In celebration of not one, but two parties, Alvin Poh celebrated his 35th birthday in fashion and style where friends and associates were all in white. The first mysterious party was held at open sea where guests were ferried by boats to The Floating Island and treated with an amazing spread of fresh seafood. Party number two was on land in Penang’s latest fine dining restaurant – CaTCH by DAM. This birthday boy and CEO of InSync Group does not only know how to manage his clients’ private wealth, he is as good when it comes to partying.
While some housewives would probably stich up the left over pieces of cloth and make them into patch blankets, Viktor&Rolf selected some of the most luxurious fabric samples left in their archives all these years and patched them into beautiful couture pieces for the Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2020 encompassing an air of soft poetry and innocent romance. These creations were loosely inspired by their childhood memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and Denise Holly Hobbie-Ulinskas’ eponymous ‘70’s illustration character.
By reusing their high-end couture fabric samples in this way, Viktor&Rolf create a surreal paradox that underlines the beauty of imperfection. This collection highlights the creative principle of conscious design.
The collection shows a series of voluminous, free-flowing dresses and capes, embellished with tiers, ruffles, and crochet galloons. Ranging from floor-length to calf to ultra-mini, several outfits are complemented with wide-brimmed, spontaneously shaped surreal hats. Elaborate glamorous makeup is juxtaposed with faux tattoos, proclaiming messages of love and happiness.
When it comes to the brand name Rolls-Royce, it is definitely all about majestic and making one feels on top of the world. So when this king of wheels introduced its Rolls-Royce limited quantity Cullinan 1:8 scale model, it is an amazing work of art in it’s own right with extraordinary workmanship and unrivalled finishing. Each demanding up to 450 hours of precision of work is painstakingly hand crafted from over 1,000 individual components, painted and polished by using the same paint used on a Rolls-Royce Motor Car making it indistinguishable from its big brother. Furthermore this model is USB powered and encompasses full opening and closing features, doors, luggage and engine compartment as well as remote operated LED lighting. This small and mighty Rolls-Royce Cullinan comes in Tungsten or Artic White.
Master of feng shui and metaphysics
by Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik
“Correctly and practised honourably, feng shui can change the course of one’s life, avert disasters and pitfalls. When the yin and yang is in perfect harmony, then one can have the best of everything.”
Sporting his signature pencil beard, beret and scarf, David Xuan looks like a worldly French artist, but most people know behind that renaissance look is a highly intelligent, sensitive and intuitive artist, a master craftsman of Chinese geomancy or feng shui – the art of energy flow, orientation of designs and environment. A mind so attuned to the universe, he probably might have a special preview into the next dimension. Light-hearted and bubbly in personality he is intensely serious, analytical and astute when it comes to the realm of feng shui and metaphysics.
On the right side of 50, the world-renowned Xuan is based in Penang and has achieved recognition within corporate organisations and private clients. His disciples and students are in far-reaching countries like Russia, America, Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Besides being an advisor to numerous companies, he has been invited to do consultative and investigative works in the geographical study of feng shui and to give talks in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.
Interestingly Xuan started as a businessman but soon grew weary of the material world. Devoting his life to spirituality, he joined the monastery as a monk. Amidst deep meditation, oil-lighting and flower-bathing duties, Xuan heard a guiding voice. A few days later one feng shui master walked into his monastery. Xuan implored him to share his knowledge. Hence his professional journey into the science of feng shui and traditional Chinese metaphysics began in 1991.
The protégé dived into the study of the I-Ching Divination, Eight Trigrams, Eight Mansions, I-Symbol feng shui, San Yuan San He, Water Dragon, Xuan Kong Da Qua, Four Pillars of Destiny (Bazi), Zi Wei Dou Shu, Flying Stars, Eight Gates (Qi Men Dun Jia), Plum Blossom Oracle, Yin and Yang Yang feng shui, Meteor and Mountain Methods.
Constantly improving himself, Xuan incorporates modern technical devices in feng shui with science and logic. “Feng shui is not a religion but closely related to science and geography. It is a study on spatial arrangement, natural elements and energy flow. I’m always studying, researching and consulting with science professors and lecturers in universities about the diversion of chi flow on surfaces. Most of them fully agree with me. My techniques are compliant with science.”
Xuan’s mission is to share the authentic and organic knowledge of feng shui and Chinese metaphysics to create meaningful spaces within environments, improve professional and personal relationships, provide better health, lifestyle and happiness besides increasing wealth and success for other people.
Some say David Xuan is arrogant. His famous quote “If I cannot achieve a certain feng shui task, then most of my peers would not be able to accomplish it either” did not go down without criticism and smirks. “I’m not arrogant. For the last 20 years, most of my waking moments have been spent on compiling, studying and researching feng shui principles extensively. I scoured all the books in depth as well as laterally and I’ve gone through all the lineages of the art. My comprehensive system and approach can support a one-stop feng shui establishment. If I come across a stumbling block or problem, you can be sure that I’ll persevere to the ends of the universe to solve it. I never give up. If I can’t do it, then it simply cannot be done.”
