A day trip to the Lion City resulted in new media friends for our columnist.

EARLY this month, I flew to Singapore with model Amber Chia to promote our fashion collaboration MLxAC. We had the most “high-end” of press conferences ever, together with Zalora Singapore. By which I mean the event was held on top of a shopping mall, overlooking the Lion City.

When I reached Ion Orchard Mall, I needed to go to Salt Grill & Sky Bar, located on the 55th floor. For some reason, someone told me to go to the fourth floor of Ion Orchard, which I did, but there was no sign of the restaurant. I asked a girl who said I had to go back to the reception and transfer to another floor with a special lift.

So back I went to the reception, where I was directed to a lift which looked very private. Anyway, I went in … and there was only one button to press, for level 55. Wow, I thought, that’s really like going up to the sky.

When I got off the lift, I was completely bowled over by the view! I had never seen Singapore from such a height. It was a rainy day, which made the Lion City look kind of dreamy and different. I mean, it actually felt like a serene haven, as all the hustle and bustle of everyday life – the traffic and people – were so far below as to be almost non-existent.

There was quite a good turnout of members of the media and bloggers who somehow looked alike, from their facial appearance to their dressing. All gorgeous and young. I was very happy to get to know some new fashionistas from our neighbouring country, whom I intend to stay in touch with and invite to other events I may do in this city or even in Malaysia. One can never have too many friends!

Amber and I had a lovely evening, posing for pictures around the restaurant for the media. I am not good at this kind of thing, but with the help of a pro like Amber, I guess I did alright.

The event was a high tea, so there was plenty of gourmet-style finger food and fusion tapas, as well as cakes, desserts, tea and coffee. The only thing I found that was not up to expectation was the service. There was barely a smile on the faces of the staff, which was a shame as everything else – the view, location and food – was simply wonderful. In fact, this is something I find in some of the high-end restaurants in Malaysia, too.

It would be a good idea to work on our level of service, especially as the country is hoping to attract more visitors. What we offer is nothing compared to the customer service in other countries in the region like Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. I can’t comment on Korea and other Asian countries that I have never been to. Hopefully, soon.

It would also help if we could clean up our act and be as pristine as the Lion City, or even 80% as clean as our southern neighbour. A small thing like that could make a big difference.

Speaking of cleanliness, I happened to be in Putrajaya today for a meeting, and was really surprised by how good this city looks. It was well-organised and practically litter-free. Bravo for that! The landscape was beautiful too! I’ve been to Putrajaya on several occasions and feel it gets better all the time. One tourist even said he thought Putrajaya has the best landscape he has seen in his travels around Malaysia.

I should take my kids there to cycle around or just walk since they have such nice pedestrian walkways. Now why can’t we do something similar for downtown Kuala Lumpur?

As the Lunar New Year is around the corner, I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year, and most importantly, best of health.

According to my friend Angel, who is well-versed in feng shui, this year will be good for people born in the years of the Ox, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Snake and Dragon. So if you fall in this category, make full use of your year!

Wear ong (prosperous) colours and enjoy the year of the Wooden Horse! Wood is surrounded by green, so I guess green is the must-have colour in your wardrobe.

Gong Xi Fa Cai, everyone!

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