water for life

I went to Kampung Jemeri last weekend for the Water For Life CSR (Community Social Responsibility) program, which provides Orang Asli with access to uninterrupted water supply. Kampung Jemeri in Kuala Rompin, Pahang is about a 6 hour drive from KL and does not have one of the basic necessities of life – clean water.

kampung jemeri rompin

The entire Orang Asli village has to draw water from a very old pump and when it runs dry, they have to walk half a kilometer to draw water from the well and on days when the water supply was low, they had to make an incredible 5 km trek to reach the nearest river!

community service

Water For Life is a venture of PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) to ensure that the 131 families in Kampung Jemeri has a clean and safe water supply. The second phase involves 40 of us from PDB to help them install a rainwater harvesting system.

rompin pahang

I’ve been to quite a few kampungs in my time but never to one where water is such a scarce resource! Long houses for Ibans in Sarawak is usually built close to rivers to that isn’t a problem. However, the Orang Asli here doesn’t even have a steady supply of that!

water tanks

It was quite a pleasure to help them in this – we were all issued heavy duty gloves and a wristband to indicate which of the 4 large 400 liter water tanks we will be assigned to.

water

The large tanks are installed in sections throughout the main dirt road of the 131 Orang Asli families in Kampung Jemeri to provide easy access to water for all.

rainwater collection

The first one was built at the start of the sprawling village and it takes in water from…

rainwater filtration

….two large rainwater harvesting ponds.

cutting pvc pipe

It is then sent up through a system of 100 meter pipes to the other tanks to allow everyone in the village easy access to water – right at their doorsteps.

task station

I was assigned to the very last water tank and we hefted it all the way to the rear of the village and did all the installation to accept the sequential water from Tank 1-3.

blue team

Blue Team!

water harvesting tanks

Hauling the water tanks into the village.

100m pvc

Since we’re at the last station, we had to first run the PVC pipe to the third water tank to hook up with them. I was surprised to find out that behind the dirt road is primary jungle!

primary jungle

I got quite a few mosquito bites from that but it’s all good fun.

toolbox

We also had a toolbox which contains cutters and all the piping necessities to build the rainwater harvesting system. I assigned myself to hook up the piping to the tank itself…

pipe installation

…and also the last mile where I joined the PVC piping to a steed rod and a pipe with a lot of help.

last mile piping

The box of tools has somehow been taken back to base camp, which is at least 500 meters away, and none of us wanted to make the trek back (which would tell you how far the villagers have to go for water every single time they wanted it – and get it back) so I used a huge stone to bang the steel pipe into the hard packed earth.

zip tie pipe

It worked even better than a hammer! The principle is much like that of piling in construction. I hefted the rock and let it go while another guy from PDB held it steady. In a minute or so, we managed to drive the entire steel rod in to hold the rest of the PVC and pipe!

orang asli hut

Orang Asli hut! It’s barely 1 meter tall.

orang asli family

There’s actually people inside, preparing for lunch. They’re peeling bamboo shoots, which grows in the wild here.

rompin water for life

Managing Director and CEO of Petronas DAGANGAN Berhad, Aminul Rashid Mohd Zamzam with Malaysian Nature Society and the village head of Kampung Jemeri in Kuala Rompin.

candy kids

Handing candy out to the local kids.

kampung jemeri

The entire rainwater system with proper filtering was tested and water flowed smoothly…

petronas water for life

…so all that was needed is to wait for the 4 tanks to fill up.

orang asli feast

The Orang Asli villagers at Kampung Jemeri held a veritable feast for us, with local delicacies like ikan tenggiri masak tempoyak. There’s also a fiery sambal that Dina asked me to try and I immediately got hooked on. I ate a lot of that homemade sambal with ulam (raw vegetables).

group photo

However, the best part of the day was getting dirty and sweaty in helping these less fortunate folks get one of the basic necessities of life – water.

orang asli kids

I’ve gotten a glimpse of how the Orang Asli in Kampung Jemeri lived and I’m glad I was part of the Water For Life initiative to help then get clean access to water.

water for life rompin

It’s a very good feeling, doing community work like this.

