Category Archives: People

Mentors and Mentos

A lot of recent business books or articles talk about the mentoring system. I am also a champion of mentoring and I think one really learns a lot and grow a lot if one has the right mentor.

For me, in my career, strictly speaking, I have only one mentor, without whom I will be no where near what I am today. He took the time to know me, took the time to converse with me and took the time to teach me and inspire me. He will go to great lengths to even write several pages of notes explaining some things to me, often reprinting articles that is relevant to my job and when I have an idea, he will go to great length to test it and if it works, he is my first champion. I remember quite early in my career, I came up with a way to predict the success probability of movies based on a set of criteria and a point rating system and it somehow seem to work with the data. He loved it and encouraged me, even using it as part of the production proposal.

There are so many things that he helped me with, nurtured me and planned my career growth path. He even included me in his PhD. thesis, a very rare privilege of which I have in return learn a great deal. He has influenced my love for movies and enhanced my understanding of the principles of economics. I reminisce the time spent with him with the fondest memories and all of us that are trained under his wings will remember just as fondly. He is no other than Dr. Nihal, a person to whom I will be eternally grateful to.

In Weiqi (or Go), the person that I will be eternally grateful to is Mr. Tiong, the president of our Weiqi Association. From the first day I knew him, he is tireless in imparting weiqi skills and knowledge to us. His passion in weiqi is as great as ever and his passion to help new weiqi players is legendary. Never ever being stingy and without holding anything back, his only wish is to see more and more strong weiqi players in Malaysia. There was a time when I really thought I will quit playing weiqi and just play once in a long while and give up hope on improving, I think of him and somehow I am inspire to not let go of the game and to at least maintain my playing strength. Now that I am beginning anew my training, he again proved to be ever passionate and teach me the game, explaining in detail the game and playing with me, even after evryone is long gone. For this, I am very thankful and with this, I hope I can increase my skills one or two more levels. I will be eternally grateful to him for inspiring me to play this wonderful game of weiqi.

I herewith, thanks both of my mentors and I believe anyone who have experienced what I have experienced will agree that the mentoring system is a very powerful system.

P/S: By the way, just watch INCREDIBLE HULK today and thought it to be a very good movie. The character development is superb and after the movie, I seem to know HULK a lot better despite watching him since I was very young. I can feel this HULK. Unlike the Ang Lee HULK.

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One after Another after Another….

First, it was Edward Yang. Then Ingmar Bergman and now Michelangelo Antonioni.

I am not overly sad nor will I be protesting unreasonably on how life is so unfair nor am I crying my eyes out, probably because I am not related to them in any way and would not pretend to be very sad (like some people did as if someone in their family died). However, I am related to them in another way. The movies that they made moved me and had a strong impact in my movie world and for that, I feel sad that the world has lost three of its great filmmakers.

I remember watching “Yi Yi” and got bowled over but that is nothing compared to, in my opinion, “A Brighter Summer Day”. Although 4 hour long, I just got hooked on it and appreciating his art of storytelling. For me, Edward Yang will be remembered for these two movies, and of course, that he was the husband (later divorced) of one of my favourite Chinese Diva, Tsai Chin. I have watched two of his other films, “The Terroriser” and “In Our Time” but those two did not have the impact that “Yi Yi” and “A Brighter Summer Day” did. I would like to watch his other movies and it is great news that the guys at the Film Club (Kelab Seni Filem) will be holding a retro of some of his films this coming end of August.

I will remember Ingmar Bergman for his “The Seventh Seal” and “Persona”. I also loved “Wild Strawberries”, “Cries and Whispers” and “Fanny and Alexander”. Bergman’s images are so strong, it still sacres me sometimes when a certain scene from “Cries and Whispers” popped up in my mind unexpectedly. Who can forget Death and the Dance of Death? The look of Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson on screen, interchanging until we are confused with who is who? The colours in “Fanny and Alexander”?

I will always remember Antonioni for “L’avventura”, “La Notte” and “Blow Up”. What style he has and how he teased us over and over again.

You know what, I will probably watch all the movies again back to back this weekend but cannot do so thanks to the Malaysian Film Festival in Penang. Looking at this, I cannot but help to contemplate on when the Malaysian film industry can come produce such masters as Edward Yang, Bergman and Antonioni (in fact, we actually have Tsai Ming Liang, come to think of it, yes?)

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Unbelievably Blind

I am not talking about Big Blind and Small Blind although I am playing a lot of Texas Hold’em Poker lately. What I am talking about and is still amazed until now is that we have a guest from China who is a weiqi 6dan. He just played a game of blind-fold weiqi with our latest national champion, a 4 dan who seats at number 23 out of the 68 participating countries in the 28th World Amateur Go Championship recently.

Our guest, Mr. Bao Yun, played the game blind-folded and we observed with amazement how he managed to remember the moves and at the same time fight complicated battles. He won the game by resignation and replayed the game later to tell us where the major mistakes are made. Very amazing indeed.

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