Category Archives: From The News

8 Lessons I Learnt from Superbowl XLIX

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1. Life is always full of UPS and DOWNS – the momentum shifted teams like a roller coaster throughout the game!

2. It’s not important how you begin (read: boring, scoreless 1st Quarter), but how you FINISH! The match served up one of the more exciting finishes in recent memory

3. Never Give Up! The Patriot’s remarkable comeback and game winning drive, as well as the Seahawk’s 2-minute drive to the New England 1 yard line are simply exemplary!

4. Always Stay Focused on the Job Right Till The End!  An incredible drive by Seattle with 2:02 left on the clock put them within ONE YARD of Superbowl glory. Then suddenly, one bad play-call later resulted in an interception and it was all wasted.

5. Don’t Rush Things! Plan well with the knowledge of how much time you have. Seattle actually had 26 seconds to go to gain ONE MORE MISERABLE YARD. They rushed the play.

6. Leverage on your STRENGTHS. At Goal and 1, Seattle should have gone the direct route  of Marshawn Lynch, one of the NFL’s best running backs, having THREE shots at rushing the ball over into the End Zone. Instead, they tried something else and paid the price.

7. Success FAR Outweighs Failures – Amidst the wild, victorious celebrations, many may forget that Tom Brady threw 2 Interceptions in this game – one deep into Seattle territory in Q1 and another one in Q3. However, this did not distract him from recovering brilliantly to engineer the fightback in Q4 and finishing well with 4 TD passes!

8. Forget Mistakes IMMEDIATELY and Stay Focused on Job At Hand – When Malcom Butler’s deflected a long-range pass that freakishly bounced and bounced and eventually fell right into the lap of Seattle’s Jermaine Kearse at the New England 5-yard line, he must have felt like the ground just swallowed him up! 3 plays later, he picked himself up to make that all important interception that secured victory for the Patriots!

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And there you have it folks! What an exciting FINAL!! Congrats again to the New England Patriots on their Superbowl XLIX Victory! Now, who says you can’t learn any life lessons from sports? ;-P

My 10 Memorable Moments from World Cup 2014 Round of 16

 

 

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#1: James Rodriguez’s extraordinary chested, half body spun-around, rocket volley of a goal vs Uruguay. My current personal pick for Goal of the Tournament

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#2: Tim Howard (USA) makes an astonishing World Cup record 16 saves vs Belgium!

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#3: Mexican Heartbreak as the El Tri lose 1-2 to Holland after conceding 2 goals in the final 6 minutes, the second one coming off a penalty in injury time 

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#4: Dzemaili’s incredible 120th minute Extra-Time double miss that could have taken the Swiss into a penalty shoot-out with Argentina

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#5: First ever Cooling Breaks during a World Cup match! Methinks if this continues it will really help the Europeans..

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#6: Germany’s ridiculously complicated, awkward and (obviously) FAILED freekick routine vs Algeria

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#7: Pinilla’s 120th minute Extra-Time thunderous strike which struck Brazil’s crossbar which would have given Chile a dramatic upset over hosts Brazil

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#8: Julio Cesar makes TWO big saves to become Brazil’s hero has the hosts scrape into the Quarter Finals

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#9: Extra-Time became the flavour of the Round of 16, where 5 of 8 matches went the extra distance; 2 of which were decided on penalties! Tightest Round methinks!

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#10: Having successfully frustrated Messi for 118 minutes, it only took a moment of brilliance to ‘out of nowhere’ unlock the Swiss defence and set up Di Maria for Argentina’s winner

My 10 Memorable Moments from World Cup 2014 Gameweek 3

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#1: Suarez takes a bite at Italian Chiellini’s shoulder during their final group match. He was eventually served a 9 match ban!

 

#2: Mexico coach Miguel Herrera’s super animated facial celebrations when Mexico booked their spot in the Round of 16 

#3: Swiss Shaqiri’s hattrick vs Honduras. One of his goals is definitely a nominee for Goal of the Tournament. View HERE

 

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#4: Brilliant Messi brace vs Nigeria secures top spot for Argentina in their group. One of his goals was the perfectly executed freekick, above

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#5: All Asian countries knocked out by first round…SIGH. And all disappointingly ended up bottom of the table too!

