Monday, December 31, 2007
WE ARE SETTING OFF ON 1PM 1st JANUARY 2008 @ MY HOUSE.
we be eating lunch at the coffeeshop (clementi Ave 2) at about 11-1230, then 1pm we will go by AYE towards 2nd link, then will stay at my in-law house at JB (tun aminah nearby) for a day or so...
we do welcome fellow well wishes, friends and relatives.
a handshake meant alot for us.
average, we will be updating the blog at least once or twice a week depending of Wifi avalibility or if we met any cybercafe.
this will be the last blog update for me in singapore, as i am going to cancel my internet access and phone line on 31st dec 2006
Singapore dream round the world trip made possible, with a dream and desire. we may not cover all 48 countries in 18 months but to experience as much as possible.
I will miss my home, where everything looked so familiar, where the soil and land i belong to, where i will protect because it is my home.
till today, i sent out 60 letters out to big companies out there and only 4 replied with blessings but without sponsoring, i would liked to thank them for replying me, as to a person they do not know.
for the rest of the 56 companies, im still waiting. more marketing opportunities awaits u and me!
Hii Junhui and my buddie Leong Kah Wei contrubuted to my RTW funding. Thank you.
a friend asked me a question... if i were to call back singapore, who will i call? my answer.....
my answer.... im still finding the answer today. er... maybe roam charges expensive lah.... but will mass contact everybody thro this blog.
i live my life without regrads. for those that i loved and i left, you will always have a room in my heart.
my mum, lived a life full of regrads, gave me most inspration.
when i was young, i always like to read and browse picture of the planet and universe. the universe is so great! the earth is so tiny. few hundred million years old planet earth lived. i only have one life. to use to the fullest. we have the ability to use our life to do what ever we want to but we do not own our life. its so vulnerable. today u maybe talking to someone but tomorrow you heard that he is gone.
i used to have a customer... he was very hard working. we are in landscape industry as it is a tough job but he was very happy. he told me next month he is going to retire and join his family in new zealand. he told me that it was such a wonderful place......few days later, he was gone, gone and really gone.
isn't it scary that you just sleep, next morning you couldn't wake up?
my friend... don't think too much.... just go enjoy and see the world!
while clearing my files and drawers, i found this cutting in my file. it was 10 years ago.... it has always been with me in the drawer. it kept me going... going and going....
Friday, December 28, 2007
got blessing from all of them.. they actually treat me makan and gave me angpao...( red packet with money) to bless me luck.
alfred lum & wife
khor siang koon
ah seng (AKA wilson chan)
lye weng kit (AKA molat!!!)
chan yong han
yeoh teck meng (dee yah peh)
the $$$ i can survive for quite some time....
the blessing is for this trip.
the friendship is for life.
Personal fund raising:............
im selling this 2 helmet for my personal fund raising.
good condition collectable half cap.... cannot find in singapore.
i am selling at SGD$200.00 each, $350.00 for both.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
wah now... many people wan to send us off... i wanna thanks to all these friends and relatives. all chasing me for date... they call and sms me: oei... izzit 31st dec or 1st jan?
i said i dont know... so many important things haven do... last minute cock up...
example, our personal accident insurance with AXA, i settled 2 months ago... cheque issued. yesterday i recived news that we are rejected bcoz we are going one shot 540 days... not coming back.. not many insurance company wan to take us...
i have an idea.. i have a AIA saving insurance, i call that agent (never met b4) and she helped us to add on to our saving insurance. but will have 25% loading.... bopian... 50% or 200% loading oso must pay at this last minute. they need to summit the next day, then posting takes 1-3 working days, then it takes 1-3 days for the person in charge to recive on his desk, then need 3-5 working days for him to think about my case of going to 48countries in 18 months on bike, then gota discuss with his superior and that takes another 1-3 working days, then upon confirmation or got re-offer of the premium, they need to type a letter to my agent explaining the case, then the agent need to find time to meet me make sure i sign with ink with the re-offer with loading, then need to sent back to process at the accounts department, then can approve.......
