A peek into Capri by Fraser, Johor Baru

The all-new Capri by Fraser hotel residences, is now open in Johor Baru!

A guest-friendly reception area on the ground floor lobby
From a distance I spotted the towering block in the city center with the name, CAPRI, emblazoned on its façade.

So when I read the invitation for a peek into the hotel on its soft opening, I also checked the map for its location as I needed to know the driving route to the property.

The name Capri just reminds me of the Isle of Capri, a song from 1934 made popular by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney but closer to home, I also remember an Italian restaurant here that was once opened within another hotel.

Capri by Fraser is in the heart of Johor Baru city
With a Capri in JB again, I was keen for a first peek into this property which is designed with a hotel and residences.

Aware that its location on Bukit Chagar is just behind JB Sentral, I chose to take a slow drive to Jalan Tengku Azizah via Jalan Storey, which is just off the Tebrau Highway.

I soon discovered that the Capri is situated adjacent to residential towers so I was careful to turn into the carpark for the hotel and not into the other towers.

This hotel certainly commands a prime location, just minutes away from JB Sentral which houses the Customs, Immigration & Quarantine (CIQ) complex for travelers arriving and leaving the country via the Causeway checkpoint.

Panoramic views of JB city and beyond from meeting rooms
JB Sentral is also an integrated transport hub with intercity buses and trains and nearby, the future light rail station for the Rapid Transit System will be built for the convenience of commuters between JB and Woodlands.

I was ushered into Caprilicious, the all-day dining restaurant for a coffee while waiting to meet with the General Manager who – I was told – was then engaged with welcoming their first guests into the hotel.

As I sipped my hot brew of fragrant coffee, I thought that it was indeed a significant day for Capri by Fraser and I was honoured to be part of its soft opening.

Here, the meeting rooms are called Pods
In a tour of the hotel premises, I discovered a few interesting features that both holiday and business travelers can appreciate in this city centre hotel.

Maybe I was just partial, but I so like the royal purple, a most charming colour in the corporate identity of this hotel.

For a start, the hotel offers complimentary high-speed Wifi access to guests who would certainly appreciate staying connected.

Meanwhile there is a dedicated HotSpot station in the lobby level, equipped with Apple desktop workstations as a business corner – instead of a business centre – for speedy access to information.

Concealed in the desk for tech-users' convenience
in the club lounge
There is also a rooftop swimming pool with children’s wading pool and a fully equipped gym which is opened 24 hours for guests’ convenience.

Outside the 24-hour launderette I was amused by the sign which read, Spin & Play, and wondered what it meant … until I saw the play-station provided for guests to play while their laundry was being done!

From the top-floor meeting/function rooms dubbed Pods (like something out of a sci-fi movie!) I was impressed by the panoramic views of JB city and beyond.

This lofty height means that room guests would have the advantage of a bird’s eye view of the traffic condition on the causeway before they decided to set out on their journey!

Deck chairs by the swimming pool
In the tour, I had a glimpse of the fully-furnished studios and well-appointed one-bedroom apartments that come complete with kitchen facilities for long-stay guests.

I like how the hotel offers 316 rooms in a range of room categories, with various room sizes and configurations to meet their guests’ requirements.

Daily breakfast for two guests are included in the Opening Special room rates. For more details on the rooms and special deals, visit website: capribyfraser.com

Media guests with GM Manoharan [Center] at the lobby of Capri by Fraser hotel residences, Johor Baru
Capri by Fraser hotel residences is at Menara Tiga Serangkai, Jalan Tengku Azizah, 80300 Johor Baru. Tel: +607 – 7277 0888, Fax: +607 – 7277 0889.

Toll-free Reservations hotline: 1 800 18 0800.

Leisurely Sunday Brunch at Cafe BLD

I’m often at the Café BLD for dinner but I must say that the dining experience in Café BLD on a Sunday afternoon, is an all-new experience.

Live music entertainment with Sunday Brunch at Cafe BLD
With natural light pouring in through its glass walls and live music entertainment to accompany my leisurely Sunday Brunch, the atmosphere here is decidedly different.

I’m in Café BLD again to experience the Sunday Brunch, presented in a wide buffet that features local hawkers’ fare.

As a hotel popular with tourist and business travellers, Café BLD in the Renaissance Johor Baru, has earned a proud reputation for presenting a commendable range in its wide buffet spreads.

