Friday, 22 August 2014

Malaysia Airlines First

As I'm writing this, I'm finishing up work before the weekend comes. And to be exact, doing work related to Malaysia Airlines. So much has taken place in the past 6 months for this beloved national carrier of ours and it shatters my heart everytime I come across any sort of news/statement about the incidents that have taken place.  

In the past, there was no other airline that I looked for for the years that lived abroad - it has always been Malaysia Airlines first. And because of that, I can safely say that I am very proud of them. It's clear that MAS is not in the best state at the moment, but it saddens me that instead of finding solutions to help them people come out to attack it. People come out to say that it used to be better before when it was run by someone else. People come up with theories on why it is MAS. People stopped flying MAS because to them all these mishaps only happen to MAS. People come out to BLAME, and these are people who MAS have probably flown them all around the world before. 

Blaming do not solve anything. Measured thoughts and actions do.  I woke up a couple of days ago and thought "why is it that there are people who continue to take money from something that's bleeding financially? Why is it hard to find genuine people with big hearts these days?" I do not have an answer for that. In the business world, it's that harsh sometimes. It is clear that running like how it is today is not an option for the future and MAS was probably just at the wrong place at the wrong time. But MAS is ours to be proud of and stand with through good and bad times. 

Today was the day some of the remains from MH17 were flown back - 20 to be exact. My heart shattered multiple times and I cried buckets just thinking about the affected family members and friends of those onboard MH17 and MH370, all the innocent lives taken away out there in fact. The minute of silence was observed at 10:54am and the office was gloomy with many dressed in all-black. 

May Allah SWT continue to protect the family and friends of all onboard the MH17 and MH370 flights as well as those who worked night and day finding a closure for this. MasyaAllah only Allah can repay your kindness! To Nizam, I broke down seeing this photo of you today on TV along with Kimi's lil son and wife. Thank you for piloting MAS and flying us across the world. You're one with a really really big heart and Allahyarham Kimi is truly blessed to have a best friend like you. Very very proud of you Captain Nizam! 

I flew out with Malaysia Airlines last weekend, and I am taking the first flight out again tomorrow morning, with Malaysia Airlines. I'll choose you over any other airline MAS. Anytime. 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

aliaaiman - Our Photographer + Videographer

Past 3 weeks, Aiman and I have been going around videographer-and-photographer shopping for our wedding. Oh god, how do you even decide on one? There are so so so many out there, and each and everyone one of them produces such good photos and videos at the end of it.

Since I don't quite fancy doing wedding errands, I was told that this will be your one opportunity to stress out about it and be a bridezilla. So fine, let's just get through this stress as quickly as possible. So what we did was to ask a few of our married friends about their videophotog and at the same time browsed through Instagram to explore for a few more others.

Had a round of sms-ing and whatsapping with them, asking for initial quotation and finally decided to meet 3 out of the few we had. We met all three in one weekend, and by the end of it I had a major dilemma.

I turned to Aiman and said "Oh my god, they're all so nice! It's nice to see Malays doing well in something they're so passionate about. I don't know how to say 'no' once we've decided. Your job to be the bad cop....but they're so nice!" whilst giving Aiman the puppy-eyes-please-don't-say-no-to-anyone.

So today, we've finally decided on which ones to choose as our photographer and videographer.

We're taking... ALL THREE for our three events. Bahahaha!

We did not have to say NO to anyone and life is swell yo! *do the chicken dance*

Friday, 15 August 2014

aliaaiman - It's ok

I have this habit of when I see a beautiful or good looking person I'll go "Sayang!!! She's so cantik!" or "So good looking la he" whilst at the same time tugging on Aiman to look at that person I'm talking about and forcing him to agree.

He used to find it weird that I go "don't you think she's pretty?". He thinks it's a trick question.

"erm...yeah? Maybe. But you're still prettier".

Trying to be safe there. But really, there's nothing wrong with pointing out if a person is pretty or good looking is there?

Once we went jogging and my focus got attracted to this very beautiful girl at the park. It's like her face was just perfect, so MasyaAllah cantik! Before I know it, Aiman tapped on my shoulder and said "Excuse me, it's rude to stare". I'm starting to think he gets jealous over pretty girls. Haha!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

aliaaiman - Dress

I'm that few months away where when people sees me, their first question would be

"Have you done your dress yet?!"


"Do you know what you want your dress to look like?"


