can measure health and fitness in monetary term, many people would be in overdraft or in great debts. Yes, that is how we had neglected our health. Likewise, there are these bunch of people whom are multi-millionaires (in health and fitness) having consistently workout for years at the Chief's Original Bootcamp. 

To make sure everyone is in the right path and direction, COBC organized a quarterly get together with recruits and the first partyfor this year 2016 was held at the Chef & Brew on 17 April 2016. This event was originally organised on a monthly basis the soonest we completed our 1 month of training. Heck.. in those days, not many can survive the whole month consistently without missing a session and that calls for a celebration (Actually we just want to party) but as time passesby, 80% of recruits every monthh are returning recruits and the one month of consistent training felt abit too easy. So we started celebrating it every quarter. We deserves to party after being discipline and consistent with our training.

This party too was organised so recruits can get up close and personal with COBC trainers from other platoons, acquainted with recruits from other platoons and as well as get to know those behind the scene, COBC admins. There are in total 10 platoons in total.

It was great to see Anna Chai, Danny, Surani and others whom has been working out at the Chief's Original Bootcamp as early as its inception in 2010. There were a few recruits whom had just join the bootcamp less than a month and I do hope you all were inspired to hear the success stories of the otais. Success is in term of discipline, weight lost, fat lost and as well as athletic performance. The oldest recruit in our bootcamp network are in their 60s and the youngest recruit is 17 years old. Todate, we have trained more than 9,000 recruits and majority of them are now avid runners, marathoners, ultramarathoners, cyclists and as well as triathletes.

Everyone shared their experience and journey towards a better health and fitness. At the Chief's Original Bootcamp, it is not always about health and fitness, it is all about friendship and a strong support community.

Friday, 15 April 2016


 Proton Edar Centre of Excellent 15 April 2016

15 April 2016. Proton Edar Dealers Association Malaysia (PEDA) had our first engagement with the new Chieftains of Proton. The meeting was chaired by Proton Holdings Berhad Chief Executive Officer Dato Ahmad Fuaad Kenali, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Dato Radzaif Mohamed, Proton Edar Chief Executive Officer Rohimee Shafie, heads from manufacturing and Proton Edar new heads of departments reappointed after some internal restructuring.

The meeting was held at Proton Edar Centre of Excellence in Shah Alam at 3pm. PEDA met for a short pre-council meeting at 2pm shortly before the scheduled engagement while the Chieftains received visits from the Minister of International Trade & Industry, Dato Sri Mustapa Mohamad whom was accompanied by Dato Sri Idris Jala, Dato Sri Wahid Omar together with other officials from the Ministry. 

It was heart warming to see all the important stakeholders at Proton but we could not help but to miss Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad whom was always at Proton the whole day for at least 3 times a week during his tenure as the Chairman.

The engagement was held at the Board room and PEDA committee took our seat at the same spot where we were always seated for more than a decade. Tuan Haji Razak Aziz, PEDA Vice President was right to highlight our corner of the table were seated by the same people, same dealer while the chair and those in the opposite table kept changing.

We cant really speak on the details of our engagement but we can share our first impression of the new management. All the new Chief were humble and seek to understand the network's predicament. A trait which is scarce of late but a few in the board room were still on a defensive mode. A few of inherited policies were immediately reverse to enable dealers to began maximizing their sales (thumbs up).  Dato Ahmad Fuaad was pro-actively taking notes with his thin red Lenovo notebook while others were armed with papers and pens. Coffee was served with popiah, curry puff and a kueh.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016


KUALA LUMPUR 11 April - Persatuan Pengedar Proton Edar (PEDA) berkata, sambutan orang ramai terhadap kereta-kereta Proton adalah masih tinggi, dengan setiap pengedar mempunyai sekurang-kurangnya 50 Surat Akujanji (LOU) daripada bank-bank untuk pembeli kereta.

“Jualan kereta Proton sebenar­nya masih laris. Model Iriz, Preve, Exora dan Persona terutamanya, masih menjadi pilihan ramai walaupun Proton diselubungi isu negatif pada masa ini,’’ kata Presidennya, Armin Barniaz Pahamin kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Malah kata beliau, jualan dijangka rancak dengan pelancaran tiga lagi model baharu Proton termasuk Proton Perdana yang gambarnya sudah tersebar meluas di dalam Internet.

Bagaimanapun ujar beliau, pihaknya berdepan masalah iaitu bekalan kereta yang rendah dan polisi dalaman yang pelbagai sehingga mengakibatkan jualan kereta terbantut.

“Jualan kereta semakin teruk disebabkan oleh tiga perkara iaitu da­sar-dasar Proton Edar yang lebih ketat telah membantutkan usaha pe­ngedar untuk menjual kereta; bekalan ke­reta yang per­lahan dan tidak ada bekal­an tepat iaitu model atau warna yang dipilih pembeli,’’ ujarnya.

