Friday, March 30, 2007

Sub Station.Things that I have learned

Construction planning.
The planning of construction methods may properly be defined as "understanding what has to be built, then establishing the right method, the right machinery and the right labour force to carry out the works.
1.Location of project is an important factor. This substation is situated in the village and has a
Mediterranean climate. This means that you cannot carry out external work during winter.
2. Source of material , since we are batching our own concrete
3. Types of machineries: Bulldozer, Shower Loader, Excavator, Mobile crane: 10T,20T,25T,35T Generator sets( for site usage) approximately 175KVA
4. Manpower : Most of the team in this project specialised in their particular field
C&S: Concretor, Mason, Bar Bender, Carpenter, Plasterer,Machineries Operators.
M&E: Electrician (specialise in control panel installation),
Riggers ( specialise in cable installation, transmission tower installation)
Welder: ( Train in Japan for Tig Welding)
Mechanical supervisor: (Overall in charge of installation of mechanical works)
Accommodation: All cabins were imported from Japan and were usable for dual climate

The arrival of all these manpower must be scheduled so as to ensure the project finishes on time and to avoid unnecessary cost of over staying too long in Iran.
Everyone was very competent in carrying out their own work. Hence the substation started to energize without any remedial work.
All the steel structures sat on the pad foundation and stayed and locked down by anchor bolts. Setting the anchor bolts must be very precisely done. After the foundation bars were fabricated and installed and check completed, I would then set the template on top of the foundation rebar and bolts were them put in placed at each corner . At the base of the bolts, anchor block were also used to hold them down. When everything was completed, extra rebar were driven into the soil and later welded to anchor block. This will hold all bolts suspended independently and will not move out of position during concreting. During concreting ,the concrete were poured and spread evenly so as to avoid pushed out of position.Will try to get a drawing for the anchor bolt setting if possible.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ivory projects

University Place

This was the first project I have constructed under Ivory Associates, the construction arm under Ivory Properties Group. On the first day I entered this site I met one of the local resident, an old man who was kind enough to tell and warned me of all the services beneath the dense bushes growth which line the side of the small path leading to the back of the project. Other than him was a aircon mechanic who has been repairing or installing the aircon system of our tower crane, excavator and even repaired the air system of our company car. He informed me of the mysterious happenings and things that people did at the pond at our site. First, DO NOT OPEN ANY CONTAINERS THAT WERE FOUND SEALED AND TO THROW THEM AWAY AS THEY ARE!. On this matter, I instructed the contractors, Soil mechanic and Great Piling, to follow strictly and surprisingly all the workers, Indonesian, Bangladeshi, Thai and including Malaysian followed the instructions very strictly. Other than this ,they also did throw away a few sealed XO which were found during the construction of the caissons. Our Mechanic, Mr Lee Sing Huat, did tell me a story that I might find some XO even before the job start, THIS CONFIRMED THE STORY THAT HE TOLD ME. Well, ask him if you want the whole true story.
Behind leaving the village story, I would like to sincerely thank the old man for his help.

As per planning, the following staffs helped me to construct the whole project.SPM: Mr Tan Kok Hwa, QS: Tan Mei Ling, Lim Woei Ping,Oon, Technical team: Toh , Senior Supervisor(C&S): Yeoh,Misai Yeoh, Teong,Heng, Junior Supervisor(C&S) Bok ,Joe, M&E: Manager Jayson, Senior Supervisor(M&E) Too, Leong Admin: Yen,Gaik, Mei, Surveyor: Khor,Kris Operators : Seng ,Hong, and all staff yet to be mention later.
Upon arrival of the staffs and before proceeding with the project, I realised the complexity of this project and I approached our C&S consultant, Mr Tang ,for his help to give us a briefing of the methodology of constructing caissons. He agreed and the briefing was held at the site a week or so later. On that day , I was very surprised that most of his staffs also turned up for the briefing. Mr. Tang, a big thank you for building up of a good Consultant and Contractor staff relationship. During the construction of the caisson, a lot of weird happening always happen on
public holiday where all of us felt very uncomfortable most of these day.
On one of the incident, that was a particular day when I was about to go back after inspecting the site, I felt a very emotionally uneasy. As I slowing drove my car out of site onto the main road, I received a call from my Senior Supervisor, Heng, telling me that a worker have fallen into the caisson hole when climbing up for his lunch break.I straight away drove into the site at the entrance leading into caissons area. Upon arrival, they have started to lift up the worker up with a crane and loaded him onto the back of my Storm. I drove him straight to Lam Hwa Ee hospital . The doctor said that he has sprain his back and two days later he was discharged and sent or further treatment by their own Indonesian herbal doctor.

