Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Watsons VIP Members Night Out - X Men Apocalypse

Dubbed as Asia’s leading beauty and health retailer, Watsons treated its VIP members, business partners, celebrity friends, media and the blogging community to a glittering red carpet gala event for the movie screening of X-Men The Apocalypse at GSC Pavilion. The special movie screening was held in conjunction with Watsons collaboration with Marvels latest offering to a movie night out, giving its VIP members the privilege to be one of the first few in the world to have watched the blockbuster action movie series.
At the special movie screening, VIP members who attended were given an extra surprise when they were given a chance to win a pair of air flight return ticket to Melbourne and Perth. A total of 12 lucky VIP members were selected to go through two rounds of challenges before the last two standing were announce as winners.  
The first round saw VIP members testing their knowledge with question and answer round  relating to Watsons and X-Men. The top 5 highest scores advanced to the final round where  they pit against one another to win a pair of flight ticket to Australia’s vibrant cities courtesy from  AirAsia X. 

The final round was tested by wearing an X-Men merchandise cap and using the tip of the cap to carry a Watsons brand toothbrush from a Watsons Treats Water bottle and placing the toothbrush into another bowl within the two minute time frame given.

The special movie screening presented by Watsons in partnership with Ubermen saw guests and members of the media receiving special hair makeover at Ubermen’s booth, following their favorite X-men characters. 

Also present at the special movie screening were Watsons Celebrity Friends including Ben Ibrahim, Dato Kee Hua Chee, Daphne Chua, Fuying & Sam, JC Chee, Justin Yap, Nadine Ann Thomas, Lee Yvonne, Linora Low and the finalists of Miss World Malaysia 2016.

 Eventually, Carina Lim came out as top winner and winning herself a pair of return flight ticket to Melbourne while second place Chan Lai San receive a pair of return flight ticket to Perth. The top two winners were given a mock air flight ticket at the prize presentation presented by Caryn Loh, Chief Operating Officer, Watsons Malaysia and Danny. The top scorer in the final round was given the choice to choose the flight destination between Melbourne or Perth, and the second place receiving the alternate destination.

Guests and members of the media were also treated to another surprise when Caryn and Danny gave away two exclusive Magneto Helmet Replica X-Men merchandise in a lucky draw which was flown in for the special movie screening from London! 

Well, I did not win anything that night but I was honoured to be invited to the movie night out with Watsons :) It is indeed a great show.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sandakan Heritage Trail: The Monuments

My post becoming lesser nowadays (if you notice) as busy with my uni research work. I try to update anything that I think worth to share with you guys during my weekend which is a bit free than weekdays.  Sabah formerly known as North Borneo, many of us are aware of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Malaysia's Sabah state perhaps because of the well known Mount Kinabalu. But actually Sabah has more to offer and most of these are under discovered due to less publicity.


Sandakan is being known as sleeping town once upon a time. I was told that the only direct flight to Sandakan from Peninsular Malaysia is from Kuala Lumpur airport. No more flights from Johor Bahru and other parts of West Malaysia that directly fly to this place when they did last time. The interest to this place is not high in the local. In fact, we did not have much records of Sandakan in our history book or stories about it during our geography class. I would suggest the school teachers add in this place when discussing about our colourful history with the students.

Alongside the Sandakan High Court is the staircase of 100 steps which will lead you to a beautiful view of Sandakan town and bay. It also brings you to the famous Agnes Keith House.

Who found Sandakan? It was not a local but a white man named William Pryer. William Burgess Pryer (7 March 1843 in London, England; – 7 January 1899 in Suez, Egypt) was the first British Resident in North Borneo and the founder of the modern Sandakan. The monument currently stands at MPS square fronting the Municipal council building. There was not much record about this man but he was mentioned in an article that he cleared the bay of pirates and took the first step to eliminate slavery which was rampant at that time.

