Perth, Australia 2014 – Overview

My wife, Livia and I visited Melvin and Tania’s abode at Perth after Christmas. Melvin is one of my hengtais during my wedding and we knew each other since we were 15.

They migrated over there couple of months ago. They now live in a place called Secret Harbour which is about 40 minutes away from Perth City.


Secret Habour. Most houses around here are single storey.

Although we arrived after Boxing Day, the city was a little bit dead. Most of the shops were closed and the streets were pretty empty.

We spent some time in the city before meeting up with Melvin and Tania. We didn’t want Livia to travel too much (she can’t sit still!). We stayed at Sheraton Hotel and got a pretty good room thanks to our friend Elaine of Luxenomad.


Livia was very pleased with the room.

We got a free upgrade thanks to Luxenomad and also a baby cot. The room was spacious and comfortable. They even supplied us with a bathtub for us to bath Livia.


Victorian building at Perth City


A street in Perth City


Saw this while walking to the city from our hotel


Perth City at night

It was our first time travelling with Livia on such a long journey. But the journey there was pleasant. Livia was in a good mood but did cry a little bit. She has this habit of staring at strangers and then smiling whenever they look back.


Livia poo-pooed in the plane once. We changed her in the airplane toilet. It has a baby diaper changing table. Things I didn’t realise until I became a parent.


We got Livia a bassinet. We had to top up RM300 for the seat. We also got free Heinz baby food.


I’ve always enjoyed flying over Australia. The view from the top is amazing.

The weather was scorching hot during the day but cool at night. We literally had to bath in sun tan lotions. Livia became tanned too especially after spending a day at the beach. Livia loved the beach. She crawled around the sand and played with the water (and even tried drinking it!).

Another couple, William and Rachael, stayed with Melvin and Tania at the same time. It felt like my university days when I had 7 other housemates. It was like a party everyday. W & R were having their honeymoon in Perth and we traveled around together. They were quite good with Livia. Wife and I could rest a bit while they play with Livia.


Livia and W. Livia doesn’t really like strangers carrying her but W & R were exceptions.

Most of the attractions of Perth are outside Perth City. We made couple of road trips around Perth on a 7-seater KIA Van which Melvin rented (all of us chipped in for the rental).

Livia however didn’t enjoy the ride on the van much. She doesn’t like to be strapped down on the car seat. Wife had to distract her with food.

Melvin cooked us delicious food throughout the stay. He made us breakfast and dinner. He’s a good cook hence food was always tasty (and he just started a new job as a cook!). He even made us kangaroo burgers!


Livia was pleased with the food


Roasted pork!


Mushrooms and Hainanese chicken.


Barbecue was in our menu too.

After 7 days in Perth, we made our trip home. Melvin fetched all of us to the airport. Tania came back with us to Malaysia leaving Melvin alone in Perth. His home was no longer the lively home he saw for the past 7 days. But I guess he’ll be glad that we left him once he saw his electricity and gas bills.

The journey back home was terrible though. Our 2:30AM flight was disastrous because Livia was screaming and crying. She refused to sleep on her bassinet hence my wife had to carry her to sleep. My wife barely slept. Lesson learnt: Don’t take midnight flights when travelling with a baby!

Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee 2015/2016

In 2013, I had to stand for election to get into the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee. It was my first time trying and I had go against 13 candidates. I managed to squeeze into the 10-men general committee.

Last year, I got into the committee against but there was no vote as we had exactly 10 people running for general committee.

However, this year, we had 3 people running for chairman and 11 people running for general committee! It triggered an election. The 3, Amir, Peter and Ravin, who ran for chair were also former committee members.

Each of them were given chance to speak. Amir came out with a powerpoint slide and even sang for the crowd! Peter on the other hand gave a powerful speech on how he would improve the KL Bar and how he would go on the ground to solve problems. Ravin presented his visions and plans for the KL Bar for each committee.

There was also some heavy lobbying going around to garner votes. It was the first time I see campaign being run on WhatsApp and Facebook. I was a little bit worried that I won’t get in as I didn’t do any lobbying or even announcing my candidacy on Facebook. But I knew that what matters was my 1 1/2 minute speech to the crowd. If I’m convincing enough, they may vote for me.

Many of us prepared written speeches. I did mine too. I spoke about how I will revamp the website, introduce new member management system, online payment and digitalizing KL Bar records. But as soon as I spoke, I started to hear chatters and I realise many are not listening.

