World Bloggers & Social Media Summit 2011 - Soft Launch

Well I've been blogging for several years now ever since late 2007. Started out more as a diary to keep track of events that happen around me. Soon I was invited to events, parties, launches, reviews and so on. I must admit that I enjoy every single bit of attention and recognition given to me. yes I'm an attention seeker.

While its not easy to find the free time to attend events, edit pictures and write while juggling with my busy schedule in the corporate world, I guess the 2 second of fame outweigh and rule. I may not be the top blogger in the country or as famous as Kennysia but I guess I've achieve some level of fame. If not, why on earth would I be invited to attend the Soft Launch of the World Bloggers & Social Media Summit.

The event which was held at Luna Bar, Menara Pan Global is organised by MyEvents International, a subsidiary of Dawoo Holdings Sdn Bhd. It's essentially a preview of what to expect in the upcoming summit which will be held on the 15th & 16th of June 2011 @ PWTC(Putra World Trade Centre) Kuala Lumpur.

The VVIP launching the event

MrMr Shahul Hameed Dawood(CEO of My Events), Datuk Badlisham Ghazali(CEO of Multimedia Development Corporation(MDEC)) , Terence Fernandez, Senior Editor of The Sun.

I bump into my friend Katherine and her boss, Azran the CEO of AirAsia X. Had a short chat with them and not forgetting a photo session for this blog post.
Azran, me and Kathrine

Interestingly I also met my long long distance cousin, Amber Chia. Okok I was just pulling your legs, she may have the same surname as mine but as far as I know we are totally not related

Amber Chia & Charlie Chia

Energizer Night Race 2011: Runners worse nightmare

Firstly I must confess that I'm just an amateur runner who join races like Energizer Night Race just to challenge myself. I'd fun during last year's Energizer Night Race at Cyberjaya. That prompted me to encourage all my friends to join this year's race. Beside the fun part, personally I think its really worth the money because I only pay around RM50 and I got a nice Adidas vest(RRP RM90), an Energizer Headlamp, goody bag and a fun time.

Honestly the organiser did a pretty good job last year despite some minor complain. For some unexplained reason, this year Energizer decides to appoint a new event organiser called Expose Media. The result was a disastrous one. In case you may wonder how bad could a race go wrong?, read on.......

Energizer Night Race 2011 Promotional poster.

Held last Saturday, this year's night race was said to be rather special because it was held at the Sepang International Circuit, a prestigious venue reserved for world class event such as the Formula 1 race. When Energizer Night Race 2011 venue was announced on major press early December 2010, runners flock to the official website to register because being able to run on the circuit can only be a dream to most runners.

Registration was closed upon achieving more than 10,000 runners on the 24th February 2011, way earlier than the closing date of 1 March 2011. Energizer and Expose Media intend to make history with 10k runners, double the number of participants compared to last year.

On the race day, like any other runners, my friend and I carpooled together and drove some 60KM/way (Toll RM7.40/way) to the deserted town of Sepang. Based on my company's petrol allowance of RM0.70/km, the total cost of travelling will come to RM98.80(mileage plus toll) for both way.

Just as we were approaching the Sepang International Circuit, we were stuck in a brief traffic jam due to the lack of signage and the alleged illegal parking collection by the Rela volunteers.

A Rela volunteers caught in action

The parking cost RM10 per entry and they even issue a receipt.

No company name or logo was printed on the receipt

The worse part about this whole parking issue is Terms and Conditions printed which says the Organiser is not liable for damages caused to vehicle and parked at owners own risk. From the comment which was posted online, some unfortunate participant's car got broken into and their valuable were stolen. How could this have happen? Well from what I know, after collecting entrance fees from car owners, those Rela volunteers left the car park unattended. Come to think about it, they might be the culprits.

From the car park, we need to walk quite a distance towards the Sepang International Circuit Entrance then walk past the Welcome Centre followed by the mall area and then follow the crowd walk down the stairs to the access tunnel toward the pit building. This is where the nightmare began, as the stairs area and tunnel were humid and not ventilated(probably the ventilation system and air con wasn't turned). To make matter worse, there was a terrible human traffic jam. Have a look yourself:

The traffic was at a standstill that some can even use sometime to reply messages

What causes the bad traffic?