Besides tenacity, being ethical is paramount to him. “My aim is to give all my clients effective and realistic audits. I do not hold anything back, not even with my students and disciples. I am open and I teach them everything, reveal every secret and weapon in my arsenal, in the hope that they will be better than me. I’d feel proud if they are.”
In this information and technology, Elon Musk-era, would feng shui ever be obsolete? Not according to Xuan. “Everyone and every living thing need feng shui. It is the basic building block of equilibrium and balance. The right feng shui can harness and propel you to unbridled success, boost your energy and life force. Everyone needs this supply, this awareness.”
Sadly, there is a dark side to feng shui. “Some people manipulate the principles of feng shui to do hocus pocus, to equate it with religion or to run scams. However, applied correctly and practised honourably, feng shui can change the course of one’s life, avert disasters and pitfalls. When the yin and yang is in perfect harmony, then one can have the best of everything.”
Success to Xuan has never been about materialism. “My ultimate goal is to see the world in peace, harmony and prosperity, to see a happy, healthy and better world.”
Dato’ CJ Eng
Chief executive officer of Asia Gemological Laboratory
by Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik
“Focus single-mindedly on what you do best and your passion, then you can make a difference and stand out from the crowd.”
A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials. Polished and rather close to perfection, Dato’ CJ Eng is the inspiration behind the Asia Gemological Laboratory (AGL).
After graduating in accounting and finance from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Dato’ Eng spent the early years of his career in public accounting firms, developing accounting and financial expertise. Corporate management and business development came naturally to him. “CEOs who started their careers in accounting and finance tend to be successful and excellent leaders. I constantly engage in strategic planning of business, running a team and having commercial ownership of various products.” He is a firm believer of the Hedgehog Concept from the book Good to Great. “Focus single-mindedly on what you do best and your passion, then you can make a difference and stand out from the crowd.”
His dream team comprises the diplomatic ace turned corporate honcho Dato’ Zainuddin Yahya, pioneering genius and gemstone specialist Ng Lian Im and the fearless and multitalented chemical engineer Dato’ Billy Lai. Together with Dato’ Eng, the four of them have charted AGL’s course to the pinnacle of success in just three short years. “When I first met them, I knew that we share a deep passion for the earth’s beauty as well as an understanding for authentication and expertise in minerals and gemstones.”
AGL’s international group of professionally qualified and dedicated gemologists aims to make AGL the number one preferred gemological laboratory in Malaysia, providing comprehensive services like authentication and certification of gemstones, manufacturing and retailing, workshops and courses, and educational mining field trips. “We have the most sophisticated technology and equipment for gemstone identification, design and manufacturing.”
Future plans include establishing laboratories in mining countries like Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sierra Leone. “We are excited about these opportunities and we want to make Malaysia proud by being the Malaysian gemological laboratory providing assistance in the gemstones industry to these countries.”
Gemstones and jewelleries have always been a part of human society and history. Urbanisation has increased its demand.
“Eighty percent of the gemstone market is dominated by diamonds. However, there is a promising growth in emeralds, rubies and sapphires. There will always be interest in precious gemstones. During a recent Sotheby online auction, the ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet by Cartier was sold for USD1.3 million as the most expensive jewel traded online.”
Gemstones are revered by many, for the appreciation in value or simply for its beauty or the pleasure it brings to the owner. “I still remember vividly the magical feeling when I first held an investment grade natural non-heat Royal Blue sapphire during my first mining trip in Sri Lanka. It was an incredible feeling of pure joy.”
For adrenalin, Dato’ Eng loves football, golf and high-altitude sports. He once hiked to Mt Everest Base Camp, with his own chefs and porters, and descended by helicopter.
Datuk Kenny Goh
Co-Founder and Group CEO of MACROKIOSK
by Karina Foo
The formula that enabled a hobby to become a successful business is simply one based on passion, hard work and inquisitiveness.
Such attributes belong to Datuk Kenny Goh who found that his fond love and interest in computers would one day pave a lucrative way together with his two brothers to start their business, MACROKIOSK, a digital communications company.
“Electronics have always been a part of our lives since we were young. Our father had always been very supportive of our interest in electronics, particularly in the area of computerisation. Computers were still a niche thing and were considered quite costly back then, but our father bought us one computer to share amongst ourselves and it just sparked and grew our interest in technology,” said Goh who co-founded the business in his early 20’s.
Goh and his brothers, Datuk Henry Goh and Datuk CS Goh, established MACROKIOSK in 2000 boasting an impressive range of products and services to efficiently and securely bridge the gap between businesses and their digital audiences.