Semasa zaman kegemilangan Proton katanya, pengurus dan pengurus besar boleh membuat keputusan yang membabitkan jualan kereta asalkan jualan laris.

“Keputusan boleh dibuat semasa mesyuarat PEDA dengan pengurusan tengah. Sekarang GM dan CEO pun tidak ada kuasa. Kena jawatankuasa yang bersidang mungkin sekali sebulan yang putuskan. Apabila jawatankuasa bersidang, dan telah mendapat kelulusan, pasaran telah pun dah berubah,’’ katanya.

Sunday, 10 April 2016


Image from Malaysia-Chronicle

I read with interest Mohd Khairil Azman posting in FMT at HERE that had gone viral and I made references in this article to his 3 questions but first let us go back to the fundamental of the national car project.

It is interesting to observe how Malaysia national car projects had evolved from first the Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Berhad, PROTON in the early 1980s and then Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Berhad (Perodua) in 1992. Both national car projects were mandated to achieve 1 clear objective; to be able to design, develop and produce our own car as part of our industrialization program to achieve the vision 2020.

Proton's journey has always been in that direction, Perodua which was also Tun Mahathir's project that was approved by cabinet in 1992 was given the same mandate as Proton. This was clearly stated in Tun Mahathir's speech as the Prime Minister then, when he launched Perodua manufacturing plant in Rawang; 2 years after the cabinet approves the 2nd national car project. Tun Mahathir's speech can be read at HERE.

With both Proton and Perodua non-competing in different category, there were sufficient sales volume for both companies to slowly acquire technology and engineering capability to achieve the government's vision and objective. With the proceeds received from those sales, Proton reinvested by acquiring technology through Lotus and MV Augusta and build its RM1.8 billion Tanjung Malim plant.

Proton acquired Lotus in October 1996, a year before we were hit with the worst recession in 1997 which halted whatever plan Proton had for Lotus. When the economy recovers, Lotus engineering has been part of Proton cars ride & handling but not many had driven the lotus to actually feel it in Proton. The Lotus engineering too is the catalyst behind the new engine nicknamed Volcano that was recently launched in January this year. (More information at HERE). Lotus was acquired for its engineering capabilities as well as support and it has contributed to the development of Proton cars. Whether Proton did have a turn around plan for Lotus cars itself remain unknown when the architect of its acquisition, Tan Sri Yahya Ahmad died of helicopter crash (more information at HERE).

Thursday, 7 April 2016

LOOKING FOR A CAR WORKSHOP? This Local App Will Find One That Won't Overcharge You

This article was first published at Says.com by John Lim (On behalf of CarBengkel team, thank you John & Says.com)

Looking for a reliable car workshop is not an easy feat in Malaysia. Many car workshops are known for overcharging and providing poor quality parts.

 Image via Auto World
Remember the last time you were overcharged for a repair? Yeah, me too.

The good news is you don't have to fret anymore! Car Bengkel, a local app set up in collaboration with the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI), aims to help motorists survive this ultimate road challenge.

Sunday, 3 April 2016


Dato' Abdul Rahman Dahlan said in an article posted by the Star, (an extract of which, was posted at the bottom), that Dr M must answer for Proton's colossal failure; I feel the need to clarify.

1. Proton was the no 1 car maker when Tun Mahathir was the Prime Minister. 
2. Proton went downhill under Tun Abdullah Badawi premiership whom was also the Minister of Finance, the holding company of Khazanah Nasional whom was at that time, the biggest shareholder of Proton Holdings Berhad. Dato Mohammed Azlan Hashim was appointed by Khazanah Nasional as Proton Chairman and was tasked to remove Tengku Mahaleel as Proton Managing Director.
3. Dato Mohammed Azlan Hashim succeeded in removing Tengku Mahaleel when his predecessor, also a Khazanah Nasional appointee Dato Abu Hasan Kendut had failed. When Tengku Mahaleel was removed, he left Proton with RM4b in cash reserves.
4. Proton lost to Perodua as the number 1 car maker under Dato Mohammed Azlan Hashim when Khazanah Nasional was the biggest shareholder and in control of Proton.
5. Khazanah Nasional, via Dato Mohammed Azlan Hashim had reversed Tengku Mahaleel's decision to terminate EON as Proton distributor when EON refused to contribute to the R&D funds requested by Proton after the government stopped giving R&D grants for proton development. 
6. This resulted in a sales network with more than 400 dealers representation in Malaysia. This was the most destructive decision that weakens the once a strong dealership network and the start of a series of catastrophe.

