Infinity8 Reserve opens at Mid Valley Southkey


I am familiar with Infinity8 because I had the privilege to document the story of Infinity8 among other proudly Johor brands featured in My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now, the third and final instalment of My Johor Stories launched in December 2022.


Lee [Left] with VIPs at Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
to officially declare open,
Infinity8 Reserve Mid Valley Southkey

Recently when I received the invitation from co-founder of Infinity8, Lee Sheah Liang, to the grand opening event for their ninth branch at Mid Valley Southkey, I did not hesitate to accept and expressed my congratulations on yet another exciting milestone on their journey to establish quality coworking spaces in Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur and beyond.


When we emerged from the Covid19 global pandemic which resulted in lockdown periods, limited travel and border closures, Lee observed how the past challenging years had adversely affected businesses, both local and foreign investments here.


With a changing trend where coworking spaces was the preferred choice, Lee had the foresight to increase quality Infinity8 coworking spaces in tandem with the demand.


Infinity8 Reserve on Level 28
of the North Tower at 
Mid Valley Southkey Mall

Then in January 2023, Lee opened the first Kongsi Work by Infinity8 coworking spaces in Taman Molek. And now he was ready to open the premium Infinity8 Reserve at Mid Valley Southkey.


I thanked Lee for the invitation and was pleased to see that the Guest of Honour for this event was YB Liew Chin Tong, Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry and the VIPs included Johor Baru City Mayor, Dato’ Haji Mohd Noorazam Dato’ Haji Osman and executives from Think City and Rapid Transit System.


I told Lee that I looked forward to renewing my acquaintance with YB Liew and Dato’ Noorazam because I recently met them, the former at our neighbourhood Chinese New Year gathering and the latter at his office when he received the trilogy of My Johor Stories on behalf of the Johor Baru City Council for the Sultan Ismail Library.


On the morning of the grand opening event, I followed Lee’s directions to find my way to the entrance of North Tower at Mid Valley Southkey Mall and the reception counter where I should receive my keycard for access to Level 28. 


Lee presenting his opening address at the event

With such superior standards of security, I could see how Infinity8 Reserve at Mid Valley Southkey promises to offer an exceptional coworking experience.


There is something very special about being welcomed in by name and I hugged this small pleasure to myself, pleased that some of the Infinity8 team members were familiar with My Johor Stories and me.


Among the distinguished guests whom I recognised were my friends from Think City Johor Baru and co-founder of the art of the 24 Festive Drums, Tan Chai Puan.


Lee Sheah Liang, Infinity8 co-founder,
presenting his opening address

Incidentally, Tan was featured as an exclusive story under Portraits in my 2017 MPH Non-Fiction Bestseller, My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage, published in partnership with MPH Publishing Kuala Lumpur and Think City Johor Baru.


Then in 2022, the 24 Festive Drums – a brand proudly established in Johor and now exported abroad – was among the Johor brands featured along with Infinity8, in My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now.


Tan led me over to join Lee’s mother and shared with me about their earlier conversation as they celebrated Lee’s success as an entrepreneur.


Tan told me that Mrs Lee said her son attributed this success to his education at Johor Baru’s prestigious Foon Yew School and the discipline he acquired from being an accomplished drummer in the art of the 24 Festive Drums.


Johor Baru City Mayor,
Dato' Haji Mohd Noorazam
Dato' Haji Osman

Mrs Lee smiled modestly when Tan reminded her that she forgot something very important: Herself, a caring and supportive mother who loved and guided Lee through the past 34 years!


Among others, I was delighted to meet my friends from Think City Johor Baru, Edey Suresh, the Director for UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei, and H K Lai, better known as Kit, Senior Business Manager, Corporate Accounts, with BMW Group Financial Services.


Smartly decked out in her corporate attire, it took me a few moments to place Kit because the last time we met, she was dressed causally in shorts and T-shirt complete with a jaunty backpack when she joined the final My Johor Stories in Downtown Johor Baru Heritage Walk in April.