Goh is the company’s group CEO and with his strategic vision, perseverance, determination and a sharp business acumen, he has been the driving force to build MACROKIOSK into a leading digital technology company across Asia and beyond.
Innovation at its core and more
The company is at the forefront of delivering innovative digital products and solutions to enable businesses and individuals to embrace the digital economy. It has a presence in 14 countries and regions, supported by more than 250 multinational employees, and powers over 3,000 clients in 37 countries across 24 industries.
These impressive accolades are the results of the humble when Goh and his brothers would play and experiment with computers as children.
“When our father’s business attained the master distributorship of a Japanese-brand mobile phone in Malaysia, we were further exposed to the world of communications and we realised the importance of communication and the prospects of it. Our entrepreneurial journey actually started out as a hobby but has now become our careers and mission in our lives,” recounts Goh.
They say that when you work together with close relatives, the business could either steer your relationship for the better or worse. For Goh and his brothers, they’ve forged a strong and admirable bond that is reflected in the evolution of their business throughout the last 20 years.
“MACROKIOSK is a collective effort between my brothers and I who bring different capabilities, strengths and knowledge to the business. Being the eldest brother, my initial contribution involved strategic-based approach in steering the company’s direction. For example, I was the only one who was eligible at the time to register a company at the age of 21,” recounts Goh who’s current hobby involves constructing Legos and solving mechanistic puzzles.
The business has evolved substantially over the years as it was initially set up to provide computerisation and internet technology services, then to paging and mobile technology. Today, it encompasses key digital technologies focusing on digital usages for all industries. It is evident that this business has evolved and innovated through ever-changing consumer and market demands.
Turning Crisis to Opportunity
With the Covid19 pandemic that has inadvertently affected many businesses globally, Goh has been able to mitigate the effects for his business by structuring a strategic Business Continuity Plan (BCP) even before the pandemic.
“We are very fortunate during these unprecedented times because we’re an ISO27001-certified company which has protected us from the effects of the crisis. Our ever-evolving business model combined with the dynamic mindset of the people within our organisation has enabled us to turn crisis into opportunity.
Now when it comes to opportunity, Goh advises that it is vital for budding entrepreneurs to identify their unique opportunities and market gaps.
“Starting a business out of necessity alone (because everyone else is doing it), will not make you survive; you will only survive and thrive when you’ve discovered your opportunity and how to take advantage of it.”
Despite the dire repercussions for many from the worldly events in 2020, Goh remains optimistic and even opportunistic for his business and outlook in life.
“Everything has a cycle and we need to strike a balance in everything we do. I believe we should not sacrifice our health for wealth at the beginning of our lives in order to sacrifice our wealth for health at the tail end of our lives.
As for the business, we’re proudly Malaysian and therefore have always championed ‘Ciptaan Malaysia’ (Malaysian creation) – which is a good testament to our faith in the prospects of doing and growing business in Malaysia.”
“A disruptive timeline of fashion history from 1870 to the present.”
As part of The Met’s 150th anniversary celebration, the Costume Institute’s spring 2020 exhibition will trace more than a century and a half of fashion—from 1870 to the present—along a disruptive timeline. Employing Henri Bergson’s concept of la durée (duration), it will explore how clothes generate temporal associations that conflate past, present, and future. Virginia Woolf will serve as the “ghost narrator” of the exhibition.
A timeline of 120 fashions will unfold in two adjacent galleries fabricated as enormous clock faces and organized around the principle of sixty minutes of fashion. Each “minute” will feature a pair of garments—the primary work representing the linear nature of fashion and the secondary work its cyclical character. Each pair will be connected through shape, motif, material, pattern, technique, or decoration.
The exhibition will conclude with a section on the future of fashion, linking the concept of duration to debates about longevity and sustainability. The exhibition is made possible by Louis Vuitton.
Disney x Gucci Grip
In honour of the upcoming Chinese zodiac year of the rat, Gucci has created two new Grip watches showing Mickey Mouse on the dial. The ©Disney character’s eyes are visible in the dark thanks to the use of Luminova. Both timepieces reflect the signature look of the Grip line, with a streamlined silhouette and two windows on the dial indicating the hour and minute.
Gucci Timepieces, one of the most reliable and consistent fashion watch brands, has been designing, developing and manufacturing iconic Gucci watches since the early 1970s.
The 35mm edition brings together a yellow gold PVD case and a GG Supreme canvas strap, while the 38mm version is crafted in steel with the GG logo engraved on the bracelet.
The Grip watch is inspired by the world of skateboarding. It fits snugly around the wrist, much like how sneakers stick to the grip tape on a skateboard.