More incidents happened and finally our boss called a Chief Monk to pray for the safety of the whole site. All of us prayed when he was on site and the final solution as proposed was to invite all those unrest soul to go the temple for food. After that particular day, Mr KH Tan gave an instruction that we have to pray every END OF THE LUNAR MONTH. Things start to get better from that day onwards.
Once a while, we still met straight happenings and one of these was when we did an additional prayer for the soul and a straight thing happened that day. As Jayson and I was praying at the site, one of my staff, Misai Yeoh walk toward us and all of a sudden he start to shout and said these. Where are there no "GIN CHUA"? His eyes turned red and misai tweaked upwards.
I quickly turned my body and shouted to Khor who was so happened walking at the other site and said, Khor, go and buy Gin Chua. he immediate said yes and shoot off and came back with them. Misai Yeoh did not pray on and left us. When we have completed the whole ceremony, I checked with Jayson on the incident and he also mentioned that a strange thing happen and why was Yeoh so rude as if something has enter his body. I told him that his eyes turned red and he was not his normal self. Well, our conclusion was whether we Believe it or Not, we have to be extreme careful for there are many things out there in spite of the Chief Monk prayer. Misai Yeoh, also mentioned that they, the unrest soul, are sometime chasing him and he could not go out there for a while. This incident was not narrate to the site staff for I do not want them to worry. Anyone of you can verify the incident with ex staff,Misai Yeoh.
From that day onwards, the project went on smoothly ,completed and handed over to the resident without further phenomena.

usual "Tai Kor" problem is always there but to resolve it you need to be honest and sincere with your dealing with them. The "Chan Hoo's" principle must be observed strictly. Certain time, when you are discussing with them, they gave respect
to you due to your sincere and renowed personality. The Best advice is to lay low and be humble, "Thiam Kow Ka SI Lang."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Sub Station

The Neka Power Station

Snow over the HasanKif Substation

Still wearing thick clothing in the office

Erection of transmission steel structure
Civil and Structure works
In this substation the work consisted of footings which support the steel structure above. Since the incident of the cabin footing, the piles were covered up and an electrical heater was placed inside to maintain a warm atmospheric temperature which will help the concrete to set before getting frosted.
Other than these, there was Main control building where computers , control panels and all related sub station instrumentation were installed. All construction material were imported from Japan under Mitsuibishi Electrical Cooporation
We constructed our own Batching Plant and have also 3 concrete mixers. Concrete mix design were also put on trial run at site until the design was achieved.

Mechanical and Electrical works
Normally under Jurong Engineering , our C & S team will retreat from the project site and leaving one staff to assist in the maintainence of the building but for this project we have to stayed back due to the problems of application of the work permit for new staffs in spite of these projects belonging to the Iran government.Well I have to stay and have to report to the M&E department. I was put in charge of the Steel Structure Installation work, those that you can see in all Substation. Other these, installation of the Generator Set and Aluminium Bas Pipe

Things that I have observed are the energizing of the whole substation, trip start of the gen set and also all electrical termination and panelling work.

63Kv step down area

With the Iranian Erection Team

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hasan Kif Project

Hasan Kif Sub Station
Site Facilities
This Substation was constructed on a farm land . We removed the topsoil off with a motor grader until it reached a good subgrade which was approved by the MELCO's engineer. After that we started to plough the soil and heaved them up in row. After completing it, we imported stone,gravel and added them to the individual row of soil. The motor grader would then mixed them with it blade like spatula until they were evenly mixed. Next, it would spread and leveled these soil mixture and was further compacted with a 25ton vibrator compactor until it reaches sufficient density. The whole procedure was to strengthen the bearing capacity of the soil.
When soil treatment of the whole substation was completed, another Engineer ,Leong from JEL with me started to set out the surveying the control grid outside the substation. I learned surveying when I was working at the Jalan Ipoh Overpass in KL. When all the traverse points were closed, we started to set out the grid of the whole substation. The engineer left after completing the surveying work for the substation.
During this period, we started to construction the foundation for the 40 ft cabin which will be arriving within a month. All concrete for these footings were mixed at site. A month later, all the cabin started to arrived from Neka Site. When the first cabin arrived on site, something happened to the footing of the cabin. They all cracked up and upon examining them later,I found out that concrete frosted during curing time. I was scolded by the Mechanical Project Manager, Mr Khor Kim Lee for this matter. Mr Khor was sent intentionally from Singapore to help us on the mobilisation of all these cabins. He would start transporting the cabin at 7.00am in Neka and by 2.00pm he would arrive at my site. He will operated the mobile crane personally and put the cabin on base. Once completed he would followed the trailer back to Neka which he would normally reached by 11.00pm of the same day. He would then start the whole process again the following morning. He was given a nick name,"Superman of JEL" He was a very kind man and and would treat all staff with respect, I would always remember that he bought a wild swan and let the whole camp eat after being cooked but unfortunately the meat was very fibrous.
In the mobile office