I JUST WANT TO BUY AN INSURANCE POLICY, WHY SO DIFFICULT?!?! CANT SOMEBODY TAKE THE DECISION TO MAKE THE DEAL?! MUST GO THRO THIS GO THRO THAT?! CHECK HERE CHECK THERE?!?! FAX NOT WORKING, NEVER RECIVE EMAIL, CHECK THE EMAIL ADDRESS IF ITS CORRECT, THE MAIL WAS SENT 3 WEEKS AGO BLAH BLAH BLAH........
i call another insurance company and buy thro phone... they are gonna collect the $ tomorow and will only sent the policy 3 weeks after they collect the money. WHAT THE HELL?! 3 weeks?!!?!? we./.... my sis gonna handle it on my behalf.
so how my friends? if u were me?
we do not want to miss anything not done in singapore.
we do not have anybody to wipe our backside after we go.
we will only come back in 18 months if we leave our handphone at home and thought of u-turn to retrive it.
this trip... inspired me 10 years ago.... start research 5 years ago, working on it 3 years ago, 100% compiling all the bits and pieces by the 2 of us full time at only 1 month ago.
tight..... somemore motorbike gone. fund not enough. no corporate backup sponsor.
many many reason for me not to go!
how ah? still start on 1st jan 2008?
dear friends: please advice me.
my parents wouldn't allow to sit on motorbike, then they say:IF YOU DARE TO SIT ON ANYONE'S BIKE I GONNA BREAK YOUR LEGS!
luckily i did not sit on anyone's bike after they warn me, so instead, i go learn and sit on my own bike!
got my 1st bike in 1995 Yamaha RXZ
then go JB for modification, buy stuff, get into illegal racings... got sick of running away from TP.
decided to buy honda helix 250cc when i got 2A, first bike trip was with the Two Wheelers then. go kota tinggi.
got my ST11 in 1998 may, go Phuket in 1998 june. go hatyai charity ride in 1998 dec.
go NS in 1999.
1999-2001 just went to a few charity rides and usual malaysia 1-4 days rides.
2001 dec went to surat thani 3nation ride and went up bangkok, met a new gf and pillion her up NorthEast of thailand to her hometown alone (one bike)...cool place... stayed around for a few weeks before coming back to singapore alone. that was really daring of me doing it alone without any spares or Kakis.
2003 go Mae Hon Son and Laos. juz me and another GS (my secondary school friend), he lagi daring... first trip to thailand and we shoot up to all these places already... i got no experience in going up north,,... Juz shoot only. Laos also juz shoot.
2004 bought KTM 640 advanture, together, 8 close friends venture into cambodia. 150km of road takes us 6-8hrs.... that's how the road was. i would not want to travel that road again....
2005 Chinese new year, my wife and i went to Chiang Rai on my ST11 solo. we did a 12 days plan and everything was very casual... we love it!
2006 got married... started business...
2007 dec 27th. i am here.....
i may have been lucky.... but i try to create the luck. my full operation ready bike for my RTW trip may be stolen but it only taught me some lesson learn, it did not stop me for the RTW trip.
now... going to the war with only 10 rounds of bullet instead of 60. Are u Ready? some other singaporean go for such RTW trips do not have 10 rounds of bullets but 100 times of mine. some grew up in arsenal and have never finish their bullets in their life.
the amount of bullet i have, shake my confident of the trip. but i still go... thats the part of the advanture i gonna have... to fight the war with this 10 bullets.
i hope i can inspire more fellow singaporean to live their dream.... nothing is impossible.
Singapore: city of possibilities.
my tears dried up at 4am, 25dec. went to sleep. woke up at 1pm 25dec and continued writing. when i seriously recall all the events of me and them, the 'dripping tap' start again.
i met up with the family at Tiong Hock's new house. everyone was there... i tried very hard to present the folder to everybody but i couldn't. i broke down and cry.... oh... what a man. a man that is going with his wife round the world on his motorbike is crying because of his Nanny's love?!
Yes... that's me... that's me.... i really appreciate their love all these while. they taught me a lot of things in life, encouraged me and kept me going. i am what i am today partly influenced by them (on the positive side).
i hugged my Nanny with tears in the end and telling her thank you is all i can do.