Then the event MC invited guests to be seated ahead of the arrival of the Guest of Honour and VIPs and the event proper kicked off with a brief introduction of the Infinity8 coworking spaces.


YB Liew Chin Tong, Deputy
Minister of International
Trade & Industry

In his opening address, Lee introduced himself with brief details of his childhood, career and early business ventures along with how the brand name, Infinity8, was coined.


While I was familiar with his story – documented in Book Three of My Johor Stories – it was good to hear it again along with his plans for the opening of the next and 10th branch of Infinity8 coworking space in Penang.


With the proud recognition of awards as the Best Coworking Space in Asia & Malaysia in 2022, Lee said that the facilities in Infinity8 Reserve at Mid Valley Southkey aims to surpass quality standards with its ready-to-use private suites and work stations.


Lee then unveiled his eight predictions for Johor Baru in 2030, thoughts which he said were seeded since 2021 and developed over recent years.


While the data may not be conclusive, his predictions were both relevant and inspiring as Johor Baru, which is linked to the Republic of Singapore by a Causeway and the Second Link, has one of the busiest border crossings in the world.


All smiles after the Ribbon-Cutting

In his predictions, Lee discussed the uniqueness of Johor Baru in terms of growth in residents and investments, nurturing future generations with digital skills, making the city sustainable, supporting the movers and shakers, increasing tourism and the future of work here in 2030.


In closing, Lee shared a quote by Jim Rohn who said, “If two or three agree on a common purpose, nothing is impossible.”


Encouraged by how a song was written to unite the people of HongKong, he proposed that a song should be written to unite the people of Johor, to “Dream Big!” and push the boundaries to turn the vision for 2030 into reality.


Lee closed with a clarion call, “Let’s build Johor Baru city together!”

Lee presenting souvenir to
Mayor Dato' Noorazam that
included Book Three of
My Johor Stories

Johor Baru City Mayor, Dato’ Noorazam expressed his appreciation to Lee for his inspiring predictions for Johor Baru in 2030 and agreed that we have to be in sync to achieve set goals.


He said there should be cooperation among the State government, Federal government and private companies, and expressed his support for initiatives that would add value to the city.


Guest of Honour, YB Liew said that while he was on the campaign trail for the Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-elections, he was pleased to take time off to attend this event.


He outlined the great transition where the economy was moving away from the shareholder to stakeholder economy, and the move away from the “car-dependent” model which is not climate friendly, and the need to invest in bus, ferry, railway and public transport.


YB Liew discussed about the need to decentralize and move away from Kuala Lumpur for a second metropolitan city in the country, which will be a gain for the nation.


YB Liew receiving event souvenir
from Lee that included Book
Three of My Johor Stories
He also remarked that Singapore and Malaysia need not be in competition but can be complimentary with greater integration between the two nations to create a better life for Malaysians.


He remains optimistic for a time when fellow Malaysians can enjoy a better quality of life with good jobs and a decent pay here than to work in Singapore as cheap labour.


The event continued with the Ribbon-Cutting ceremony by YB Liew, Dato’ Noorazam and Lee to officially declare Infinity8 Reserve Mid Valley Southkey, opened. This was followed by a presentation of souvenirs, first to Dato’ Noorazam and then to YB Liew.


When Lee presented the souvenir bag to Dato’ Noorazam, he called out to me to get my attention. Then I saw him pull out Book Three of My Johor Stories from the bag to show me that My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now, was part of the souvenir presented to the two VIPs.


Lee [Right] and the VIPs having a
chat while enjoying the views

While I was just happy to be part of this event, I was deeply honoured that my book was presented as a precious memento for the occasion and it certainly made my day.


Lee then led the VIPs on a guided tour of the premises and paused to showcase various interesting spots like the Teh Tarik room, the phone booth, hot desks, wall murals and of course, panoramic views of the city through floor-to-ceiling glass walls.


Congratulations Infinity8 on the opening of Infinity8 Reserve at Mid Vally Southkey and best wishes for the opening of more branches to provide more quality coworking spaces to start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses.