"Have you even made any appointments?"

Nah. Got time, no?


Sunday, 3 August 2014


The other day whilst fiddling with things in Papa's car, I came across his name card.


This man has a lot of qualification!! His card alone is enough to make me feel quite useless. Haha!

And then it hit me, I finished my Bachelors in Science and Mama and Papa were so proud about it. And then came my masters and they were beaming from one ear to another. Sometimes I feel it's unfair that your parents have gone through all those way before you and you had no chance to proudly attend their graduation beaming from one ear to another. Sigh, this man of mine is one of the most humble person on earth and I'm just so proud to call him my dad.

I took a look again at his card and geez...I feel useless with just a Bachelors and Masters. Maybe I should do that PhD.

Well, in my defence he's a Doctor. He has to be qualified in order to be able to treat patients right? Working in a Bank allows me to not have to memorise names of drugs. Bahaha!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Raya in Malaysia!

...and when Aiman gets hold of the camera...
"Are you at work?" 
was the common question I had on first day of Raya this year. 
Last year, I celebrated Raya at the office, in London away from the family. Although I did not really feel the Raya mood much, it helped that I was working with a Malaysian Bank. Because having a HQ back in KL meant that offices in KL were closed, so it does feel like raya in some good twisted way :)

Alhamdulillah this year, I get to celebrate it with my complete favourites - my family + fiancé.

With all the recent happenings around the world, sometimes we forget what's most important and that is your loved ones. I'm just very grateful that I had the opportunity to be back home this year. It's also my final rays as a Miss InsyaAllah and next year we're all going to be a bigger family!

Having said, Selamat Hari Raya Maaf Zahir Batin everyone! Stay safe wherever you are and don't forget to keep all those innocent lives out there in our prayers. May they be at a better place Amin :)

Thursday, 24 July 2014


Some years ago, someone once told me, "No one understands you better than your colleagues..."

I refused to believe it but at times I think there is some truth to it. Perhaps because you spend most hours of the day with them and they probably know how you think and how you function, know you well enough for them to be able to respect you for who you are.

It's a thought that crossed my mind today because a colleague of mine trusted us so much to be giving us a whole load of important task because he had an emergency.

We function so much like a very close-knit family, and I'm grateful to know that someone is always there, readily to catch me when I fall.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

aliaaiman - Wedding Guest List

Recently I attempted to do up the guest list for my wedding reception since I thought if I could get this task up and running, it would be a motivation for me to start deciding on the other (many many many more just as important) things. Many of my married friends had warned me to start early on the guest list because it will be the one task that will give you the biggest headache.

Well I knew who I wanted to invite, so it was easy.

I started listing down my colleagues first and...The list DID NOT STOP!

Oh my goodness! Where did all these people come from?! Hahahaha! I ran through what I've listed down again and before I knew it I was in this "Awww I loveeee this colleague of mine", "Gosh, this person taught me so much when I was there", "This boss of mine is so freaking cool!" mood - all loved up at the thought of my awesome colleagues *sigh* :))

.... That was only one group of invitees ok, and the list just kept on growing and growing and growing and growing and growing and growing and growing and growww....aarrrggghhhhhh!

Seven departments. I might as well just invite the whole firm now.

Maybe it's best I save on wedding cards and get Human Resource department to do a mail blast! Sounds like a plan.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Find it in you to love

Don’t be too quick to judge. I’m guilty as charge; In my head, I admit I do that sometimes based on incomplete information. However, for one to have the confidence to say out loud something sensitive that wasn’t verified beforehand is just idiotic – in my opinion. Why spark a tension when there wasn’t any to begin with.

As I see it, the world is so full of hate and anger today (with regards to many things), sometimes it’s hard to keep going on. What you see happening between Israel-Palestine, Russia-Ukraine, within each individual location are conflicts that had affected and in fact taken away so so many innocent lives. If you think hard about it, it’s clearly inhumane to be getting angry at the expense of innocent lives, but did this thought ever stopped people from planning revenge? No. At least not until a mishap happens.

Quoting Nelson Mandela, “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”.

Today, a friend who pilots MAS’ aircraft came home from the airport looking so down like never before – not only his colleagues were onboard that MH17 but also his best man at his wedding was the first officer who did not survive the crash, Innalillah. All prayers and thoughts go out to all the innocent lives around the world, the lives that were taken away. InsyaAllah you are now in a better place compared to this harsh world.