Fortunately, I got voted in with the 4th highest votes (a spot which I also share with Dee Wei). Ravin was voted chairman of the Kuala Lumpur Bar taking over Dipendra who retired after 2 terms. It’s a tradition that every Kuala Lumpur Bar chairman will retire after two terms. Out of the 10 new committee members, 7 were from the previous term.

Most people left after the cast their votes (its a secret ballot). From the 200-300 over people, only 20 were left in the hall. The last item of the agenda allows any members to raise any matters and SI Rajah, a senior lawyer (called to the Bar in 1968), addressed the crowd with some of his ideas. Two of his ideas caught my attention. One being an establishment of an archive for the Bar consisting of historical information, documents and materials He had this idea after he tried to borrow a wig from the Bar Council and he couldn’t get one because the Bar Council does not keep such wigs. Interestingly, wigs were never compulsory in Malaysia. I approached SI Rajah after his speech and I said I was very interested in his archive idea. Hopefully we can work something out.

The other idea he had was an establishment of an “incubation center” by the Bar Council for young lawyers or lawyers who want to start up their own firm. He said that one of the foreign bars had this incubation center to help lawyers with their first few stages to allow them to kick start their law firm. But this idea may be difficult as the Bar Council is running out of space.

Anyway, glad to be re-elected again. Hopefully my plans can be completely rolled out by this year!

Asian Patent Attorneys Association Council Meeting @ Penang 2014 – Part II

Makan @ Penang

I met up with Dr Khoo and his wife Irene for dinner at Pulau Tikus market. Dr Khoo is born in Penang but now works as a Patent Attorney in Singapore. He recommended this place to me.


While waiting for them to arrive, I started my dinner with apom! It tasted okay.


It started raining heavily.


My first dish – duck kuay teow teng. We don’t have this in KL as far as I know. It’s rather bland though.

There are two shops selling the same thing but one says Established 1983. Guess which one I ordered from?

Finally get to eat Assam Laksa!


It was sweet and not spicy.


I must say this Muar Chi is damn awesome. It’s sold by the stall selling Assam Laksa.


Oh chien (oyster with fried eggs) was good too.

After dinner, Dr Khoo suggested that we have cakes at ChinaHouse at Beach Street.


We parked at this famous mural by a Lithuanian artist. Very rarely you get to be alone with this mural.


The kid with a kite mural has faded.


China House at Beach Street. It’s a very narrow shop but it’s connected with the shop directly behind it.


There’s a Honesty Shop near the courtyard. Nobody mans the place. Just take your product and leave your cash there. I wonder if it works.

In my area, there’s someone who gets his kid to steal newspaper on the news stand wtf.


A huge variety of cakes here.


We ordered 3 cakes. I didn’t like them much cause they were a little bit dry / too much cream.

I ordered gula melaka milk shake. It was nice in the beginning but the sweetness became a little bit unbearable thereafter. I didn’t finish it.


There’s a small bar adjoined to the cafe.


First time seeing this. You can test the wine using this machine. It will keep the wine thereafter so that it doesn’t turn bad- I think.

Gala Night
We celebrated the last night of the conference with a Gala dinner. I never remembered them to be enjoyable but this time round it was quite fun. It was held in Straits Quay. I drove there with some friends while the rest of the participants took the conference bus under the rain. Heh

I sat with my friends from Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Macau, US and my ex colleagues.


This is Manu from Spain. He does my trade mark work in Europe. I met him at San Francisco few years ago and he brought me around SF including the well known gay street, Castro Street. We blended in quiet well there.

Like many other guai lou, he can’t take spicy food. I planted some sambal on his food when he stepped out. His expression was priceless.


Takeshi from Japan and Caroline from Thailand. I met the both of them in Hong Kong back in 2009.

Takeshi is a patent attorney and he works in a firm belonging to his uncle. He said 1st year patent attorneys make USD5000 a month. In Malaysia, they make around RM3000.


(L – R) On from US, Bahari my ex colleague, Caroline and Jonathan from Singapore.

After the Gala Night, we headed to the Hospitality Suite for drinks.

As I was about to head back, some of them wanted to go to Hard Rock for more drinks. Since it’s the last night, I followed them.

I was dead tired by then.


We ended the night at McDonalds. I fit all these people here in my car in one single journey. Heh.

Takeshi was supposed to sleep early to catch his early departure from the hotel at 5am. We managed to convince him to stay for McD. By the time we were done with supper, it was already 4am.

I’m glad that I found a group of friends to hang out with in APAA. The next time I see all of them will be next year in Okinawa, Japan!