I’ve been sick the past couple of days and now that I’m feeling better, here’s 3 things I did last week! :)

1. Got on a talk show on Bernama Radio 24

bernama radio 24

This is an interview with Gerald during the 9:30 pm slot. I was at Bernama’s studio on the 5th floor and appeared on air for roughly 40 minutes.

gerald radio 24

I didn’t know where the time went! I expected it to be quite long and started talking and before I knew it, 40 minutes has passed. Heh.

radio 24 bernama

I also met Jun Sern (tall guy at far right), the man in charge of the English segment and bumped into Nadia (blue tee), who’s the first person I met in Malaysia who knows who NOFX is. :)

2. Spoke at Nuffnang Blogopolis Malaysia 2012

nuffnang blogopolis speaker

Nuffnang was kind enough to ask me to speak at Nuffnang Blogopolis Malaysia 2012.

nuffnang blogopolis malaysia

It’s the first one in Malaysia and it was held at Concorde Hotel.

hui wen

My fellow speaker is none other than Hui Wen – last time I bumped into her was in Singapore so it’s good to be on stage and talking to everyone with her.

nuffnang blogopolis speaking

It was also the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, that’s another thing done from the bucket list. ;)

3. Watched The Dark Knight Rises Preview Screening

dark knight rises preview screening

I’ll not spoil this movie for you but it’s an awesome conclusion to Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which is much darker than the previous Batman movies. I preferred the second one with The Joker but this final iteration wrapped up all the loose ends nicely and it’s a very long movie – about two and half hours!

the dark knight rises preview

I was hoping there will be a post-credits scene or trailer but we waited and there was none. This is the grand finale of the Nolan trilogy and it’s awesome!

I just watched it a couple of hours ago and I can’t wait to re-watch it – this time in IMAX! :)

chuck bass

Hello, I’m Chuck Bass!

I’ve gotten a lot of comments about that outfit – some said Korean singer, but I prefer Ee Ping’s comment that said I look like Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl. Heh!

ana

There was a makeover session at Tang’s the previous weekend courtesy of Ana Consultancy. I’ve met up with Ana and Catherine before this at Starbucks and I was enlightened by their approach towards image consultancy.

jamie

I’ve always been a soap kinda guy but from that first meet, Ana and Catherine measured me, told me what shape I am (trapezoid, if you’re curious) and what I want to achieve. I was told that I can pull off both warm and cold colors but I prefer warm colors. It was quite interesting and educational.

chuck bass pose

The makeover session at TANGS had outfits preselected for us based on what we want. I want to look more professional at work, that was my only goal so my outfits were tailored to that effect. I look young for my age (29 going to 30) but I have no problems with that – it just means I’ll age gracefully. smirk

Anyway, a bunch of us met up at TANGS at the unholy hour of 9:40 am on a Sunday and played dress up to see what looks good on us.

iza

This is Iza! I like her outfits, they look really good on her.

before

This is the obligatory BEFORE photo. I came with work pants, a cotton shirt (which Ana said will bulk me up), dress socks and shoes. Of course, the Ah Beng t-shirt ruined the effect, but still. ;)

me jamie

This is Jamie Liew! (who is 10 years younger than me)

food

We adjourned for lunch after that – we were all starving. There is a cafe right inside TANGS where we got our food.

familiar faces

Notice some familiar faces? ;)

Anyway, after that we went back and chose a variety of other outfits.

michelle me

Here’s a photo I took with vain pot Michelle. I also have other interesting photos of her. smirk

bowtie

I can’t do a bow tie so Catherine did it for me. Michelle did my ties. FML, I suck at all this.

hairstylist

Ana Consultancy brought in some hairstylists after that and this is me getting my hair done. If you know me in real life, you’ll know that I have a perpetual bad hair day. I found the trick to doing my hair – apparently for hair wax, you need to rub it in between your fingers and then style. I’ve been doing it wrong the entire time!

after

Here’s the after photo!

unwrap present

Unwrapping the “present” – Jamie. smirk

mijel pose

Doing the Mijel Pose (TM).

jamie chin

I had a lot of fun at TANGS that day and Ana taught me quite a bit of things about image. You know all about the 3 second first impression rule. I’m going to do something about it during important meetings and dates with Jestina. smirk

If you’re interested in image consultancy, feel free to hit Ana Consultancy for more information!

video

I also did a video interview about the experience. I’ll post it up when I get the link! :)

Chuck Bass signing off.

