Shhh! Secret Life of a Princess

Random, provoking thoughts from a self-confessed princess :: with focus on motivational learnings from the media. I hope to inspire everyone to be the best they can be

Thursday, November 30, 2006

FREE Wireless almost everywhere in SG Soon!

Yes! Today, I will be able to use wireless for FREE! Once again my fav four-lettered word. I have registered with not one but 2 providers: Singtel and QMax and ready to roll. Competition is stiff as most ppl would go for Singtel for their brandname esp if you are already using a Singtel phone line as you can get higher speed access at cheaper rates. Thus, QMax had to put in a contest whereby applicants stand a chance to win a car. As of today, I have applied for services with the three telcos in SG: post-paid plan with M1 for free incoming calls and sms, pre-paid plan with Starhub for free incoming calls and global sms, and wireless broadband with Singtel for 512kb access at various hotspots. Call me kiasu but I’m a telco and techno freak. If I was stranded on a deserted island, what would I wish I have: Internet access dungu! so tat I can whisk myself back to civilization via emails and blogs.

With the launch of Wireless@SG starting 31 Dec 2006, a lot of public places in Sg will be covered with high speed wi-fi access up to 1Mb. You can even upgrade to this speed at a small cost of $9.90 per mth.

Today Singtel is putting themselves into every piece of the pie by going into cable tv to give Starhub a stiff competition and launching 3.5G network in the city for FREE up till end Dec for those who uses supported phone models. Areas like Orchard Road are covered. In Feb 2007, even M1 and Starhub will get a piece of the 3.5G action with speeds starting at 3.6 megabits per second (Mbps), or seven times faster than the 512 kilobits per second (Kbps) on Wireless@ SG.

Meanwhile M1 does not want to be missing in the fighting action by launching cheap broadband rates called 'M1 Broadband' where customers can enjoy unlimited broadband plans with no fixed charges. Charges at $68 a month is now reduced to $22/month for speed up to 384Kbps.

There is so much that a consumer can enjoy and do in Singapore that one is just spoilt for choice. Imagine catching the latest movie preview using your laptop in front of the cinema before deciding on which movie to buy ticktes for. Imagine video conferencing or 'Skyping' over an important business decision and contract that would have earned you million had you not done it in a cafe like McDonalds or now even over Ya Kun Kaya Toast. Imagine sending your friend an email attaching an MMS photo you just took of a cute guy using wireless over your mobile. Imagine blogging on the latest news minute you see and experience it making you the first to report of the news. Imagine the possibilities.

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Monday, November 27, 2006


My grandma passed away today. In the flurry of completing my daily tasks and incredibly harried lifestyle in SG, I was so hardened tat I almost decide not to see my grandmother before she leaves the world. I almost lost my sense of compassion! But I’m glad I decide to come back to KL after all to get the last few glimpses of my grandmother. The grandma that I love so dearly for her pure, genuine and sincere heart, for her generosity of always feeding me with snacks whenever I visit her and for her undying of joy radiating from her face no matter how much pain she goes through.

As she laid on the hospital gasping hard for oxygen, her chest bobbing up n down like a waterbed being jumped on, she was trying hard to open her eyelids absorbing the environment and people ard her. I could almost feel how she felt, tat she wanted to see eeryone dear to her one last time before she leaves. The sight of those happy faces tat she had grown accustomed to was something she wanted to hang on to for the rest of her life. Not eeryone was there as some of her kids and relatives were outstations making them arriving in Kajang only a few days later. Thus she kept her eyes open making sure she could still breathe and live until they arrive.

Maybe before you die, you will want to be around something familiar and comfortable. She kept asking (we guessed it as her words were indelible whispers) to go home even though she was in such critical condition and require medical attention. When we finally sent her home, she asked for her clothes and purse indicating the sense of familiarity she needed. Guess once you are insecure about your life, all you need is as much security as you can.

She could only drink when she was dry from breathing through her mouth and shit only after so many days. She ate only snippets of food as her stomach was bloated beyond cure. Her whole body was deteriorating as she fight to still be alive while her family members flow in one by one.

Even though she did not have the chance to see her 2 sons and some brothers before she shut her eyes, at least she saw most of us who were there watching over her throughout the days until she breathed her last breathe. And I’m really glad Chee Chiew was there with me throughout the whole ordeal. She passed away peacefully, wearing only the ring I bought for her. Well, at least I know a part of me will always be with her. May she rest in peace. She will always be remembered.

Monday, November 20, 2006

My Observations in Business Trip to Jakarta

Here I am on my first business trip flight to Jakarta, the country with the highest revenue earner for our company. So ironic for a country that is so poor to have so much money to spend on mobile communications. But it is trivial things like sms that they can afford to spend on, just like Philippines. Perhaps cost plays an amazing part in ‘The Tipping Point’ besides its ease of use.

It has always been my dream to go on business trips for projects but now tat I am able to do it, my emotions is of mixed trepidation. It could be due to the fact tat it is not a safe country I’m heading to after getting used to sheltered safe Singapore or it could be due to the case tat when u finally have something, you won’t value it as much anymore.

Nonetheless, I am excited and slightly nervous, imagining myself getting into the flight like a scene I watched in ‘Lost’ season 1 where unbeknownst to the passengers, the flight is going to crash into a forlorn island in the middle of nowhere where some turned to heros and some turn to death martyrs.

Walking along the aisle of the plane crossing business class, I absorbed the insinuating aura of privilege and class adorned by those sitting in business class. Diamonds shimmering blindly on the wife’s fingers and ears while the men were in black suit and black sunglasses with their nose high up in the air. The disparity in lifestyle and possession between the filthy rich and the filthy poor in Indonesia is so vast it can be felt the moment I stepped on their plane. How pitiful that they can’t do anything about it with the tantamount corruption and political unrest there. How I wish I could just take just 5% of their assets to feed 50% of the poor there and even all over the world.