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#6: Greece scoring an injury-time penalty vs Ivory Coast to seal a 2-1 win and a place in the next Round! Heartbreak for the Africans!

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#7: James Rodriguez comes on at the half and guides Colombia to 4-1 over Japan with two assists and one brilliant solo goal above

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#8: With Portugal already eliminated, Cristiano Ronaldo signs out of the World Cup with his one and only goal

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#9: With the 4-2 trashing of South Korea, Algeria became the African nation to score that many goals at a World Cup!

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#10: For the first time ever, CONCACAF region has THREE (3) representatives in the Round of 16 – Mexico, Costa Rica and USA. Meanwhile the European scrapheap heading home include defending champions Spain, former champions England and Italy, and others like Portugal, Russia, Bosnia and Croatia

 

My 10 Memorable Moments from World Cup 2014 Gameweek 2

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#1: Defending Champions Spain sent crashing out by brilliant Chile 2-0

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#2: The Holland vs Australia thriller which ended in a 3-2 victory for Holland. Breathless.

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#3: Tim Cahill’s stunning volley vs Holland

#4: Suarez scores a brace that sends England to crushing defeat! Second goal even came off a Steven Gerrard ‘assist’!

 

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#5: Swiss Dzemaili’s  35-yard low-rocket vs France

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#6: Messi injury time brilliant winner for Argentina vs Iran

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#7: Cabaye’s unbelievable miss from close range after Benzema’s missed penalty (France vs Switzerland)

#8: Last minute goal by Portugal’s Varela snatches 2-2 draw vs USA that saves Portugal from early elimination

 

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#9: Two wins out of Two! Costa Rica qualifies for the Round of 16 from a group comprising 3 former champions – Italy, England and Uruguay!

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#10: Possibly the most BORING match to-date: Belgium vs Russia… 

5 Hairdryer Lessons for Malaysian Politics

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For most Malaysians, 8 May 2013 will forever be remembered as a day when throngs of thousands braved the late evening showers and gathered…. UNITED in heart and spirit, not as Malays, Chinese, Indians or Bumiputeras, but as Malaysians…. UNITED in ONE Suara Rakyat.

However, for all Mancunians, 8 May 2013 will also forever be remembered as the day Sir Alex Ferguson (SAF) made his official announcement to retire as manager of Manchester United. After 26 years of building up a Red Empire that conquered England for a period spanning at least 2 decades, SAF tearfully decided to call it quits. :-(

For someone widely regarded as the most successful football manger EVER, there is arguably SO MANY things we can learn and follow. So, in the light of the recently concluded General Elections in Malaysia, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on some of the lessons or character of SAF that would be most exemplary to all politicians and ministers of both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat…

1. Be a Champion Loser – It is a well-known fact that SAF is someone that truly respects his opponents on and off the field. It has been recorded that one of his best known gestures of football management is to share a bottle of wine to congratulate his opponent in a big match or at the end of the season if he was the loser. He shared it with Wenger during those battling seasons with Arsenal and also with Mourinho in Porto’s dressing room after the Portugese sides shock upset over Man Utd in the UCL. Wouldn’t it be cool if our politicians have that same level of fierce confrontations on field but sincere respect and friendship off the field? Hmmmmm.

2. Dare to Cut Names – During his tenure at United, SAF is also well known to drill his philosophy that “no player is more important than the club!” If there were players who had crossed the line for disciplinary problems or non-performance, SAF would have no hesitation to drop them from the squad or (worse) sell them off! I remembered there was a time when Rooney had a fantastic stretch of games going but suddenly he got involved in some drunk driving and partying. Although the games that lie ahead were crucial, SAF benched Rooney for 3 matches (if I remember correctly)! Have our political parties reached that maturity to drop or cut off their members who are plain liabilities and do not have the heart to serve the rakyat?