When all the cabins have arrived, a group of mason also came along and we started to built all the site facilities one at the time by following a drawing which was given to me. Canteen, Bathroom,Staff recreation room and the most important were 2 wells which we pumped water out for our drinking water . The water was then filtered before consumption

I remembered that I personally took sample of this water back to the Singapore for the lab to verify that it was safe for drinking and also concreting during my 1st R & R.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Iranian Family

The Iranian Family

Throughout my stay in Iran, I was very indebted to this Iranian family. After the conversation with her, I asked her whether I could learn the Iranian language, FARSI, through her and she turned around asking her father for permission, which the father agreed but the only way, was to visit their family in town, which I later learned was very effective.
Two days later, I visited the Iranian family and there I started to learn their language and also the Iranian culture, The fast speed that I learned Farsi was due to the mother who was always speaking to me and her brother, Kolam translating to me on words that she said and making sure my pronunciation was correct.
Within a month, I managed to speak simple words like borhall borhall ( means to eat) sopberkel ( means morning), biar (come) etc. this helped me to start my conversation with my Iranian workers. Even my Project manager was very surprised the speed that I learned Farsi. I did not tell him that the Iranian family taught me but later.
Other than teaching, this family also look at my welfare when I was there. One day when I half way through the project, the Eldest brother came to the camp and informed me there was a rumor that the workers were be going on strike! and that night I dropped by his house and they recommended some methods for me to overcome their demand.Nothing serious, through his help I was able to overcome the problem.
Well, time passed very fast and after completing this project, I left Iran. During working there, I would return home every 6 months for my R&R ( Rest and Recreation: term use when on leave if you are working in a foreign company) Before leaving Iran, I gave them my Sony ICF radio,my travelling bag and etc. They have written to me a letter but I could not reply for there was no address behind. I am very very sorry to have lost all addresses during my trip back. I would like to say that without this Iranian Family ,I could not have made it through in Iran. I will miss the Iranian food that the mother cooks..

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My! My! 3 years in the country straight after a civil war,Iran (Jan 1980 to Feb 1983)

On the flight to Iran, I could not sleep as usual getting excited again. Lucky for me, I love the movie that was screening and not to mention the good food that was served after each take off. Before boarding the aircraft each of us was given a Destination Pass indicating the final destination of our journey and mine was Teheran, capital of Iran.
When the plane landed in Teheran, I noticed that no foreigner stood up to leave the plane except Iranians and me. The American passenger who was sitting beside me could not believe her eye that my Destination Pass indicated Teheran. She gave me a grinned and said those words, Good Luck. When I was moving towards the aircraft door, she pulled me back and asked me where was my winter coat and I told her that they were in the luggage . She straight away pulled me to the side window of the plane and showed me that snow was falling like flake outside. I turned to her and said wow, it is snowing.
I murmured to myself, “See Liao”(hokkien word meaning Death). Why did my administration staff in Singapore not tell me that it was winter over here in Teheran. Without any hesitation, she pulled a few woolen blankets from the seats and wrapped one at my next and another at my navel area.
Before leaving the aircraft the air flight attendant rearranged nicely all the woolen blankets for me and whispered these words, it is very cold out there, 0 degrees.
After getting out from the plane, I have to line up like the rest of the Iranians outside the terminal building. All the Iranians started to ask me to go forward to the terminal entrance and one of them tell the Revolution Guard to let me in for I do not have my winter coat.
Once inside, I was immediately question by the Revolution guard. The question was whether I like the American and my answer was , "what?".
At this very moment, I saw a Chinese standing beside me and was talking to the guard. He was holding a very special pass and straight away I was released and my passport stamped and before further questions I followed him out from the airport straight to the car where a driver was waiting.

