I will begin a new chapter in life comes January 4, 2010. I am joining Malaysia's largest English daily, The Star, as its full time reporter based in Sibu.
While in lower secondary school Datuk Clement Hii and I had started contributing to The Borneo Bulletin to earn some extra cash. The Borneo Bulletin was a Brunei based English weekly very popular in East Malaysia in those days.Both of us ended up working with the now defunct Sarawak Herald after leaving school.The ill-fated paper only survived for about 3 years. Later I joined The Borneo Bulletin while Datuk Hii served as the Editor-In-Chief of The Borneo Post. He went on to have his own paper, The Malaysian Mirror and also published a host of magazines,covering politics and development in Sarawak , Sabah and Brunei.
Fast forward to 2008. In November of 2008, while having a drink together at Kuching Hilton, Datuk Hii disclosed to me that he was in the process of joining the board of The Star. I was surprised, but I believed in his words because of his earlier successful business manoeuvres especially in the listing of Segi University College which made him the CEO and his entry as Group Managing Director of another listed company, Ecofirst Consolidated Bhd.
Datuk Hii made national headlines when he was made Deputy Executive Chairman of The Star in January 2009. He also became the 2nd man from Sibu, Sarawak, to helm an influencial national daily. The 1st man is Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King who controls the largest Chinese daily in the country, Sin Chew Jit Poh.
I was invited to contribute to The Star around March this year. From May onwards,each month The Star's Metro section publishes 3-4 feature stories I wrote about people,culture and tourism in Sarawak and Sabah.
In October I attended an interview in Kuching for the post of Journalist after the management decided to publish The Star Sarawak Edition in early 2010. Subsequently I was accepted and will report to duty on January 4, 2010.
It has been some 20 years that I have not worked as a salary man. It is going to be a challenging job but I will strive to be a reporter with conscience, writing without fear or favour.
Happy New Year to all friends and readers here. May you be blessed with good health,good luck, good fortune and happiness throughout the year and beyond.
The above picture was taken with Datuk Hii when we were at the Sarawak Herald.