Friday, August 8, 2014

INTI FM IDOL Group 13 : Mr. Lim Zhi Hwa

Link to visit this hardwordking man:

Here is the story of #IntiFMIdol Mr Lim: Light in Darkness:
In the busy and ever developing area in Subang Jaya, SS15, shops have bloomed or closed down over the years. Behind such a busy and trendy town with new shops opening up and closing down, there are still shops and owners sustaining their very own hard work themselves.

No one would’ve realised that there is a 56 year old man trying hard in leading and sustaining his own shop in this competitive environment. The shop once had a very stable status in SS15 but slowly drifted away with time as buildings, railways and highways began expanding in the area. The recent construction has affected the business around this area.

As any other normal day of the 365 days in 2014, many are running errands, some are rushing to work, some are enjoying the morning cup of coffee which SS15 is widely known for, some even hanging around with a bunch of friends while one man opens up his shop around 10am day in day out.

The front porch lights are switched off and shutters pulled up. He leads the other employees to start preparing for the coming customers. One makes the bed, one prepares the towels, another sweeps the floor and he checks the daily customers’ booking list.

This rather secluded place doesn’t look like much but has a lot to offer. “Tai Jo Lim”, a reflexology shop is just a floor above the famous Pelita Restaurant in SS15. Mr Lim Zhi Hwa, the current owner would open the front door to greet his customers with open arms as they walk up the flight of stairs to his shop.

Mr. Lim's shop is SS15, Subang Jaya.

This passionate old man who is currently single, treats his 4 employees like his very own family. Although he may be their “boss”, this term was never used in their working environment. Instead he is referred to as “Uncle Lim” by all of his employees showing a family-like feel.

One of his employees, Mahindran pitches in by saying, “Sometimes Uncle Lim would buy us food before we come to work and he even provides us with a place to stay the night if it gets too late or when the weather is bad”

He is very much different from any other business entrepreneur in SS15. All his employees are blind. He started the business due to his drive and motivation to brighten the lives of the blind to show them that there is still a ray of hope in their future despite being visually challenged.

“He never fails to motivate me to work hard and to have a strong desire in the things I do,” says his 27 year old blind employee, Chong Lei Ching.

Just by looking at Lim’s kind heartedness, and the way he works, what makes him ever the more unique is that he too, is blind.

Interviewing Mr. Lim.

Born in the state of Tampin, Negeri Sembilan, he used to be like any other normal little boy who had literally everything living under the care of both mother and father. At first, Lim suffered from minor vision problems. Everyone in his family thought it was just a normal eye sight problem. Technology back then was not as good as now. The doctors could find nothing wrong with his eyesight. Over the years, it worsened.

Being brought into this world, his parents did not know that he was suffering from an inherited disease passed down from his mother’s side. This disease unfortunately did not only attack the surface but also his inner eyeball. Hence, no surgery can fix the damage. As his vision worsened over the years, finally at the age of 36 years, it left him – His vision was gone in just a blink of an eye.

“I can only see shadows just enough to picture that there is something or someone in front of me,” he explains.

The disease attacked him drastically without alarm one day.

“I woke from my sleep and I could barely see anything except darkness,” he said. “I was extremely terrified and lost.”

The confidence in this matured grown man dropped like a stone. It was hard for the man to accept at first. In terms of his work, Lim slowly failed to complete his job scopes as a restaurant chef. Everything seemed very unfamiliar to him. It was like a whole new environment that forced him to adapt to as soon as possible. He was forced into a situation where he had to “either adapt or die”.

“I’ve thought of giving up on life,” expressed the old man gazing back to the past.

Everything made him unfit for his working environment. He had no choice but to survive, like a stray jumping from job to job. From being a waiter, to a promoter and finally he was left jobless.

The man started to have a huge rejection towards himself and slowly decided to shut himself out from the rest of world.

“Just when I thought all hope was lost, I was asked to go to the Blind Association in Brickfields,” mentions Lim.

It is the pure deeds of the association which has been giving hope to all who are blind in this world. Acting not only as a shelter but a place where all types of skills are taught in order for them to survive with pride.

Mr. Lim's achievements over the years framed up on the wall.

During his time with the Blind Association, he met friends with a similar condition as him and some even worse. Story after story he hears from all his newly made friends. He learned a lot. From reflexology skills, to skills to survive as a blind person and even things that could not just be described with words. – “A blind persons’ spirit”.