Saturday, 2 April 2016


Proton Edar Sdn Bhd (PESB) has appointed 52 years old Rohimee Shafie as its 11th Chief Executive Officer. Most of Proton Edar Dealers Association Malaysia (PEDA) committee members have been around since the first Proton Edar Sdn Bhd (formerly known as USPD) Chief Executive Officer, Dato Rashid Rahim. As PEDA President, I have served under 6 of the former 10 CEOs and have served all 10 CEOs as PEDA committee member, Vice-President and Deputy President. We have also been under former Proton Holdings Berhad (Proton) Managing Director Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel, Proton Joint COO Dato Kisai Rahmat & Dato Kamarulzaman Darus, Proton MD Dato Sri Syed Zainal Abidin, Proton CEO Datuk Lukman Ibrahim and Dato Harith Abdullah. PEDA welcomes and look forward to work closely with Dato Ahmad Fuaad as the new Proton CEO.

We have seen various policies that destroys the dealers network and policies that really improved our total sales. Unfortunately, everytime a new CEO was appointed, we have to start the same bad and the good policies all over again. Ironically, arrogance and ego took the best of any newly appointed. Despite the promises made by Tan Sri Khamil Jamil when DRB-Hicom first bought over Proton, to be dealercentric, in reality Proton & PESB Management took the dealers network (except for a few favorite dealers with special treatment), akin of a thorn in a bed of roses. With plummeting sales (up to the point where dealers can hardly break even), stricter parameters were introduced restricting further dealers whom are hungry for business, to do sales.

Since DRB-Hicom took over Proton in 2012, Proton car sales has been downhill from a total sales of 141,120 in 2012, 138,753 in 2013, 115,782 in 2014 and last year 2015, Proton hit its lowest sales record of only 102,175.

Personally, I don't think DRB-Hicom management style works at Proton. There is no empowerment and decisions took longer than in the past. Reaction and responses to market sentiment is poor and do not get me started on the production deliverables of cars to be delivered to Proton car buyer. The mismatching of customers order to manufacturing production worsens on the backdrop of non-availability of cars for the dealers to sell. The communication channel from top management to the middle management and to the dealers were distorted. Whatever that was resolved and discussed between PEDA and top management was not properly minuted and communicated to middle management as well as the dealers network. With an already over congested dealers network, the addition of 29 Suzuki dealers adds on alot more burden.

Saturday, 12 December 2015


Prashant Aggarwal from VISA announcing and crowning the winner
for VISA Retail Award 2015

"Visa Retail Award aims to recognise an innovative and young business that has high level of customer engagement, demonstrates innovation and use of technology to successfully transform their business for both in-store and online. We also look to award the retail partner for their growth in in business and investment in their people. This retail award celebrates and recognise promising young leaders in the modern-day retailers segment that provides a seamless shopping experience while maintaining the integrity of their brand".

My new technology startup, CarBengkel was one of the five start-ups that was shortlisted to pitch for the Visa Retail Innovation Award on 10 December 2015. We submitted a 13 pager pitch in-time for the 13 November 2015 deadline and was the second company to present. The other 4 companies that was shortlisted were Ash Be Nimble, Kakitangan.com, Sangkaya and BloomThis.com.

The pitching for the award was done at VISA head office, Level 32, Suite C, Menara Maxis, KLCC. We were the first to arrive being excited. These pitching for the SME Innovation Challenge, Visa Retail and previous for Cradle Fund are all new experience which I had never done before. Naturally, I was filled with anxiety and excitement. 

I have also been acquainted with other founders that was pitching for the same award namely Ashish & Hui Matthews from Ash Be Nimble, Effon Khoo of Kakitangan.com, John Isaac Ho & Sangrida Kaya from Sangkaya and Gidden Lim & Penny Choo from BloomThis. They are all truly amazing and inspirational. Their business concept are admirable and it did not feel as if we were actually competing. It felt as if we were working and was there to support each other. 

Thursday, 3 December 2015


Readers and friends, we are in!! Alhamdulillah~ Allah Huakbar!

Top 7 SME Innovation Challenge 2015!! We have made it this far with all your support and we need your support yet, once again. For us to be selected into the Top 3, we need your votes!! Yes, your vote contributes to 30% of the total scoring. We wont get shortlisted without your votes. The public voting is open from NOW, 3 December to 11:59pm, 8 December 2015.

You can only vote once!! One time only and I truly hope you will vote for CarBengkel.

To vote:
1. Please click on this link - https://voting.bizsmart.com.my/microsite/ . Public voting is open until 8 December 2015.

2. Then select and click on CarBengkel (you can view our video and I will try hard not to blush- saya seorang pemalu). See RED ARROW below to select CARBENGKEL.


It was almost noon and there were no calls from Alliance Bank to inform if we were shortlisted for the Top 7 SME Innovation Challenge 2015. We were told to expect a call from the Bank officials whom will be calling those who made it to Top 7. By 2pm, there were still no phone calls and we were almost certain we did not get selected. A coffee chat yesterday with Alliance Bank Executive Vice President after the mentoring session with Dato Wira Dr Haji Ameer Ali bin Haji Mydin had sank my hope to be selected. Victor gave quite a good perspective on what is deemed as bankable and what the Bank would avoid. I would recommend for Victor to take a session with the finalist for next year's SME Innovation Challenge.