Love is about giving. when i love someone, u give, not hoping that the person will return the appreciation to u. just pure love, when u give, u just want the receiver to be good and happy.
i did not buy big presents for them nor visit them regularly but their love will always be in my heart. i will keep their love and try to present to the people around me. (not an easy task!)
at about 3pm while i was arranging the folder for Nanny, my God Dad and God Mother arrived at my door step. without fail, when ever i got any big occasions, they would be there, like the heavenly god. to support me and to give me encouragement with advice. my four God sisters are great. they would also join hands and bless me with their sincere heart. they are like my Nanny family. i can feel their heart with blessing. these are the TRUE people around my life.
Thank you and My wife and i will keep u in our heart.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
wah... so good ah? the issuing autority pay fine for me.....
chinese saying: where got free lunch to eat?!!!
i quote from a website:
the Carnet allows travellers to temporarily import their vehicles without having to leave a cash deposit at the border. It is, in essence, an international guarantee for payment of customs duties and taxes to a government should the vehicle not be re-exported from that country. Persons who temporarily import their vehicles into countries where the Carnet is required must agree to obey the laws and regulation of that country and particularly the conditions of temporary importation.
The Carnet contains relevant information about the vehicle – make, model, colour, engine capacity, seating capacity, registration number, owner and value.
In order to obtain a Carnet, the owner of a vehicle is required to provide a security based on the age and market value of the vehicle. Generally three types of security are acceptable from motoring organisations:
Banker's letter of indemnity;
3c) i have to look for a bank to deposit SGD$10000.00 with them as required by AA as a banker's guarantee, ask the bank to write a letter to AA that i have put a $10000.00 in the bank and i have to pay an admin fee of $400-$600 for that letter to be handed to AA as a guarantee. So that they can debit $$$ off from that $10k in case i kana summon or export my bike for sale in XXX country.
the letter says:
AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPOR
336 River Valley Road
#03-00 AA Centre
BANKER’S GUARANTEE NO. ________________ FOR S$_____________
In consideration of the application for the Carnet De Passages En Douane we,
We will on demand in writing, without proof or condition, pay to you a sum not exceeding Singapore Dollars
Our liability under this Guarantee is limited to a maximum aggregate sum of Singapore Dollars
This Guarantee shall not be affected by any change in your constitution or the constitution of
You may not assign your rights under this Guarantee without our prior written consent.
This Guarantee is not assignable and not transferable.
This Guarantee shall remain in full force and effect from
After the aforesaid Date of Expiry our liability hereunder shall automatically cease and be discharged and your rights hereunder shall be extinguished and this Guarantee shall be null and void notwithstanding that this Guarantee is not returned to us for cancellation save and except for claims in writing received by us on or before the Date of expiry. We shall have no liability hereunder in respect of any claim under this Guarantee which has not been received by us on or before the Date of Expiry.
A person who is not a party to this Guarantee has no right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 53B to enforce any term of this Guarantee.
This Guarantee shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Singapore.
Dated this _____ day of _____
For and on behalf of
Authorised Signatory Authorised Signatory
end of letter
it has been more than a month that i become a middle man between AA and my bank.
bank ask: use AA or bank format?
i call AA, (60-80% of the time not at the desk) AA reply: got no format. use bank's format
i call bank, (lucky got direct line but also sometime not at desk): use your format.
....after some 3-6 working days.... bank reply: this format can or not?
the bank is quite good. ask me for confirmation bcoz if AA dont accept the letter from bank and want to admend, it will cost a few hundred dollars.
....then i gota go home, forward the email to AA, wait for their reply....
.... after calling the incharge in AA for next few days... (not at desk and the secretary answer, tell u the incharge will call u back)...... wait and wait for reply... few days passed!
then aa say can use their format... which they say they got no format earlier?!?!
then ask this can or not ask that can or not..
will get back to u... will check for you...
AA quoted me that the carnet takes about 28 working days to process when i wanted to apply during june 2007. they are very good and advice me to do when my trip is nearer... which i start applying in november 07. until now i dont get anything..... and im leaving singapore in 8 day's time. 24 dec half day, 25 dec holiday, 29 dec = saturaday = half day, 30 dec = sunday, 31st dec = half day, 1st Jan = holiday. im left with 5 working days only! the bank also quoted me 5 working days but now haven get anyting!!
my $24000.00 bike was stolen with equipment. (lost)
i bought another 9 years old bike for $7500.00 and spend $4000.00 on modify and repair. (expenses due to lost of bike)
total lost SGD$35500.00 before the trip starts!!!!!!
