40 years on: baking with a heart to serve

Cozied in a shop-lot opposite the Klang train station is a cake shop that was officially registered as Regent Confectionary 40 years ago. Most people know it as the ‘Pandan Layer cake shop’ – the perfected cake layers are a generation worth of stories and experiences that tell us what it takes to be a great baker. But beyond that is the story of Uncle Cheng Yew Ho – a living tale of patience, passion and perseverance.  

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Defining moments: stepping out and taking risks

It all started with an idea to make fashionable and affordable fitness wear for everyone to enjoy. Little did we know, it was the start of something much more than just an apparel company. Ash Be Nimble (ABN) was a small passion project of Hui Mathews, who believes that you can have vibrant and well fitted sports wear without breaking the bank.

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Adrian Yap
Where food is served and hearts are fed

The Pit Stop Community Cafe is nestled in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s city hustle and bustle with no indication of its existence. But by as early as 3pm, a queue starts outside its premises. At 5.30pm, a strict briefing is given to those in queue, with rules that you must be courteous, you must keep the cafe clean, you are not allowed to waste food and if you are able to, pay as you feel your meal deserves. Then, dinner service begins. Most of them that come in are definitively categorised by their living circumstances. We label them homeless and sometimes, all they are to us is a statistic but here at the Pit Stop Community Cafe, they’re known as “street-friends” or “street-clients”.

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The ironman behind iflix

Family man, triathlete, businessman; these are some of the hats Azran Osman-Rani wear on a day-to-day basis. In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Azran is CEO of iflix Malaysia with a strong and powerful zest for purposeful living. His first love was for Ultimate Frisbee during his Stanford University days when his team was ranked number one amongst the west coast states.

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Stretching capacities: it's more than a class

Consultant at Ernst & Young by day, and yoga guru by night, Shidah Mohamed’s passion for yoga began by accident after she was dragged by a friend to her first yoga class. Ten years on and she is determined that her contributions as co-founder at YogaOneThatIWant (YOTIW) will ultimately advance the community of yoga participants throughout Malaysia one small step at a time.

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Beyond the routine

If you’re a 90’s kid, then you probably would have remembered watching a sixteen year old Carolyn Au-Yong receiving the gold and bronze medals for Malaysia’s triumph in rhythmic gymnastics at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Eighteen years have past since then and Carolyn has long retired from competitive gymnastics, but the art of the sport still runs strong in her blood.

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Filming poverty to possibility

Paul Gan is a part-time filmmaker and a full time dreamer. The 28 year old from Malacca grew up having little in life but plenty in imagination. When there were no toys, he would spend time watching people play video games at arcades or visualize playtime out of everyday objects. His childhood experiences would later inspire “The Boy Who Rocked the World”, his short film that won main awards at BMW Shorties, Malaysian Digital Film Awards and the Astro Sundance short film competition. Despite the success, the most rewarding part is “the ability to move people without you being physically present”, he said.

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Steadfast and holding ground

Coming from a family where both parents were real estate agents, Gadiy Lim wanted to pursue down a different path altogether. That soon changed after he worked and travelled around the United States and Australia, where he was exposed to property management in those countries. It was also then that he realised Malaysia’s real estate industry is easily five to ten years behind their more developed counterparts.

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Playing above the rim: building communities through sports

Born in China and raised around the world, Rezhan Majid has had his fair share of cultural exposure from a very young age - sports being one of the major attributes. His first attempt at a game of basketball began at eight years old and from that, friendships were formed and the love of the sport began.

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Geeks and Burgers: A Formula For Success

For many Klang Valley residents, the words “black burger buns” and “salted egg burgers” likely conjure up drool-worthy images of myBurgerLab’s home-grown creations. Since hitting the local F&B scene, myBurgerLab has firmly established its position in the burger market, even with the abundance of McDonald’s and Ramly burger joints around. 

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Going green and loving it

Two childhood friends with a nation changing goal: to educate Malaysians on healthy eating through a new concept called Chai Bar. You’re probably already familiar with this name being one of the few salad bars in the country, but there is a strong determination behind it’s doors that many do not know about.