3. Never Give Up! – I have seriously lost count of the number of times Manchester United have fought back or scored in crunch time (aka final 15 minutes of the game + err..Fergis time, of course..:-P). The club wouln’t have been able to amass so many trophies if it weren’t for this indescribable desire to fight on till the final whistle. Who could forget the “Football…Bloody Hell!” moment at the Nou Camp in 1999 with two goals at the death won SAF his first Champion’s League trophy? Likewise, for politicians or parties that have lost the votes or seat, my advise is to continue to serve the rakyat and Never Give Up!

4. Have a Personal Touch – One of the things I admired most about SAF was his willingness to be personally involved in any player deals – especially the high profiled ones. 😛 In his biography, stories are shared about how SAF would personally visit the players the club would buy next, to the level of visiting them in their homes! How nice if our politicians emphasised more on serving the rakyat at the grassroots, giving a personal touch in the areas or constituency they are serving?

5. Focus on Youth and Build a Legacy – One of the key football management elements of SAF is his penchant to build up a youth system to unearth and develop talent for the future of the club. Of course, there are times he would simply just BUY the talent but YOUTH remains a priority. The endless crop of players like Beckham, the Neville brothers, Butt, Scholes, Giggs to the current batch of Welbeck, Cleverly, Buttner, Young, Hernandez is testament to SAF’s solid youth-development policy. Eventually, this would lead to the formation of a very strong squad to leave behind to his successor when he leaves. SAF is genius in this way that he doesn’t want to abandon a ship that is in tatters but one that is still strong and powerful. An extract from his retirement speech:

“It was important to me to leave an organization in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so,” Ferguson said. “The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth setup will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.”

Has our political parties thought of succession planning and developing youth in their agenda? If not, they should quickly learn from SAF. :-)

THANK YOU SIR ALEX FERGUSON! 😀

A Lesson in Colour Blindness

 

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. (Luke 10:21)

I believe that all adults, regardless if they are parents, grandparents, doctors, lawyers, engineers, captain of a nuclear aircraft carrier or even the president of a country…can ALWAYS learn from little children. :-)

Last night, after picking up the kids from the babysitter’s house, I proceeded to look for a place to buy dinner home. The following conversation took place inside the car between my five year old boy and I…

Collin: Papa…are we going to tar-pau dinner tonight?

Me: Yes, we are going to Restaurant XXX to buy dinner.

Collin: Which one is Restaurant XXX?

Me: There…the Chinese restaurant… 

Collin: Papa…what is a Chinese restaurant?..

Me: Err….well you know, where we sometimes buy Caitlynn’s char siew pau and your lin-yoong pau? (approaches Restaurant XXX which happened to be closed that night) aiya….looks like Restaurant XXX is closed.

Collin: Then how wor?

Me: I think we may have to go and buy dinner at the Indi– erm…at the Roti Canai restaurant then..

Collin: Yayyy! Can we have roti canai then?

Me: Of course!

Collin & Caitlynn: Yayyyy! :-)

Sometimes we forget that our children grow up with ‘colour-blindness’ up to a certain age, at least. They do not understand nor comprehend the differences of Malay, Chinese, Indian or other races. To them, they couldn’t care less to even differentiate what type of restaurants we eat in or the what food from which race is being served. Through their eyes, everyone is the same…one colour, one race.

Sadly, it is not easy to remember that WE were ALL like that once too…:-p

Somewhere along the way, our vision gets tainted more and more with the things we read, people we interact with, things we see, personal experiences, etc. until our early childhood’s colour-blindness no longer exists.

It got worse when all these racism slurs gets trending in our country, especially right after the recently concluded General Elections. Some unintelligible mainstream media putting up racial remarks on their headlines, politicians spicing up their election victory speeches with racial connotations, etc. For a country that is projecting itself as moving forward towards becoming a developed nation, these recent incidents is definitely MORE than just a minor roadblock! In fact, it can be argued that we are actually moving BACKWARDS instead! Sadly, it became a WHOLE LOT worse when our country’s leaders seemingly do not oppose or stand up to prevent these remarks from possibly exploding into something unimaginable..

Jadi, apa lagi Cina ini mahu?

For ALL Malaysians to rediscover their childhood colour-blindness…

For ALL Malaysians to look at each other beyond skin colour and races…

For ALL Malaysians to reject all forms of racist remarks and actions…

For ALL Malaysians to build together a country free of racism for our next generation…

For ALL Malaysians to reject racial politics…

For ALL Malaysians to have access to non-politically biased media and press…

For ALL Malaysians to eat in Malaysian restaurants eating Malaysian foods..:-P

 

Rediscover your color-blindness….