When he passed the learning course, he worked with an owner ofa reflexology shop. This man was too old to continue supporting this shop. So, Lim, determined to continue the owners’ initiative of helping the blind, took the risk of taking over the shop 3 years ago and this is how and where this special entrepreneur’s journey began.

Lim is very much satisfied with the fact that although he’s blind, he is actually able to run his very own reflexology shop. To top it all off, they have customers who have supported them continuously for 3 years because of their unique massages.

“The blind are very sensitive to their touch,” he points out. “Hence, they are good at pressing different points of the body with the correct pressure making this the unique selling point of our centre”

Every job has its own challenges even when carrying out a simple task in everyday life. The most challenging part of his job however is when it comes to handling some of their customers’ health problems. Some of which experience bone spurs or diabetes that can’t be cured with a mere massage. But what can be done is to improve the blood circulation and to relax their muscle joints. If it’s anything more beyond muscle pains and stunted blood circulation, customers need to consult a doctor. Lim somehow felt sorry for his dearest customers but his massage techniques managed to relieve a lot of pain his customers were suffering previously. This in turn made his customers into long term loyal clients.

As said by Lim, before, the number of customers coming in was hard to even keep track but nowadays, he finds it harder to even estimate the number of customers they have in a day due to the construction of the LRT and the jam it causes. The number of customers has gone down over the years because of it. He couldn’t do anything but watch the customers coming in fewer and fewer every day that made him feel helpless. However, there are still a handful of customers who still go to him.

It is without a doubt that this business is struggling at the moment, but all he wants is to increase the job opportunities for the blind people. For everyone that noticed, success is not lying within his business’s sales. Think about how much happier you will be” Having a meal with your own hard earned money rather than feeling guilty begging from another.

“It was never about the success of this business, it was always about my employees,” says Lim.

His goal is to ensure that his employees get the motivation and optimism that they need to find a direction in life. Those are the only objectives that he feels are needed to sustain this business and nothing else.

Lim having the “best” of sight as compared to the rest of his employees, who are completely blind, would lead the group. With Lim in front, they form a straight line with one hand placed on another’s’ shoulder and the other holding a white cane. In that formation, Lim will lead them to their destination.

It is a parentalinstinct that Lim takes care of his employees. On alternative weekends, he would walk them to the nearby shopping mall, First Subang to get necessary groceries for themselves or items for the business.

Mr Azhar, a security guard from First Subang states, “I have been working here for the past year and I found it very interesting the first time I saw this group of blind people walking in a straight line into the mall,”

“They come here at least once a week and I notice that the person in front would always lead, bringing them to wherever the group needs to go.”

Passer-by’s could easily see without question that this old man is very much obliged to take up the leadership role and responsibility to ensure the safety of his employees at all times.

“Mr Lim will always walk us to the bus stop and get onto the bus with us to ensure that we get home safely first before he makes his own trip home,” says Lingkeswari, another one of his employees.

An inspirational saying from Mr. Lim himself.

The effort that he has put in is not only for himself to prove that he is capable of being independent, but with the hopes that it reaches out to all the disabled out there; be it blind, crippled or mute. Nothing is hard.

“If you think too much, you won’t be able to take the risk,” he says.

In this realistic world, it is a cruel fact that the current generation in our community today often look down on the blind and think that all they want is sympathy and money like beggars. This had triggered and motivated Lim indirectly as he never wanted such thing to happen to him. He worked very hard and took up every challenge along the way, hoping that this will be a lesson to all the disabled to not let their pride down.

Every disabled person has an equal chance to start up their own business. It is only, “If you dare to take the first step that hope will come,”

A friend of Lim once mentioned that if he wasn’t blind, he would’ve been a very successful and recognised man by now. But he replies saying, “I was just like any other ordinary man before I became blind, nothing special,”

“Instead, being blind has made me a much better person. I am more independent and optimistic towards life now.”

A message from this special blind leader which he has learnt throughout his amazing journey – the disabled should never give up or complain when they face an obstacle because, “We might be slower getting to our destination, but it doesn’t mean that we will never reach it”

If you happen to be in Subang Jaya, drop by “Tai Jo Lim’s Traditional Massage” which is just a floor above the famous Pelita Restaurant in SS15 and try out his relaxing reflexology.