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Shifting cages : From the office desk to the fighting ring

He describes himself as “a bit of a geek” but we see him as anything but. Also known as The Hound, Nik Harris is no newbie in the world of mixed martial arts. The charming 27 year old is ranked one of the top four middleweight fighters in Southeast Asia who has represented Malaysia at international arenas more than once and holds an impressive fight record under his belt.

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Cracking the code

More than a handful of us have found ourselves in situations that define how we live and what we do with our lives. For this 28 year old, it was the time he fell extremely ill while pursuing his studies in the United States. The sudden decline in health saw a turnaround in his view towards life, and it’s from that realization that started him down the entrepreneurial road of technological endeavours.

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Barbarians, paddles up! Take it away!

A privileged opportunity presented itself and we were invited to join them as they practiced for an upcoming race in Melaka. It was a fine crisp morning when we arrived at the marina and observed as the members of KL Barbarians gradually piled in. There was a strong sense of camaraderie in the air and everyone got along really well. I sat down with team captain, Lesley, and vice captain, Amran, and got to learn more about the sport from their perspectives and how going the extra mile is part and parcel of existing in the team.

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Rooting for the underdog

At first glance, you may think that Eddie Tan just graduated from university. The unassuming 27 year old is the head baker at Cake Tella, a home based and family operated bakery that specialises in alcoholic cakes. In this ever expanding artisan industry, he believes that delivering quality desserts made with authentic ingredients is absolute key.  Eddie’s not in this for the sake of being an entrepreneur; every whisk of the eggs and beat of the batter contribute to telling a story. It’s an interesting point of view if you think about it as nobody would usually use cakes as elements of storytelling. We sat down with the aspiring baker as he explains how 'cakes tell la!’.

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A national triathlete's inspiring comeback

Too often when life throws you a curveball, you’re usually told to get back up and fight the good fight. For two time SEA Games gold medalist Kimbeley Yap, her challenge came when a car hit her off her bicycle while she was training for the 2015 SEA Games. That incident put her in and out of a coma for 8 days and in the hospital for a month. Kimbeley had been involved in sports all her life. Growing up, she participated in competitive swimming and cycling, which made her a notable figure in the sports industry. 

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Having faith and conquering mountains

You might know Melvin as one of the co-founders of Extreme Supercars. That business has since ceased operations, but Melvin’s story is still making its way around. He fought cancer at age 17 and underwent the amputation of his right leg in the process, not knowing what will happen next. After Extreme Supercars, he was faced with a mountain of debts and struggled to pay them off. Fortunately, he did not pause on that note. His innovative ideas and business thinking have led him to establish MLUX Suites & Residences.

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Paving the road for young filmmakers

It's somewhat uncommon for an individual like James Lee to go into the arts. The 43 year old from the small town of Ipoh was a good student and was even elected the head prefect at school. He found his love for comic books at a young age and wanted to tell stories through drawings. Life's funny ways then took him down a different direction and made him an auteur in a different medium of storytelling. Today, he is a pioneer in the Malaysian Indie film scene, having won numerous awards internationally for his cinematic works and helps to nurture emerging filmmakers in the country. 

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For the love of music

Hidden away in a nondescript shop lot in Kepong, one would never guess that Starmount Studio – the brainchild of ICOM (International College of Music) graduate Alex Tan – houses one of Malaysia’s best kept secrets. Eschewing the well-tread path of relying on lucrative commercial projects, advertisements and jingles of many sound studios, Alex has kept his eye firmly on the goal – music. A peek at the Starmount Studio website sees his mantra proudly stated “Music. Passion” and Alex has been steadfast through the many obstacles, and trust us, there were many.

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Pushing boundaries one chart-topping single at a time

Who hasn’t heard of John O? He’s the lead singer and songwriter of the successful Malaysian pop superband Paperplane Pursuit, self-taught musician and music producer, and proud wearer of that lightning blue hair. He carries a charm and charisma that exudes friendliness and did I mention he has an amazing voice? John loves music so much that he knew he wanted a career in music from a young age and despite all that stood in his way, he worked hard to make sure that happened. 

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