Charity That Is Sustainable And Creative

Most people perform charity by putting their own convenience first instead of thinking about what the recipients may need or desire.

As for Fancy Tan, who has been a member of the Rotarian for the past 26 years and a  member of the Rotary Club of Johor Centennial, likes to do things differently.

“There was one instance when we wanted to donate food at an orphanage. The most common type of food most donors would go for is fast food.  But one orphan came up to me and said she would like to eat “wan tan mee” (wantan noodles).

Fancy Tan (right) is seen here with a shopper (left) at MidValley Southkey megamall in Johor Bahru recently.

“What she requested for was cheaper than fast food and since it would make her happy, we decided to ask every child to let us know what they would like. It was the same at an old folks’ home. We talked to the old folks and found that they desired medicated ointment or cream for muscle pain.

“Recently we also brought 40 orphans to a shopping outlet and allocated each child some money to spend on things that they wanted. Most of them bought necessities like slippers, undergarments and toothpaste.” Tan said.

Tan is also the co-founder of Muhibbah Bersatu Resources (MBR) — a social enterprise that runs Again & Again, a charity preloved concept store that provides a platform for non-governmental organisations (NGO) to sell their products.  MBR also promotes Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover.

“If we were to go around asking people for funds, people may shun us. Again & Again is a project which I started with two other friends back in 2018.

“In the old days, people of my generation would wear our clothes for a long time, but today’s generation buys clothes online and would discard them after a short while.  So, it was not too hard going around collecting old clothes from our friends.

“We would sell the clothes at funfairs, pop-up stalls and bazaars. Eventually, we started a shop at Jalan Ibrahim but the problem with having a shop was people would start dumping old curtains, bedsheets and even undergarments outside the shop without even consulting us.

“In 2020, our business was affected by flash floods and the national lockdown which made us decide to close the shop after struggling for more than two years,” she said.

However, only the shop was gone but Again & Again survived and thrived!

The Again & Again booth at MidValley Southkey was set up in conjunction with the Chinese New Year.

Again & Again now operates only during the four main festive seasons and we provide the platform for NGOs like Johor Area Rehabilitation Organisation (JARO) Johor Baru, Cerebral Palsy Association, Penan Women Project, Red Crescent National Committee for Community Services, Disaster Aid Malaysia and single mothers, among others.

“These NGOs’ would give their handicraft items for us to sell and the proceeds go back to the NGOs with Again & Again retaining some for expenses. In order to be self-sustainable, we need to source more things to offer to our customers and generate revenue for the Social Enterprise.  Currently, we have preloved as well as new items sourced locally and from China, Japan, France, among others.

“We also turn remnant cloths contributed by a tailor to be made into pouches and other handicrafts. We also collected some children’s story books and managed to sell them at a low price but it’s all right as we only wanted to promote a reading culture in children.

“And when a need to help others arises — such as the recent flash flood in Johor during the Chinese New Year, we chipped in with whatever we could afford for those who were affected,” she said.

“That is what a Social Enterprise does. We help the environment and people in need, but we also need to make the business and charity sustainable,” Tan added.

Some items are preloved while some are new and imported from France, China, Japan, among others.

Again & Again will be back at Midvalley Southkey megamall from 10 am to 10 pm in conjunction with the Ramadan and Raya Celebration around the end of March.

Those who would like to donate pre-loved items or NGOs which have handicrafts or products can contact Again & Again at 012-5914331 but please only donate items that are in clean and good condition.

Age Is Just A Number

In 2020, when the Movement Control Order (MCO) was implemented in Malaysia, some had experienced depression and anxiety when they lost their jobs or when their businesses failed.

However, not everything was doom and gloom as it was in June 2020 that Goh Siew Mei launched her Auntie Boleh Facebook page.

Goh Siew Mei aka Auntie Boleh

To date, Auntie Boleh has conducted 137 Facebook Live interviews with people from all walks of life ranging from politicians to food hawkers, fishermen, artists and musicians, among others, in Johor. The interviews are in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Mandarin.

The vibrant 63-year-old, who always dons a hat during her interviews — she currently has more than 50 hats — decided to start the Facebook page because she loved sharing stories, having started out as a citizen journalist when she was younger.  Another reason for starting the page was because she wanted to build her legacy.

“My dear friend, Fung Lee Jean had helped me a lot, especially in setting the direction for me. We also came up with the name Auntie Boleh together as we wanted a local character whom most Malaysians could relate to.”

“True enough people do invite me to their restaurants for food reviews or to their events because they wanted an Auntie’s perspective, instead of having only the presence of pretty young influencers,” said Goh.