Business Information of #IntiFMIdol - Mr Lim
Name of shop: Tai Jo Lim (Traditional Blind Massage)
Operation Hours: Everyday except public holidays (10.30 a.m. – 9.30 p.m.)
Address: 6-1, Jalan SS15/4C, Subang Jaya, 47500 Selangor
Contact Number: 018-3663132 / 03-56359233
Nature of business: Reflexology
- Foot Massage (1 hour): RM 38
- Body Massage (1 hour): RM 40

All rights are reserved by Founder Method.

A group work done by:

1. Majorie Loone Li Ann
2. Ong May Kay
3. Desiree Charmaine Tan (Our very own ex Leo)
4. Jerobin Austin Danay Tinawin
5. Jeremiah Wong

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Report On Golden Days

     On the 2nd of August 2014, the Leo Club of SMK Assunta organized a visit to White Dove retirement nursing center called Golden Days. The event started at 9.45 am and ended at 11.00 am. There were 6 members from our Leo club attending the project.

     The retirement home has 18 old folks and 6 staff members. We had brought oranges, egg tarts, buns, Milo and Soya bean packet drinks for the residents of the nursing home. Upon arriving, we were warmly welcomed. The staff was friendly and were kind to the residents of the retirement nursing home. The old folks are as equally friendly and shared many interesting stories with us. We then sang a few songs with the residents while one of our Leo members and her father played the guitars. We all had a joyful and fun time. After that, we distributed packet drinks for them. We also realized how unfortunate and devastating these elderly people are as they were once great people with happy families until their families could not take care of them anymore. Their family members would often visit them on weekends though. We left them with the food and drinks that we brought and bid them goodbye before we left. We hoped we made everyone there happy and visit them next time.

Report by,
Leo Sheryl Lim.

Photos taken during this project,

Leos singing with the old folks.

Leos distributing packet drinks to the old folks.

A group photo of the Leos who attended.

Report On Hari Raya Gifts

     On the 24th of July a few Leo from the Leo Club Of SMK Assunta handed out sweets. This occurred when the students and teachers of SMK Assunta were celebrating the joy of the upcoming Hari Raya on the school's lawn. It was done as a small gift to bring on the little joys of Hari Raya. The teachers and students enjoyed themselves getting sweets and celebrating. Overall this project was a success. We hope that everyone had an amazing time and a great Hari Raya.

Report by,
Leo Kashmeera

Photos taken during this project:

Leos giving candies to teacher.

Students from Assunta collecting the candies we distributed.

Our principal, Puan Rita joining the fun.

Report On 14th Selangor Leo Clubs Joint Installation 2014

     On the 26th of July, 10 Leos from the Leo club of SMK Assunta attended the Selangor Joint Installation of the Leo club of Subang Utama, Leo club of SMK USJ 4,Leo club of La Salle PJ, Leo club of La Salle Klang , Leo club of SMK USJ 8, Leo club of SMK Subang Jaya, Leo club of Sri KL and Leo club of Taylors University (O). The event took place at INTI College in Subang Jaya. It was indeed an event that we were all proud to be there for as we got to witness our fellow Leos and BODs being installed on their special day. There were also some interesting performances like a dance act and a singing act which was very enjoyable. We were very surprised at how adorable the lucky draw gifts were and we thank the Leo clubs and credit them on their creativity! We are very proud of each and every single Leo and we'd also like to congratulate and welcome them to our Leo community!

Report by,
Leo Chloe Narcis

Photos taken during this event:

The banner of the installation.

Induction of new board of directors.

Report on the Interact Club of Bukit Bintang’s International Understanding Day

     On the 26th of July 2014, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bukit Bintang had their annual International Understanding Day with the theme DEFORESTATION, and their motto was “DON’T BE MEAN, JUST GO GREEN”. It was held at their school’s hall. The decorations were so beautiful and it matched the theme very well.

     They started the day with registration, the ticket was actually badges. Each tickets were priced at RM15. The first 100 people who attended this IU day had been given a hand-made bag. Once we were seated, the show started with an opening act. It was really moving and interesting. They told a story about cavemen and human technology that sent a strong message to everyone there. The day continued with many performances and speeches by the principal, the IU director, the head of the rotary club PJ, and the representative of the Malaysian Nature Society (MSN).