xoxo

me jamie chin

Oh wait that’s not right. I should be smoking a joint or something. smirk

zorbing

Zorbing is best described as two people rolling around in an inflated spherical shaped cocoon at a relatively high velocity. It comes in dry and wet variants and I headed down to check it out with Jerine and Becky yesterday morning.

enter

Jerine booked our session at the decidedly Satanic time of 10 am on a Sunday so we all arrived there when most people are still in bed. You’re not supposed to take anything into the orb ball but I took my waterproof compact inside to film the entire jumbled up sequence.

mission

I was first up with Jerine for the dry run (pun not intended). You suit up and head into a globe which is rolled downhill. It is a bit more interesting that it sounds, for the sensation of getting your bearings completely fucked up is something which is usually only achievable by massive doses of ketamine. ;)

setting up

Setting up…

zip

Erm…Becky?

action

Damn action pose

strap

Lock and load!

on a mission

We’re on a mission!

jokes

There were a lot of jokes about getting wet, playing with balls, fisting et al contributed by all three of us. Heh! I can’t remember it all but it was funny.

air

It is fucking hot inside the Zorb ball and the staff had to constantly blow air into the ball as we were strapping up, which provided a welcome relief from the heat.

act cute

Damn act cute not cute one. >.<

I was surprised at the disorientation produced by rolling down the hill.

I was unprepared and my index finger accidentally pressed the Start/Stop button on my digicam several times, thus the disjointed video.

roll down

The staff there pushed the Zorb downhill so it goes rather fast – good old kinetic power combined with potential energy.

me becky

Becky only went for the wet orbing session and there was supposed to be four of us but her partner FFK her so I went twice on the wet orb – once with her and once with Jerine. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready when the good people there pushed the ball down so I don’t have video footage of that session.

pour water

Splish splash I was taking a bath!

strap in

However, it’s a good thing I had another session with my partner Jerine. This time I made sure I turned on video mode early and didn’t touch anything. You can see the water sloshing everywhere in this video:

This is a must view to see what Zorbing looks like from the inside – don’t bother with the other two videos, just watch this one if you can only watch one.

enter zorb

Going into the orb is like going back to where you’re born – you stick your hands in and slide inside the ball.

exit orb

Exiting the wet orb is very much like being reborn again – coming out from the womb, with slick placenta fluid, I mean, water, assisting your entrance into this fucked up world.

jerine exit

Less than graceful exit. ;)

hairband

Rebecca, I believe this is your hairband.

wet wet wet

Wet wet wet!

exit zorb

It costs RM 15 for the dry Zorbing session and RM 20 for the wet Zorbing session, which is pretty reasonable considering my head still hurts from bumping into God knows what and my shoulders have bruises from the straps.

wet orb aftermath

I recommend the wet Zorbing session for maximum pleasure – they splash water inside the ball before you go in and it’s a jumble of feet, hands and various other appendages as you roll downhill, with water going into every single orifice on your body.

exit wet orb

…and guess what? The water is brownish and dirty from all the mud and getting it into your mouth tastes something awful.

changing

Hell, we had to change at my car in full view of everyone in Taman Tasik Titiwangsa. I do have more interesting photos of the two girls changing but I fear I will be castrated if I post them up. Haha! It was a fun session though – I’m glad I woke up early to do this.

me jerine

Becky told us to suck our stomachs in.

jerine ass

P/S – You’ll get drenched inside the wet Zorbing session so don’t wear white unless you want your G-string to be visible to all and sunder. ;)

big pimpin

One last photo to end the post – the obligatory big pimpin’ pose. Heh!

sepang

F1 is synonymous with fast cars, grid girls and pit babes. I hear most girls won’t kick the drivers out of bed for eating cookies under the sheets too but I can’t comment on that since I’m heterosexual. ;) The final race was on the 5th of April at 5 pm in Sepang International Circuit.

race

I went to watch Formula 1 last Sunday with Debra and Desmond (one of the Top 10 bloggers in Malaysia, it was an honor to meet him). It was the final race day (and my birthday) and we met up at 1 Utama before catching the SkyBus down to Sepang.

bus

We decided to take public transport instead of driving there. I’m glad we didn’t drive there – the traffic was appalling. The bus cost RM 15 from 1 Utama to Sepang International Circuit.