AA impost a $10000.00 fund to be set aside as a gurantee for my bike.
WHAT THE HELL WORLD IS THIS?!?!?!?!?
all my hard earn money gone!! but im still going for this trip!!!!
lost of bike and AA drained about 70-80% of my fund.
everynight i tried to sleep early.. about 11pm but i would wake up at 3am... too much things to think in my head.....
i sent out 70 sponsorship letters to 20 odd listed big companies and 10 odd superbrand company in singapore but only 3 replied: im sorry that ......but we wish you best of your journey.
these are the companies i sent to:
Creative Technology Limited
Nera Telecommunications Ltd
SINGAPORE POST LIMITED
BREADTALK GROUP LIMITED
Dennis wee Group
Seng Choon Farm Pte Ltd
Singapore Petroleum Company Limited
Stamford Tyres Corporation Limited
AP Oil International Limited
Apollo Enterprises Limited
Ascott Residence Trust Management Limited
Asia Pacific Breweries Limited
Banyan Tree Holdings Limited
CK Tang Limited
Eu Yan Sang International Ltd
Fraser and Neave Limited
Haw Par Corporation Limited (formerly: Haw Par Brothers International Ltd)
Jurong Cement Limited
Qian Hu Corporation Limited
Yeo Hiap Seng Limited
YHI International Limited
maybe there isnt enough time for me to get the sponsor to reply.
maybe there isnt enough good reason for them to sponsor me.
i am just a HDB grown up normal singaporean that want to achive a dream in my life, making singapore a city of possiblities.
i shall wait to get my carnet before i leave.... hopefully the bank and AA can work more efficiently and i can leave on 31 dec 2007.
many people tell me: So much trouble, so many hurdle, before the trip, god has hinted u not to go.
i was puzzled and i replied: god is testing my capability. luckily the bike was stolen locally, not when i was in brazilian jungle or iranian desert.
LADIES AND GENTLEMENT, THE TRIP WILL STILL BE ON!!!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
again with the gate with main door
gate, main door, letter box
gate, main door, letterbox, my 1st yamaha
RXZ 135cc motorbike at aged 17.
my truck key.
more and more keys...
going for the trip, im preparing this simple 3 sets. of bike and box keys.
give away hamster...
giving away my pet hamster... i transpot it with my bike.... usually at home he will be very noisy and kpo in the cage, running the wheel and waking us up in the night... but when he know that we are packing up and giving him away to a friend, that scares him and thro out the journey, he was stiff and still. we did not put him in the box but my wife carry it on the lap when i rode the bike. mayb it was the first time going out of the house and first time on motorbike at such high speed. i wonder if the pet needs a helmet on the bike.
My yellow boots.
im throwing my famous yellow boots. wear it for the last time!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Finally,i get the India's visa on tommorrow. I was waiting 5 days working day for this.Luckly within the proccess time we can go to apply another country.which Pakistan's visa. Many friends ask me"When can you done all the visa?" Actually I don't know.As Malaysian,we need to do all center america's visa and north america. North america 's visa are more hard to get if you have not done your homework.Some country i can't apply too early because of the valid day.hopefully,can be done along the way.I think will be expert for this after this trip.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
1) some big companies/organisations still owe me (My company) small money. u should know who u are......they check and check and will check at let u know. ask them when they say they will call XXX and let u know again. "er... i sent the cheque a week ago", i think they have the habit of dragging small contractor's $$$.
2) we be visiting 40 odd countries. we have NOT done ANY VISA for ANY of the countries yet! some countries has no embessy in singapore, nearest is mayb washington or russia or japan. worst, my wife and i are holding 2 passport of different nationality! its a good challange!
3) personal clothings not planned yet... we gota search for the lightest, durable, smallest, quick dry, all purpose type. for cold and for tropical.
4) my house is still in a mess.... Ling Hong Juz quit her job. anyone willing to spare me a store room for 18 mths???