After my 3rd appointment, I message Lilian Khaw from Alliance Bank. I said, please call me even if I did not get selected, I need a closure! My heart skipped a beat everytime the phone rang, the whole day. At 2:27pm, 3 minutes after I message Lilian, the phone rang and it was Lilian. My heart skipped a few (maybe a dozen) beats.. In fact, it probably stop beating for a moment. 

I was sure, Lilian called me in reply to my earlier message; that regretfully, I did not make it. She did not sound excited and asked me if I am free to talk. I was silent and my face probably already turned blue. In a slow voice, she said. Armin, Congratulation for being selected to Top 7. Suddenly, everything just stopped (not just my heartbeat)!

I was trying to digest what she meant and I said, for what?!! She said congratulation again. Then I went, are you serious? Please dont joke with me. Most of the finalists are really hilarious and everyone jokes alot. Lilian said again Armin, congratulation and I went, are you for real (again).. still in disbelief.

Monday, 30 November 2015


Its 3 days counting down before the announcement of the top 7 companies from the list above. The 20 finalists had pitched and presented their 12 months planning of how they will use the award money on 26 November 2015. As stressful as it was for the founders of the 20 companies to present their business plan, it is even harder for the judges to decide and pick the top 6 best that they had to add another company to make it the Top 7 instead of six.

To view for the 20 finalists, click at the link: https://www.facebook.com/AllianceBankMalaysia/app/785251741601466/.

Then click on each company to read the synopsis.

This is also the link where the top 7 will be announced and shortlisted on 2 December 2015. On 3 December, the public can start voting for the top 7 to be shortlisted to top 3.


The battle of platoons is an annual event organised by the Chief's Original Bootcamp to foster the spirit of camaraderie between recruits from their own battalion and among others as well as to compete in a friendly manner. The strongest and the best teamwork battalion will be crowned the Champion. There are 5 battalions at the Chief's Original Bootcamp at Ampang, Bandar Utama, Cyberjaya, Damansara Heights and Subang Jaya.

For the first time in COBC history, Damansara Heights was disqualified for insufficient enrollment but in good spirit, recruits from Damansara Heights enjoins Bandar Utama. Damansara Heights platoon, codenamed the Highlanders was crowned Champion twice in the 4 years the Battle of platoons were organised. We also have a new battalion from Maxis whom have been under corporate training with COBC for almost a year. MAXIS is the first corporate company that promote and emphasizes health and fitness for their employees all year through and even sponsor their employees to keep fit. All was from the effort and dedication from Asni Afzah and her team from Maxis Employees Engagement department.

Captains were selected for each team and the Captains in charge were Jason Lee for the Spartans, Aston for the Barracudas, Shahrul for the Maxis-Titans and Amri for the Legends. There were 152 participants in the event; Spartans 39pax, Barracudas 36, Maxis Titans 37pax and the Legends 40pax. Those that participated in the Battle of Platoons 4.0 are as follows:

(list to be updated)

This year there were 4 battalions competing under their own team banner as follows:

Friday, 27 November 2015


Our new tech start up, Carbengkel was recently shortlisted as the top 10 qualifier a the Echelon Thailand 2015 but unfortunately, it was on the same date as the SME Innovation Challenge 2015 Top 6 pitching date. We had to split our team with me pitching in Kuala Lumpur and, Anny and Amnan in Bangkok.

Our main purpose and objective for participating in the Echelon Thailand was to have some preliminary market validation for us to launch CarBengkel in Thailand next year. We have a booth attended by Amnan and the feedback we received was very encouraging and positive. Our booth was like pasar malam packed with so many people. Thailand automotive market is huge and the biggest in the region. Thailand automotive market was not new to me. My former company, Jackspeed was a tier-1 vendor in Thailand to various automotive manufacturers. While we cant wait to launched CarBengkel in Thailand and have even translated our apps in Thai but we are not rushing. We want to thoroughly understand the consumer behaviour there first and Amnan took the first step with gathering feedback.


It has been slightly more than 2 months since we pitched to be selected as the top 20 finalists on 18 September 2015. Alot had happen since. The finalists underwent various intensive, grueling and mentally challenging training that actually made us think deeper into our business, future plan and our concept. I felt really privilege to be part of these programs. These programs were really useful and relevant to the business but these are also the type of programs that we will always ignore, take it for granted and would never spare any effort to attend on our own, prioritizing business errands and work appointments. Its amazing how the organiser for the SME Innovation Challenge structured and so well planned the whole program.  It took me a few days just to digest what we went through the class for each classes. We graduated from the last program on 24 November and have not really digest it, let alone to pitch on 26 November 2015 for the Top 6 selection. It would have been perfect if we had a week after the last program to the pitching date.