Goh said that her interviews or meet-ups with politicians like Tony Pua, Yeo Bee Yin, Hannah Yeoh, Teo Nie Ching and Liaw Cai Tung, among others had garnered to as many as 30,000 views.

“I was surprised but I don’t really care about the number of views.  I’m doing this for fun and it’s not for monetary gains.  Sometimes people asked me whether I have a crew to film and edit my videos.  I said how could I possibly afford to hire a crew when I don’t charge for my work.  I do everything myself — from shooting the video to editing and designing the video cover using Canva,” she said.

Asked if she ever felt fearful or anxious before each interview, Goh said that at the beginning she was.

“I left school after sitting for the Malaysian Certificate of Education (MCE) and I have worked as an admin executive until my retirement. After my retirement, I became bored and depressed.  So I joined the Johor Baru Happy and Joyous Club where I took part in activities like clowning and laughter yoga, and all these have helped me build my self-esteem and self-confidence.

“I easily overcame my fears, especially when I meet up with politicians and celebrities. Of course I need to prepare the questions in advance.

“My Auntie Boleh moniker has also helped me widen my network. I started learning the “guzheng” (a Chinese plucked instrument) after my meet-up with Lam Zipeng,” she said.

Lam Zipeng has a Bachelor’s degree in Arts (Guzheng, Ruan) from the China Conservatory of Music. Here is a video of her meet-up with Lam

Goh added that she has always liked music and could play the electronic organ as well as the 24-festive drum. 

Here is another video of her meet-up with a fisherman in Kg Pendas, Gelang Patah.

“I believe consistency is the recipe for success.  Since 2020, I have yet to miss a single meet-up which I usually set on a Saturday.  There was one occasion where the person had to re-schedule the interview to a Friday.

“I believe age is just a number.  One does not have to be bogged down by grey hair  — it can always be dyed or you can wear a hat!  As long as you have good health and a growth mindset, one can explore and experience all that life has to offer,” she said.

Auntie Boleh can be reached at her Facebook page here. She is also on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.

Connecting people with nature

Feeding wild monkeys is not a good deed. The intention may be good but certain food can cause gastrointestinal problems for monkeys. Even the high sugar content of bananas could cause primates to develop diabetes.

So, if you want to be kind to monkeys, don’t feed them and don’t leave food in open spaces. Don’t pat them. They’re wild creatures, no matter how cute they look. Physical contact may lead to aggression.

Make your waste bins “monkey proof”, and keep your windows and doors shut.

Dusky leaf monkeys in Malaysia face extinction due to habitat fragmentation which leads to roadkill, close interaction with humans and the wildlife pet trade.

Dr Yap Jo Leen, Head of Langur Project Penang (LPP)

These were some of the points highlighted by Wildlife Researcher and Environmental Educator, Dr Yap Jo Leen in a talk titled “Let’s Bridge to CoExist: The Story of the Dusky Leaf Monkey” at the Bursa Knowledge Centre in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Jo Leen, a certified Malaysian Regional Nature Guide, is the first Malaysian recipient of the Environmental Educator 30 award from the North American Association for Environmental Education in 2018.

She won the award via the Langur Project Penang (LPP) which studies the ecology and behaviour of the dusky leaf monkeys, an endangered species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Jo Leen’s team has successfully installed Malaysia’s first canopy bridge to facilitate safer wildlife crossing in Teluk Bahang, Penang.

Read about the canopy bridge and her labour of love for the langurs HERE.

Jo Leen will be among the 7,280 graduates set to receive their respective degrees during Universiti Sains Malaysia’s 60th convocation ceremony which begins Saturday (Dec 3,2022). She holds a BSc in Biology from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and a PhD in Zoology from USM.

Congratulations Dr Yap Jo Leen!

Tradeview Capital Launches SRI-qualified Sustainability Fund

Neoh Jia Man
Tradeview Capital portfolio manager Neoh Jia Man

Tradeview Capital Sdn Bhd, a boutique fund management company based in Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur, has launched its maiden flagship fund.

Called the Tradeview Sustainability Fund (TSF), the wholesale equity fund is designed for sophisticated investors where the initial minimum investment is RM50,000.

TSF is qualified as a Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) fund under the guidelines issued by the Securities Commission (SC).

Interested to find out more, please click the link

Thai Massage To Rejuvenate And Recharge Mind And Body

Looking for a place to recharge and rejuvenate the mind and body?  Perhaps you’re craving for a traditional Siamese Thai massage?