     This fun day ended with the lucky draw. The prices were vouchers to MPH and AEON, power banks, headphones, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. I really wanted to win something but sadly I didn’t. After listening to a touching speech by the president of the Interact Club of Bukit Bintang, we all left the school and went home. Overall the day was very amazing. I am very proud of the Interact Club of Bukit Bintang for raising RM5000 to be given to MSB and they manage to do that with only having 30 members.

Report by,
Leo Cheong Kah Mun

Photos taken during this event:

The theme for this event.

Report on Joint Installation of 14th Kuala Lumpur Leo Clubs Installation, District 308 B1, Malaysia

     On the 26th of July 2014, 2 Leos of SMK Assunta had attended a joint installation between the Leo clubs from Leo Club of SMK Damansara Utama, Leo Club of SMK Kepong Baru, Leo Club of SMK Bukit Jalil, Leo Club of SMK USJ13, Leo Club of SMK Sultan Abdul Samad,Leo Club of SMK Taman Bukit Maluri, Leo Club of SMK Datok Lokman, Leo Club of SMK Cochrane and Leo Club of SMK Jinjang which is held in HELP College of Arts & Technology Auditorium from 10.00am until 2.00pm. The theme of this year for their installation is “WE ARE ONE”.

     The installation went successfully. The protocol was started with the presiding officer to start the meeting called to order. Then, it was the banner presentation from all the Leo clubs that will be installed. After that, all of us were prepared to sing for the national anthem and to say the Leo pledge. Later on, it was the recognition of Lions dignitaries. Then everyone from their own club did their roll call. Right after the roll call, it was the welcoming address by the organizing chairperson, Leo Ho Su Ling and the presiding officer, Lion Serena Yeo.

    Next, we had the multimedia presentation. After that, it was the initiation ceremony and the speech by the representative from the outgoing president. Then, it was the installation ceremony and here, the Lions have installed the new members and the incoming board of directors in with respective Leo Clubs. Later on, it was the speech given by the newly installed president, Leo Ho Su Ling and addressed by the guest-of-honour, followed by presentation of mementos. Finally, the meeting had adjourned and there were some performances and group photography section. Their performance was good and funny. We enjoyed it very much. We left there around 2pm after our lunch which is provided by them. All in all, we’ve met quite numerous of new friends from other Leo Club in District 308 B1. It was a memorable event and we hope to see them again soon.

Report by,
Leo Yoke Ling.

Photos taken during this event:

Lions cutting the flower ribbon.

The organizing chairperson making her speech.

Installation of the new board of directors.

Report on the Leo Club of Damansara Jaya’s 24th Initiation and Installation Ceremony

     On 12th of July, a sister club of Leo Club of Assunta, the Leo Club of Damansara Jaya had their 24th Initiation and Installation Ceremony at Royal Club Selangor. The theme of the event was Safari Night. One Leo from Leo Club of Assunta, who was the newly elected President attended this event. The event began around 7 p.m. with the arrival of guests.

     The meeting was called to order by Leo Solomon Tneo, the President of the Leo Club of Damansara Jaya for the fiscal year 2013-2014. Then, it was the singing of national anthem, flag salutation, Leo pledge and recognition of guests and Leos. Next, the organizing chairperson, Leo Kwan Voon Wei gave her speech followed by a speech given by the Presiding Officer, Leo Solomon Tneo to express his appreciation towards the committees and everyone else for their hard work.

     Guest of Honor, President of Lions Club of Petaling Jaya, Lion Ronnie Wong gave his speech before the induction ceremony. After the ceremony of induction of new members and installation of Board of Directors of the fiscal year 2014-2015, Leo Tee Ke Ran, the newly elected President gave her first speech. Then, it was the presentation of membership and appreciation certificates to the outgoing Leos and Board of Directors of the fiscal year 2013-2014.

     Around 8:10 p.m, Leo Tee Ke Ran adjourned the meeting and the event was continued by several performances. It was truly a great time enjoying the buffet dinner while bonding with the other Leos from different clubs.

Reported by,
Leo Michelle Hee.

Photos taken during this event:

Installation of board of directors for the fiscal year 2014 - 2015.

Immediate Past President Solomon Tneo with newly installed President Tee Ke Ran.

President of the Leo club of SMK Assunta receiving souvenir from
the President of the Lions club of Petaling Jaya, Lion Ronnie Wong.