Say NO to RACISM!

Chez Suarez’s Menu

 

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After last weekend’s delicious incident where Liverpool’s Luis Suarez took a bite off Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, the Internet grew abuzz with loads of suggested names of other football players who should be next on Suarez’s menu going viral. LOL.

Here is my personal favourite list of these names (scoured from Twitter (#PlayersOnTheSuarezMenu) and other online reads):

– Bacary Lasagna

– Kieran Ribbs

– Andy Casserole

– Alex Oxtail Chamberlain

– Sergio Biscuits

– John Cherry

– MacaRooney

– Nachos Monreal

– Ice Cream Kone

– Gabriel Heinze Baked Beans

– Ashley Coleslaw

– Julian Cesar Salad

– Shaun Wright Fillets

– FerNando’s Torres

– PepperRooney Pizza

– Philip Lamb

– Dimitar Burgertov

– Olive Giroud

– Leighton Baines on Toast

– Daniel Porridge

– Gareth Berry,

– Peter Odem-chicken-wingies,

– Ji Sung Pork

– Juicy Jaaskelainen

– David Beck-Ham

– Pear Mertesacker

– Chocolate Mousse Dembele

– Patrick Burger

– Frank Lamb parts

– Paul Scones

– Cream Benzema

– Mark Bunn

– Robbie Cauliflower

– Aaron Lemon

– Adam La Fondue

And to top it all off, they even have a recommended ref for his matches…Mark ClattenBurger!

Check out more from #PlayersOnTheSuarezMenu on Twitter!

Bon Appetit!

 

20 Factors Contributing to Man Utd’s 20th Title

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1. Magnificent leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson

2. Embarrassment of letting the title slip from our grasp in 2012 to City (on goal difference, on the last day, etc.) hurts so bad that it was used as an inspiration and drive for this season’s glory!

3. Never say die attititude. Personally, I’ve lost count of the number of times Man Utd had to rally back from a goal or two goals down to achieve a result in a match this season. Inspiring attitude.

4. Spanish laundry service finally clicked! After months of frustration in goal, De Gea finally came good about  a month and a half ago when he managed to keep like 5-6 consecutive cleansheets. Perhaps SAF’s keeper rotation tactic really DID work!

5. Consistency. With the level of football at its highest in the BPL where every weekend offers a tough challenge, whether Man Utd were playing the likes of Chelsea or Wigan, the team with the more consistent performance would revel.

6. Although a bitter pill to swallow, the ‘early’ defeat in the UCL (last 16) did help the cause. (Sigh)

7. Offensive Defense! This season saw the likes of Evra, Evans and Rafael consistently getting on the scoresheet at important times of the season. Whoever said that the best defense is offense is genius. :-)

8. Vintage performances. Apparently both Scholes and Giggs still have some legs left in them as their presence in some of the key matches helped steady the ship. :-)

9. City self-destruction. There were certain stretches in the campaign that City seemed unwilling to win, drawing with numerous mid-level clubs and allowing us to build our lead at the top.

10. Psychological win at the Etihad. Though relatively early in the season, RVP’s last gasp curler of a freekick that secured the 3-2 win over City in the first Manchester derby certainly had a telling effect in the months to come. So, although the loss to City in the Old Trafford reverse was tough to chew, the lead that we built over the course of the season was already too wide to cover.

11. Nov-Dec blitz! It was during this remarkable stretch that Man Utd secured critical wins over Arsenal, Chelsea, City (and a whole lot more) that probably became the foundation of building an uncatchable lead.

12. Opening loss to Everton was certainly a JOLT in every sense and probably a stern reminder of the quality of all teams in the BPL.

13. The tough 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane with Spurs knicking in the equaliser at the death would probably be what I would call the second JOLT that propelled Man Utd to engineer a 7-game wining streak in the BPL. Examples like this certainly cements Man Utd’s reputation to respond positively after each heart-breaking loss or draw.