Just like countries tat have a pyramid shaped wealth distribution that is so polarized tat only 5% of the people in this country own 95% of the wealth in the country. This is still happening in China and India. Indonesia is controlled by a small minority of people who gets their wealth through corruption and cheats (ooppsss, did I type that loudly?), while the rest suffers in silence knowing that the only thing they can do is work and beg for the rich. It does not surprise me to see Indonesians hiring their own people to be drivers and maids to the point that maids have specialized tasks and one toilet to clean compared if they come to Malaysia and find they are the only maid to clean the whole bungalow. That is how it is. I know I might not have the power to change much, but I will have the power to make an impact. That is what is important now.

Friday, November 17, 2006

My brush wth Indonesia's Paris Hilton

She had the gait of a high flyer. The belt on her immaculate jeans coordinated with the color of her handbag. Her short bouncy hair is colored with streaks of blond. Her pert boobs highlighted the curves on her body which she showed off with tight white tanks. her porcelain smooth n fair complexion n chiselled face bordered with dangling earrings is a far cry from the normal skin most indonesians here have.

Yep, I thought that was bad until I was introduced to her friend, a barbie doll look-alike donning a flowery pearl dress that accentuated her heavenly curves. Her eyes were rounder than the full moon highlighted by kohl eyeliner with incredibly long curly eyelashes. Her skin is dewy and fair, signs of consuming sufficient nourishing food since birth. Her immaculate brown long straight hair bordered her chislled face beautifully covered with make-up tat I dun even know how to pronounce the brand.

Having driver chauffered me around with these girls and their white boyfriends 'mat salleh' they call it was not a norm for me. I have to admit I was not used to it esp when I see old woman and lads begging by the streets even knocking on car windows when there is traffic jam.

I arrived at the poshest shopping centre in jakarta where I was surounded by brands tat never even existed in kl with girls dressed in their latest brand names n trend styles. Dinner was at an elegant fashion café where I was watching tv with bulimic models strutting their skinny body n leggy build along the walkways n jumping ard swimming pools. How ironic to hv a café tat promotes skinniness while asking u to savour their delicious but calories inducing food n desserts. It was glamour with a capital G. the idea to watch movie whisked me to a grand walkway going towards a five star movie where you sit on reclining chairs and served by waiter who takes ur order for finger food and smoothies to keep you company throughout the movie splaterred across the largest plasma screen ciname with the best crispiest sound system I hv ever experienced. And tat was only for a lousy 'The Black Dahlia' seduced by josh harnett n scarlett johansson hitting it off during a boxing match abd ending with steamy hot sex on the dining table.

The next night brought me to another posh club where Kelly Rowlands from Destiny's Child was supposed to perform but got cancelled as there was a bomb threat when people heard that President George Bush is visiting Jakarta. The club called CJs was radiating wth opulence. It had been refurbished with curvy marble tables and parkling burgundy red chandeliers and deep red roses on every table. The girls are dressed to impressed but the highlight of the night definitely is when Kris Dayanti went on stage and conquered the stage. She was performing at her peak for someone who was called in last min to replace beyonce kowles. I thoroughly enjoyed the show but guess wat was indon's paris hilton remark when we got out of CJs, that the place was full of 'maids'. Well, for ppl who dressed like tat I can only imagine her, the high flyer hotel heiress with a wardrobe the size of a bungalow to complain.

How different it is to live on a monthly allowance of millions in rupiah, even though she is already not studying compared to most who only have 2 digit monthly allowance or salary. I do not envy her as she can't help being born with a silver spoon. On the contrary, I was formulating a strategy to make these ppl who only know how to pamper themselves to indirectly donate to the poor. Even 1% per month will be sufficient. Here begins my journey to fight poverty. :)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Large Company vs Small Set-up

Its a truly big paradigm shift for me albeit a good one. I moved from a very large corporate structure with more than 2000 employees which I worked for the past 5 years to a small set-up where I am one of the mgmt team of abt 20 staffs all over APAC and US. It scares a lot of people to know that now, instead of having a namecard that says the name of a company someone can identify with immediately, now people says 'Huh?' when you mention your company name. But the exciting thing is we are really working to raise the profile of our company, i-POP Networks Pte Ltd and I am glad that I am going to be in part of the action.

So what are the difference of working for a small setup vs a large corporation?

1. You are closer to the top mgmt to understand the thought process of the top management. This allows me to improve myself constantly and learn from the experienced.

  • CEOs rather make decisions with 75% of info rather than a slow decision wth 95% of info (A bad decision on Monday is better than a good decision on Fri)
  • They have to adapt to changes at the speed of light
  • They have a knack to use analogy to allow ppl of all lvls to grasp their words.

2. You learn how to set up your own email client not only on PC but also on your smart phone. You get a better understanding or actually learn to set-up your office local area network(LAN). Work is almost round the clock making me appreciate every single rest time I have.

3. You cannot say I don't know this as that is not my area. In a small set-up, you have to be everything and wear every hat. Good for those who likes to learn new things all the time like me.

4. Your teammates are more helpful as they know that you stand together or die together. Really feels cozy and like a family here.

5. You know or aware of the profit or loss of your company enough to be able to adjust your compensation accordingly; bigger bonuses for higher profit, work harder when company is in loss/debt. At least you have the drive to determine what you are worth to the company and what your company is worth to the market.

So, was it worth the jump? You betcha. Plus more opportunities to travel and meet people in the future. Just like what Seth Godin says: Small is the new BIG! - Small is the new big only when the person running the small thinks big.