The small door is one of the cause

Apart from the small door, the other reason was due to the understaffed and poor location of the headlight distribution point. The distribution point was manned by only 5 staffs who have to attend to more than 10k runners. On top of that it was located right after the stairs just as people come up from the tunnel, causing massive disruption to traffic flow.

Look at the crowd VS the workers ratio

After collecting the headlights, everyone is free to roam around the Sepang Circuit. The race kicks off at about 7.30pm onward with the 42km starting first, follow by 21km, 11km and 5km respectively right after that.

The night view was awesome when everyone turned their headlights red before the race starts. (Photo courtesy of

Everyone was asked to turn on the white light before the race was flag off after the opening speech by the VVIP. Another problem arises not long after the race was flagged off. The initial plan was to have 2 water station strategically located along the Sepang International Circuit, however during the race, only 1 water station was setup. This left many runners grasping for water and air.

The water station circled in red on the map was during the race.

Runners were promised that there will be a water station for every 2 -3 km but it turn out to have only 1 water station for every 5.5KM. There were no water station at the finishing lines which left many runners badly dehydrated and some almost faint.

An excerpt of the race info from the official page

After having run a distant of 11KM and 21KM, runners was made to queue up what is known at the longest queue in Malaysia Race history. Queue exceed 1km and worse of all, it barely moved. All these hassle just to get our finisher shirt, medal and certificate.

This queue lead up to the pit building.

Why was the queue so long? For the record, the 11KM category has about 5,000 runners and there's only one queue. There organiser only hired 5 people distribute the goody bags to 5,000 runners and they only start to pack the goody bag when people start queuing.

This resulted in the long and slow moving queue. Afters waiting for 45 minutes or so, people begin to get frustrated as the queue barely moves, this prompted people to cut queue and soon there is a huge crowd surrounding the distribution counter.

Goody Bags being throw around.

Instead of distributing the organisers begin to throw goody bags at the crowds, causing it's contents to drop off. Most participants ended up getting just an empty bag. This irresponsible action further fuel anger among the participants, which began pushing and fighting to get hold of a well deserved gift.

See how the bags were thrown.

As time pass more and more people begin to complete the race and join in the rush at the counter. People got more inpatient and acted fiercely. The organizer could no longer control the crowd and decided to close the pit's shutter to stop the fierce crowd from crowding the counter. At the same time the police were called in to help control the crowd.

Shutter Closing

The crowd was so packed that it made it almost impossible for those standing under the shutter to escape.

At this instant, it reminds me of the game Prince of Persia( the 2D version introduced in the early 90's) This action is indeed a dangerous one taken by the organiser as people may be crush to death under the strong mechanical force of the shutter(okay I may have exaggerated a little, but people might still get injured). Within seconds, the organisers manage to keep themselves shield from the participants.

The huge crowd being lock out.

Participants discussing on what to do next

While the huge majoring of the crowd were locked out, same were trapped inside the pit. These unlucky people were then question by the police and became suspect for creating chaos earlier.

Some of the people that were detained and questioned

While those trapped inside were questioned, the organiser and the police also made an announcement via the PA system those the crowd waiting outside the pit. Ms Josie the Director of Expose Media(Organiser) said something like this: "We will not be distributing anymore goody bags as the crowd when out of control. I know that not all of you are HOOLIGANS but unfortunately there are some among us. All goody bag, certificate and medal will be posted to the runners registered address." Notice that I highlighted the word hooligans, how can she as the director of the organising company say such a thing? After all, all the runners paid money to participants, and we are certainly no beggars.

Tons of goody bags were left un-distributed after the chaos

The mess

Soon everyone begin to head home after along, tiring and disappointed night, fan page dedicated to the ill organised event begin to pop up, Boycott Energizer Night Race & Energizer Night Race 2011: We want justice were among the 2 page created and the 2 pages garner about 6,000 fan in just a matter of 3 days.

The lack of information from the organiser and Energizer itself, fuel anger among participants. Tons of nasty comments were posted on the on the 2 facebook fan page demanding for refund, public apology, certificate, complaint on the parking, lack of medical personal were seen on the pages. This prompted the print media to do a write up. These are the link:

Here's an excerpt from the online news:

And here's note posted by Josie Huang Wan Ling, the Emcee and Director of the Event Company. She seems to blame all the 10,000 runners but herself. Shame on you Josie Huang!!!