One of the unique monuments at MPS square was Sandakan Liberation Monument. It is a memorial to honour Allied troops who died fighting to liberate North Borneo from Japanese occupation towards the end of World War II. The statue of a standard issue 303 rifle with its barrel in the ground and a slouch hat slung across the butt symbolizes the military practice of marking where a soldier has fallen. The memorial also commemorated the civilian deaths and the atrocities committed upon them by the Japanese, including a barbaric practice he called ‘hamstrung’, which was discovered in 1945.Hamstrung’ was a practice wherein the Japanese would simply sever the hamstrings, behind the knee, on both legs with a knife. (source from here)


Another remain after World War II is the Chartered Company Monument. It is dedicated to British servicemen who were killed at the end of 19th century. The monument was built by British North Borneo Company on a four stepped rectangular base topped with Celtic cross.

Initially I thought of writing the Sandakan Heritage Museum in this post after introduction of all monuments but then I removed all as I think it will be too much for my readers to digest everything. The focus of the post remains on the monuments which we often overlook it. Without all of them, where we are today? Think of it.....

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sandakan Heritage Trail: Agnes Keith House

I never know about Agnes Keith (her real name: Agnes Jones Goodwillie Newton) until I was brought to her house in Sandakan. Agnes Keith was an American author best known for her book entitled Three Came Home which tells of her time in Japanese Prisoner-of-war camp and civilian internee camps in North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak before, during and after Second World War. (source:

Agnes Keith House is part of Sandakan Heritage Trail. You should not miss this place if you visit Sandakan town. It opens everyday  from 9am to 5pm.

There is no barrier or gate at the entrance but a hut. I'm not sure what is the use of the hut or if it built at that time.

The 2 storey house was named as Newlands by the Keiths when they rebuilt it in 1946-1947 which destroyed after the war. After nearly 50 years of gradual deterioration, first under tenants and then as an empty shell, the house was restored by Sabah Museum in collaboration with the Federal Department of Museums and Antiquities in 2001. The house is a rare survival of post-war colonial wooden architecture. (source:

The floor and most of the furniture were made with woods. I guess the Keiths like wooden furniture when they lived here.

I did some search on Agnes Keith and found she was an interesting person lived in those time. I definitely would not miss out her famous book written "Three Came Home" if I found it in book store.

Three Came Home title page lo

Three Came Home was published in April 1947. The frontispiece and title page were designed by Agnes. It was on the New York Times non-fiction bestsellers list for 15 weeks, six straight weeks at no. 4. (source:

Look clearly, there was not any illustration of Jean inside. What being untold might be true. Jean is only a step daughter of Agnes. She might be born by AhMa (Yin) who worked as nursemaid for Keith family as described .(source:

Excerption from the book:

A young Englishman who had been a friend of my brother’s and mine since childhood came home on leave from British North Borneo, where he was engaged in Government Service …
We had not seen each other for ten years … we made up our minds to be married …
Three Came Home, p. 8.
She described how she met Harry and get married.

This story I wrote in the smallest possible handwriting, on the backs of labels, on old Chinese papers that our tobacco came in, on the margins of old newspapers … and when I could get it, on Colonel Suga’s paper. I stuffed George’s toys with these notes, I sewed a layer of them in his sleeping mat, I stuffed his pillows, and I put them in tins which I buried under the barracks.
The Japanese searched my things frequently, turning inside out my suitcases, reading my papers upside down … In time I lost everything with writing on it: documents, passport, wedding lines, bank receipts — everything except my notes.
Three Came Home, p. xv.
The hard time she had during Japanese occupation in Borneo was also mentioned in the book.

In 2010, Jean Alison Knapper (daughter of Agnes Keith, 90 years old now born on August 30, 1927 in Sandakan) was seen to grace the anniversary event of Agnes Keith House. (source:

This is what recorded when the last time Keith family moved from the house:

In January 1952 Agnes and Harry left Sandakan, where they had lived for more than twenty years in all — Harry 1924-34 and the two 1934-41 and 1946-51. Harry retired from colonial service and took a job with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization in Manila, Philippines.* A similar posting took them to Tripoli, Libya, where they lived for ten years (1955-65). (source:

The bedroom of the Keiths is just so simple. Contrary to Chinese style which always put the bed on the wall, the Keiths put it in the middle of the room.