14. Game-changer rotations. In a curious observation, I notices that whilst the team was more or less built on the consistency of RVP thoughout the season, there would be evident instances that ONE midfielder would emerge for short stretches of time. For example, I could recall those stretches where Nani was instrumental in a few matches before going off injured; then there was Cleverley for a few matches; and (even) Anderson had his time in the spotlight as well; Young was dangerous in a few matches in Jan-Feb; as was Valencia and of course Kagawa, who suddenly seems to fit into SAF’s formation like to the T. I can only imagine how devastating Man Utd would be if all our midfielders were healthy and consistent throughout. :-p

15. Rooney’s patches of brilliance. Sure it would seem that Wazza was playing second fiddle all along this season to RVP, but there were certain stretches in the season that he almost scored at will and combined with devastating effect with RVP. With constant injuries to the Man Utd midfield, Rooney often sacrificed his preferred striking role to play a much deeper, play-maker role in much of the season. Personally, I feel he definitely still has a place in Man Utd’s starting 11.

16. Itching strikers. For Welbeck and Hernandez, I guess it can become rather frustrating to watch most of Man Utd’s games from the bench, with SAF ‘s preferred Rooney-RVP as his first choice. However, one would notice that probably because of this, everytime Welbeck or Chicarito gets a chance to play, they would be playing as if their lives depended on it – scoring some important goals in the process too. :-)

17. Wealth in Youth. This has already been in SAF’s mind for a couple of years, what with the crop of young players like Young, Jones, De Dea, Buttner, Cleverly, Rafael running regularly on the pitch. Certainly helps to have young and energetic legs to keep up with the pace of other BPL teams.

18. Survival during Christmas-New Year peak period. All teams in the BPL would acknowledge that one of the toughest stretches in the season comes during the time when other European leagues go off on their winter break. Whilst most of the other pretenders faltered, Man Utd continued their solid consistent performance during this insane period to secure 7 points from a possible 9 from 23 Dec 2012 till 1 Jan 2013.

19. Barcelona. My personal theory is that SAF had steadily invested and built a team worthy to take on Barcelona. Kinda like when Starfleet designed the USS Defiant specifically to take on the Borg. :-p Anyway, from the displays during UCL nights, it was clear that he had already or was close to establishing the right pieces, formation and tactics to finally match mighty Barcelona. Whilst Man Utd’s defeat to Real Madrid was truly unlucky, I believe that in the evolving process of designing Man Utd to fight Barca, the team became considerably stronger. :-)

20. Robbie Van Persie. Sporting Jersey no. 20 from the start of the season was a clear sign of his intentions. Simply the X-Factor and made the ultimate difference with his unstoppable goal-scoring feats. ‘Nuff said. Personally, I’m truly happy for RVP for FINALLY securing his first BPL title. Couldn’t he have come to Man Utd any sooner? Hehe. :-p

General Election Tip: Know your MP!

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With the next General Elections coming up just round the corner, I think I can categorise all the registered voters to these few categories:

Type A: Die-die also must vote for BN

Type B: Die-die also must vote for Opposition

Type C: Vote BN for Parliament seat and Opposition for State seat (old-school thinking)

Type D: Dunno yet…

Type E: Make sure vote is spoilt…:-p

However, whatever Type you fall into, today’s blog is specially dedicated to ALL of you! First, let me ask you this question…

“How well do you know your MP?”

If your MP is not one of the ‘big guns’ in their respective parties, you may hardly see your MP appearing in the news or media. Sadly, this holds more true if your MP is from the Opposition camp since their community space is already limited by mainstream media. Heck, it may even lead to assumptions that your MP is practically doing nothing! This really pisses off many people who often complain that they only get to see their MP once every 4-5 years when they do their pre-election ’rounds’ of hand-shaking and greeting the people in that area…:-p

Anyway, in this day and age where technology and social media is so advanced, it is fairly easy to literally follow the progress and performance of your MP, giving you essential knowledge and information if the MP is good enough to secure your vote for another term or not!

So, if your answer to my first question above is a little vague, my advise to you would be to quickly Google up your MP, follow them on Twitter, be their friend on Facebook, subscribe to their website RSS, etc. and you should either be amazed, shocked and possibly appalled(!) at the existing work your MP has done for the community in your area.