So I’m curious to see and taste what else is in store for the Sunday Brunch.

Freshly squeezed juice boosters from this Juice Bar
I’ve come prepared, armed with an appetite to taste the must-have items that locals liked to savour in a leisurely brunch.

Before checking out the buffet spread, I give some thought about what Malaysians or more specifically, Johoreans, like to have for breakfast plus lunch = brunch?

Seated in the bright and airy Café BLD with my nostrils assailed by a myriad of aromas from live-cooking stations and listening to live music entertainment, my mind wanders off to consider various popular food choices.

While I’m happy with cheese on toast, I will also enjoy a fluffy omelet.

Outdoor section of the Sunday Brunch buffet
But I have friends and family members who would prefer a warm bowl of noodles.

There are yet many who like fragrant steamed Nasi Lemak with savoury and spicy condiments.

And then there are those who will enjoy a good dosai or roti canai/prata dipped in dhall (lentil) curry and coconut chutney.

I remember a breakfast tradition typical in Muar and wondered if Café BLD ventured to provide such an unusual breakfast staple – freshly grilled satay!

The very thought of satay propelled me to my feet and I make a beeline for the outdoor section of the café to check out what is being served from the live cooking stations there.

Besides deep-fried seafood and grilled meats, I’m happy to see skewers of satay served with peanut sauce – just like how the folks in Muar will enjoy for breakfast!

Grilled satay for Brunch just like they do in Muar!
Back indoors, I take a quick tour of the buffet spread and am glad to see how the crowd has swelled in the few minutes while I was outdoors.

The writing on a chalkboard catches my eye and when I walk closer to read, I’m delighted to discover a Fresh Juice Bar where a staff is serving diners’ choice of freshly-squeezed fruits and vegetables!

He serves my pick of orange with carrots in a small tumbler and I drain the juice quickly and return the tumbler, ready for a refill a little later…

I turn around to see an Egg Station where I can place an order for my fluffy omelet filled with a choice of ingredients like grated cheese and sliced mushrooms.

Ingredient choices to go into your style of egg preparation 
Next to it, I spot a warming tureen with the sign that reads, Kacang Pool, and recognise the condiments that go into a serving of this bean-based stew to savour with sticks of toast.

Then I watch as the Indian chefs are whipping up freshly-made dosai and roti canai/prata and on the counter are dishes for diners to help themselves to a choice of dhall curry and a range of tasty chutney.

At the Noodle Station, I spot such a wide selection of vegetables and condiments that diners are spoiled for choice (!) as they pick the items to go with their choice of soup noodles.

A serving of Johor's popular Kacang Pool
Nearby are stacks of steaming trays to keep a range of dim sum warm for diners to help themselves to the little plates of siew-mai (meat dumpling) and har-gow (prawn dumpling).

I continue my survey and discover a counter for French Toast and griddle cakes (small pancakes!) served with a choice of sauces and toppings.

There is a small range of cheese on the cheese board with a selection of nuts and preserved fruits and a Salad Bar with fresh green salad.

It time for a freshly-made dosai!
To add to the Sunday Brunch indulgence, I spot slices of bread next to troughs of liver pate and fillets of own-made Smoked Mackerel and Smoked Salmon…mmm…

I’m still looking around and then I see a claypot of Sayur Lodeh simmering on a stove and next to it is the ubiquitous steamed Nasi Lemak on a warmer with a choice of savoury and spicy condiments.

This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg because there is plenty more in breads, pastries and desserts and fresh fruits to choose from…

Wide choice of ingredients at the Noodle Station!
I’ve seen enough to satisfy my curiosity and now, it’s time to help myself to the generous spread provided in the indoor and outdoor sections of the buffet.

So let me retrace my footsteps back to the Fresh Juice Bar for another refreshing juice drink before I satisfy my appetite for a leisurely taste of all that I have just surveyed in the Sunday Brunch buffet!

The Hawkers’ Sunday Brunch is only available on Sundays, from 12pm to 4pm, at Café BLD.

The ubiquitous Nasi Lemak that everyone enjoys!
Nett rates at RM92 per adult and RM46 per child aged between four to 12 years old.