5) Ling Hong have not bought her boots for riding. we have not got our glove for riding. we are still waiting for our paid back protector from JR Pte Ltd. saying their shipment will arrive very soon. then very soon.... very soon, coming next week, i will let u know... blah blah blah.
6) our first aid kit not ready. nothing bought~ this is a very personal tinggy. it must be customized.
7) MY SPONSORS!!!!!!$$$!!!! The amount of $$$ i have is definatly not enough to come back.
Q n A:
Q: how much is enough?
A: $$$ for singaporean always not enough. if i got a million, when i come to a 2 star hotel and a 6 star hotel, i will definatly go for the 6 stars. i would go for a better comfort and luxuary living. if im with a tight budget, i will save to the max!
Q: how can the sponsors help you?
A: I need a banker. some body that is supporting behind me in CASH $$$ when my fund is drained. I would also need my sponsors to provide me with overseas reliable contacts that i can link up with, staying at their home, sharing my experience in singapore and helping out in any ways. A telecommunication sponsorship for usage of my mobile autoroaming around the 40 odd countries would be great! and also wireless/internet access anywhere around the world. u can test the reliability of signals along my travel route.
Q: how can the sponsors benefit?
A: Kharma?.... nah... its the spirit. you can challange us but do support us. if my bike got stolen again, will anyone send $ to me? if i got into accident or minefield and my leg needed to be amputed for exchange for my life, will anyone send $ for my wife?
i) those friends that have given me the $ and supported me in giving me the equipment that i needed, you will definatly have the chance to mark on my bike. we will always remember u in our heart.
ii) for any commercial sponsors, your company will have the chance to paste a sticker on my bike. we are going to carry your brand around the world. especially singapore home made brands. we can discuss about your requirements in media and advertising.
Q: how will you spend the $?
A: this 18mth trip is not a honeymoon nor holiday. its a gap year on our life where we go out and experience life and find out the unknown. we invested in a S$600.00 tent because we will be staying in temple, backyard of strangers, greens and any other places that u can never think of! staying 10 days in the tent makes our return of investment. (10 days x $60 = $600.00) the rest of the days in tent is a profit in $. in high living expenses countries, we will try to self cook. but there are lots of neccessery stuff that we have to spend like visa application, petrol, medication, safety, government taxes, bike wear and tear.... all of these are unforseen!
Q: how can i pass the $ to u? how can we meet u for furthur discussion?
A: email me atmailto: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org ,identify yourself and i would reply ASAP.
Q: can i send u jokes to your email?
A: this is a business email. going for 18mths round the world is a business! if you feel its ok to send jokes or spam mail to a business email, please do so.
8) our bike. a whole toilet roll of items to be repaired, fixed, check, orientated and tested. i do not have any transport at this moment. the bike is at my friend's workshop M-Technik Motorsports LLP at ubi. he supported my idea and gave me a brand new rear suspension. spares has to be bought, the bike has to be tested for a few times before the actual date. anyway, if anything break down along the way, how ah????
9) our friends and relatives: i love you all. you shall let us go. it may be dangerous outside but it may not be safe at home. do encourage me to explore and return in a wiser state, to share with our fellow singaporeans! i wanna meet up with you all!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Saya harap boleh mendapati mencari motosikal saya. Sesiapa yang mendapat cari motosikal tersebut akan diberikan RM2000.00.Motosikal saya ialah Honda Africa Twin 750cc warna biru dengan merah. Sila hubungi Mr Goh +6012-7735368
On 24/10/2007 (wednesday) time 0930pm, I was traveling from Malacca to Singapore, I stopped at Machap R&R south. Im riding Singapore registered bike number FZ7413M Honda Africa Twin 750cc red/blue and I stopped with my friend for a quick meal. At 1000pm, I went back to my bike, I found that it has gone missing. We went to search at the toll, nearby kampong but nobody has seen it. Witness saw 2 malay boys aged 17-18, rode a Yamaha RXZ, one of them climb on my bike, unlocked my handle bar and the other help to push my bike onto the highway towards JB. I have made a police report at Simpang Rengam. Please help me to find my bike as it has a very sentimental value to me. Thank you. Contact me, Mr Goh +6012-7735368.
lesson learned: never go to malaysia again!
today (25 oct 2007) i drove down with my wife, went to all the kampong nearby to send the 'wanted' poster. that's the only hope. forget abt the police.... i also asked my sis in law to advertise on the malayu newspaper in johor.