A good example would be the MP in my area, YB Teo Nie Ching. If it weren’t for today’s accessibility to social media, I wouldn’t be able to follow and monitor her numerous efforts, support and presence in many of my area’s community events, gatherings, etc. Heck, I wouldn’t have known she was pregnant and became a mother not too long ago too! It was quite astonishing really to see many of these efforts not highlighted in mainstream media, which lends an ear to whether it can actually be quite useful to have personalised or customised newsletters by all MPs? Hmmmmm…

After you have done your homework and research on your existing MP, then you can ask yourself this question…

Are you ready to vote already? 😀

10 Event Management Lessons from PSY’s Loh Sang Rejection


VIDEO LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmemYrrSPY4

When PSY came down to Penang to perform at the highly politicised BN Chinese New Year concert recently, it triggered numerous videos that went viral, including the above video, which highlighted the very poor and inept event management skills of the company that conducted the concert.

Picking myself up from the floor after laughing too hard, it suddenly struck me that apart from the humourous, epic-fail  side of this video, it could also be very beneficial to everyone in the event management industry – as a superb real-life case study of what NOT to do when managing any event!

Without further ado, I proudly present 10 event management lessons you can instantly learn from this video:

1. Prioritize your event agenda: If the main highlight of the entire event was PSY’s concert, it wouldn’t be a sin to discard some items on the agenda…like this Loh Sang activity. After all, having too many items on the agenda would easily dilute the main highlight, on top of eating up too much time and also cause too much discomfort to the people in the sweltering heat. Which brings us to point no 2…

2. Take care of your audience: Personally, I would think the Loh Sang activity would work if it was a CNY Dinner or some makan gathering, where every other table in attendance also had its own set so everyone can lou hei together-gether. In a concert setting, it would seem quite illogical to conduct the activity for just the VVIPs whilst the rakyat watches on under the hot, hot sun!

3. Make sure the size is right: And even if you were somehow forced to conduct the Loh Sang activity, it would be best to ensure that the portion set before the VVIPs is big enough or sufficient. I don’t know about all of you, but the entire segment where the big horde of VVIPs hovering over the small Yee Sang dish seems so, so wrong…

4. Plan the event flow, and stick with it: The video highlighted what the entire mess of the program flow. Should the Yee Sang come out first? Was there going to be any speeches before the ceremony? How were the VVIPs supposed to stand? When were they supposed to start? Should PSY be invited too? It was quite clear that the program flow was certainly not under control…

5. Confirm (and confirm again) the roles of the guest of honor: It seemed quite evident that PSY wasn’t pre-warned or informed of the Loh Sang ceremony. His ‘rejection’ to participate could very easily be avoided if all his roles and responsibilities were spelt out clearly, even before he arrived in Penang.

6. Designate a floor manager to control the workers: You know you have a complete mess on your hands when you see the ministers on stage start to order the workers around. This has got to be well communicated from the start that all the event workers will only take instructions from a designated floor manager for more effective implementation of the event.

7. Filter your event emcee: It was just plain downright comical how the emcee was allowed to wander all over the stage in the middle of the planned Loh Sang ceremony. To top it all off, I don’t know just how long more the VVIPs nor the crowd could stand her high-pitched screaming and meaningless commentaries..

8. Be conscious of prop movements on stage: Watching the Yee Sang table being carried here, there and everywhere is really BAD, and EMBARRASSING….

9. Be time conscious: It was already bad enough that PSY refused to join in the Loh Sang ceremony. What was worst was this awkward 5+ minutes of DUH? time when the (already sweating and tired) crowd and the VVIPs stood around and did nothing but clap and hoped that PSY would turn up. An easy cover would be for the emcee to apologetically announce that PSY was still getting ready backstage and quickly proceed with the Loh Sang cermony. Timeliness is always key in any event management.

10. Advise the VVIPs on stage protocols: In the midst of waiting and waiting for PSY, some of the VVIPs actually started to fiddle with their smartphones, taking pictures of the crowd, possibly tweeting, etc. Personally, I don’t think it was rather appropriate at such a function.