To add more cheer to your Sunday Brunch, there is also an option for a half-pint Carlsberg Beer or a glass of house Red Wine at the rate of RM108 nett per adult. Additional beer or wine are offered at a special discounted price.

Café BLD is on the lobby level of the Renaissance Johor Baru Hotel, 2 Jalan Permas 11, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750 Masai, Johor. 

For reservations, Tel: +607 – 381 3322 and +607 – 381 3475.

Experience the untold stories at Encore Melaka

Last June, I received an invitation to the grand launch of Encore Melaka, planned to happen on July 7, 2018.

Spot mum and Pearly walking towards the theatre!
The exciting spiel on the invitation read: “We are honoured to invite you to experience the untold stories of Melaka at Southeast Asia’s first 360-degree rotating audience auditorium, directed by the creative force behind the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony.”

It continued: “Using state of the art technology, combined with contemporary choreography and delivery, Encore Melaka is a show that’s unlike any other.”

While I was thrilled by the prospect of a local theatre performance, presented on such a grand scale, it was regrettable that I had to decline and forgo this invitation.

That was because I was working within a tight schedule on my book project for My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People, the sequel to My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage.

The elegant Nyonya performing a graceful synchronized dance 
I was rather sad to give Encore Melaka a miss but this show was not far from my thoughts because I’ve always appreciated theatre shows – especially musicals – and never failed to take in a show or two when I was in the UK.

In recent trips, my sister, Pearly, arranged for us to catch Top Hat, a musical that was presented in another town – outside of London, and I cannot forget the fun we had (as my birthday treat!) when she also arranged for us to enjoy, Motown, an amazingly entertaining show that featured the music of Berry Gordy.

The cast with the Baba and Nyonya wedding couple moving in an undulating wave dance
In October 2018 after my manuscript was submitted to the publisher, I was then able to accept an invitation to attend the Gala Dinner to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the art of the 24 Festive Drums in Kuala Lumpur.

Narration was provided in three languages:
Malay, English and Mandarin
At the dinner, I happened to be seated next to Aman Yap of Dua Dance Theatre and Anthony Meh, Artistic Group Director of Encore Melaka.

Anthony, who is a Johorean, introduced me the General Manager of Encore Melaka, Long Tyan Poh.

In the course of our conversation, I told them about the invitation I had received to the launch of Encore Melaka (which I had no alternative but to decline) and how keen I was to catch this show.

I did not need any persuasion to watch this spectacular show because I already had plans to make the 2-hour drive from Johor Baru to Melaka (and back!) just to enjoy this show.

Then out of the blue, Aunty Polly sent me a promotional video clip on Encore Melaka and it rekindled my interest for this show.

A water scene with showers falling from the ceiling!
So when Pearly shared her travel plans from the UK to KL and JB over the Lunar New Year season, it was just the impetus I needed to make ticket reservations to watch Encore Melaka with her.

An online check revealed that there were two shows on Sunday so my choice was the 2.30pm matinee, for a comfortable drive to and from Melaka in a day trip from JB.

Online info also revealed that Encore Melaka has partnerships with travel agents for hotel packages that included show tickets at special rates.

Another water scene with dancers splashing in the water
It was a quick and painless process to make my reservations through a travel agent and once payment was made, I received my receipt and e-voucher as attachments by email.

So all I needed to do was to show my e-voucher to receive my tickets at the counter.

While making the reservations, I had already considered the facilities for wheelchair access and expected a fair walking distance for mum, to the Premium Seats.

The drive from JB on that clear Sunday morning was smooth and uneventful. Closer to Ayer Keroh, our navigator – Ruby, our eldest sister – turned on her map to guide us to the theatre site.

It was no easy feat to dance in the water
From the Plus Highway, the route took us into dual-carriageways and onto secondary roads that bordered traditional kampungs before we reached newly developed areas where modern shops lined the roads.

Not only the road names were unfamiliar but the entire area was brand new because it was part of the reclaimed land off the Melaka coast.

We followed the map and ventured on and on until there were no more buildings around except new roads and flat land as far as the eye could see…

“Follow the route,” the lady’s voice from the phone instructed and Ruby responded with disbelief as she turned the phone to show me that the screen was blank except for a spot in its center!

This was such a new and unchartered area that even the satellite map was not updated yet!

From online photos, I had an idea of how the theatre façade looked like so we scanned the horizon for a boxy-looking building and just followed the road, trusting our instincts to take us onward.

