Monday, February 29, 2016

Columbia Asia Hospital Diabetes Week 2016

Was honoured to be invited as a judge for Columbia Asia Hospital's storytelling competition, "My Life as a Diabetic Child." The children's stories were very inspiring and touching.

The Star, Sat 5 December 2015

CHILDREN with diabetes were given a chance to tell their stories to the world in an event organised by Columbia Asia Hospital.

The event, “My Life as a Diabetic Child”, was the hospital’s latest initiative to celebrate the lives of diabetic children.

It also marked the end of a series of events held in conjunction with World Diabetes Awareness Month and in collaboration with Diabetes Malaysia.

Children aged under 16 with Type 1 diabetes wrote about their life experiences either in a poem or story format.

Type 1 diabetes is one of the most misunderstood diseases because it is quite rare and does not have obvious physical symptoms.

The relatively low awareness on this type of diabetes also means there are many misconceptions.

“Columbia Asia’s commitment goes beyond treating the disease.

“A platform like this gives children with Type 1 diabetes an avenue to open up and share their world with us,” said Columbia Asia South-East Asia chief executive officer Kelvin Tan.

“Their stories will not only give the world a glimpse into the challenges they face, we hope it will also help the community understand them and their condition betterd.

The event was held at Sprouts, The School in Jaya One, Petaling Jaya.

“It was indeed a pleasure for us to host this inspirational event,” said its owner Charles Wong.

Local writers namely ninotaziz who penned Hikayat, Naga and Nik and the Secrets of the Sunset Ship; and Lydia Teh of Honk! If You’re Malaysian and Cow Sense for Young People also joined in the storytelling activities.

Nine-year-old Channery Khaw Ming Hern’s story was found to be the “Most Motivating” and was awarded RM6,000.

A story by Nor Athirah Nor Hisham, 12, was deemed the “Most Inspiring” story and she received RM4,000 while Chermaine Toh Xin Yee, 9, won the “Most Heartwarming” award for her piece and received RM2,000.

The other seven children were recognised as “heroes” and awarded RM1,000.

The children’s parents were also present to support them on their storytelling journey.

“I’m very proud of my daughter for being brave in sharing her story,” said Nor Hisham Mohd Yusof, who said his daughter, Nur Athirah, scored 5As in the recent UPSR.

A cheque for RM30,000 from funds raised by Columbia Asia during World Diabetes Awareness Month was also presented to Diabetes Malaysia.

Besides the storytelling celebration, Columbia Asia supported a Master Chef Challenge which took place in early November which saw chefs coming up with diabetic-friendly recipes.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Review of Stretching your dollars and sense by Liv&Luv

Review by Liv & Luv Blog
3 February 2015

Those who lived through the Japanese Occupation of our country know what it’s like to live frugally. I remember my grandmother (whom we fondly called Opah) telling us that she ensured her children would never go hungry by living well within her means.

Although my grandmother has passed on since, her words of wisdom stayed with me. So imagine my delight when I came across some of Opah’s tried-and-tested money-saving tips when I was reading this book.

Lydia Teh is a renowned Malaysian author and newspaper columnist who has seven other books to her name including the best-selling Honk! If You’re Malaysian. She is also a mother of four children.

As stated on its cover, the book contains more than 300 money-saving tips for anyone and everyone. In today’s tough economic climate, it pays to be prudent and there is no better way than to trim down your expenses. This book will help you do just that. It is chock-full of sensible money-saving suggestions that you can immediately apply in many areas of your life.

The tips are compiled into 11 Chapters entitled: Tightening the Belt, Super Shopper Savers, Prudent Household Tips, Utility Savings, Grooming for Less, Money Matters Most, Paying Less Tax is a Relief, Thrifty Transport Tips, Savings on Special Occasions, Leisure on a Budget and Miscellaneous and More Savings.

Every chapter consists of more than 10 tips and each tip is explained adequately. Whether you are a home-maker, a student, a salary earner or a business owner, the book covers a wide range of money-saving ideas which can easily be put into practice. The book ends with a few pages of lovely Quotations on Frugality and Simple Living and there is also a Glossary of words which is helpful to a non-Malaysian reader.

Let me assure you that this book is not telling you to stop spending completely. The writer emphasizes this in her introduction and recommends that what we should do instead is to make smarter choices and manage our finances better. I could not agree more.

Something that lends a very special touch to this book is how the writer has shared her experiences in using the tips herself. She is neither shy nor afraid of giving readers a glimpse into her personality. Some examples include the time she bought a denim jacket with two missing buttons because it was on discount and how she is known as the ‘leftover’ queen in her family.

It is also important to be aware that not every tip in this book is acceptable to everyone but those are few and far between. For instance, some readers may disagree with the writer on the tip about movie squatters. Instead of buying a ticket, you get your young child to share your seat with you or let the child sit on the stairs if you have an aisle seat. The downside to this is that the child may throw a tantrum when he or she becomes uncomfortable and this will consequently reduce the movie-watching experience for yourself and other paying patrons.