For more information about Gucci Timepieces, please visit http://www.gucci.com
Dr Jenny Goh
Founder of Doux Visage, Dr Goh Cosmeceutical, PhD in TCM
by Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik
“I want to research, study and improve because my patients deserve more accurate and comprehensive answers.”
A child of hardship many years ago, she was one of four siblings that helped her parents run their family coffee shop in Sri Petaling, Malaysia, at the age of seven. At a crossroad, after high school, she was torn between pursuing a career in the travel or beauty industry.
She became a beauty therapist but yearned to learn more. “When I flicked through my beauty course books I realised that this was what I liked – learning about anatomy, skin structure and its treatments. I Told myself – if I cannot be a doctor then I can be a skin doctor.”
A qualified acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner today, Dr Goh has garnered over 25 years of experience in the beauty industry since 1996 and 17 years in the field of TCM since 2003. She received her PhD in TCM (Acupuncture) from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine with a focus on hormones, stroke, cancer, cardiovascular and skin disease in 2017 and is currently undertaking her second PhD in TCM (Chinese Medicine) with emphasis on cancer, dietetics and cardiovascular issues. “I firmly believe in addressing health issues internally and externally. To treat a person adequately, I must address the fundamentals behind each problem and not just treat the symptoms. That was how I conceived the idea of combining the best of both worlds, eastern and western therapies – to include TCM into regular facial, slimming and total body wellness. My clinical treatment Doux Visage® stemmed from this belief – the combination of eastern acupuncture with western modern technology for total body wellness.” .
An advocate of natural and self-healing, Dr Goh highly recommends acupuncture and chi balancing to achieve true beauty and wellness. “I don’t believe in injections nor invasive surgery. I believe in TCM because it is my heritage and I’ve studied and researched the subject extensively. More than 5000 years of treatment cannot be wrong. Now some western doctors are also endorsing acupuncture, chi and energy flow as alternative treatments.”
Besides being published in the Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture Moxibution in 2015, Dr Goh also won the Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) in 2016. With all that success buzzing around her, she manages to stay grounded. “I was very happy and excited but tried to remain calm and not be distracted from my work.”
Dr Goh is the SOBA AWARD WINNER 2016 (Most Promising Award for Doux Visage Sdn Bhd), 2017 (Female Entrepreneur of the Year) and 2019 (Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Most Promising Award for Dr. Goh Cosmeceutical Sdn Bhd).
Her philosophy in life is simple and effective. “Do things right. Keep on learning. Stay happy. Don’t set impossible goals. Go with the flow and more importantly – adjust and balance your chi before you have to seek treatment.”
June Goh, PJM
Managing Director of Wealthy Homes Expert Solutions Sdn Bhd
by Billie Ooi-Ng Lean Gaik
“I bulked in large quantities of condos at low prices, restructured the marketing plans and cleared the stocks within a period of time.”
Aprominent face on billboards and magazine covers, June Goh is a force to be reckoned with. Managing Director of Wealthy Homes Expert Solutions Sdn Bhd, she runs the company with great drive and motivation, resulting in big ticket property deals.
Being an accomplished wife and a devoted mother of three are never easy but Goh does it with panache. From super mum, she challenged and re-invented herself as an astute real estate entrepreneur. “Work life balance. Organisation, focus and productivity are important. Build downtime into your schedule. Drop activities that sap your time or energy. A little relaxation goes a long way.”
Her Bachelor of Science with Honours is in computing science and information systems, but somehow, she was drawn to the property business. Company slogan ‘June Goh, the Gateway to Property’ rings true for locals and visitors alike, when in search of that dream house. The Wealthy Homes comprehensive care package takes the client from property inspection and selection, leasing, renovation and interior design to Experience-Penang tours, limousine transfers and MM2H services. To those entering the property market as an investor, Goh advises, “Use leverage to buy properties. Line up your financing early. Invest in single-family homes first and turnkey real estate. Aim to be cash flow positive. Focus on your ROI and buy what you know.”
Conventionally an all-male bastion, Goh’s trajectory in the business is progressive and result oriented. “I’m thankful as it allows me to work harder and excel when compared to my gentlemen peers. Determination is everything. Focus on growth. Think bigger, use the power of dreams and your imagination. Massive action and do what you love. ”
Sincere, warm and friendly, she is well – liked and respected in business and social circles. Her company regularly organises talks and conferences to share critical information about property investment. “The market may be a little soft now, but it is a cyclical phenomenon. Penang’s property market is supported by the state’s strong economic fundamentals. I firmly believe in the Penang Chief Minister’s Master Plan 2030, especially in the upgrading of transportation and infrastructure, the green and sustainable projects. ”
Her meteoric rise in the property industry is astounding but Goh has more goals to achieve. Her 2020 vision is to break traditional boundaries and go beyond the glass ceiling. What do you hope to achieve in life? “A developer, probably. A philanthropist, definitely. ”