Congratulations Lee and the team at Infinity8 Reserve on the official opening!

Infinity8 Reserve Mid Valley Southkey is located on Level 28, Mid Valley Southkey North Tower of Mid Valley Southkey Mall, No. 1 Persiaran Southkey 1, Southkey, 80150 Johor Bahru, Johor.


For more info on Infinity8 go to webpage: and latest updates on Facebook @INFINITY8COWORKING

Johor to host Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2023


In March 2023, Yong Peng in Johor was deluged by heavy downpours which resulted in mega floods where water levels reached to the roofs of kampung houses.


Speaking to media at the Press Conference:
Johor Menteri Besar [Left] and Niclas Svenningsen

Over 40,000 people had to flee and were evacuated to some 200 relief centers with help from the Federal government and resources from the Johor Sultan.


People living in low-lying areas were ready for the annual monsoon season but now as the weather is unpredictable with torrential rain happening frequently, many who were caught unaware, had to scramble to safety.


In the recent floods at Yong Peng, Batu Pahat, Kluang and Segamat, not only were properties damaged and livestock lost but people had also died. In addition to health threats, this climate crisis was causing much hardship to people.


Johor Menteri Besar,
Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi

The nation must start acting now to educate and empower communities with the knowledge and awareness that each one of us can contribute to building resilience and reducing hardship for everyone from now into the next generations.


In his speech, Johor Menteri Besar, Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi highlighted these incidents to remind us that climate issues like these were not far from home because it was happening in Johor as it was globally, in other parts of the world.


He was speaking to media at a Press Conference to announce with much pride, that Johor was chosen to host the prestigious Asia Pacific Climate Week (APCW) 2023 event scheduled from November 13 to 17.


This year, regional Climate Week events will be held in various regions worldwide to facilitate discussions, collaborations and knowledge-sharing on climate change and sustainable development.  


UNFCCC Programme Coordination
Manager, Niclas Svenningsen

These gatherings will bring together stakeholders including governments, businesses, civil society and academia to address region-specific climate challenges, exchange best practices, foster partnerships and showcase innovative solutions that contribute to global climate efforts while focusing on localized strategies and actions.


The four regional Climate Weeks, with Johor among the four venues, will build momentum ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.


The Africa Climate Week (ACW) 2023, hosted by the government of Kenya, will be held in Nairobi from September 4 to 8.


The Middle-East and North Africa Climate Week (MENACW) 2023, hosted by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will be held in Riyadh from October 8 to 12.


The Latin-America and the Caribbean Climate Week (LACCW) 2023, hosted by the government of Panama, will be held at Panama City from October 23 to 27.


Media at the Question & Answer session

While the Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW) 2023, hosted by the government of Johor, will be held in Johor Baru from November 13 to 17.


Co-organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2023 event will be held at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre in Johor Baru.


“Johor stands united with the UNFCCC against climate change and is proud to be where policymakers, stakeholders and thought leadership convene to discuss solutions to mitigate this global issue collectively,” said the Johor Menteri Besar.


Global and Regional Partners for
Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2023

In his speech, he also expressed how he was both honoured and delighted to host such a pivotal event and reaffirmed Johor’s unwavering commitment to sustainability and green initiatives.


His reference to the massive floods, forest fires, typhoons and heatwaves in this region struck a familiar chord because it was not just reported news but a sad reality to many who themselves, or their friends and relatives, have had the unfortunate experience of such horrific disasters.


He emphasized the gravity of the situation where climate change was real and its impact was already felt in Johor, so it was impossible for us to ignore the issues.


He recognised the urgency to address the climate change issues and the need to find effective solutions while learning from others’ experiences in the region.


The Johor Menteri Besar reaffirmed Johor’s strong commitment and desire to actively contribute to the solutions worldwide, not just regional but as a global partner.


In his speech, UNFCCC Programme Coordination Manager, Niclas Svenningsen, highlighted the significance of Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW) 2023 and said that Johor’s dedication and leadership in hosting the event would inspire societal determination in addressing climate challenges in the region.