26 November 2015. The pitching was held at the Grand Hyatt, Kuala Lumpur and I was scheduled to pitched at 1030am. There were the same judges as the first pitch (for the list of judges, click HERE) except for Kenny from Manulife. A lady replaced Kenny as the judge. I arrived early at 830am and had breakfast at the hotel. Tan Sri Liew arrived in full suit without his EcoWorld uniform which was quite unlike him. We had a few sessions with Tan Sri and he was always smart, clad in the white EcoWorld uniform. Perhaps this was a signal that today is going to be a really serious session! He was not so talkative as compared to his usual sharing mood when he arrived. He sat for a momnet and requested to start the pitching early. It was only at 9:30am and the first pitch was scheduled to start at 10am. Edwin Wang and John Cheng from Signature Snack was all ready. They were the first to pitch.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Alliance Bank BizSmart Academy

After a series of grounding and training at the BizSmart Academy, I am really short of words. I never knew how supportive Alliance Bank is to small businesses and new start-up but the programs conducted were truly amazing. Sadly, it is coming to an end soon. I feel the biggest failure many entrepreneurs made when they first start up, is thinking their business model was perfect. The BizSmart academy perfected it further and provide a more concrete path towards success. For more information on what other finalists feel about the whole journey, please click and read here. Mine, was extracted and pasted below.

The BizSmart Academy understands the entrepreneurs’ needs better than the entrepreneurs themselves. The programmes touch the core essentials that we often overlooked and took for granted. There are just too much and almost impossible to write and tell on this journey since we became the 20 finalists. In short, it is a wonderful, memorable and an educational journey.

We all started the training program without knowing one another but after the first class, we became a G20 sort of speak; an unbreakable group of 20 finalists. We knew each other by name on the first session itself and started sharing contacts, connections and cross-sharing products to support each other. Its kind of weird because we never take each other as a competitor to win prizes but we continue to support and inspire. I want to grow old through thick and thin with my team just like Tan Sri Liew, his CEO and the EcoWorld team. My take home from the CEO Chatroom, reputation and credibility is something we must always strongly upkeep. During a downturn, the credibility and unity will pull the company through. I am practicing what I learn from the first training to influence people to get things done instead of giving instructions. This can be done if we understand the different personality trait of the team member.

Friday, 20 November 2015


Inna lillahhi wainna ilaihiraji'un. To Allah swt we belong, to Him we shall return. The Proton Edar dealers network mourns for the families of Proton Edar 10th appointed Chief Executive Officer, Azmi Idris.

The Proton Dealers Association Malaysia has worked closely with Azmi for many years and closer when he was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer prior to Norzahid Mohd Zahudi. During his short tenure as the Chief Executive Officer, Azmi's main focus was on dealer's resilient and the disorderly network. The network has been ailing for many years for various reasons and some were due to the punitive policies implemented within the company itself which he wanted to restructure. The dealer's network are forever indebted for his contributions.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


Its almost 2 weeks since the interactive page on HyppTV for viewers choice award was launched and it is ending on 21 November 2015!! Yes, closing in less than 72 hours!!

Please vote for our new technology start-up CARBENGKEL for the HyppTV Viewers Choice Award. How to vote? You can vote as many times as your finger and time permits and for those who vote the most (highest voter), you can win cool gadget (see below!!).

Follow the simple step by step guide below:

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


We never knew how supportive Alliance Bank is to the SMEs until we were selected as the top 20 finalists at the SME Innovation Challenge 2015. Since the announcement, we have been through various training and media exposure.  One of the many was the interview organised with the Star Newspaper.

The interview was conducted at the Bosko Restaurant, Bandar Utama Centrepoint. Amnan and I arrived early and we were greeted by Agnes Ong Poh Choo, Adrianne Emuang and Lilian Khaw. Together with us for the interview were Effon, the founder for Kakitangan, Mehedi Hassan, the founder for LYL Technologies and my Kelantan homeboys Syed Ahmad Fuqaha, the founder for Katsana.

Before the journalist Mek Zhin arrived, Agnes prepared and tip us on some Do's and Don't when dealing with reporters. After an hour of interview, we hang out abit and camwhore while taking a break before the next interview began.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


Get up close and personal with the founders of 20 successful small & medium enterprise whom was selected as the top 20 finalists at the recent SME Innovation Challenge 2015. The Top 20 Finalists whom had attended the first business training at the Alliance Bank BizSmart Academy on 2nd October 2015 will be interviewed by the business radio BFM 89.9 on stages. The interview will be done during the 'Open For Business' segment at 10am (refer to the picture above).

Tomorrow, BFM 89.9 will interview Sherlyn Tan, the founder of Twenty3 and John Ho Chee Kiong, the founder for Sang Kaya whom had recently launched 2 new outlets in Klang Valley. For more information on Twenty3 and Sangkaya as well as the 20 finalists, click HERE.