It’s a good reminder to always practice respect and kindness in everything that you do. Only through kindness could we have had civilized discussions and not begin a war. On that note, let’s continue to pray for all those affected directly and indirectly, may Allah open up the hearts of hearts in us to look into the good of everyone and have the strength to go through this very challenging test of His.

To Allah we belong, and to Him shall we return. 

Sunday, 13 July 2014


Have you heard?

YCM is Partnering with TEDxKL next!! 
We've got something for you! Be sure to sign up for our mailing list here so that you don't miss out :)

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Paving ways for (potentially) Malaysia’s Largest (Islamic) Bank

“Dudeeeee, what is this crazy news I’m reading!?”
Last week we had this. Then this week, we announced a potential merger between CIMB RHB and MBSB (sucha mouthful with loads of B in there, I’m really interested to know what the new name will be if this goes through!), which if the proposal is successful it would pave way for the formation of Malaysia’s largest Bank. 
Did my time machine just fast forwarded? 4 and a half years ago, I joined the firm and had the privilege to work on a proposal that never took off - RHB as a takeover target with CIMB and Maybank having an eye on it. I was fresh from Uni and struggled through doing valuation to understand what is overprice? What is undervalued? What should be the just-right price? And then in my 2nd year with CIMB, I moved on to serve the Group Islamic Banking division and had the best time exploring and developing new products for the firm. 
Today, I’m serving my 7th department within the firm and I can never thank my awesome colleagues for the continuous guidance.
CIMBRHBMBSB. The idea of a Mega Islamic Bank sometimes feels a little…WOW, overwhelming. But now that the announcement has been made, there will definitely be interesting times ahead! 90-days to negotiate and finalise pricing, structure and other relevant terms for this proposed merger. I sat and gave it a thought, being a leader is MasyaAllah very very challenging. This idea that Dato' Sri came up with is just another one of his amazing ideas for the future of CIMB and for the good of the country. Not gonna be plain sailing merger talk, in fact pricing will still be a key challenge but here's to loads and loads of positivity for all 3 teams to work out what's best for US and the Country :)
It’s still clear in my head when we did the RBS takeover. First thing I thought was “Wahh I don’t need to apply for work in the UK now, I’ll be working with Mat Sallehs in my very own Bank”. Bahahaha! Lucky me, I managed to land a job at our London office to work with the RBS guys. Only that it turned out to still be very Asian! LOL! :D However, most importantly, I had that opportunity to work with our new members from RBS and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had :)
It’s crazy when I think about the experiences I’ve had whilst serving this firm. Coming back to KL may not have been the easiest decision I had to make, but surely an experience that I may not have gotten had I not relocated back. Since I came back some 6 months ago, I’ve been in 2 departments and best of all through a period when a lot of (and I mean a lot of major) things took place! It’s overwhelming and surreal but at the same time interesting and a great experience for me to fit into “my time in CIMB’ book. 
My first year + my second year with the firm combined literally make up the current department I'm serving now. 
My colleague joked “the day you leave the firm you’ll feel like I’ve seen it all I can open a cafe now!!”
That actually sounds like a great plan!

But for now...I still love my job as much as I did when I first joined the firm :)
(Ok don't mind the nerdy look, I just got out of Uni then. But Subway for lunch? That's still the same on some days today)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Partnerships and Collaborations

Looking out for fruitful Partnerships and Collaborations for YCM can be very tiring. You don't just collaborate or partner with just about anyone, you have to go through the whole synergy valuation and listing down all the potential upside and downside of it.

Past couple of weeks I've been going for meetings with a few organisations/companies to explore  potential partnerships and collaborations. I must say although it's tiring, it's fun at the same time! Not only you're allowed to be creative with event ideas but it also tests your negotiation skills. It's like doing a merger, you go into it if it has value add.

The good thing about YCM is that we run like a family business - small close knit family. So no matter how small a new idea is, it will just get the entire chat group alive and we sometimes think we're Superman (wanting to do the impossible)! I'm one to get really excited if I think the idea may have a 50-50 chance for it to kick off. It gives me this you HAVE to make sure you don't let go of this opportunity sort of feeling.

I just feel that collaborating and partnering with another party will bring a bigger gain to our members. Plus, at the end of the day, the goal of YCM is to help others get better access into the corporate world and gaining knowledge on work ethics and skills you require to become successful.

