Miri, 2014

The last time when I was in Miri, it was on the invitation of Mr Ma, the boss of Balcony club. He wanted some Melbourne Shufflers in the club and I was roped in with some friends. Mr. Ma gave each of us a t-shirt but I didn’t wear it. I think he wasn’t pleased with that. That was in 2005.

Nevertheless, he treated us dim sum the next morning. That was the last time I saw Mr Ma. Last year, he was assassinated by masked men. He was shot while in his car. No one had been arrested for his murder till now.

On 24 April 2014, I flew to Miri on the invitation of the Advocates’ Association of Sarawak to speak about personal data protection.

I touched down around 1130pm and fellow lawyer, Jimmy Liaw picked me up from the airport. I thought I’ll be ending my night upon checking into the hotel. However, Jimmy suggested that we go for drinks and ended up drinking until 2am at Al Fresco. Balcony is still around but it’s now owned by different people.

Mr Ma’s brother, Johnson Ma runs Al Fresco now. We had couple of drinks with him and even played drinking games with him. At the end of the night Jimmy said, “Not bad, you can drink” notwithstanding my face was lobster red.

Jimmy then brought me to the market for char kuey teow. I remember this place had “duck flavoured” char kuey teow. However, it didn’t taste anything like duck this time round though. Nevertheless, it was good.

I stayed in Merits Hotel. New place next to a shopping mall. It was quite cozy. No creepy experience like the one I had in Pullman Hotel, Kuching.

There’s another lobby somewhere above the 10th floor I think. What a strange design.

View of Miri from my hotel room

I woke up late and had to rush to get ready. The organizers thought I had food poisoning hence the lateness.

The seminar had about 50 people consisting of lawyers, architects, tax agents, bankers etc. It was held in a seminar room of a hotel.

I am told that Miri has around 100 lawyers. The relationship between Miri lawyers with Kuching, Bintulu and Limbang lawyers seems to be close although these places are far apart. Everyone seems to know each other. In fact, I recognised 2 of the participants from my previous talk in Kuching. I guess most of them travel in and out from these places.

I was presented with a pen as a token of appreciation. I was also give a thumb drive from a fellow participant from Bank Rakyat. What a surprise. Never had I received presents from my seminar participants!

After the talk, I met up with fellow Mirian, Darren Lo. He brought me to a place to have ABC (shaved ice). Good to catch up with an old friend.

I am told that property prices in Miri has also shot up. Terraced houses go for RM300,000. However, there is an oversupply of commercial units.

There are some concerns with Brunei especially with the proposed implementation of Shariah law. A dress code will also be rolled out in Brunei. Men are require to cover their knees. Women cannot wear short sleeves and tight clothing. And this rule is applicable to non Muslims.

Before my flight back to Kuala Lumpur, Jimmy brought me to Tanjung Seafood Restaurant for drinks and food. Local lawyer, Arthur Lee brought 2 bottles of single malt whiskey for us to enjoy. I am told that this is done every Friday.

I had to take leave after a few drinks to catch my flight. It was a rather uneventful flight back. The 2 hours journey from Miri to Kuala Lumpur was quick.

Miri – Day 2

Continuation of Balcony presents “Max Factor” @ Miri, Sarawak

Barely 4 hours of sleep, Kian and Shan Mei picked us from the hotel. Mr. Ma wanted to treat us dim sum. Many thanks to Mr. Ma.
Thereafter, Kian and Shan Mei then brought us around Miri. We started off with the Crocodile farm. Yes, of all places, the crocodile farm.

It was like a mini zoo, other than crocodiles, they had sun bears, monkeys, snakes, bats, ostriches and turkeys.

Sun Bears


Wild cat!


Crocodiles have this habit of opening their mouth. I’ve no idea what they were doing, but it sort of gave me an idea. I grabbed a piece of Clorets (mint candy) and threw it into the crocodile’s mouth. I missed. DAMN!!

Unfortunately, to me, the animals were in pitiful stage. They were caged in small cages with concrete floors and seem to be very hungry. A monkey stole a girl’s glasses and tried to eat it. The girl was screaming, “JANGAN!!! ITU BUKAN DUA RINGGIT PUNYA!!!”. (NOOOOOO!! It’s not a RM2 glasses!!)
Amos made his debut on shuffling videos. He shuffled in front of some turkeys. The turkeys responded with a lot of clucking.


After Crocodile Farm, we stopped by Miri Boat Club. Loads of expats around.

Next destination, Esplanade Beach. Miri’s beaches aren’t exactly top quality. The water’s brown and the beaches are dirty. However, it’s a nice place to relax. Kynan and Hansley dropped by to see us. Ryan was busy playing with crabs.

We adjourned to Canada Hill thereafter. Its a place where we can get a good view of Miri City. Based on observation, we could only see 4 tall buildings in Miri!

Thanks to Air Asia, our flight was delayed again. Initially it was scheduled at 940PM. Then delayed to 11PM and subsequently 1130PM. And just as we got into the pre departure hall, it was rescheduled to 1150PM!!

One last picture..

Air Asia..now everyone is late!

Balcony presents “Max Factor” @ Miri, Sarawak

First and foremost, I must thank Mr. Ma, one of the owners of Balcony, for the sponsoring us to Miri. Mr. Ma sponsored our air tickets, lodging and food!

I must also thank Kian and Shan Mei for bringing us around. Further, thank you Joanna, Rin, Hence (don’t know whether I got his name correct), Darren, Kynan and puhyah for their great hospitality. Also a big shout out to those people I met in Miri!

Balcony is one of the great clubs in Miri. It’s not the typical fengtau clubs. Mr. Ma has put a lot of effort trying to improve Balcony club to be on par with clubs in Kuala Lumpur. Their music ranges from Progressive House to Trance. Unfortunately, no Hard House for me.

Balcony has a few private rooms where patrons are able to sing their hearts out using their karaoke machines. Joanna booked a room and gathered her group of friends to celebrate her birthday. As expected, the birthday girl was drunk and couldn’t remember a lot of things. She even missed the best part, where the entire club sang Happy Birthday to her!

Drunk Birthday girl, Joanna & Drunk Me.

Balcony also has a great range of liquor as well. They even have Hoegaarden!!

Rin was the hustler of the night. Every 5 minutes he would come to me and say, “Let’s get some drinks mannnnn”. Rather than shuffling on the dance floor, Rin and I were drowning ourselves with alcohol. Darren, Rin and I shared a B-52 and then followed up with Hoegaarden. There goes my night, half drunk and half tired.

B-52..looks like Flaming Lambo..

Amos, Jordan and Ryan were the performing shufflers from KL. Those superstars were surrounded by Mirians. They were also joined by a few Mirian Shufflers.

I, on the other hand, was busy taking pictures. I don’t know how to shuffle 😀

They had a mini shuffling competition between Mirians, the winners were chosen by the clap-o-meter (or cheer-o-meter). The first round was won by a guy, beating 2 others which include a girl who shuffled with high heels. The second round was won by Joanna, beating few good shufflers. She said, “Bloody hell, I won cause it’s my birthday!!”. They both won a bottle of Dewars each.

Silky Blonde Hair..where to find??

Puhyah, me, Rin, Kyran and Darren

We were given this shirt to wear. I forgot to wear it..

Hence & Darren. Damn..Hence is damn bloody fair

Finally, Miri girls!

We left Balcony about 3am. Rin, Darren, Kynan, Hence, Amos and I headed to Open Air Market for fried noodles. THE FRIED NOODLES TASTED LIKE DUCK!!!
to be continued…