The 20 finalists are from 5 different sectors, namely fashion, F&B, Mobile Applications, E-Commerce/online stores  and online solution. 

There are 5 new start-ups in Fashion namely, (1) Ash Be Nimble, (2) KooshBoo, (3) Rent A Dress, (4) SimplyK, and (5) Twenty3. 

There is only 1 company in Floral which is the BloomThis.

5 companies in F&B and they are ChopStick Diner, Humble Beginnings, Lao PO Recipe, Sang Kaya and Signature Snack.

3 companies in mobile application but all are in different sector; CarBengkel is for automotive services, LYL Technology in content streaming apps and Servis Hero in general services. 

2 companies in e-commerce or online shopping; Freshcart Grocer offers an online fresh grocer and imported fruits and SnapSell is for the users to snap anything and sell.

There are 2 companies that provides online solution; Kakitangan provides HR data consolidation work and WOBB provides recruitments for best talent. 

Saturday, 3 October 2015


It was such an amazing experience being in a room full of successful founders which I was given the privilege by Alliance Bank & the sponsors. I was one of the 20 finalists shortlisted at the recent SME Innovation Challenge 2015. For more information on the SME Innovation Challenge, please read here, here and here. They all have wonderful stories to share and a good made in Malaysia business concept especially for Malaysians and the world.

When my business prospers, I will certainly join the list of sponsors for the SME Innovation Challenge. Being with new founders, really injects alot of aspiration and motivation. It is not all rosey and beauty for the founders to be where they are today. I was in one of the group that was split into 5, and one of the founders said, she had multiple nervous breakdown and almost kill herself to keep her company afloat. Another founder attended the Biz Smart Academy today and left her barely year old baby in the hospital admitted for dengue. Such were the commitment and dedication by the founders to bring their company to the next level.

We attended the first of the 8 full day training courses organised to equipped businesses with essential ingredients for success. I attended the course with a burning desire to learn, apply and starving for knowledge and success. It was great to be in a hall full of founders with the same huge appetite. The energy was exemplary.

Today's first full day was a course on Strategic Influencing by Eric Lau from Leaderonomics. There are alot of things we took for granted while running a business and Eric, in his hip and passionate presentation backed with strong references to real life case study put alot of senses to many. You should check them out at www.leaderonomics.com

We also had the pleasure of meeting Christy Ng whom was the 2013 SME Innovation Challenge
Champion. She was generous with sharing her success story and gave some useful tips in tackling those judges during the final pitch. Another guest speaker was Ivan Lee from The Tapping Tapir, the Top 6 finalist for last year's challenge. Victor shared his experience in getting into the top 6. The biggest challenge faced by them two was in canvassing for public votes. They actually went to Pasar Malam and into universities to get students to vote for them!! Eeek!!! I cannot remember when was the last time I went to pasar malam.

Thursday, 1 October 2015


We are so pleased to be nominated for the Rice Bowl Start up Award 2015. The Rice Bowl Startup Awards celebrates rising startups that are worthy of regional awareness and presence, uses technology and modern business strategies to deliver their service offerings.

It is called the Rice Bowl award as rice is a staple diet among Asians, so is technology for fuelling businesses of the future. The Rice Bowl Startup Awards is the first ASEAN awards that celebrate rising startups that harness technology innovatively to propel their business regionally. Companies participating in the event are from Malaysia, Myanmar, Brunei, Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Malaysia is the host for the event this year.

The media exposure for this award is massive and will provide CarBengkel with sufficient exposure to go global by year end. Please pray for us to get into the TOP 30.

Sunday, 27 September 2015


The SME Innovation Challenge 2015 was launched on 9 July 2015 with a total RM1,000,000 cash and media prizes to be won. There are three additional category prizes to be won this year namely, the Manulife Sustainability Award (RM100,000), VISA Retail Award (RM100,000) and HyppTV Viewers' Choice Award (RM200,000). The Grand Prize for the Champion will receive Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin Entrepreneurship Award RM250,000/ First Runner-up will get RM200,000 and Second Runner-Up will receive RM150,000.

The application for the SME Challenge 2015 was closed on 1 September and those shortlisted including my new company CarBengkel was called for an interview and had to pitch 6 prominent judges chaired by billionaire and philanthropist Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin on 18 September 2015 (for more information, read HERE). From that session, twenty were selected and the TOP 20 Finalist was announced this afternoon at the Young Entrepreneurs Conference 2015 held at the Planery Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

The Young Entrepreneur Conference 2015 is a by-invitation-only event and is open to all aspiring entrepreneurs. Amnan Bazli Pahamin and I attended the YEC 2015 with a mix feeling. Nervous, excited and anxious!! We really look forward to be selected as the Top 20 Finalists. Being a new start-up, we can only imagine the mileage we will get being shortlisted. I did my best though I felt I could have done better pitching Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin and those prominent judges last week on 18 September. We had the pleasure and honour to meet the humble Malek Ali, the founder for our favourite radio station BFM 89.90 who is also one of the judges at the recent pitch. I love his inspiring life story.