tickets

Our tickets were in the C2 area – covered hillside tickets, right around a tight corner which allows for great photo ops. It’s RM 200 each. Formula 1 tickets isn’t exactly cheap, cheers to Nuffnang for furnishing the tickets. Anyway, we caught the 3 pm bus, thinking we had ample time for the 5 pm race…

us bus

…except we did not account for the massive turnout. The inbound lanes were gridlocked so badly that some people resorted to parking their cars by the roadside and walking to the circuit. One of the outbound lanes had to be opened for inbound traffic to accommodate for the astounding amount of vehicles on the road.

traffic

Our bus was in that lane. What was supposed to be a 1 hour journey took more than two hours (!). The race had already started by the time we got there. There were street vendors everywhere – enterprising souls selling everything from umbrellas (it was drizzling) to beer (at a whopping RM 15 per can).

ferrari

I managed to find this corner where the F1 cars slow down to make the curve. It’s the perfect spot for taking photos of the cars since they brake before approaching the sharp bend. Ferrari, baby!

crowd

The crowd turnout was amazing – we have some hardcore fans braving the rain (it had started to pour by then) in the uncovered areas.

lead

There were even some people trying to get a Mexican Wave going. I have no idea why, it’s not a soccer match, but to each his own. :)

No one can be told what F1 is. You just gotta hear the scream of the F1 engines to experience it for yourself. ;)

track

It was fun though…the crowd was great, and so was the company.

overtake

The sky turned a forbidding shade of ebony and the loud rumblings of thunder could be seen (and heard, respectively) about an hour into the race.

rain

The inevitable downpour was nothing short of prodigious – the drains behind the covered hillstand overflowed and caused the already muddy grounds to be even muddier.

drain

I think all of us had a tough time walking without slipping due to the poor grip afforded by the wet mud.

umbrella

It got to the point where I had to stand under Deb’s umbrella ella ella eh eh eh since we decided to go up to the uncovered concrete instead of slipping around in the mud.

pacer

The pacer car came on the race track after that and we all thought the race would be postponed until the rain stops. It was seriously POURING on Sunday.

The race never resumed. It was canceled.

group

People started leaving and we headed for the bus back to 1 Utama as well. We managed to catch the 7:30 pm bus back. Desmond had to meet up with his friends so I had dinner with Deb at Sushi Zanmai before sending her back home.

sushi

It was fun to watch the race – the powerful roar of the high octane engines, the energy of the crowd, the company of good friends. I’m glad I went even though the race got canceled due to the heavy downpour.

It’s a great way to spend a Sunday. :)

eurocopter hangar

I was invited for a helicopter ride by the great (crate?) people at Heineken on Saturday. The scheduled takeoff was at 11 am at Eurocopter in Subang Airport with a briefing at 10:30 am. The helicopter experience is a prize for the people who participated in the Crate Expectations (sorry for the lame pun above) online game by Heineken.

eurocopter

I left early to pick up Rin coz she has misgivings about my navigation skillz. The two contest winners arrived soon after us. Cheesie and I didn’t win the game but we were invited to experience the helicopter ride anyway. Cheers Heineken! OMG! There are so many bad puns in here. ;)

montage

Anyway, after driving into the Eurocopter car park, we were recognized by the liaison there for the 11 am takeoff and brought into the secure hangar. I was half afraid they’re going to ask for my MyKad or driver’s license coz I neglected to bring both.

ferrari

The Eurocopter hangar houses an impressive fleet of helicopters – there’s even one used by the Ferrari team during the F1 season. We were given a tour of the hangar and introduced to the different helicopters there.

pre flight

The helicopters can be rented – the liaison told us a heartwarming story about a guy who proposed to his girlfriend by hanging a huge “Will You Marry Me?” banner on some building and getting down on bended knee on the helicopter when they panned over the building.

prep

We had to wait for the engineer to come (his car broke down) so our flight was delayed for about an hour or so. The pilot cannot take off without the safety engineer’s green light – a very good safety precaution.

start

Thus, after a short wait…we got on the helicopter, buckled up and put on the on board communications device (the technical term for this is “headphones”).

fly montage

The pilot got the helicopter started up…

airborne

…and we’re airborne! =D

Cue Ride of the Valkyries.

charlie

I just couldn’t resist. Heh!

subang

It’s a great feeling to be on a vertical takeoff aircraft. The flexibility of the HH-65 Dolphin is impressive. We flew over Subang

pj

PJ (I can see you taking a shower in your house with my l33t zoom lens :p)

onwards

…and onwards to KL city.

kl

The pilot circled the KL Twin Towers and other landmarks in the city, giving us a lot of photo ops.

klcc

I could see mini people playing in the splash pool outside KLCC. I think we were hovering at about 1,000 feet.

