Tuesday, 22 July 2014

aliaiman - 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

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


That time of the year when there's just so much peace, so much patience and so much forgiveness all around, it's really beautiful. Ramadhan is here and I must admit, the first day of fasting at work was....let's just say everyone made sure they did not mention snacks or food in front of me or they'd be getting this death stare from me. Haha! My Consultant was asking "what happened to our little ray of sunshine?!!"

*Gives him death stare*

Haha! Anyway, it's 4th day of Ramadhan now and it feels a lot easier fasting and working at the same time :) All it took was clearly some getting used to. Especially for someone who eats every minute :P

Every year during Ramadhan, I make it a point to re read the book on 'You can be the Happiest Woman in the World'. It's MasyaAllah one of the best books I've ever had, and this was a gift from Aisyah to me when she visited Mekah. So many reminders about faith, hope, patience, acceptance and even the power of a smile. It sorts of lifts up my mood every time I read it like there shouldn't be any worry in this world. It's such a complete package about attaining happiness drawing on Islamic teachings as well as reminders from verses of the Quran that act as guides on happiness in this world and the Hereafter, InsyaAllah :))

I'm just so grateful that this year I get to spend Ramadhan with the family back at home, go for terawih with my parents, recite the Quran with mama whilst waiting for terawih, pray jemaah and listening to khutbahs when we're at the mosque, Alhamdulillah. Last year was an 18 hours of fasting whilst battling through work and school - so so very challenging! But I did go through it with great company nonetheless, my London family. 

Selamat berpuasa to all my Muslim readers and may this month be filled with even greater good and forgiveness! :)))

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Law of Demand = meal time everytime

I'm one who cannot work if I have nothing to munch on. I know I know, "you're sooooooo gonna die the next one month Alia!". Funnily though, I've had colleagues come up to me to ask what has happened to me? Everyone seems to think that I've lost weight.

My "food intake vs weight" graph (if there ever is) looks exactly like the Law of Demand (downward sloping). The more food, the less heavy I am. Hoooorayyy! That's good right? More I eat, the smaller I get. There's a little secret to that if it doesn't work for you - go up to your Boss and ask for more work :P

But because I may become dysfunctional if I don't eat, I have awesome colleagues who make sure I always do have food all the time! The problem is when I snack, I really snack and that means heavy food during non-meal times. 11am, 3pm, 4.30pm, 6pm, 10.30pm you name it. I probably eat in my sleep!

Just this week alone, I've snacked on these....
My Boss packed me buns from Bread Shop
My Tea Lady packed this for me!
 My awesome Intern went to buy 10 of these superb Nasi Lemak for a 3pm snack!
 My colleagues gave up and just allowed me to have the entire box!
Less plates to wash anyway, so I was doing everyone a favour. Pffft.

I now have a new nickname in the office. My Boss calls me




Lil Person

Saturday, 28 June 2014


It's been 4 months since my team and I came in to lead YCM now, and I have nothing but only great things to say about these amazing teammates of mine :)
I’ve always wanted to be very involved in the Corporate world but at the same time in the non-Corporate world as well – which explains my Dreamgirls involvement back in 2011 as well as most of the sports at work. It’s the little added happiness that makes it more interesting to wake up everyday, really! So when I took on the Chairman position at YCM earlier this year, as much as I know we are Young CORPORATE Malaysians, I thought how can I run this organization differently from the past Chairman? Make it less structured and more fun! Yup, it’s rewarding to be a little different sometimes :)

So the first thing I did was to get the committee’s buy-in to have a @youngcorporatemalaysians Instagram account up and running the day I report full time at YCM. We live in a society that relies so much on Social Media to get through our everyday life, it’s only right for us to get in touch with the targeted audience. Plus, Instagram gives me this ‘fun’ feeling to it and who in this world don’t like to see pictures! Our account is barely 3 months old and we've blot close to 600 amazing followers! So a little added fun, CHECKED!

Next thing was once you get their attention, how do I maintain it and stay in touch with my members (we currently have about 6000++ members). Constant communication! I made it a point to make sure my awesome teammates were active with the emails, always helpful in providing any sort of questions people may have. So we make it a point to by hook or by crook plan an event every month and at the same time sought for interesting networking opportunities with Corporates out there. This I believe goes two ways; one is we can allow our members to have the opportunity to participate in Corporate events representing YCM and secondly allow Corporates to get to know these young full-of-potential future leaders! This gave us a huge reason to blast emails and be in touch with our members every month! Thankfully, we’ve been blessed with multiple networking opportunities that were out of our business as usuals (ie: CEO Series). 