“It is hearting to see Johor taking concrete steps towards climate action,” he said while elaborating on the importance of collaborative efforts.


“Events like the APCW foster meaningful dialogues and partnerships, paving the way for innovative solutions to climate-related challenges,” he added.


Svenningsen expressed his gratitude to the Johor government, the Johor Menteri Besar and partners like the United Nations Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei.


One for the album: Group shot at the event

He said that while climate change was gradually destroying our eco-system and the ability to produce food, the good news was that we have the technology to turn the tide through the collaborative efforts with government partners to facilitate changes.


He was pleased that the APCW 2023 in Johor this November will bring together some 2,000 delegates made up of global leaders, stakeholders and high-level government officials who will confront the pressing challenges of the climate crisis in discussions and workshops.


While the event would be centered on a serious subject, he was confident that the delegates will have a profitable time together in practical and enjoyable negotiations.


With some 150 nations represented in the APCW 2023, the Johor Menteri Besar was pleased that this would be an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas in talks and presentations, and to showcase Johor to our visitors.


Beyond its environmental impact, the event holds economic potential for Johor.


Economic growth will be stimulated by the influx of participants, delegates and visitors that will create opportunities for local businesses, hotels and service providers.


At the close of the Press Conference, he called on all to come together to combat the climate crisis and do our part to ensure that we provide a better future to our children, their children and grandchildren.


For more information on the Asia Pacific Climate Week 2023, visit website:

Congratulations, Dato' Sylvia Ng


It was certainly a well-deserved honour for Sylvia Ng to receive her Datuk-ship awarded by the Sultan of Pahang on the occasion of his birthday at a prestigious ceremony held in Pekan, Pahang, on Friday, 4 August 2023.


Aunty Sylvia [Back to Camera!] meeting with
Sultan of Pahang and Tengku Ampuan Pahang
at the awards ceremony on August 4, 2023

She was among the proud recipients of the Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang or D.I.M.P. award which carries the title, Dato', from the Sultan of Pahang, who is also currently the nation’s Agong.


Sylvia Ng is our mother’s youngest sister, Aunty Sylvia to us and now Dato' Sylvia Ng to the world, who was once dubbed (and I quote) from a 1997 news report, “the darling of Malaysian badminton.”


In her illustrious badminton career, she was National Women’s Champion six times (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1977) until her retirement from international competitive sports in 1980.


For her outstanding achievements in badminton, Aunty was voted Sportswoman of the Year twice, in 1975 and 1978. 


Aunty Sylvia was featured on the covers of
sports magazines during her badminton career

Her international career in badminton included the 1969 South East Asian Peninsular (SEAP) Games held in Rangoon, Myanmar, the 1970 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand, and the 1971 World Tour that covered Russia, China for friendly games and also the Uber-Cup and All-England tournaments in England.


She was a versatile badminton player who not only excelled in playing Singles but also the Doubles games.


In the 1973 SEAP Games, Aunty Sylvia played Women’s Singles against compatriot, Rosalind Singha Ang as an opponent and also partnered with her for the Women’s Doubles to win Gold in both games.


Her awards for PIS II in 1978
and AMN in 1982

This formidable Women’s Doubles pair of Rosalind-Sylvia continued to score wins for the nation when they participated in subsequent tournaments like the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, the 1975 SEAP Games in Bangkok, Thailand and the first SEA Games in 1977 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Her achievements in the 1978 Commonwealth Games held in Edmonton, Canada are stuck in my memory because she not only participated in the Singles and Doubles games, but she was also the nation’s flag-bearer for the Opening Ceremony.


In the Doubles team event, they clinched the Bronze. For the individual event played the following day, she met compatriot, Katherine Teh for the Singles game and won Gold while Katherine had to settle for the Silver.


On that day, 12 August 1978, Aunty Sylvia made history by becoming the first Asian woman to win the Commonwealth Games, Singles Gold. 


A memento from her achievement
from Malaysian Book of Records

For this achievement, she was recognised in the Malaysia Book of Records as the first Malaysian female athlete to clinch a Gold in the history of the Games!