Once in the car, he introduced himself as Mr.Ngai Sek Kee,the personal officer. He told me that I was lucky that I did not give the guard any answer. The whole country was just in a chao condition after winning the civil war again their King, Shah of Iran.

Oop, the voice of my former Project Manager, Mr Lee came flashing through my mind, do not go to the country having civil war, Iran
I finalized reached the office and met my project manager, Mr. Lau King siu.

Hasan Kif Substation in Mazandaran

He gave me a winter jack left over by those Kuwait’s staff and asked whether I have to buy any extra winter clothing for he will be asking the driver to take me to the Hasan Kif Substation site tomorrow.
The journey to the site was approximately 6 hours.
Upon arriving at company quarter, I was introduced to the housekeeper, Agar Safar ( Agar means Mister in Farsi, Persian Language.).
The following morning he gave me some petty cash to purchase any food that I wish to eat or cook by myself and he left to another site called Neka Power Station approximately 6 hours from my site.

This rented house that I stayed was directly opposite the Substation and it took me about 5 minutes to walk there everyday. For the first few days, I started to rehabilitate myself to the new environment. There was no phone in the house and everyday I have to make a trip to the Hasan Kif town to make a call. The daily call back to my Personal Officer in Teheran was toreport and to ensure that I was okay over here. Well, this country was straight after revolution and Law and Order was very unstable as yet.

Slowing my curiosity of this country started to turn into homesick. Just imagine, my housekeeper can not talk in English and I have to cook for myself. I started to carry out my daily marketing and also cooking for myself. Safar who was always beside me beside carrying out his daily housekeeping work, he also started to learn how to cook my Malaysian dishes after many trial and error.

Lucky for me, back in Penang ,when my mother was cooking in the kitchen , I managed to pick up some good menu from her. Anyway I did cooked once for the whole house when she was sick in Penang. Safar tried to pick up the way I cooked and one day he misunderstood my instruction and boiled a whole chicken for the whole day from 8.30am to 5.30pm. By the time I returned from site, he showed me with pride how well he has cooked! My God, on that night, I managed to drink a tasty essense of chicken but could not eating the chicken for meat was very tough due to over cooked.

Learning the Persian language, Farsi

One day when I was in the house, I heard the sound of a girl calling my housekeeper and upon opening the door, I found a girl standing in the lawn with an elderly man. Safar talked to them and turned to me and informed me who they are but at that time I could only can understand very little of what he has spoken for my Farsi was really bad. Then all of a sudden, the girl who was beside him started to speak to me in English explaining who she was and introduced me to her dad who was beside her. I told her how happy I was to see somebody who can speak in English. I asked her whether she could teach me Farsi and she told me that her dad has given the permission for me to visit her family after my work so as to learn it .She further explained that they are the owner of the house that my company have rented it from them.

I dropped by her house after my work and started to pick up Farsi. the best teacher was her mum and her brother, Kolam. Well, her mum would only speak Farsi to me and like a child , I started to speak and pronounce each word and I not to forget ,her youngest daughter, Mariam, who would talked straight Farsi and played with me when I was there.

I have traveled to other countries after Iran, and I would advised that the best way to learn a foreign language was to learn with the local family. Furthermore , you will understand their culture.

I now know why there are always International Student Exchange program between many countries.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Here I come Middle East.(Jan 1980)

Life in Singapore

“Chiam” (Hokkien Dialect meaning Fortune Stick)

In the earlier blog, I mentioned about “Chiam” meaning “ Fortune Stick . You can always find them in most Taoist temples. As a practice, the devotees or visitors to the temple will have to pray first to all the Chinese “god” and then later go and kneel in front of the Main God and use the Fortunes Stick to enquire anything they want.
By shaking the Fortune stick in its circular container, one will eventually come out. To confirm whether it is the right one, one must throw a pair of kidney shape wood called “Poi” into the air and if it appear to face opposite of it other than the “Chiam” you have picked is correct. With the “Chiam” you have to go the counter and pass it to the caretaker who will then pass to you a paper slip. Printed on this slip will be a story telling you what you have wished or want to ask for. Miracle, most the time question ask i is correct.