Friday, 25 September 2015


The Chief's Original Bootcamp has declared a state of emergency for all battalion to be at Defcon 3. All platoons under each battalion to form a unit ready for battle. This is the fourth war cry for battle issued in half a decade.

At Defcon 3, all recruits at all battalion to increase their training intensity and ready for deployment. Our intelligent unit speculate a war will break out with the following details:

DATE: 8 November 2015
TIME: 5:30am - 9:30am
WAR ZONE: To be advice.
THEME: No better friend, no worst enemy.

What is the Battle of Platoons?

The Battle of Platoons is a special event organized to foster the spirit of camaraderie between recruits from all platoons. Most of the time, recruits only interact with their fellow platoon mate without any opportunity to meet recruits from other platoons. During the battle, recruits from all locations will gather at the war zone. Recruits from all ranks; Rangers, Seals and Deltas would have to work together and win points for their platoon.

The Battle of Platoons was first mooted by Senior Sarge Coad; COBC Regional Master trainer & Spec Ops Coordinator in 2009. "The challenge was conducted to determine which platoon is the strongest in a friendly, enjoyable and slightly competitive way".

Who can participate?

1. Any recruits that is registered and train at COBC
2. To enable more recruits to join & participate in the BOP 4.0, a special fee is extended for all past, present & new recruit at only RM99.50 per month for the month of October and RM99.50 for November (The fee is conditional on registration and payment for both November & December before November intake- total RM199.00 for 2 intakes). This RM99 per month is for all recruits registered for the months of October & November 2015.
3. All WIP and special recruits can defer their WIP payment to December and pay the "special fees" instead.

Friday, 18 September 2015


I first heard of the BizSmart Academy SME Innovation Challenge 2015 from Li Lian Khaw whom invited CarBengkel to compete. We submitted our application in early August and was overwhelmed to received a congratulatory email on 11 September, being one of the 40 companies that was shortlisted for the pitching. For more information on SME Innovation Challenge 2015, click HERE. For more information on CarBengkel win~win solution for car owners and the aftersales network, click HERE.

We were given a week to prepare for the pitching scheduled on 18 September 2015 (today!!) at 9:15am slot. Logan and I worked the weekends and the whole week to perfected the pitch deck and I spend the whole 2 days rehearsing to deliver our message in the given 8 minutes timeframe!! Cradle graduates were trained to pitch in 5 minutes and the additional 3 minutes is almost a bonus but I wanted to share so much more of what CarBengkel can do that I needed more than the bonus 3 minutes. After dozens of practicing and rehearsing, I managed to hit the 8 minutes timeframe after censoring and prioritizing alot of slides and pointers.

What is the mechanic of the challenge?

Sunday, 30 August 2015


As far back as I can remember when Tun Dr Mahathir was the Prime Minister, everyone wanted him to be replaced, leave or resigned. When he resigned, everyone felt it was a grand victory for Malaysia and evidently, Barisan Nasional under Tun Abdullah Badawi won 90% majority at the 11th general election (GE11) in 2004. People was in favour of a government without Tun Dr Mahathir forgetting all the good deeds and development he brought to Malaysia from being a third world.

Since then, Barisan Nasional under Tun Abdullah Badawi had lost 2/3 majority in the 12th General Election (GE12) in 2008 and even lost a few states. When Tun Abdullah Badawi resigned, Dato Sri Najib brought an even worst winning for Barisan Nasional at the 13th General Election (GE13) in 2013. Barisan Nasional did not even get the popular votes.

The 90% majority grand victory that the people celebrated in GE11 for not wanting Tun Dr Mahathir had brought a major catastrophe not just to Barisan Nasional but to Malaysia. The people is not always right.

The people will not make the same mistake by voting against Barisan Nasional because of their frustration, anger and hatred for Dato Sri Najib's donation, money politics, abuse of power with the PAC, MACC, AG, BNM, Police and those labelled as corrupted Ministers. The damage will be of great detriment to Malaysia.

Sunday, 23 August 2015


It is actually not as easy to find a good Thai food that is reasonably priced and taste very similar to the authentic Thai cooking. Naturally, when we came across a good Thai restaurant that is Halal with food menu that tastes very similar to the cooking of Thais, I had to share it with you. 

We incidentally saw the signage Aroi Thai after sending my son to his weekend Taekwondo class with Elaine Teoh and Nurul Nadia Mahamat at Kota Damansara. 

The three months old restaurant is called Aroi Thai and everything in the menu is priced at RM1.90 (before GST) ala the famous Thai Boat Noodle and Bangkok street food. We initially ordered a bowl each of the Beef Noodle but wallop in total 14 items from the menu!