Special smoke effects...
I was glad that it was broad daylight and we had many pairs of eyes to help find our way to this building.

Just as I thought, there was a separate multi-storey building for parking so before I turned up the ramp, I dropped mum and my sisters and let them take a slow walk to the theatre entrance.

When I walked over to the entrance, I noticed that the weather was turning cloudy and hinted of impending rain.

I was greeted by a staff member (he was wearing a T-shirt with the Encore Melaka logo and nametag that read, Raymond) who welcomed me and asked if I needed help with tickets.

Thinking about the changing weather, I instead asked him if they have an “Umbrella Service” because there was a stretch of open space between the carpark and the theatre and he replied in the affirmative, saying that they do have a “Rain Team.”

Dancers bearing lighted lanterns, move into the audience
I also told him that I have my e-voucher for tickets and when he spotted mum using a walking stick and escorted by my sisters, he asked where I had parked my car.

When I told him I parked in the multi-storey carpark, he radioed a colleague to take note of my car registration number and to permit me to park in the area reserved for people with disabilities.

He then gave me directions to exit the multi-storey carpark into this parking area where a guard opened the barrier for me to enter and park on road level, closer to the theatre entrance.

With the parking sorted out, I went to the ticketing counter to show them my e-voucher to redeem our tickets while my sisters and mum went to browse around in the theatre souvenir shop.

Then it was time to enter the theatre. I could not wait to enjoy the show by 200 local performers on a 240-meter long stage with a 360-degree rotating audience platform…

The grand finale on stage was also projected onto the wide screen
The staff on hand were welcoming and conscientious as they escorted us up the flight of steps to our seats which enjoyed a panoramic view of the stage.

I’m familiar with theatre rules and no-flash photography but just to be sure, I approached a staff to ask if photography was allowed and she replied, “Yes,” but no flash.

A flyer, handed out with our tickets, provided a synopsis of the show that had seven scenes. I took time to read it to mum so that she had an idea of what would be happening in the non-stop 70-minute show.

From the legendary founding of Melaka by Parameswara, the prince from Sumatra, the arrival of the Chinese fleet led by Admiral Cheng Ho, where many Chinese seafarers settled down with Malay wives in Melaka and the start of the Baba Nyonya heritage here, the scenes showcased colourful dance and choreography in the dramatization of the untold Melaka stories.

Mum, my sisters and I with the Baba and Nyonya wedding couple and some of the cast of Encore Melaka
After the usual announcements before the show started, we watched as the backdrop to the wide stage moved and closed to form a wide screen.

It was simply mind-boggling to watch how the ingenuity of modern technology had created multiple built-in hydraulic stages where the audience could watch various scenes happening on multi-level stages – all at the same time!

We agreed that one of the most mesmerizing parts of the performance must be the “water scenes” and Ruby even admitted that she was so enthralled that she forgot about using her camera!

Meanwhile, mum and Pearly were also impressed by the graceful synchronized dance choreography by the elegant Nyonyas.

The story-telling was in three languages: Malay, English and Mandarin and when the actor on the stage spoke in one language, subtitles were provided in two languages on the screen.

As for me, I expected a bit more from the entire show but Encore Melaka was indeed a commendable performance and we all agreed that it was a well-worth trip.

The grand finale brought the show to a close and after the show, groups of the cast were assembled in various lobbies for the audience to capture photo mementoes with them.

For more info about Encore Melaka, Tel: +606-2707777 or visit website: www.encore-melaka.com

In support of Art & Culture in Iskandar Malaysia

Last year, when I was invited by Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) to be a member of the Award Committee for the Iskandar Malaysia Beyond Boundaries Programme (IMB2P), I responded with a volley of questions.

An applicant meeting the Award Committee to make his
pitch in the Iskandar Malaysia Beyond Boundaries Programme
Firstly, I needed to understand, “What is IMB2P?”

Then I was informed that IRDA has provided a mobility fund to support the Arts & Culture pursuits by artists, practitioners and students who are keen to explore or get involved in a collaborative project with international partner/s in Iskandar Malaysia, within Malaysia or abroad.

The IMB2P is a programme where applications were invited for this IRDA fund or grant which is divided into three categories.