Check out the KLCC Flyover video!

batu caves

We headed off to Batu Caves after that and did a flyby of the limestone hill. It’s the most famous Hindu shrine in Malaysia, with temples inside the caves. I’ve been there once during Thaipusam and it’s great to have a bird’s eye view of the place.

statue

I also managed to snap a photo of the huge Lord Murugan statue standing guard outside the cave network.

pyramid

On to more secular sightings, we flew over Sunway Pyramid. Hmm…religious imagery on a shopping mall – right after the real thing. How ironic.

sunway lagoon

Sunway Lagoon from above looks smaller than the actual water theme park.

cemetary

I also managed to capture a photo of a rather large cemetery. I like cemeteries. I have a morbid fascination with death.

condo

Cheesie got all excited when she spotted her condo and I managed to spot mine too. No, that’s not a picture of either of our humble abodes. Security reasons, ya know. ;) However, this is where I work. You can probably see me slaving in a cubicle if you squint hard enough. Seriously. It’s Kelana Jaya.

traffic

I can see that the inbound traffic to KL was pretty congested last Saturday. I saw you (yes, you) stuck in traffic while I’m soaring above. ;)

gab

I suspect that there was an intentional flyover of the GAB factory where we had dinner and drinks at The Tavern last month. I’m kidding, the place is on the way back to Subang Airport as the crow flies.

land

It was an awesome experience. Flying over KL and the outskirts of the city on a helicopter is certainly an episode that I won’t forget. The roar of the rotors, the chatter of air traffic, the feeling of being suspended in the air – it’s amazing!

end

Cheers to Heineken and Nuffnang for the invite!

teaser hangar

I was invited by the good people at Heineken to go on a helicopter ride on Saturday morning. I went and picked Cheesie up (got horribly lost despite Google Maps) and managed to find our way to Subang Airport. The place where we took off is Eurocopter, which has a fleet of helicopters.

chopper controls

The place is loaded with those newfangled choppers with protected tail rotors. We went on the HH-65 Dolphin, which is the same helicopter used by the US Coast Guard. I’ve been on a Bell 206 before (very common in Sarawak, for all the wrong reasons – they keep crashing) but never a state of the art helicopter.

hangar

We waited at the lounge for the briefing at 10:30 am and nature called so I went up to use their washroom – and found an excellent photo op from above the hangar. Not 5 minutes later, security personnel told us that photos are not halal/kosher in this high security area. Naturally, being bloggers, we said yes, okay, and promptly resumed our shutter activities once he’s gone. ;)

cheesie

Anyway, after the briefing, we were up in the air. It was a 30 minute helicopter ride passing KL City and Batu Caves before heading back.

Here’s the teaser video.

teaser

The full experience report will be up tomorrow. I have a couple of work related stuff to finish tonight before I head off to bed. It was a lot of fun – I spotted my condo and Rin spotted hers as well. Thanks Heineken! :)

photogforcex

AJ Hackett G-Force X is dubbed as the highest slingshot ride in Asia – a reverse bungee jump inside a capsule pulling up to 5G’s, which is more than a MIG-25 fighter plane. It’s also described as an anti-gravity machine. I lost all my photos from Sunway Lagoon but thankfully I went for the DVD package so I still have the video on YouTube. :)

The ride cost about RM 30 (there is a 50% discount for MyKad holders) inclusive of the DVD and a “Certificate of Insanity”. I was in with an Iranian tourist, who looked rather nervous during the ride, but chilled out at the end. I didn’t think the ride was anything special, to be honest. 

It looks much better filmed from the outside – you can see the capsule slingshot up and get a scale of how high the ride is. It goes up to 65 meters reaching speeds of 120 km/h in 2 seconds before a sensation of weightlessness comes over you. It’s a pity I lost the video filmed from below together with the digicam at Sunway Lagoon. This video is ripped from the DVD featuring the camera inside the capsule.

I rate rides by whether it scares me or not and not one has ever put The Fear of God (TM) into my heart. However, it is a ride by AJ Hackett, and it’s worth a try with the discount for Malaysians.

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