Saturday, 22 August 2015


If only I had the Home Energy Report  report many years ago, we would have saved and substantially reduced our TNB Bills but Thumbs Up to TNB for generating the Home Energy Report which we received a few days ago. Without any bearing on the electrical consumption for energy efficient home, we have been on a utility bill reduction mode since last year.

Our TNB bill last year 2014, averages RM1200 per month and early this year we target to reduce it below RM1000 thinking it was a reasonable target. Now we know it is not. According to the TNB Home Energy Report, we uses 184% more electricity than similar home.  The last three months home electric usage comparison was was a staggering 5,765kWh for our home; similar home averages 2,031kWh and efficient home (of similar size) uses 891 kWh. We are 6x higher than the energy efficient home. The comparison was on 100 similar homes (Source: TNB).

Earlier this year we let go of a few under-utilize refrigerators and freezer, change the lights to LED energy saving lights and had successfully reduced it but RM800-RM900 per month was still on the high side. The target now was to keep TNB bill at an average RM300 a month which is the energy efficient home. So we did a bit of research on the energy savings electrical items and replaced the 8 years old LG air-condition on 3 August. 

We had it replaced with the Hitachi inverter aircond with 5 star energy saving rating. The aircond too came with a 10 years warranty. It claimed it can reduce our electricty bill by 60%. That was doubtful and we may just be a victim of advertising but heck, it cant be any worst than the current 8 years old air condition.

Monday, 17 August 2015


Our journey with the Chief's bootcamp began 6 years ago in 2009 as a recruit at the bootcamp Padang Merbuk. Alike all others, we fell in love with the program at first sight. Prior to our training at the bootcamp, I have explored everything else from running, weight training, personal training, RPM, Body pump, swimming, triathlon, dualthon and even mountain climbing. My bootcamp partner Dr Malek Aziz too went through the same phase seeking and searching for an active lifestyle and training that can keep our mojo and fitness align with our medical history. Those who were given a second life having survived cancer would understand how nothing else matters but a good bill of great health. We love the program so much that we practically begged Chief Brabon and Gunny Hames to obtained the license to operate the program at Bandar Utama in 2010. The thought of not having the program being run in Malaysia was a nightmare having discovered the previous licensee wanted to opt out.

That was the beginning of our journey running the world's oldest military inspired bootcamp in Malaysia. When the licensee for Subang Jaya, Cyberjaya, Damansara Heights and Shah Alam too opted out from the network, we quickly took over. It was all for the passion for fitness. Not much for the money but for the network of people that shares similar passion as us. 

The Chief's Original Bootcamp is where it all started. It revolutionize the whole concept of exercising in Malaysia. That was during the period where all the boutique gym mushrooms throughout Malaysia. We went against the odd to establish the outdoor group fitness concept ala Military training. Now, the bootcamp concept had grow from just the Chief's Original Bootcamp to dozens of others but todate, the Chief's Original Bootcamp is the only bootcamp in Malaysia where the program is actually designed by former and currently serving infantry soldier, namely the Royal Australian army. Of course, the program is then customize for civilian training. At the Chief's Original Bootcamp (COBC), we deliver the program that was professionally and scientifically design to reap out the maximum results. The founder Chief Brabon and his Master Global trainers (whom design the program for COBC) establish the program way back in 1999; for already 16 years!!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015


On behalf of the CarBengkel team, we are grateful to all the media and guests that attended our small and simple product launching in conjunction with the upcoming festive season at the Cradle Fund office yesterday.

CarBengkel is a product of Cradle CIP Catalyst pre-seed funding. Being a recipient of government grant for the development of the application, the first thing we learn was to budget and to operate within a very limited budget. Naturally, our media launching was not held at five star hotels or expensive restaurants but at the training room at Cradle itself.

My journey with Cradle has been very educational and exciting.

When we first approach Cradle, we knew exactly what we wanted to do! We have the idea, the experience and the business plan. We did not have the product but we have everything else.... and so we thought!!

When we thought we knew and had everything, Cradle further completes it. Cradle had completed and make concrete whatever idea we have. The grant is actually a smaller contribution to what Cradle provides as a package.

Many new start up failed because they are their own bosses and being our own bosses, sometimes we feel we are right and that we knew everything. Cradle broadens our perspective and thinking methodology. It is not just the fund that came with Cradle but the support system that became our brainstorming partners.

At Cradle, we have to convinced alot of people who knew nothing about our business and some of them can be critical. This is very important because now I know, if anyone can convinced Cradle, they can actually convinced anyone. You cannot bullshit these professionals.

I am most grateful to Eizar Supiar and Dalena Zulkifli whom were the Cradle business managers assigned to us and would like to extend our big thank you for their tireless effort working with us on weekends and in discussion with us till late night. All the officials are with us on personal handphone basis. That was how committed they are.
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