$ lost is about SGD$20000++. the infomation in my PDA is priceless!
that's not the issue. i bought this bike 2 years ago coz i planned to go RTW.
it's just like u are training for a sword fight for two years. just 2 months before the fight u lost the sword, how would u feel?!?!?!
since day one when i bought the bike, i did alot of modification on it. testing, trail, correction. the bike help me to marry my wife back. then we tested the fuel tank. it went dry without telling me. then i start to learn more about her. day b4 my wedding day, my wife and i push the bike at the highway in malaysia for 45minutes bcoz it ran out of fuel. we had a good time pushing it! will never forget.
the crash bar issue was a madness!!! from motorworld arguement to sengkuang metal works. after much work due to her extended 36 liters fuel tank, the perfect crash bar is on her now, custom made.
getting eugene saddle to do a cobin similar seat for the bike is a test of patient. ask micheal: best seat, second to none! cost me $200.00!!! i have to test the seat by riding for a few hours then i can say that it is comfortable.
getting my 2 aluminium boxes on the bike is a challange. need to put her at sengkwang for weeks! must cut the exsause, do measurements..... i did a extended space for my wife. extra 4 inches from her back to the box. Comfort!!!! the top box rack was perfect too!!! Luckily I went to Malacca without the 2 side boxes.
adding the scott oiler, welber rear suspension, front fork special suspension, Garmin GPS anti vibration holder with internal power is my recent works! thanks to ah chan from m-techik that had given me many many advice and patience.
i had known her for the past 2 years. how's her temper and charactor. she has also get used to me, everytime waited patiently for me to come back after i parked her. yesterday was the final, which i could not kissed her goodbye.
It was the kind of understanding, trust and love that the bike and I gave each other. I almost work everyday, driving my truck. Driving my truck is driving me crazy… when my wife and I got low morale, she would want to ask me to ride bike out for a spin. It’s such an amazing trail, riding on my XRV with my wife really lessen the pressure and workload in my mind. The bike bring me to the high sight which makes me feel on top of the world. The kinda freedom it has whenever I shoot straight into AYE, the kind of understanding power it has to overtake. I feel like flying. I told myself, this bike is the one that can bring me to the corner of the world!
After the bike has been stolen, go recce at the possible route of advancement. I used the fastest way to report to the autority (the patrolling government tow truck) bcoz they have signal comms thro out the whole highway. Forget abt giving them ur name, ic number, address, where u come from, where u going…. It will take u hours! I gave them the description of my bike and my contact number. GOSH! It take them about 60-100 seconds to write down 9 0 0 8 5 5 1 5. Take note of trucks around that may have the bike in. I went to the next nearest exit and check it out. Be calm, think. Not hush! Ask the witnesses. I did the best is to keep calm and think, looking at the landscape situation around me and remember. But best of all, this method still cannot get my bike! So I Lanlan go policestation to queue up to make report. They got many silly questions to ask u and many procedures. They type with single finger searching for the alphabet Q,B, P, Q, and so on….. I just to have to smile and mean time telling myself to seek for other help.
Today driving to the kampong, people are really there to reply my help with sincerity. There’s a reward of RM2000.00 but they didn’t bother. They passed the extra papers to their friends around and hoping that everybody is aware of it. I went to mywife's ex kampong, they took the paper and pass it to their uncle, the uncle would say he got a XXX friend which is a XXX person, he will personally go find help from that guy. Phone call will sent and recive from one state to another. My wife siblings would gather the most important contact and give it to us. It’s so homely. I could not see this kind of integrity in the city life which I am staying at. I felt ashamed!
I have lost a beloved bike but I gain more understanding about human. I am now one level up!
My round the world trip is still on!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Dad since 7yrs old came to Singapore from china. He worked a lot during his childhood days. Only had his education till Primary 6. they have a dry sundry shop in clementi in 1978. till today the shop is there. Both of them are hawker operator.