Despite the tons of complaints and grievances made on the various social media network, the organiser and Energizer fail respond quickly, probably because they didn't expect the event to make a 360 degrees turn from what they intended to achieve. While participants were busy bombarding the official Energizer Night Race page on facebook with all kinds of harsh comments., the administrator did not bother to reply, instead they were busy deleting comments which agitate all the disgruntled participants.

The only official apology was made 2 days later and it was made online by Expose Media.

After a national disaster, just a simple apology posted online isn't enough, especially so when the office address isn't even valid in the first place.

Then Energizer came and shed some light just a knight in shining amour coming to the rescue. But wait, aren't the the main sponsor and culprit ? I mean the race itself is called Energizer Night race for a reason and Energizer was the one who appointed the Event Organizer. Thus they should have came out earlier and not when everything change from bad to worse.Anyway, here's a copy of the apology letter form Energizer:

Ironically, our local sport minister doesn't seem to be doing a good job either. There were so much publicity for Energizer Night Race all of the mainstream media but our Sport Minister, Dato' Ahmad Shabery Chee claims that his ministry is not aware of this race and has not giving any green light to the organizer. Ermmm, looks like everyone is pushing the responsibility around now.

Ever since the race day, runner has written complain to everyone they could think off, the media, the sport ministry, and even Energizer International. It has also gone viral on the social media network. The effect were just too much, that Energizer Malaysia's Managing Director, Mr Mike Foong has to step out and offer a public apology to all the runners and promises that Energizer will take over the roll of the Event Organizer and do the following:

  • Provide full refund on the registration fees to all runners(RM50 for all 10,000 runners, that's a tune of RM500,000)
  • To courier goodies bag too all runner (includes medal, finishing t-shirt, headlights, certificate.)
All this will be done before end of May 2011. All runners are advised to update their information on Energizer Night Race official website.

To those working with Energizer, better make sure you keep to your words and deliver what you have promised. Don't create another blunder.

And this is the worse race I've ever participated. Glad I'm part of this bitter history, something which I will tell my grandchildren 50 years from now.

**Photo's are taken from the Internet, my apology for not being able to give credit to most of the photos as I've no idea who actually owns it. If you happen to own any of the photo's used in this post, kindly drop me a message and I shall gladly update with a credit note. Thanks

Complimentary Drink @ Starbucks with American Express

If you love to drink and hangout at Starbucks, its probably time for you to apply for an American Express Card issued by Maybank. Make no mistake, this is not an advertorial for American Express or Maybank.


It's because American Express Card is currently running a promotion with Starbucks which entitle you to a complimentary beverage of the same value or less when you purchase a drink with your American Express Card. This promotion will be valid till 31st October 2011.

The Terms & Conditions

So if you have not got an American Express card, maybe its time to get one. Heard there are lots of other benefits and privilege coming soon too.

BlackBerry Playbook Media Preview @ Kuala Lumpur

Early this week I receive an exclusive invite to the media preview for the BlackBerry Playbook. Held today at the luxurious Bridge Bar, Level 28 GTower, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. Majority of those who attended the event are tech reviewers and top local bloggers.

Bridge Bar on the backdrop

3 lovely model posing with the mock Playbook.

As this is a close & private event, only a handful of people attended this event. SmashPoP(Jason Goh), Daphne Iking, The BlackBerry Malaysia social media team, LiewCF are among those who were invited.

Model, Me, Simon So, Simon Yap, Jason Goh, model and Rames

Joe Lebosi and myself

Daphne Iking

The BlackBerry Playbook in my palm..

Fellow Bloggers and myself checking out the features

The technical guy from RIM giving us a brief on the device

The idea of this device is so that people can play with it, thus its called the Playbook. However when you pair it up with a BlackBerry, you can certainly do more than play. Once you've pair up the device, you can BBM on a Playbook, check your BES email and do the regular stuff which you normally do on a BlackBerry except making calls.

and here's Daphne having fun with the Playbook's camera

Daphne giving the seductive look

Like the iPad 2, the Playbook came with 2 camera, one on the front and one behind. From the preview just now, the front camera appear to be sharper than the iPad 2 or any other tablet available in the market.

Reading made easy when you connect the Playbook to your LCD screen via HDMI cable

Need for Speed on Playbook

If you would like to have a feel of how its like play Need For Speed on Playbook, click here.

More for update on the upcoming BlackBerry Launches & Events, join these 2 official Facebook pages:
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