Agnes Keith House is opened to public for visit since 2004. There is a gallery on first floor tells the story of this remarkable woman, her books and family. A Keith time-line starts in 1873 and ends in 2004 tracing the past to the present Keith generation. I highly recommend all my readers to pay a visit if you would like to know more about this brilliant woman in the past :) Till here my brief sharing, will update more about Sandakan again next post. Have a wonderful day!

Admission Fees
Malaysian Guests - RM2.00
Non-Malaysian Guests RM15.00

Malaysians only:
Students in uniform - Free
Disabled Guests - Free
Senior Guests - Free
Taxi Drivers - Free

Agnes Keith House
Jalan Istana
90709 Sandakan

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sandakan Heritage Trail: St. Michael and the Parish of All Angels’ church

Today I just wanna share some travel photos dated back to last October. Before we embarked the flight back to KL, we were given some time to visit Sandakan heritage building or they called it Sandakan Heritage Trail. I will share one by one in the coming post.

Located on Elton Hill in the heart of Sandakan town, St. Michael and the Parish of All Angels’ church is the oldest stone building in Sabah. The construction of the building was initiated by Rev. W.H. Elton in 1888 and took him almost 13 years to complete. It was designed by New Zealander Mr. B.W. Mountfort who designed the church based on Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand, which was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake. The building was first constructed with belian (ironwood) timber, followed by brick and finally stone, which is said to have from the nearby Buli Sim Sim, while the white stones that adorn the windows and doors are from Hong Kong. The stones were delivered from Buli Sim Sim by prison labour at RM1.25 per cubic yard. A cubic foot of stone weighs approximately 140 lbs and each stone was painstakingly laid atop each other. 

A severe shock of earthquake shook Sandakan on 21st Sept 1897 but no damage to the stone walls of the church. The construction work continued with significant progress each year and finally it was completed in 1906. In 30th Sept. 1906, the church of St. Michael was dedicated. Rev. Elton continued as the Rector until 1914 where he went back to England and passed away on 17th Dec 1914.(source:

St. Michael and the Parish of All Angels’ church is located behind St. Michael school.

Knowing more about the past teach us to be grateful of what we have. The board at the school there clearly shows the changes of the school building over the year since it founded by Rev. W.H. Elton.


My adopted dad said: " Look at there (monument), take photos of it!" after showing me the board at the school. This monument was constructed in memory of Rev. Thomas Cecil Alexander for the founding of Scout Movement of North Borneo (Sabah) in 1913.

It is so beautiful from every view :) It will be nice taking wedding photos here :)


The entrance fee for visitors as a donation for the church maintenance use.

It is 128 years old by now.

The beautiful stained glass windows in the church were donated by Australians to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. - See more at:

The beautiful stained glass window were donated by Australians to commemorate the 60th of the end of World War II. It is known as The Window of Remembrance. The design for this window, a memorial to Australian and British prisoners of war, and a thanksgiving to the courageous people of Sabah who helped them. The various shades of blue in the outer represent the oceans which link the three nations. The upper or memorial section, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 12, is crowned with a shining Angel of God, backed by ruby colour, spiraling feathery shapes, suggesting movement, and enclosed by a rainbow-hued circle a symbol of peace and hope for the future.

In the prison cell sits the Apostle, Simon Peter, under sentence of death. He is amazed at the awesome sight and incredulous at the miraculous loosening of his chains. The Roman guards are disconcerted and unable to prevent the deliverance of their prisoner. The scene is a reminder of God's power to free the spirit of mankind from evil and oppression. (source: leaflet from the church written by Philip Handel, 24 April 2008)