The writer acknowledges that she does not expect all the tips in this book to be used. However, given that there are more than 300 tips available, there is a wide variety for you to choose from.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for various ways to save money in his or her daily life. It can also be a nice gift for a friend or relative whom you think may appreciate some help in getting their expenses under control.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Still Honking in Her World

Her World, November 2014

It's been seven years since Lydia Teh first published Honk! If You're Malaysian and she is now back with a much-anticipated new book Still Honking - More Scenes from Malaysian Life.

The humourous and witty book captures the essence of what it feels like to be a Malaysian. If you're in need of a pick-me-up, look no further. Let Lydia entertain you with funny and hilarious characters and situations that all of us are familiar with. After all, there's nothing more joyous than reading about your own culture.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cooler Lumpur Festival 2014

Storytelling by Lydia Teh
Saturday, 21 June 2014
12.00 pm - 12.30 pm
White Box, MAP @ Publika

I was expecting primary and secondary school kids but because it was a school replacement Saturday, most of them were in school. Very young kids came for the talk instead. I had to improvise and simplify my story from The Wordy Tales of Eh Poh Nim for the young audience.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lydia Has Fun with Ms Know-It-All

New Straits Times Sat 23 March 2013

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Finding your Voice Talk

Perdana Leadership Foundation invited Kenny Mah and I for a talk at MPH in conjunction with their essay competition. This is a write up by Alicia Loh which was published in The New Straits Times on 20 September 2012.

The first writing forum organized by PLF (Perdana Leadership Foundation) together with Maybank Foundation this year took place in MPH Megastore One Utama on August 11 2012, in conjunction with this year’s Maybank Foundation-Perdana Leadership Foundation Essay Competition. The special guests who spoke were Lydia Teh, author of six published books, including Honk! If You’re Malaysian, and Kenny Mah, whose blog Life For Beginners is one of the longest running blogs in the nation.

Lydia began the talk first, sharing some passages written by famous authors such as Bill Bryson, and showing what makes each of them unique, telling us that it is their style that makes their writing easy to pick out even before you know who the author is.

Besides style, another thing she stressed was the voice of the writer. “Voice is your thumbprint in writing,” said Lydia, who places great importance on having a unique identity in writing. For Kenny, the old adage on finding one’s voice doesn’t quite hold true. “Finding your voice, to me, doesn’t exist,” began Kenny. “There is no such thing… You cannot find your voice because it’s not lost. You have a voice right now, even if you’re writing little posts on Facebook… You have your style of writing. It’s not so much about finding your voice, but… appreciating the fact that your voice will change over time.” That alone, however, is not enough, and Kenny made sure to tell us that, “The thing you need to do before any of the tips… is to commit to writing.”

Both writers underscored the importance of both reading and writing, as it is through practice that one hones the skill. Lydia also gave a rather interesting piece of advice, and that is to emulate the style of other writers. “I’m not saying you should copy… That’s called plagiarism. What I’m saying is that you [should] copy the style, what sort of tone…” Next, she advised writers to keep their audiences in mind. People have different ways of talking to people of various ages, and this should translate onto paper, too. “Use the right words,” she added.

When a young girl in the audience asked what the right timeframe to become a good writer is, Lydia replied frankly that she didn’t know. “It’s all up to you; how fast you learn, how much you read,” she said, “And let nobody say that you can’t write. You can learn to write. It isn’t an inborn talent… It’s a talent that can be developed.” Kenny had a different approach, saying that, “I think the aim is just to be a good writer, because it’s very hard to define what is a good writer… Instead of asking that question, why not set a goal for yourself?”

As for why young people should write, “It’s a means of escape,” answered Lydia, “And when you write down things, it helps you analyze.” For Kenny, writing is important to record events in one’s life, and the things that shape a person.

If you’re interested in writing, or want to find out more about it, PLF has another writing forum scheduled on the September 30, in MPH Megastore. As for the Essay Competition, the Grand Prize winner will walk away with RM8,000, whilst the other winners will also receive attractive prizes. The deadline for the competition is October 31, 2012. You can read the details at

For pictures of the event, hop over to PLF's Facebook page.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fun at Roundatbout KL

Fun for Kids in Malaysia

Written by Lydia Teh this is a book bursting with information about what to do / see with children in Malaysia. The author basically came up with the idea because her four kids used to complain that there was nothing to do during the school holidays … sound familiar?

The need to keep children constantly entertained / happy / healthy is tiring and time-consuming. Having a guide with pages of ideas and contact information is a massive help. When I had my first child, I had to discover things on my own and there really weren’t many child-friendly venues around. KL is evolving and has more to offer kids now.

The book covers the entire country from Penang to Labuan and every state in between. Each geographical section begins with a concise intro, information on how to get there and around; and delves into everything that would appeal to a kid within the state from natural wonders and sports to museums and festivals.

Every house should have one of these … it definitely helps to think of something to do when that whiney voice says, ‘I’m bored … what can we do?’.

Retailing for RM29.90 at all leading bookstores.

Note from Lydia: Actually this book was commissioned by Marshall Cavendish.