Monday, April 30, 2018

Diane Law's Ode to D51 AC2018

On Sunday, Elite Toastmasters Club's Diane Law stepped forward to deliver an ode to delegates at the D51 Annual Conference 2018.

It was beautifully crafted and eloquently expressed. And it touched us all.

Here is her sharing:

They said welcome to the conference 
Where everyone has come from a distance 
Attending not in absence 
But only to share our essence, with our presence 
There was a moment of governance 
Which is of relevance to us as leaders 
Where we gather to vote 
So that one may dote 
As they devote and promote 
What this organisation stands for 
Integrity, Respect, Service, Excellence 

There was a moment of Diamond and Denim 
Where one could shine and blossom 
Where nothing seemed random 
And it only inspired freedom 
When I arrived famished 
I was astonished that I could replenish 
From one to the other meeting another 
Engaging in banter and sharing laughter 

Lest we forget the speakers 
Who are the bearers 
Of only good news 
Eveready to make us better 
Reminding us that if we falter 
There is always an answer 
We start off with the power of stories 
Learning to be VIP 
And eventually use RSVP 
Learning to SIFT 
So that we transform the insignificant into the significant 
To find our gift, so that we uplift 
By speaking, serving and sharing 
But most importantly that confidence, 
Is being comfortable with silence 

Another who shared about the unwritten rules, 
On how to play the game 
Not for the fame, 
But to proclaim our claims 
Reminding us, 
Presence is the shadow that precedes you 
That it is about people competence 
Being 7-11 in our judgement 
Not for amusement, 
Not for defilement, 
Not for harassment, 
But for employment, commitment and achievement 

There were also the six controversies 
That seemed like a tease 
And yet we learnt with ease 
That it is after all not about projection or tradition 
But intention 

There was a moment for installment 
So that we recognise the old and the new 
That we shed tears of joy 
And yet still be coy as we enjoy 
The essence of being a toastmaster 
Not to be an elder, but to cater 
To our community and humanity 
Where real men don’t cry, but leaders do 

Followed by speeches from not speakers 
But orators 
Who deliver to capture and inspire 
With the asking of which way 
This way or that way 
To remind us that we are not good for nothing 
But good at something 
That there is a power of attraction 
Just ensure there is no procrastination 
That empathy makes us easy going 
And not egoing 
That we don’t sing, because we are the band 
That can never disband 
But only expand 
And that we live our life like a song 
Not to be headstrong, but to belong 

Welcome to the conference 
Where everyone has come from a distance 
Where we will leave with radiance, resonance, and remembrance 
To all that has been done, said and prepared 
I only say 
I have stood up, I have spoken up, I will shut up, and I will sit down 
And with this I withdraw, in awe. 


Scary GE14 News

It is scary to read the local news pertaining to GE14. 

Just yesterday, I came across a news report that punters are betting that PH will lose at least eight state seats in Penang and up to a maximum of 12 seats. As reported by Malay Mail Online. 

If that happens, it means PH are likely to lose power in Penang. 

The Malaysian Insight on February 05, 2018 had reported that the state government think-tank Institut Darul Ehsan had claimed the EC’s re-delineation exercise would benefit Selangor Barisan Nasional – and they could win up to 20 seats even, if we base on the 2013 voting trends. 

Yes, thankfully, PH will still retain power because Selangor has 56 seats and BN need to win 29 seats to govern. 

Also, another IDE study found BN will win a majority of the 222 parliamentary seats, but with just 42% of the popular vote. Despite a drop in the popular vote from 47% in the 13th general election, BN are expected to win more parliamentary seats compared with the 133 it captured five years ago, the think-tank said. As reported by The Malaysian Insight, March 29, 2018. 

For Malaysia’s sake, Pakatan Harapan must win this general election.

Please vote wisely. 

Celtic secured their seventh consecutive Scottish Premiership title after crushing Rangers 5-0. 

The goals came from Odsonne Edouard (14, 41), James Forrest (45), Tom Rogic (47) and Callum McGregor (53) and this rout only confirms Celtic’s dominance in Scotland.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

GE14 Starts with Nominations and a 6-seat Deficit

Malaysia's 14th general election officially began yesterday when candidates vying for the 222 parliamentary and 505 state seats submit their forms on Nomination Day. 

And Pakatan Harapan lost one parliamentary seat and five state seats. 