For her excellent service to Johor, Aunty received a State Award, the Ibrahim Sultan Medal Second Class or PIS II, in 1978.


In 1982 she was also decorated with a Federal Award, the Ahli Mangku Negara or AMN.


Aunty Sylvia was inducted into the Olympics Council of Malaysia (OCM) Hall of Fame in 2004.


Even while Aunty had retired from competitive badminton, she continued to represent the nation in the torch runs at the start of the XV SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur (1989), the IV SUKMA Games in Johor Baru (1992) and the XVI Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur (1998).


At the rehearsal ahead of
the awards ceremony

In 1998, she represented the nation at the launch of the Queen’s Relay on 9 March, an event prior to the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, and at a reception hosted at Buckingham Palace, London, she met the late Queen Elizabeth II.


Fast-forward to 2023 when Aunty and her husband were in Kuching, Sarawak, for a family bonding time with their grand-daughters when she received the invitation to attend this award ceremony in Pekan, Pahang.


Ever since their elder son, Shaun Mok and family had relocated to live in Kuching, the grandparents have enjoyed stays with them to explore this East Malaysian city in the company of their delightful grand-daughters.


So, it was July when Aunty received the invitation and they did not hesitate to make travel arrangements to return to Kuala Lumpur before heading to Pekan for the award ceremony.


A page from The China Press that
featured the report on the awards 
in conjunction with the birthday
of the Sultan of Pahang

“After 40 years, they finally realised your enormous contributions to the nation,” said her husband, Uncle Mok, who graciously added, “It’s better late than never.”


To Shaun, who accompanied his mother to the ceremony, he said, “Thank you son, for standing in on my behalf to savour the glory of your mother’s achievements.”


When cousin Dennis, based in Melbourne, shared the New Straits Times online report in our family WhatsApp chat group, he said Aunty was conferred the D.I.M.P. award in recognition for all her years of dedicated service, this was followed by a deluge of comments including congratulatory wishes to Aunty Dato' Sylvia.


The newspaper coverage with photographs from the rehearsal was also published in Chinese by The China Press.


By then, Shaun and his mother were already in Pekan for the rehearsal ahead of the awards ceremony on August 4. Our excitement escalated when he shared photos from the rehearsal and their dinner together in the hotel the night before.


Datuk Sylvia Ng at the
award ceremony, Pekan, Pahang

He, however, warned us that he would not be able to share photos from the ceremony itself as only official photography was permitted.


We are familiar with this because it was recently, in June when Uncle Billy, along with the 1967 Thomas Cup team, who received their Datuk-ship from the Agong at Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur, and photography was disallowed at the ceremony.


Not willing to miss out on the moments, we urged cousin Shaun to please try to capture as many good shots of his mother with himself at the ceremony – without breaking any rules – to share with us.


One of the best shots he managed to capture was when the royal couple entered the hall and they paused to speak to the award recipients, including Aunty Sylvia.


I smiled when I read the comment by my sister-in-law, “01 meets 01” because the Tengku Ampuan of Pahang, consort of the Pahang Sultan was Tunku Azizah, our Johor Princess.


Datuk Sylvia Ng-Mok with
her son, Shaun Mok

Over the years, I have documented a collection of family stories in My Johor Stories that featured the Ng family’s passion for badminton.


And to commemorate International Women’s Day in 2018, I also published an Exclusive, Celebrating Women: Our very own Sylvia Ng, a piece that marked the launch of a video by BFM Radio that featured an interview with Aunty Sylvia.


The two years of lockdown due to the global pandemic gave me time to work on the manuscript for the third and final instalment of My Johor Stories that will complete the trilogy of My Johor Stories books.


Launched in December 2022, My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now, documented my memories on Growing Up in Grandfather’s House and Badminton Glory Days, with precious childhood memories at grandfather’s house and of course, proud badminton achievements, particularly that of Dato' Sylvia Ng.



My 2017 MPH Non-Fiction Bestseller, My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage, its sequel My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People, and My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now are available from MPH bookstores nationwide and online from