That said, we've got a dedicated team to run the YCM EDITS where we publish write ups on all our sessions for the benefit of those who could not make it. You can find it on :)

And then there’s trying to do the impossible (ok, maybe impossible is too great a word) by getting very influential leaders to speak at YCM. Working to get the ‘best of the best’ in town I believe would harness the confidence of our members to believe in our cause and objective and there’s nothing more we need than the support of our members.  Truthfully, when I first started, I felt a little pressured only because I’ve been living and working in London for a while that I don’t know exactly the who’s who in Malaysia. True, BUT starting from scratch and building up the relationship WILL allow you to get to know people, slowly but surely. Plus, you get to learn from your mistakes and this allows you to improve. Just as long as you believe in the idea you’re about to sell to them, it’s done! 

Love it like it’s yours. It’s a very powerful tool, it helps a great deal because when you love something, you’d do anything to make people accept and love it just as much as you if not more.

Keeping in touch with your Sponsors is very important because clearly without them YCM wouldn’t be where it is today. All our events are free for public, and it’s only through our goals and objectives can we get the support of the big boys and corporates out there. Win their hearts and not only will you get the support, but also a priceless experience working with them. These people have been in the corporate world well before many of us :))

There's a lot more I wished I could do for YCM, but I realised that sometimes having a hectic full time job to do on top of this YCM volunteering can be very very challenging. For that, I'm forever grateful that I have amazing colleagues who knows and are very supportive about YCM (yes, our Group CEO made it clear to the entire Bank about supporting YCM). It helps a great great deal, soooooo sayang them MasyaAllah. 

That said, another thing that went very well a couple of days ago was out 52nd CEO Series.
I’m sure most of us know FashionValet - more known as FV. Back in the earlier days when FV launched, I mentioned it to Vivy that it would be great if we can do cross branding between the 2, since you know YCM, FV...2 different target audience. She agreed but we never pursued further until I came back onboard this year and I thought "this would be the perfect time to!"
Branding FV across the young corporates industry and branding YCM across the fashion non-corporate industry!  Vivy, Fadza and I personally had fun doing FV for YCM that night and Alhamdulillah, we thought branding of both went well, as planned :) It was an even greater turnout because Fadza was an amazing honest speaker himself! Post event, Vivy and I thought, let's go on to make both our target audience excited, and how did we do it?

If you're reading this: Everyone gets a RM50 voucher (with a minimum purchase of RM100) when you shop at Just make sure to check out with the code "WELOVEYCM" before paying and walah! 

Stay tuned for more events from Young Corporate Malaysians :)

Sunday, 22 June 2014


"Now I remember who you look like sayang!"
"My ex-girlfried. She's tall and has short hair like you, just that her hair is blonde"
"Huh? Who? (halfway thinking he meant me, since you know, he's my ex boyfriend because he's now my fiancé and I used to have coloured hair before)"






"A malay Taylor Swift!"


Long-hair days begone!! 


Friday, 20 June 2014

KL Fashion Week

KL Fashion Week in town yo!

Sadly though, I could not make it for most of the invites due to work and timing and I was looking forward to make it for Alia Bastamam. Nonetheless, I managed to make it for Innai's show and MasyaAllah, all the dresses were gorgeous! Well done Izrin and Yanie and thanks for the invitation! Of course Sara and I had this baru-balik-kerja look and it was so obvious when you're around beautiful fashionable fashionistas! 

Dresses at KLFW, Breathtaking. Period :)

Watching it live for Innai and getting live updates for Alia Bastamam, I believe I've made the right choices for both my Nikah and Wedding dresses, InsyaAllah. Well work has been hectic, and it's only getting busier by the day. However, a break from work to go see beautiful dresses made up for it :)

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

That bad

You know that feeling when you want something so badly? I swear it can kill a person! :D

Like a kid having a whole long wish list during birthday. I have one on my wish list right now.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Is it normal?

The closer I get to the wedding day, the more I feel the need to achieve even more before I get married. Achieve in my definition does not mean money or position. I'm not too sure what is it that the system is chasing, but there is this drive to gain as much experience as I could, get through professional qualifications as soon as possible (although some allow you up to 6 years to complete it) and just have as much busy-time as I could. Truthfully, the thought of wedding itself is not in my head...yet! (Don't worry, I do think about it, just not all the time. In case Aiman reads this!) :D

To be fair, I'm not sure what marriage life is like or what and how things would change thereafter, but just in case drive, motivation and priorities change post marriage who knows. I was brought up in a family where my parents were workaholics when I was younger, and they're really good at what they do. So naturally, I grew up wanting to achieve just as much as them. Thankfully, I also grew up loving my job, so that makes it so much easier :)

There are times when I think about the future and wonder whether I would be able to provide like how mum and dad did for both abang and I. I used to have mama planning our family holidays every year, arranging my daily schedule for sports and extra curricular and papa who wakes me up every morning for school and he who would make sure warm water was running in the shower before laying down my uniform on the bed for when I get out of the shower. Lucky girl I am, Alhamdulillah :)

I just hope that one day, God willing I would be able to give my own family the greatest love I could and provide them with the best things life has got to offer! One thing I've already found at the moment is a very understanding future-husband who surely wants the same for our future, so we're set to experience everything together as a team InsyaAllah :)
Post Invest Malaysia KL 2014 :)