First, the loss of the Batu parliamentary seat because PKR vice-president Tian Chua who was seeking a third term was disqualified. 

Tian Chua said the returning officer had refused to accept a High Court judgment that he submitted together with his nomination and had instead asked him to “file a petition”. 

[Background info: In March, the High Court had ruled that Tian Chua was eligible to contest after reducing to RM2,000 a fine of RM3,000 imposed by the Sessions Court last year for insulting a police officer. 

The Federal Constitution disqualifies anyone from standing as an election candidate for five years on being sentenced to more than a year’s jail, or a fine of more than RM2,000].

Second, PKR candidate, Streram Sinnasamy could not submit his nomination papers because he allegedly failed to bring along the candidate pass to enter the centre as required by the Election Commission. Streram’s proposer and seconder also did not have their EC passes with them. 

Returning officer Amino Agos Suyub duly declared BN’s Mohamad Hasan as the winner of the Rantau state seat that he has held since 2004. 

Third, Bersatu candidate for the Bukit Pasir state seat, Pizi Jihat was disqualified due to a documentation issue at the last minute – thus leaving BN to slug it out with PAS.

Fourth, the same predicament applied to the Penaga state seat when Yaakob Osman from Bersatu was similarly disqualified. 

Fifth and sixth, two PKR nominees Mohd Azihan Che Seman and Mohd Hafidz Rizal Amran, vying for the Tawang and Kuala Balah state seats in Kelantan respectively were rejected.

Sigh, all in all, a six-seat deficit. 

As Bersih 2.0 had asserted that the EC's reasons for disqualification were petty and arbitrary. 

Desperation to win is showing. The rakyat needs to turn out in full force to give PH that chance to capture Putrajaya. 

Barisan Nasional are expected to face PH and PAS in multiple three-cornered fights nationwide. 

Campaigning commenced on Saturday and shall last for eleven days before Malaysia's 14.9 million voters go to the polls on Wednesday, May 09. 

Saturday’s EPL match between Liverpool and Stoke saw a goalless draw – and it sure looked like the Reds decided to play in second gear. 

In any case, the Reds’ second straight league draw against relegation candidates may not be ideal preparation but they can move on quickly by focusing on Wednesday night in Rome, Italy.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

D51 AC2018 Thank-yous

I cannot thank enough everybody's support for the D51 Annual Conference 2018. Honestly, you made it all worthwhile!

The Thank-yous that we received from delegates who had attended the D51 Annual Conference 2018 were really heart-warming and made it all so fulfilling and rewarding.

Here's a sample of the text messages I received post-Conference:

Grace Chua, Allianz Toastmasters Club, DIV P, D51: “Thanks Victor & the whole organizing committee for the Wonderful 3 days!” (April 22) 

James Lai, Team Flantech Toastmasters Club, DIV H, D51: “Tqsm to OC Victor Ong n your team, all of you are doing amazing work in organizing the 25th Annual Conference. Well done. I’m grateful for all your wonderful effort”. (April 22) 

Shwetha Krishnayya Rajesh, UST Global Penang Toastmasters Club, DIV N, D51: “A very big thanks to Victor Ong & team for making a memorable event for all of us. Great efforts. Enjoyed & learnt a lot”. (April 22) 

Leong A Sam, Metropolitan Bilingual Toastmasters Club, DIV W, D51: “Thank you, DTM Victor & Team. A great conference indeed. Cheers!” (April 22) 

Safura Atan, Shah Alam Toastmasters Club, DIV B, D102: “Awesome job, Victor and team. Respect!!” (April 22)

Albert Khor, MISC, DIV P, D51: “Thanks Victor and organizing team for a job well done. It was a good conference with great speakers”. (April 22) 

Hj Hashim Adnan, Money Mastery Kuala Lumpur Toastmasters Club, DIV C, D102: “My highest gratitude to u bro Victor for a great job as OC”. (April 22) 

Imran Sarwar, USM Toastmasters Club, DIV N, D51: “Congratulations to Victor and organizing committee”. (April 22) 

Juliana Heng, KPMG Toastmasters Club, DIV B, D102: “Thanks Victor & Committee for all the hard work to make this conference a huge success!!!” (April 22) 

Pauline Ooi, Intel MDC Toastmasters Club, DIV S, D51 : “Great job to the organizing team and on behalf of all Div S participants, thank you so much for the hospitality”. (April 22) 