Running YCM has definitely shaped me to become a better person in so many many ways.

I love my YCM *sigh*

Anyway! In collaboration with Bursa Malaysia, YCM will be hosting its YCM Special Series over a yummylicious buka puasa together with Dato' Tajuddin Atan, CEO of Bursa Malaysia next week. If you're interested, click here to RSVP :)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

6 months

Time really flies, we're 6 months away....(6 months away?!!!) from our own wedding and we've done nothing very little!

Should we panic? We've not done our wedding costumes, we haven't decided on our photographer and videographer, we haven't started on guest list and don't start...soooo many many more things and all we've done really is work work and work. Haha! 

We've both been so busy at work, we even work on weekends.

These days work can be quite overwhelming, I only have ever-growing respect for my teammates who pushes right through night and day to work on a project we're in. It's probably one of the busiest periods in my life juggling between work, YCM and wedding.  I literally pengsan right after coming back home nowadays. 

Really, sometimes even I question where are all these energy in me coming from? Hehe, but Alhamdulillah for the strength He gives to me to get through everyday. 

I'm just feeling very very very thankful for all the happy blessings right now :))))

Sunday, 6 July 2014

True Love Story

If you work where we work, you would know that we are ALWAYS ALWAYS together - some even think we are sisters. On the trading floor, everyone's used to the Alia-Ireen tag team. On days when I don't have my heels or blazer for meetings, you'd find me wearing hers. On days when she's down, you'll see her dragging me out for some ray of sunshine. Every other day, we're just always out together.

And then there's her other half Rel who never fails to attend CIMB events that Ireen and I participated in, so I've grown to become so close not only to her, but also Rel. 
Today, she got married to the man of her dreams. This man who she was once with before, one who never left her side when they were separated and yesterday, they renewed their vows to each other at a very simple and sweet solemnisation ceremony, I've never been happier to see this big sister that I have so much love for having the biggest smile on her face! They're really made for each other, InsyaAllah till Jannah. 

Congratulations Ireen and Rel :)
Wearing the Lara Kurung from Samantha Sherina By Thian's Raya Collection. You can wear it out or tucked in like I did here. Love love love their Raya Collection! Check them out on





Erm...mine came with an added special service from this forever-beautiful sweetheart who insisted to steam my baju for me. Haih so much love for her :)
"Why my steamer got water coming out one?!"

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Who will it be?

People come and people go. People move up, some people move on.

A few days back, the corporate world in Malaysia got a lil mini heart attack when my Group CEO made a public announcement about him stepping out of the CEO box. No, he isn't moving out, but he is moving up, as Chairman of CIMB. News sometimes travel faster than lightning and before I know it, my phone was flushed with messages!

"Who will be the next CEO?!!!!"

"OMGGGGG, your Boss leaving CIMB?!!!" (This one clearly did not read the press release till the end la)

"Is he joining politics?! OMG OMG what's gonna happen to CIMB?"

"Hah!!! XXX will become next CEO for sure right?"

"I know you know who will be the next CEO Alia! You freaking work in CEO's office"

 I remember from a couple of years back up till today, I've always had an out-of-this-world level of respect for this man who welcomed us during orientation. Many would agree with me that he was and still is the face of CIMB. For some, he probably defines CIMB. In his 15 years, he has made many bold, brave, intelligent and strategically amazing decisions for the firm. An honest corporate leader who never was afraid to speak nothing but the truth - he is truly an icon in the corporate world.

This transition plan in the leadership of the Bank took many by surprise last week, but one thing a great leader would never do is to leave out of sudden. For the benefit of those who do not plan to read all public information that was made available, when he relinquished his position as CEO, an executive committee in the board was established. This would allow him and the board significant roles in the management of the group, he is still very much a part of the firm.

The news is only 2 days old but I've been bombarded with the same questions by a million and one. I guess I sort of understand the curiosity in people for wanting to know who would be able to take over the great leadership of this once used to only be an Investment bank. It has grown into a full fledged regional player with presence in 12 Asian countries + Australia today. I'm proud to have been a part of the Bank whilst he was our Group CEO.

That said, if I have chosen to stay silent and not comment/answer the questions thrown at me, it does not mean that I'm agreeing nor disagreeing with your opinion. Silence does not mean acceptance, so hang in there people! September will come soon enough and Dato' Sri had promised to keep the suspense as short as possible :)

I never thought I'd be in the firm long enough to see this day happen