Tough and Hectic working life
I have to work quite late each day and by the time I reached home, it would be 12.00midnight. The project was behind schedule and with the help and proper guidance of my Senior Mechanical Engineer, Mr. Sundram, I manage to finish my work on time. He guided me very well in spite of not being a civil engineer.
The only time that I left early was on my payday. On that day, I would go to Orchard road and sat along the Boulevard opposite Lido cinema eating my favorite Mcdonald, Fillet O Fish. and returned home by 10.00pm. A good place to rest and for stress relieves.

One day back at the apartment, I met my college husband, a Senior Mechanical Supervisor, Mr. Chai Kum Fook, who came back from Middle East. He is a man with a macho built and is very friendly. He was talking to me one night about work in oversea and he would help me to ask whether any of the civil Project Managers need me to work in Middle East. I thanked him and just prayed for the best.

Finally, I completed the project and my Project Manager called me back to the Main office at Tanjong Kling road. Upon arrival, I went over to meet him and he told me that the Personal Manager would like to see me. I went and see the Personal Manager and introduced myself to him. He was very surprised and asked how old I was. My reply was 23+. He immediately took up the phone and dialed to someone and was discussing over with him in Mandarin After the call, he took out an air ticket and told me that I will have to go to Iran as per schedule on my ticket. His secretary will brief me more later and at the meantime I will have to go back to see my Project Manager. Taking the ticket with me, I went back to my department. My project manager told the personal manager was very shock that I am so young and asked him whether I was capable to go to Iran and he told him that two engineers who were working before me in the Chemical Plant could not finish the project but I did it. That news was a shock to me.

With the air ticket, I went back to the apartment and told my college wife that the company was sending me to Iran. I have requested and diverted my fly to Penang first so that I could be with my dad and mum for a few days. .Back in Penang, I was rescheduled to fly to Bangkok and for I have to apply for my visa personally at the Iran Embassy at Wireless Road, Bangkok. All documents for my application will be send to a hotel patronizes by my company.

On 10th January 1980, my parent sent me to the airport and after waving goodbye to them, I fell very sad and went straight into the departure hall.
From the departure hall, I could see them slowly walking out of sight. Teardrop started to drip down from my eye. I was very worry for them. I turned my head and when I was about to take a few steps forward, I heard a voice talking to me. The words were very clear and warm. Young man, why do you feel so sad? Those two are your parent right?. DO NOT BE SAD FOR THEY WILL KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. GO FORWARD WITH YOUR CAREER. I turned around and said THANK YOU. She smiled and then walked away to her departure gate.

After getting my visa at the Iran Embassy on 12th.January, 1980, I flew from Bangkok, Thailand by Air France into Tehran, capital of Iran.
(edited on 14 May 2007: additional pic)

Things that I have learned in these projects

Jalan Ipoh Overpass (Jan 1978 to May 1979)
Outer Ring Road
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

As Trainee/Supervisor

1. River diversion.
2. Casting of Girder Beam for bridge. Installation work.
3. Damage of girder due to segregation during concrete casting.

4. Pile cap casting beside the river.
5. Road work as per JKR standard.
6. City traffic disposal.
7. Surveying work.
8. Traffic light cable routing.

Beecham Pharmaceutical Plant ( May 1979 t
o Jan 1980)
A Chemical Plant (Heavy Industry)

Quality Road. Singapore
As Site Engineer
(Updated 21/12/07 with pic)

1. Full coordination between Mechanical,Electrical and Building works.
2. Composite structure. Concrete floor and steel column and beam.
3. Chemical tiling from United Kingdom using epoxy grout/paste.
4. Condition of Oil and Gas Plant Safety. Atmospheric Gas Test every
half an hour etc.
5. Rigging of Plant Equipment.
6. Singapore trained Riggers, Fitters and Welders
Publish Post
7. Hot and cold work permit
8. Installation of Gas Pipe by Mechanical team and its test after installation
9. Other topics related to Heavy Industry Project.

