Thursday, 24 March 2011

Courtesy Call on His Excellency, Dato' Abdullah Sani Omar

 The new Malaysian High Commissioner.
Mr. Simon Gelan, President of PWM.
Mr. James Lee, Deputy President of PWM.
Several members of the Persatuan Warganegara Malaysia (PWM), led by its President, Mr. Simon Gelan and Deputy President, Mr. James Lee paid a courtesy visit on His Excellency on 17th March 2011 at the Malaysian High Commission. I had to delay putting up this post as the new High Commissioner of Malaysia, Dato' Abdullah Sani Omar has yet to present his credentials to His Majesty. In today's newspaper, we saw the news report that he has presented his credentials and has had an audience with His Majesty, the Sultan of Brunei, thus making His Excellency's status as the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Brunei Darussalam "official". His Excellency stressed on the importance for all Malaysians to register with the Malaysian High Commission so that in the event of an emergency (like the tsunami that devastated North Eastern Japan recently), the High Commission can provide assistance to all registered Malaysians without delay. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Guangzhou at Night

Latin Grill House, Guangzhou.
After our visit to the zoo, we had dinner at Latin Grill House, a Brazilian Restaurant where the cooks served skewers of roasted  meat (beef, lamb and pork) personally at every table. Photography was not allowed at this restaurant (wonder why? I was stopped after taking one photo). The buffet dinner costs only RMB98 (B$20) per person and the customers were mostly Negros. This is probably the only place in Guangzhou where you can see so many Negros! Business was very good as we saw customers streaming in non-stop from our vantage point (as we were seated at the entrance of the restaurant). After dinner, we roamed the streets of Guangzhou, looking for things to buy (mostly window shopping), mingling with the crowd and taking photos of the night scenes of Guangzhou which was breathtaking. 

XiangJiang Safari Park Guangzhou

 Tiger cubs! So cute!
Today is our last day in China and since our business in Foshan has concluded, our supplier suggested that we stayed in Guangzhou for the night before departing the next day for Hong Kong (to catch our flight back to Brunei). We took a bus from Foshan to Guangzhou, arriving in Guangzhou at around noon. After lunch, we took a taxi to the XiangJiang Safari Park which is a good one hour's drive away. The entrance fee was RMB180  (B$36)  per person. The park was not packed during the time we were there. It was very tiring touring the park on foot but buggies were available at a fee. As it was almost closing time (we arrived at 4.00pm and the park closes at 6.30pm), we only managed to witness the white tigers' performances (I counted 15 white tigers!). There were no taxis at the park when we wanted to leave but luckily there is an MRT station nearby which only costs RMB6 (B$1.20) per person to get us back to Guangzhou.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

My Second Day in Foshan - Visit to a Furniture Factory

At the furniture factory in Gaomin District, Foshan.
The furniture showroom in Foshan.
 The spraying section (varnish).
 A craftman transferring an image from a film onto wood using only water!
The finished product.
This morning, our supplier came around 10.00am to bring us to the furniture showroom in Foshan and later to the factory located in Gaomin District, an hour's drive away. The factory is located far away as the land is cheaper and this factory is on 10 square km of land! The name of this factory is XiangYuan Hotel Furniture Manufacture Co Ltd and I'm very privileged to have an opportunity to witness first hand how this factory operated. Besides the office block, there are several hugh hanger-like structures which houses different aspects of furniture making; from wood processing, upholstery, joinery, varnishing in a special temperature controlled enclosure to packing of the finished products. This factory was also kept very tidy and clean. Very impressive!  

Monday, 21 March 2011

Plainvim International Boutique Hotel @ Foshan

The room number is projected down onto the floor by a light fixture.
The decorative box besides every door. 
This morning, we caught the flight to Hong Kong on another business trip to China. This trip has been delayed to today as I had to attend the PWM function last night. At HKIA, we took the limousine service to Shenzhen where we were transfered to a coach for rest of the trip to Foshan. This trip from HKIA to Foshan took almost 4 hours! We checked into Plainvim International Boutique Hotel, a clean and tastefully decorated hotel conveniently located in the heart of Foshan. This hotel has been in operation for less than a year after being converted from an office block. The exterior of the hotel doesn't do much justice to the hotel itself as I quite like what I saw inside (see photos of room). The small lobby and reception counter are located on the first floor on the far left of this building. At RMB318 (B$63), with breakfast, it is considered quite reasonable. Buffet breakfast (not very lavish) was served on the 24th floor where two rooms were converted into a small cafe as the restaurant is not ready yet!

PWM's CNY & Students' Academic Excellence Awards Night

Taken from the programme book
 President of PWM, Mr. Simon Gelan
Deputy President of PWM, Mr. James Lee
 L-R: Mariana, SL, Mary & Julia
 Organizing Committee with High Commissioner of Malaysia cum Patron of PWM
 Organizing Committee with Tang Wing Huat, guest MC from Malaysia
Arrival of the Patron of PWM
As part of the Organizing Committee for this year's Persatuan Warganegara  Malaysia's Chinese New Year and Students' Academic Excellence Awards Night, we are happy to have pulled it off with minimal complaints (you cannot pleased everyone especially when there are more than 1000 guests!). The function was held at the Grand Hall,  Empire Hotel & Country Club on 20th March 2011. The Guest of Honour (GOH) was the new Malaysian High Commissioner to Brunei cum Patron of PWM, Dato' Abdullah Sani Omar. Besides the lion dances, cultural dances and an appearance by "Chai Seng Yeh", the main event was the presentation of certificates and "ang pows" to 334 brilliant students by the GOH. 41 lucky draw winners also took home "ang pows" ranging from $50.00 to $888.00! Special guest MC for the night was Mr. Tang Wing Huat, a second placed winner at last year's Astro's Classic Golden Melody Singing Competition. With slightly more than a month to prepare, it is indeed quite an achievement for the organizing team and volunteers.