Thai massage to rejuvenate and recharge mind and body Thai massage to rejuvenate and recharge mind and body


The health and wellness centres in Malaysia which have gone into “hibernation” since the national lockdown in March 2020, will be re-opening its doors for business come Oct 1.


Founder and director of Noi Siamese Traditional Massage Sdn Bhd, Tan Aun Gim says only local masseuses who have been trained by qualified Thai trainers will be serving customers at its outlet in Midlands Park (1-Stop) Centre in Penang.


The masseuses have certification from a reflexology/massage training school approved by the Ministry of Education in Thailand.


The services range from reflexology to full body oil massage, traditional whole body massage and ear candling, among others. The price range is from RM25 to RM97.50. Senior citizens age 60 and above will get to enjoy a 10 per cent discount for all the services.


Noi first started operations on Christmas Day in 2015 comprising of local and Thai masseuses.  But all the foreign masseuses returned home during the first Movement Control Order.


The masseuses will be using techniques such as energy line work, pressing, stretching, among others, to rejuvenate, revitalise and recharge the mind and body of the customers.


Thai Massage To Rejuvenate And Recharge Mind And Body

Thai Massage To Rejuvenate And Recharge Mind And Body


Opening hours: 10.30am to 7pm (daily)


Address: 488G-43, One Stop Midlands Park Centre, Jalan Burma, 10350 George Town, Penang.


For more information, you may also check out their FB


Ramblings on vaccines, politics and economics

hands with latex gloves holding a globe with a face mask
Photo by Anna Shvets on

By Michael Tay, Johor MCA Government Coordinating Affairs chairman.

Kudos to Malaysia for agreeing to buy 12.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from a US pharmaceutical company for 6.4 million people which is 20% of its population.

But the US, which has a population of close to 330 million where each person is going to need two jabs of the vaccine, may not have the production capacity to meet the market demand. 

Hence, any country that can supply the vaccines or provide a stimulus package to revive an ailing economy will be hailed as a World Power.  It will be looked upon as a benefactor and regarded with adoration and deep respect.

People around the globe are divided in their opinions of China but developing friendly ties with China has been proven to be beneficial.

Look at Tesla CEO Elon Musk who is a huge success in Shanghai.  The charismatic leader invested in Shanghai as he holds the Chinese in high regard, and they in turn, love Elon Musk. Today Musk has a net worth of more than USD144 billion.

If the US remains adamant about imposing a ban on Huawei and other Chinese companies due to allegations of espionage and military ties, China can retaliate by doing the same to US companies.

Imagine how wonderful it would be if visionaries like Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan would invest in Malaysia, which also has a highly-skilled and capable workforce.

Malaysia is embracing the digital technology trend, and especially during this pandemic, digital readiness is acutely relevant.

Asia would gladly welcome Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, as she is Asian, a Harvard graduate and the co-founder of Facebook.  The couple is also gifted and well-known philanthropists.

In fact Zuckerberg and Chan should be sitting on the advisory board of the World Health Organisation.  Zuckerberg’s expertise in IT and technology can further strengthen and reinforce contact tracing strategies and Chan’s expertise as a pediatrician will help WHO in curbing the spread of Covid-19.

The Old World Order is on its way out, and we’re now ushering in a New World Order which will see Asia and Europe take the centre stage.

China needs to win hearts and minds to move forward

Photo by Ruiyang Zhang on

By Michael Tay, Johor MCA Government Coordinating Affairs chairman.

Having travelled to China and the United States countless times over the years, I am saddened by the current state of affairs, especially the ongoing US-China trade war at a time when the world is combating Covid-19.

Firstly, I think China should ease up on its totalitarian and dictatorial ways of doing things.   Take the  South China Sea dispute, for instance, China should hold talks to appease the countries concerned over the issue.

Being a strong  world economic power, it should be magnanimous and try to have more countries on its side as allies.  Not wanting to do this will give the US more leverage.  After all, the other nations know the US longer than they know China.  They’ve worked with the US since the 2nd World War.

If China wants to continue to be a global super power, it needs to improve its diplomatic relations with other nations.

The world is already disagreeing with China with the way  it has treated Hong Kong.  In my humble opinion, China should continue to let Hong Kong go on with its 1 country 2 system policy, and continue to enjoy the tax collection instead of resorting to force which has led to the current economic situation.

Even Macau, touted as the world’s biggest gambling hub, is currently facing uncertainty with Covid-19 coupled with the US-China trade war and the Hong Kong turmoil.

China should also seek legal help to fight the call to delist Chinese companies from the New York Stock Exchange.  On the other hand, China should also reflect why its own billionaires’ net worth can’t match that of their US counterparts like Jack Bezos, Elon Musk and Mark Zukerberg.

