I was invited as a panelist in the panel discussion of this two-day conference at Times Square Hotel. The invitation to be a panel member was quite last minute. I only gave in my confirmation letter and profile 2 days before the conference.
I couldn’t attend the first day of the conference because I had another talk to give. It was a rather stressful week. I had to give 3 talks in 3 consecutive days. Fortunately, the 3 days went well.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir gave the opening address. I heard it was quite out of topic.
The event was featured in the Malay Mail the next day. I realised that my photograph was on the conference banner. I didn’t even send the conference organisers my photograph!
Thank god I wasn’t wearing the same shirt. *phew*
The panel discussion was the last event of the conference. Other panel members were the honourable Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Niki Cheong, Kenny Sia, Kinkybluefairy and a few others. The topic for discussion was Freedom of Speech. The moderator proposed that each speaker give their views on this topic for 5 minutes before opening the floor for Q&A. I was shocked! I wasn’t prepared for it at all!
At this point, Kinkybluefairy said to me, “F**k, what am i supposed to say??”
The moderator called up names randomly by picking pieces of papers inside his pocket. It felt like back in school again. It was like waiting in line to be caned in school!
Then when it came to my turn, I confessed to the crowd that I wasn’t prepared for the speech at all.
Fortunately, my past talks on Blogging and Law and also article on Social Media and the Law helped me to fill up the 5 minutes that I was supposed to fulfill.
Some twitterers complained that our session wasn’t a panel discussion at all. I thought this would turn around when they open the floor for discussion.
Unfortunately, VIP of the day, Federal Territory Minister Raja Nong Raja Chik came early and the discussion had to be cancelled.
The organiser was nice enough to give me a token of appreciation. I was invited to the stage to receive the token presented by the FT Minister.
The Minister – I shook his hand when I went to the stage to collect my token. His handshake was rather soft. Not something I expect from a Minister. HE SHOULD HAVE CRUSHED MY HAND!
Overall, it was a good event. Wish I had spent longer time there!
[Picture credits to TianChad!]