The categories are [A] Exploration and Networking (Up to RM8,000 per application), [B] Collaborative Outbound Project (Up to RM10,000 per application) and [C] Collaborative Inbound Project (Up to RM20,000 per application).

The Award Committee [L to R] Norkamarulazman Nordin,
Amir Shahlan Amiruddin, Ajith Baskaran Dass and
yours truly (in the vacant seat!)
Through the avenue of IMB2P, IRDA aims to bridge the gap between current development towards international standing and local exposure and appreciation of the arts and culture.

IRDA understands the need of artists and cultural professionals who lack the funds to support their projects and activities, and aims to provide them with practical support through IMB2P.

Besides developing Iskandar Malaysia into a thriving, modern metropolis, IRDA also plans to build a sustainable network through an alumni of beneficiaries who may share their knowledge and experience, and create a like-minded talent pool here.

With this understanding in mind, I wanted to know, “What does IMB2P have to offer?”

I wanted to hear more about which category applicants may apply under for their projects. Then I learnt that:

Category [A] Exploration and Networking, are for those who wish to participate in a workshop, conference, festival, biennales, networking sessions, exhibition or practice-led research based in a foreign country.

Category [B] Collaborative Outbound Project, are for collaborative projects with international partner/s based in a foreign country, within Malaysia but not in Iskandar Malaysia.

And category [C] Collaborative Inbound Project, are for collaborative projects with international partner/s based in Iskandar Malaysia.

An applicant making his pitch to the Award Committee
I also learnt that applicants were invited from Malaysians, aged 18 years and above, who are based in Iskandar Malaysia.

They should be artists, practitioners or students who are involved in arts, culture and heritage projects and activities, and must have a clear purpose and proposal related to the specific Category in their applications.

While this may not be an exhaustive list, I learnt that IMB2P supports elements of Arts & Culture such as Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Music, Craft, Literature and Publishing, Museum and Archives, Design, Fashion and Textiles, and Film Broadcasting and Digital Content.

Over a period of approximately three months which started in 2018, applicants were invited to submit their proposals to the IMB2P Secretariat for review.

As complete sets of applications were reviewed, only shortlisted applications would be invited for interviews with the Award Committee.

Members of the Secretariat recorded notes and kept time
of each interview before the Award Committee
I was told that the Award Committee would comprise a minimum of three members from external parties who are experts in Arts & Culture to provide guidance and advice and would give their recommendations on whether the funds should be awarded to the applicants.

The Award Committee clearly had a serious responsibility and as I mulled over this, I felt deeply humbled to be considered for this role.

Not only was it a serious task because the future plans of these applicants depended on my/our recommendations, I also had to commit time and effort to avail myself for the interview sessions with the applicants at a date to be determined later.

From my own book-writing journey, I could identify with the challenges faced by the applicants, particularly in the early stages of their projects.

An applicant listening to my query before replying...
After giving this a great deal of thought, I accepted the role as Award Committee member and became part of the interview process to guide the applicants onward to achieve their artistic goals.

Fast-forward to recent correspondence from IRDA with a date set for Batch One (2018/2019) of the shortlisted applicants to meet the Award Committee.

From this correspondence, I was delighted to discover that my fellow colleagues in the Award Committee included Tan Chai Puan, Johor cultural activist who was recently recognised by the Department of National Heritage with the prestigious Warisan Orang Hidup award.

In the 4th Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Awards (IMSHA) Tan was also honoured with the award in the Arts & Culture (Individual) category.

Another familiar name in the Award Committee was Ajith Baskaran Dass, the founder and artistic director of Suvarna Dance Academy, himself an internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer in the traditional art of Bharatanatyam.

Just like Tan in the previous year, Ajith was honoured with the award in the Arts & Culture (Individual) category for the 5th Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Awards in 2018.

An applicant showing off a sample of her craft
I felt a great sense of pleasure to be part of this distinguished panel as these two gentlemen, Tan and Ajith, are also featured under Portraits in my book, My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage.

The members of the Award Committee was completed by Norkamarulazman Nordin, from IRDA’s Strategic Communications Department and Amir Shahlan Amiruddin, Dean of the Faculty of Cinematic Arts in the Multi-Media University.

On the morning of the interviews of Batch One applications, I met with Amir and Ajith, and learnt that Tan was not joining us that day but would be involved with interviews of Batch Two (2019/2020) applicants.