Paul Pong, Gamuda Toastmasters Club, DIV D, D102: "You guys did a great great job and we truly enjoyed the 3-day Annual Conference. No regret!" (April 22)

Muthukumaran Kodiappen, Helping Hand Advanced Toastmasters Club, DIV S, D51: “Fantastic AC2018…Victor & Team. Simply Amazing”. (April 22) 

Dennis de Vosse, Gurney Hydro Toastmasters Club, DIV S, D51: “Thank you for hosting us from Gurney Hydro Toastmasters! Special thanks to Victor and team for the incredible arrangements. You guys deserve a toast!” (April 22) 

Rathipriyyah Balsan, Sai Masters Toastmasters Club, DIV B, D102: “Thank you Victor and team. It’s my first Toastmasters conference and I had a great experience. Met new people, made new friends and learnt many new things. Thank you very much”. (April 22) 

Andal Krishnan, NAWEM Toastmasters Club, DIV P, D51: “A very good show. Well done”. (April 22) 

Wong Hsiao Shen, Zuellig Pharma Shah Alam Toastmasters Club, DIV B, D102: “As one of the first-time participants, I’ve learned one or two (things) from this event. It indeed has inspired many of us deeply. Thank you so much, especially to the organizing committee for pouring lots of efforts into such a great (and) wonderful conference. Please take a good rest after this”. (April 22) 

Balakrishnan Muniandy, FYS Toastmasters Club, DIV H, D51: “Thank you very much Mr Victor. Really appreciate you. A truly humble man. I appreciate your gesture of moving around, meeting and welcoming the participants, especially the newcomers. Despite being the Conference chair and having so much in your head, you had time for everyone. Thank you”. (April 22) 

Sue Chan, Seberang Jaya Toastmasters Club, Div H, D51: “Victor, Cyril, Mei Lin, Yeoh CL, Daniel, Toh… and other supporting members who made the conference possible. THANK YOU. Your great efforts to present the best for delegates were obvious. APPRECIATE. Till we meet again… Take care”. (April 23) 

Lim Yeok Siew, MIM Toastmasters Club of Kuala Lumpur, DIV P, D51: “It was indeed one of the best Toastmasters conferences that I have attended. Congratulations to Victor Ong and organizing team! Well done!” (April 23) 

Solmaz Parpaei, Premier Advanced Toastmasters Club, DIV P, D51: “Thank you Organizing Committee for making the AC a great experience for me and everyone else”. (April 24) 

Assyl Boizhanova, Witty Birds Toastmasters Club, DIV O, DU: "Hi Victor, thank you for the wonderful event. Thank you for making me feel special that I was part of it. I am flying home with lots of good emotion and memories". (April 24)

Roger and Esther Green: “Hi Victor, just to say a million thanks for your hospitality during the convention…Thank you again” (April 24) 

Dr Peter Yannopoulos: “Hello Victor. I like to thank you for inviting me to such a great conference and look forward to coming again to KL if the right opportunity arises. I will make sure I keep in touch” (April 26). 

Even Toastmasters who didn’t attend D51 Annual Conference 2018 sent me congratulatory messages. 

Tan Saw Bee, Crystal Toastmasters Club, DIV B, D102: “Congratulations DTM Victor for organizing the Best District 51 Conference” (April 23) 

Yip See See, Crystal Toastmasters Club, DIV B, D102: “Congratulations on your very successful District 51 convention – you are now the “Talk” of the entire TM universe – “Best Organizing Chairperson” (April 25) 

NOTE: I’m posting them here strictly for my record and reference.

Friday, April 27, 2018

D51 AC2018: Last Day

And on Sunday, we had the International Speech and Table Topics Contests and the Closing Ceremony.

What an awesome Toastmasters’ Conference it was! If I may add, D51 AC2018 was simply amazing!

Mercifully, I survived. My Organizing Committee survived. 

Thank you everybody for making this possible. Au revoir, Toastmasters!

D51 AC2018 on Saturday

On Saturday, the D51 Annual Conference 2018 continued – with three key events, Opening Ceremony, Specialist Speakers and Gala Night.

These photos tell wonderful stories:

Btw, Gala Night's theme was Masquerade Ball.

Thank you, Toastmasters for being there! You are simply amazing!