From the above projects, I started to buy engineering books and spend allocated time for research in my company library on topic related to the project I have done. This was to ensure that I have full understanding of these projects that I have completed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Singapore, The Land Of Many Opportunities (May 1979)

Leaving for Singapore was very sad for me. Why! The main reason was that I do not know what kind of job I will be handling or going into in this land called :"KIASU" and "KIASI"

When I was in the train ,Rakyat Express, leaving from KL at 2.00pm a
nd arriving Singapore at 10.00pm, I
kept thinking of the “Chiam” that I have picked when up at the Kek Lok Si Temple before I left Penang for KL to study. A classmate of mine from SXI took me up to Kek Lok Si, the first time, for a tour and upon reaching the Main Buddha Hall at the very top, he persuaded me to pray to Lord Buddha and then pick a “Chiam” With the “Chiam”, I went over to the counter and a nun asked me what do I want to know from Lord Buddha. I mentioned that I would like to know of my career and she started to tell me that this “Cheam’s very good and it stated that where ever I go, I will meet good and helpful people and that I do not have to worry of my meals. I sincerely thanked her very much went over to Lord Buddha and knelt down and bowed 3 times thanking him for the guardian to me of my life and left. I did not tell my father and mother about this.

At that moment when I was thinking over this matter, I felt a hand patting over my shoulder and a man with a smile said to me, Singapore Immigration Check Point”.
I told myself that I do not have to worry at all and let faith lead the way. After passing the immigration, I called a very close family friend, Mr. Yeoh Weng Hoo, who was working in Singapore under Brown & Roots, an oil and gas company who specialized in offshore oil exploration. He picked me up and we left for his sister house at North Bridge Road where I lodged for two nights u
ntil my new company put me up at the company quarter.
I could not sleep well that night and the following day I reported at Jurong Engineering (Singapore) Ptd. Ltd known as JEL in short throughout Singapore. The company arranged for me to stay at Chin Bee Garden, Holland Road Village on the 3rd day in Singapore. The following day, I was quite worry and could not sleep at night and having no alternative I consulted a doctor beside my apartment. The diagnosis , I was having high anxiety and no cost for alarm for it always happen to people who travel on the first few nights. Well he prescripted a very mild sleeping pill for me and I slept like a log that night.

Jurong Engineering (Singapore) Ptd Ltd. (May 1979 to April 1984)
The first company that I worked in Singapore.

Photo taken on 28/10/07

The first project that I worked in Singapore was called Beecham Pharmaceutical Plant. The extension area was called Amoxicillin Plant. The Mechanical Project Manager (One of the 11 Project Managers of JEL) took me to the site and introduced me to the client, a Professor in Chemical Engineering and the Clerk of Work. Both of them were from United Kingdom. On that day onwards I started to worry very much of my English language, being from a family of five and me having the worst English in the whole house. Note: All were teachers and only my eldest brother and I were having a different career.
The only way out was to do my work well and read the plan well so when I talked to them it was strictly on the work and less broken english.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The First job that lead me to Singapore (Jan 1978)

In 1973, I went to a private college in Kuala Lumpur and studied Diploma in Civil engineering for 3 years. During the course, I underwent my practical training with a company called Jurutama in KL for a roadwork project at Jalan Ipoh Intersection. Immediately after Ihave completed my course, I was offered a job by this company . The day before I joined this company, my late uncle, Ir Wang Sheng Chung ( one of the Senior Engineer under DID,Drainage and Irrigation Department gave me a briefing on what I would be facing in the construction industry. His final advice to me was to avoid "Hanky Panky", in construction" and stay firmly with my principle. Thanks Uncle, Your Advice Really Helps me in my life.Some of his engineering books were still with me. The most happiest moment of my life ,after leaving college, was when I passed part one of the Society Of Engineer (UK) which I sat in MU( University Malaya).

My First Job
In this first job, I met
a lot of friends who were almost the same age with me and their hardworking attitude gave us a tremendous boost. This project that I worked was called the Jalan Ipoh Overpass ( attached picture)under Mitsui Jurutama Joint Venture. Under this company, I went to the first marine island called Pulau Perhentian as our awarded trip. After completing this project, my kind hearted project engineer, Mr Lee See Bin, approached me with a question, " He said, "Staying back here for you is not good, do you want to travel oversea?" Without a single doubt, I asked him where to and he told me, Singapore. I said, " OKAY"

I immediately took my leave and went back to Penang to make my International passport. About a month later, I followed him down to Singapore by train and we went straight to a company called, "Jurong Engineering (S) Pte ltd, (JEL) where I worked under for the next 5 years.

Upon receiving my Letter of Offer, I submitted my resignation letter to my Project Manager, Mr Lee Wan Hoi. I was so worry that he would flare up immediately upon receiving the letter but surprisingly he asked where I was going to and I mentioned Singapore. He persuaded me to travel Oversea from Singapore in near future but not go to IRAN for the country was in Civil War and then I agreed. He told that me that I will loose all the project bonus which I told him, no problem at all and he was very kind hearted to let me take an unrecorded leave of extra 10days (5 days to go back to visit my parent in Penang and the balance 5 days to rehabilitate myself in Singapore.