When I was young, I played in the hawker centre. Im so called the hawker kid. Hdb playground was also my favorite. I went thro the normal education. PAP, clementi town primary school for 6 yrs, Tanglin Secondary School for 4 yrs. Ngee Ann Polytechnic Electrical engineering 1995-2003. I was the drum major in my secondary school band. During my poly days, I was also a young committee member of the concert band. My poly education was complicated! 6 modules to get my diploma but I was kicked out of the course in my 7th module! At that time I didn’t treat my studies seriously. I always hang out with my motorbike gang, went out late everyday, engross into bike touring in Malaysia, worked part time as a kitchen crew in a restaurant. Also, dad was involved in gambling and bookie. He was heavily in debt and left the house in dec 1996 or 1997, I couldn’t remember, without telling anyone about his plan. He flee to Malaysia. He left me and my mum in the house. I’m ok, but mum got to mend the shop everyday, got to deal with all the loan sharks sitting outside the shop everyday. Mum was very strong at that time. I looked upon her when dealing with troubles. She made use of the time in the night to work in the coffeeshop as a drink server.
When I was kicked out of my course, I worked half a year b4 I was enlisted into NS in 1999 june. I excelled well in my BMT but I couldn’t attached to be an officer because I have no diploma cert. pls view my letter to my platoon mate attached.
After ORD in june 2001, I worked aimlessly before I joined my former boss ( which is my mum’s brother, AKA my 3rd uncle) in the nursery. About oct 2001, my mum was dignosed with leukemia. Both sis and I were devastated.
In july 2002, I was being encouraged by my boss at that time to take back my diploma. then, he told me I can work part time in the nursery. Schedule was like morning 8-12 work, 1-5pm or 12-6 at school. Either, 8-12pm at school, 1230-630pm at work. There were no Saturday nights for me because Sunday I have to work. I also need to take care of my mum because I’m the only person living with her in the house. Sis took great part in bring mum to hospital, taking time off to be with her.
I saw mum fighting the cancer, she went thro kimo therapy. She was very brave. I had to look out for friends to donate blood to the hospital. A lot of my friends turned up. I am very touched.
My results were excellent in the poly! I was so lousy previously in my maths, which I got kicked out because of it. Now then, I scored 99%, in all the test, AD in my transcript. I topped the course in maths! Im very proud of my results. Wats more, my close friends that was studying together with me also got very good results. Im very glad. At that time, my classmates called me: gardener or contractor or PCK because everyone in the poly had funky dresses and clothes but I entered the lecture hall in my work attire. ( my dirty company shirt, green cargo pants, high cut safety boots).
Life goes on until the 2003 jan, dad came back to the house. In April 2003, I had my final exams. Mum was in her final stage. Night before my exam, she pass away in 3am. 19 april 2003. Sis and I got to arrange all documents, prepare the funeral. My feelings were so down. I only slept for an hour before I went for the exams. Thankfully, I got 75% results! It was the most difficult subject. I could have scored better.
Times were tough. I got to fight on. I was the head of the house as Dad did not have a proper job. I got to be responsible of everything. From repair, paying bills to cleaning the house. Luckily I had a very nice girlfriend, my wife now, to give me moral support. dad only collect rental from the stall he owes. About $200.00 goes into his pocket every month.
In early 2005, dad got a stroke in his brain. It adds burden to us. We engaged a maid to look after him for 6 months. Luckily, it was a minor stroke. He can work now. He is working as a cleaner in an office.
I wanted to look for more money and my passion. I started working part time after my work hours at 5pm. Over time at my company was only $5/hr flat rate. I bought myself a pruning scissors, rode my bike out to a customer house, recommended my a friend, start to do garden maintenance work everyday, 530pm to 730pm before it gets dark. EVERYDAY! I got more jobs then. Garden designs recommended by my neighbour, which her friend’s new house wanted to be built up. At that time I only have my motorbike. All I can carry with me is a small chankol and hand glove. I would find my own ways to get the materials to be transported to the site for installation. With that small chankol, I broke a few for that project because there were so much to plant and dig. My wife accompany me a few nights at the site while im doing the digging. The work last start from 530pm till 1030pm for a few days. I got bleeding blister on my palm.