An itinerary of the day’s interviews, listed with names of the applicants and their proposed projects along with detailed timings, was provided and we were told that Secretariat members would also be present to record notes and to keep time.

Before the interviews started in a grueling day-long schedule (with refreshment breaks in between), Suhaily Abdul Hamid, Senior Vice President of IRDA’s Social Development Department, opened the event with a briefing about IMB2P.

The Secretariat clarified that only the applicants listed should make their presentation to the Committee and they were given a specified amount of time to present their pitch.

When the first bell sounded, it was a warning that the allocated time was almost up and the applicant should then quickly wrap up his presentation.

I was rather amused because the sounding of this bell just reminded me of those days when I was speaking in the school debate…

Then the hard work began.

Each member of the Committee was provided with folders on each application, complete with forms to jot down our comments and/or recommendations in specific columns, even for each individual members in group applications.

While it was hard work to absorb all the info in each presentation, it was interesting to meet with the applicants – some of whom were familiar faces in the local art scene – and to hear their passionate pitch for their proposed projects.

While some applicants were wracked with nerves, some were absolutely confident as they presented their proposals and replied to questions from the Committee.

Some applicants came with a dossier of their work, presented in folders or through a visual presentation, while some showed us physical samples of their products or art and crafts.

Among the applicants who made a strong impression was independent film maker, Rozinor of Rogue Films, who planned to organise an Independent Film Convention here as a platform for local film-makers to network with foreign film-makers.

At the close of the convention, he proposed to present the private screening of his first in the series of Jejak Megat films, which he happily explained, was based on true events that happened in Ulu Tiram.

Another applicant was watercolours artist, Lee Chin Chian, whose hometown is Pontian.

Lee distributed past copies of his special-interest magazine (published in Chinese) with impressive drawings of superheroes and mythical characters, as samples of his work.

He also presented samples of the matching mascots (figurines!) he created of the popular characters featured in the magazines.

His proposal was to produce a bumper edition that will feature the artwork of a collection of local artists and aimed to present this edition at the next Toy Fair and Animated Film Convention.

Lee strongly believed that this would be an opportunity to highlight Iskandar Malaysia and Pinewood Studios Malaysia to the players in the creative art industry.

Incidentally, Lee was also shortlisted for his application to conduct a Sketch Walk themed, Art Journey of Pekan Nanas.

This would involve 10 local artists and 10 foreign artists to sketch live scenes and paint wall murals in Pekan Nanas while experiencing the local culture and heritage.

When the affable Lee turned up again to meet the Committee in the afternoon, he passionately described his proposal and how participants of the Sketch Walk would appreciate the on-location art experience along with the popular local food in this area.

Lee Chin Chian [Standing Left] with the Committee
holding up the pages of his portrait sketches!
At the close of his presentation, Lee gathered up his things to leave but before that, he placed a small 2019 diary-notebook on our desks – one each in front of the Committee members as a token of appreciation.

I was looking in the folders and not aware of what was happening until Amir opened his notebook and uttered an exclamation!

This prompted Ajith to pick up his book and turned its pages.

Their expressions caught my attention and I too, picked up my book to turn its pages and joined them to look in amazement at what Lee had done!

Apparently, when Lee came in for his presentation in the morning, the artist in him made such a keen observation of each member of the Committee that he went back to prepare these notebooks to present to us when we met again in the afternoon.

The cover designs of these notebooks were printed replicas of his watercolours paintings and on a full page inside, Lee had sketched our portraits and presented Ajith, Amir and I with our individual images within the personalized notebooks!

The Committee shared out portrait sketches with Suhaily
From the impressive sketches of Ajith and Amir (that so clearly reflected their images!), Lee certainly had a special skill and talent.

We all agreed that it was a nice gesture on his part and we appreciated it but this had no bearing whatsoever on how we rated his application.

This pleasant interlude was a memorable high point in an otherwise, rather serious and taxing time of conducting the series of interviews, one after another, throughout the day.

After we had interviewed all the applicants in the day’s itinerary, their individual folders were completed by each member of the Committee and returned to the Secretariat.

When Suhaily joined the Committee again to say a few words in closing, we could not resist sharing with her, the lovely portrait sketches that Lee had created of each one of us.

It was indeed a fitting end to an interesting day of interviewing applicants for IMB2P in IRDA.