With God bless, I was very, very happy to meet him again at the carpark of Penang Hotel Equatorial, 6 years back (2001). We were very happy to see each other then and he kept on asking me where I have gone all these years. He told me that majority of team that were working in this Jalan Ipoh Overpass have made it to the top of their career and he was very proud for all of us. At that moment, I held back my tears and thinking deeply to myself that it was him who initiated us to be hardworking under his proper guidance.

He was one of my Project Managers in the construction industry that do not utter or scold a single rude word but gave wisely advice to all of us when thing went wrong. In that job, they called him , Ta Ker, (Mandarin meaning, Eldest Brother), the Professional Engineer.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Hidden and Lost Relative (16th March 2007)

On Friday, 16/3/07, I was having a meeting in Birch House when I received a call from my wife informing me that my relative had arrived from Singapore and would be attending a wedding dinner on the 17/3/07. I have not seen them since April 1984 after leaving Singapore where I worked under Jurong Engineering (S) Pte Ltd. She called to ask for directions to a certain house with address, Block 4-5th Floor -house no 4. Well, I was in shock and quietly left the room since the meeting was adjourned. I called her back to reconfirm the address that she was inquiring.
My God! It matched the address of my Senior staff, Siau Yong Chong, who would be getting married on the same day.I told her that I also knew the bridegroom and would be attending the same wedding on 17/3/07. She immediately confirmed that Siau's father is a distant relative ( from her mother's side)and that she had not seen him for years .I told her that Siau never mentioned to me that his father is a Hockchew and is from Sitiawan,Perak.

I gave Siau a call and asked him where my Singapore aunt was and he got a shock too for he mentioned that the aunt is his father's sister-in law. Both of us started to laugh over the phone.Well, I told Siau that our colleague,Yeoh would be passing the SD card for his wedding usage that night.

This is really a small world. On the 15th lunar moon of Chinese New Year, I talked t0 his father at his house warming gathering at 8.00pm,and helped outwith the barbeque.Incidentally, I forgot to take a photo of that gathering.
During the wedding dinner, again to my surprise, all my aunties from Sitiawan were there. They were also surprised that we were there and again my wife had to explain to them the whole story.
Note: Siau quietly asked me how he should address me in future. I immediately I assured him Mr. Kang will do

For info: Mr Siau Yong Chong and Mr Lee Kok Heng were both my Senior staff working with me under The Penang Star Northern Hup Project in Bayan Lepas. This Heavy Industry Project was commented well done by Publish Post the client, The Star Project(found out after I left and spoken to one of the head) other then the delay which was not within our control, was well done as compared to the vast error done at a similar one at Shah Alam. I visited the Shah Alam Star Project as requested by the Client on Sunday to determine the fault made by the existing contractor.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Trip to Koh Lipe (22th Oct 2008)with photo

Look atthe water

On the 19th Feb 2007, 2nd day of Chinese New Year, we left our house in Tanjong Bungah at 5.00am and arrived at the Thai Malaysian border town, Kayu Hitam, at around 7.00am (Mal time). We went to the carpark that we normally park our car and paid a total of Rm15 (RM 5/day) for 3 days.We locked the car and then walked into the Malaysian Immigration Check point. We got through the checkpoint surprisingly speedily ,secured with the new passport. After that we walked straight across ( 7 minutes walk) into the Thai Immigration post at Changlun. Here we spent almost 45minutes going through the new system set up by the Thai Immigration system where every visitor will have his or her face taken with a webcam and as normal procedure everyone has to pay Rm 1 for processing fees.

Finally we were in Thailand,(adjusted our watches 1 hour earlier) ,Thai local time 7.00am, and took a Taxi (Baht 500) to Hatyai ( 1 hour to reach Hatyai). Normally we would take a local van in front of "7 Eleven" and paid Baht 50 per person for the trip to Hatyai but not for this trip due to shortage of time. No
te: the van will only move when it is full