At another corner, there is a glass window named The South Friendship Window. The story depicted in the window is told to us in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 27. It concerns an incident which occurs late in St Paul's ministry while on his way to Rome to be tried before Caesar, his right as Rome citizen, and thus avoiding the injustice of a trial by Jews. The ship on which he sails as a manacled prisoner is caught in a raging storm, which lasts for 14 days and nights. The crewmen have done everything possible to lighten the ship and are trying to launch a lifeboat, in the belief that the vessel if foundering. Paul is suddenly confronted by the vision of an angel, who tells him to persuade every soul on board to remain on the boat. If they do, all will be saved, even though the ship will be wrecked. The scene depicted on these windows shows the angel speaking to Paul and the crew in distress. At the base of each window are the symbolic hands of friendship, flowers of Australia, Great Britain and Sabah and once again, the spectrum border, symbolizing peace - a recurring theme in the windows in the church. The text "Love one another" in a Malay, and "A friend loves all times" in English, reinforce this message of friendship and peace towards our fellow men. (source: leaflet from the church written by Philip Handel, 24 April 2008)

The bench with 100 years of history. One of the precious antique in the church.


Front part of the church.

Back of the church
Imagining a bride walks down the aisle gracefully with her dad and the groom waiting excitedly at the front for his bride to exchange vow witnessed by God and friends.....huhuhu sounds like in drama right? Well, I'm searching someone who waiting for me at the front there! xoxo

 I guess that is the administrative block of the church.

3 languages -Malay, Chinese and English sign board available at the entrance. Traveling broadens our minds and increase our general knowledge. I don't like to study the history text book in school but I like to know more about a place with its past when I travel to there. Stay tune, I will share more about Sandakan heritage in next post. Hope you enjoy the post :) Happy Mother's Day to all mothers!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Selangor International Bird Race 2016

What do you understand about bird race? A big misconception among the public is that this event has live bird racing against each other. Well, I was once had such thought when I first saw the invite to the event back to 2014. Don't laugh at me ok? A bird race in fact is fun race where a team of birdwatchers compete against each other in sighting, identifying and recording as many number of bird species available in a place within stipulated time.

MDHS once again organized Wings of KKB 2016:Selangor international Bird Race from 22-24 April 2016. Following the success of the event since its first inception in 2012, the program now witnessed an upgrading with the word "international" this year to attract more participation from oversea.Thus, it was no surprise when we saw participants from Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia and India during the event.


This year without exception Resorts World Genting was one of the main sponsors for the said event. The collaboration is aimed at instilling the awareness of the importance of preserving the mother nature through the bird activities. I was invited as blogger to cover for the bird watch event held and stayed a night at Awana Hotel. It is much spacious compared with the XYZ Deluxe room i stayed in First World Hotel.

How I wish I could have a staycation here for a week. FYI, Awana Hotel standing at 3000 feet above the sea level is also known as IBA or Important Bird Area MY10 by Birdlife International. The area with majestic rainforest has a history of 130 million years old. It becomes a prime site for bird watchers and nature lovers.

I was told that there are about 40 different bird species and up to 70 in total at Genting Highlands.

The road leading to pump house is a good spot for a mixture of lowland and montane species bird sighting. Both the chestnut and Slaty backed Forktails may be seen along this road.

pic credit: Andrew Lim

Walking down the path, we saw a big millipede crawling besides the drain. I felt tickling at my body when looking at that creature.

This is the best I can capture. We need a better camera for better sighting of the birds. It stopped for a rest at the tree branch that were so far away from me.

Look at their equipment just to snap the bird pictures! It is not easy as one might think of it.

Pic credit: Sook Yee

There were unexpected guests besides the birds. We saw siamang/gibbon at the tree making loud noises. We were thrilled with its sudden appearance.

pic credit: Durai Birdman
 Closer look to siamang :)

Next was the prize giving ceremony. There are open category, college category, secondary school category, primary school category, explorace for primary and secondary school, open & media photography, drawing competition for children, drawing competition for adult and best media write up/ coverage.


pic credit: Wei En
Congratulations to all the winners on that day :)

Photo together with Mr Durai, the birdman during the event :) You guys should add him in FB: Durai Birdman if you are very interested with bird watch. He is an experienced nature guide and knowledgeable about everything relate with birds like what they eat, how they behave, able to recognize chirping of different birds and so on.

Pic credit: Wei En
Photo with other bloggers :) I miss all the fun time with you guys! Till we meet again :)
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