For China to become a strong world economic power, it has to be more open and transparent.  It should help other countries and make them its allies.  They should also not be at loggerheads with India, an emerging superpower. As for the US, I feel that they should resolve its own racial issue first before criticising and demonising China.  

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Not a time to be choosy

picture courtesy of Michael Tay

“Not every jobseeker that came to us for assistance was a blue-collar worker. We have professionals who were earning as high as SGD7,000 before they were laid off during the MCO,” said Johor MCA Government Coordinating Affairs Chairman, Michael Tay, when asked about the response of the public to the MCA Pandemic Task Force programme, a job matching campaign to pair the job with the right job applicant.

The programme was started nearly a fortnight ago to help Malaysians who were working in Singapore but lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Some were white-collar workers who lost their jobs and were contemplating being forklift operators, renovation contractors, lorry drivers, crane operators, painters, container workers and landscape workers, among others.

“We’ve successfully found jobs for accountants who were laid off in Singapore — even Singapore permanent residents have found jobs in Johor — and we are proud of our success in this respect,” Tay said.

“We would love to work with other NGOs and government bodies who share our goal, which is to find jobs for displaced Malaysian workers formerly employed in Singapore.

“The surprising thing is that our team of volunteers are receiving calls from jobseekers who are desperate to cling onto any jobs that they can find in Malaysia, and many were formerly paid huge salaries but they were prepared to accept lower wages in Malaysia, much lower than what they were getting in Singapore.

“We laud the work done by SOCSO Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman who has come up with various programmes to assist all Malaysians to look for jobs.

“Johor MCA is collaborating with Johor Indian Business Association and Johor Consumers Movement helmed by Mohd Salleh Sadijo, which have jointly formulated a system that matches jobseekers with jobs,” Tay said.

China Press reported that since the beginning of the year till August 18, 15,324 jobseekers nationwide have found new employment with the help of SOCSO and 1,310 of the jobseekers found new employment in Johor Bahru.

Meanwhile, Star reported that until August 12, the Socso Employment Insurance System (EIS) received 71,805 unemployment benefit claims due to the economic impact of Covid-19.

You can read my earlier posts Job Matching and MCA Pandemic Task Force if you want to know more about the Johor MCA’s job placement and training programme.

For those who have lost their jobs due to the closing of the border can download the

and submit the form back via email: or WhatsApp 017-201 8982.

Job Matching

Photo by Pixabay on

After being closed for nearly 6 months due to Covid-19, the Johor-Singapore Causeway touted as one of the busiest border crossings with 350,000 travellers daily, has re-opened.

But only 2,060 citizens from both countries are permitted to ply the Causeway daily beginning today, and they have to follow the SOP set by both Singapore and Malaysia.

For those who have lost their jobs due to the closing of the border can download the

and submit the form back via email: or WhatsApp 017-201 8982.

Johor MCA together with JIBA and the Johor Consumers Movement Association have jointly set up a task force to assist those who have lost their jobs to find new employment.

All the best!

Meanwhile, reported that the unemployment rate in 2020 may range from 4% to 4.5%, up from the baseline of 3% to 3.5% due to MCO in March and April.

Without strong job prospects, RAM Rating Services Bhd expects consumer spending on necessities to stay relatively flat this year, with a marked decline in discretionary expenditure.

Read the news report HERE.

MCA Pandemic Task Force

Johor MCA in collaboration with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has set up the MCA Pandemic Task Force to help the local community, especially those who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, find new employment.

Johor MCA Government Coordinating Affairs chairman Michael Tay said the programme is a joint initiative between MCA and Johor Indian Business Association (JIBA) and the Johor Consumers Movement Association, which have received a total of 1,030 complaints related to job loss due to the pandemic since March.

Tay said being dependent on only one job, namely those working in Singapore, and the loss of income would lead to psychological and social problems.

“The MCA Pandemic Task Force initiative aims to provide a platform to coordinate and monitor the provision of job matching opportunities, as well as assist the target group.

“We expect to receive more than 1,000 applications through this platform for the first three to six months, and we encourage employers to come to us if they’re looking for workers.

“Training opportunities are also offered for those who want to explore new fields such as services, health, small and medium-sized industries and Information Technology,” Tay said when met at his office in Johor Bahru here today.

For more information, visit the Pandemic Task Force Facebook page or visit the JIBA office. The job matching form can be downloaded from FB and the completed forms can be emailed to or WhatsApp (017-201 8982)

Tay (4th from right) and his team at the press conference today. Pic sourced from Harian Metro.


Website Powered by

Up ↑