Told the Taxi driver to drop us at the Van Station in front of the Hatyai Railway Station. Most of the Van leaving to the outski
rt town of Hatyai are parked here. Upon arrival we asked the van station master of the van to Pakbara Port and paid Baht 120/person(Total Baht 480) for the trip. We also paid for the Speed boat ticket Baht 1200 round trip ( Baht 650/trip) to Koh Lipe.We were informed that the Boat will leave from the Pakbara Port to the island twice a day ,10.30am and 1.30pm ,which we decided to take later one. The trip to the port will take approximately 2 hours that mean we have to leave Hatyai by 10.30am.The Time was 8.30am by then.
Reason to take the later trip is for us to take our Breakfast (cheaper) over here in Hatyai and also ease ourselves and even purchased some grocery( water,soap ,cards etc). Grocery at the island and port are normally exp

Left, 10.30am sharp and arrived at the port at 12.30pm. Took our Lunch over here and the fried rice or noodle cost Baht 50/plate compare to Baht 35 at Hatyai.
The Speed Boat left the port at 1.45pm and arrived at Koh Lipe 2.45pm. We were lucky for the captain of the speed boat drop by a small island for us to enjoyed the crystal clear water.

At one of the island....................................the smaller boat that took us to the island

Upon arrived at Koh Lipe, we could not land on the island immediately but have to transfer ourselves to a smaller boat, Long Tail boat, that cost us Baht 50/person again, due to the low tide. We have to take this long tail boat to board the speed boat even when we were departing the island on our last day.

We stayed in the resort called Lipe Resort and the room per night(peak season) was Baht 900 +250 an extra bed. We took our dinner (4 person) at a restaurant at the sea front and the cost that night was Baht 650 comprising of 1 barbecued fish,1 fried rice, 1 fried
noodle, 1 plate of barbecued cuttlefish and mixed fried vegetable including coke drink.
On the next day, we took a package trip to the 4 islands, Baht 400 per person, The trip started at 9.00am and finished by 3.00pm.
Dinner was at the same restaurant and the dinner was more costly by Baht 200 for we have balanced budget before we left the next morning.
Left Koh Lipe at 9.30 and arrived Hatyai by 12.00noon. Did some shopping in Hatyai
and left at 4.00pm and by 10.00pm.we finally reached home. Home sweet home.
Well, this trip was the first trip we took during Chinese New Year. Both my sons commented that Ang Pow collections were less for this year due to the trip!

Time and Cost to travel to Koh Lipe via Penang/Hatyai

From /To/ Time Travel (approximately) /Cost /Remarks
Penang to Kayu Hitam /1hr 30min /Rm 23 -24 /By Van from any tour company in Penang
Kayu Hitam to Hatyai/ 45 min to 1hr /Baht 50 /Changlun.By van in front of 7 Eleven
Main market to Van station/ 10min Baht 10 /By Tuk Tuk
Hatyai to Parbara Port /2 hours/ Baht 120 per trip
Parbara to Koh Lipe /1hr 45min /Baht 650 per trip or Baht 1200 round trip /By speed boat twice a day at 10.30am or 1.30pm
Koh Lipe(sea)to Koh Lipe (shore) /10 to 15 min /Baht 50 /By Long Tail boat
Koh Lipe to Marine Islands /6hrs /Bahts 400/ Dep 9.00am & Ret by 3.00pm.Lunch provided

Trying to get above data in chart form but unsuccessful.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My First day as a Blogger (March 2007)

Today is my birthday and just imagine I am learning to blog at this age, 51 year old. Well to start off, I was introduced by my technical staff, Mr . Mah Cheng Inn, to start this page in front of him.

Again, O Bei Liao (Penang Hockien Dialect meaning Keep On Learning ).

First to wish me is my close colleague,Mr. Lee Kok Heng at 7.00am ,next my wife at 7.15 , my son at 8.00am and finally my friend in the office. Oops! again a surprised birthday cake presented by the Technical Team initiated by Salmah. Anyway , I thanked them heartily .There are many things that I would like to talk about concerning my life and perhaps I have to start it in the next Blog that is after getting used to all the functions of this Blogger.
See the attached photo of myself at 51 on a boat with my whole family on the 3rd day of Chinese New Year (Fire Pig Year) touring the archipelago islands comprising of the Koh Adang, Koh Lipe,Koh Rawi, Koh Kra, Koh Jabang and Koh Yang ( Koh means island in Thai ) approximately 40km from Tarutao Island .Boats will depart from the Port called Pakbara twice a day at ,10.30am and 1.30 pm From the port to the island it will take approximately 1hour 45 minutes by speed boat to reach Koh Lipe at a cost of 650bahts per trip or 1200 bahts round trip.