More people enquired me about my garden maintenance services as I started to sub contract out to a few contractors to do my work. I was working with my uncle then. I started a current bank account, registered a business name called CSK Landscape services. CSK stands for Chua Siang Keng, my mum. It was purely to generate income from my subcontractors. They will do the job as I assigned while Im working full time selling plants. I may not be the only person in my uncle’s company doing such part time because some of my colleagues also uses the full time work hours to sell and collect lottery numbers, collecting soccer bets, trading collective birds and fishes and so on.
Dad saw my check book from my bank being sent to the house. he informed my boss about it without discussing over it with me. He wanted to be a good man now because he still owes my boss $60k. I was kept in the dark about his move. Again, he disappoints me.
My uncle’s business was in landscape supply and wholesale of materials. He does no garden maintenance. After finding out that my part time business, he told me that it was a conflict of interest! There where many things that they trying to find fault in me. I just couldn’t believe it! I have been working very hard in the company for the past 4 n half years. My last drawn salary was $2010. I drew this salary only for a month. Before this it was $1850 for a few years, $1500 for 1yr plus, $1400 for one yr and $1200 for my first 3 months.
I started my business in 2006 July. My wife and I just got married in March 2006. We didn’t have time to go for honey moon. We didn’t have time to go part-tor. I was fighting for my future.
Setting up my nursery in lim chu kang lane 1 was not easy. It took me alone for 3-4 months to complete. I had to carry heavy load alone, in the rain and under extreme hot sun. The load was extremely big and heavy as I didn’t borrow any machinery from my landlord as they were very straight people. Nobody knows the hardship im going thro. In the ghost festival, I had to go back to nursery alone after midnight to load the plants for delivery in the next morning alone. There were no lights. I was timid… thinking of something standing out there looking at me. The place was dark and dogs were crying. I have to do it! The plants need to be sent! I cannot screw up my customer's work.
My business expanded from plant supply and wholesale, to garden maintenance, to design, construct and install, to tree consultancy. I am running the show alone. No partners. I had a lot of supportive customer thro out this journey. They had become good friends of mine and we went out drinking, chatting about our personal life, go traveling. They are more than a customer, they are my friends!
For my first year result I was very very very much satisfied. The sales volume is incredible! I couldn’t believe it when I asked my wife to do the accounting for me.
Further more, there is a big company want to join venture with me to set up nursery.
A famous Australian wanted me to be his Singapore liaison and wanted me to set up a shop with him in Singapore. A company that has establishment in 5 other countries located in Asia wanted to support me to set up a nursery beside my ex-boss nursery to challange him. (I told him I can’t because that ex-boss is my uncle. I cannot do such things). A Malaysia supplier wanted to join venture with me to set up a nursery in Singapore. A local government agency wanted to build a long term project with me. I REJECTED ALL. I told them I cannot do it because I’m leaving Singapore for this trip.
I see myself as a millionaire in 3 years time. The opportunity that I have in my business is so wide. I consider myself as a successful businessman. Customers, suppliers and contractors worked well with me. I start to sponsor book prize in a local polytechnic. The book prize named: Chua Siang Keng book prize. I wanted to do it because when I was in my poly days, times were tough. These little effort from my company gave encouragement to the award winners of my field of trade. I hope the spirit of my mum will encourage the prize winner in their life. Am I the youngest person to sponsor the book prize? It doesn’t bother me anymore.
Driving a Mercedes in 3 years time is a sure! But this is not I want in life. I want to stop my business now before it gets too big and more workers are working for me. 3 years down the road I want to have kids. 3 years down the road I may not be able to travel in a healthy condition. 3 years down I may have more money but im sure I would not be able to leave the company for such a trip. It’s time for me to see the world now!
Monday, November 5, 2007
also buying my 10yrs COE for this new 'new' old bike, the premium was abt $1k plus...
went to AIA to admend my monthly insurance, they are very regimental. 1 is 1, 2 is 2, 0+0 cannot be = to 1. waiting time is like 20 times of my shitting time. no chair to sit as i have to give up the avalible to the elderly to wait in Q to claim their retirements.
walked down the street to Prudential insurance: pretty receptionist, nice embiance, free flow of coffee, milo, capuchino, teh terak.... shiok! nice leaning chair, attentive customer service that help me to solve my problem. i gave her a good feedback form.
er... im not trying to do advertisment here... just a personal experience.