Archive for 8

‘The Fate of the Furious’ becomes the 30th film in history to cross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2017 by vincentloy

‘The Fate of the Furious’ is now officially the 30th film in history to gross over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. It is the second film in the ‘Fast and Furious’ film series to accomplish the milestone. The other film is  ‘Furious 7’ that has grossed a total of US$ 1.516 billion worldwide in 2015 which placed it as the world’s 6th highest grossing film. Gaining over US 1 billion in worldwide box office is a no easy feat. A movie has to be a super massive hit in theatres worldwide to join the billion dollar club. It is incredible to see that there are now a total of 30 films that have done that.

As of today, ‘The Fate of the Furious’ has earned US$ 193 million in domestic box office (North America) and US$ 868 million in foreign box office for a total of slightly over US$ 1 billion. Well, this is not the final box office intake yet at the movie is still in its wide release period. Hence, this movie is expected to earn about US$ 1.3 billion in the end. It will be slightly lower than the amount ‘Furious 7’ achieved due to the latter’s extreme popularity back in 2015 after the death of one of its main cast, Paul Walker. Anyway, it is still a huge box office success for this latest 8th installment of the film series. It is doing exceptionally well oversea. You can read my review of this movie in my previous blog post too. It is a good movie (has some crazy stunts as expected) but it is not as fantastic as ‘Furious 7’. I also read news that this film series will end with 10 films. Hence, two more to go. Would you believe it? I think after the 10th film, Hollywood will just replace all the cast and do some sort of spin-off or remake again, not in a single film but setting off another franchise again. Typical Hollywood pattern.

‘The Fate of the Furious’ is also the second movie this year to cross the milestone after ‘Beauty and the Beast’, the live-action remake of the animated classic of the same name in 1991. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ has now gained over US$ 1.1 billion and its box office intake is still not ending yet. Which movie do you think will be the next film of the year that will cross the 1-billion mark? I think ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume II’ has the potential to achieve that. It has already been released here in Australia but I don’t have the time and opportunity to watch it yet. Other potential films released later this year that will have a shot on 1-billion box office are Spiderman: Homecoming, Justice League, Transformers: The Last Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Despicable Me 3 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Unlike last year of which animated movies are doing exceptionally strong in worldwide box office (with 2 animated films grossing over 1 billion respectively), it is likely not the same case for this year. The only animated movie predicted to cross that mark is Despicable Me 3. This year, superhero movies are going to dominate cinemas worldwide. And of course, topping the chart for this year’s movies will be the Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It is almost a 100% confirmation that it will cross 1-billion mark and will go as far as above US$1.5 billion too. However, it is projected to be earning not as much as the Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 which has earned US$ 2.068 billion.

That’s it for my box office analysis in this post.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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Easter joy for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (2017) as the movie surpassed 1-billion dollar in worldwide box office. Also movie review for ‘The Fate of the Furious’ and ‘The Boss Baby’ (2017).

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2017 by vincentloy

First of all, Happy Good Friday and Easter to those who are celebrating! This year’s Easter has been a joyous moment particularly for the movie ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as it has recently grossed over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. This live-action remake of the original 1991 animated movie that starred Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, etc has become the 29th film in history to cross over the 1-billion milestone. The movie has exceeded expectation in the box office and is also gaining positive reception from critics. It is the first 2017 film to cross that mark and soon, there will be another movie this year joining that prestigious list. And that will be ‘The Fate of the Furious’ which is the 8th film in the popular ‘Fast and Furious’ film series. Besides than being currently the highest grossing film of the year, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ also accomplished another record by being the highest grossing live-action musical film ever.

‘The Fate of the Furious’ sees the return of original cast as well as some new members. This movie reminded me again of the death of Paul Walker several years ago, an actor who has been crucial in this film series but died in a car accident. The previous ‘Furious 7’ film concluded with high note and touching ending and is the first of the film series to gain over US$ 1 billion in worldwide box office. Hence, I’m expecting this 8th film to cross that milestone too. Back to this latest movie. It tells about an arrival of a mysterious woman who seduces Dom (Vin Diesel) into the world of terrorism and a betrayal to those closest to him. The movie starred Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron, Luke Evans, etc.

Similarly to the previous movie, this film delivered with some intense, over the top and exhilarating action scenes in a scale that no one has foreseen. Cars raining down to the street and a huge submarine chasing a group of cars and a tank. This film series started with some humble car racing moments to extensive gun fights and attacks of high proportion we saw in recent movies. It is going big. Despite it is already being the 8th film, I find every film has its refreshing storyline and different outtake on its action sequences. I also noticed that Hollywood takes on this approach to find Oscar-winning cool-looking actresses to portray villain in big-budget movies nowadays. Charlize Theron as the villain in this movie and then soon Cate Blanchett will be the villain in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ which will be coming out end of this year. There are some hilarious parts to balance things out (and also some adorable moments from a baby). Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Fate of the Furious’ a total of 7.6.

Recently, I also watched another much relaxing movie called ‘The Boss Baby’. It is an animated movie about a suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby who pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Corporation. It’s funny to see a baby with an adult mindset on a serious mission to stop an evil plot, and he is joined by a brother who wanted him to be out of the family due to diversion of his parents’ attention to the baby. The movie is highly entertaining. Certain flaws and plot-holes in this movie are forgivable too. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Boss Baby’ a total of 7.0.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web) 

8 Everyday Things You Didn’t Know Were Invented By Malaysians

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , on July 6, 2015 by vincentloy

China invented this and that. US invented this and that. Do Malaysia has ever invented something very useful too? Yes, but obviously not much. There is not even a Wikipedia page to show inventions by Malaysia while others have. But I’m sure you won’t be disappointed after you read this list of 8 everyday things you didn’t know were invented by Malaysians.

1. Automatic egg boiler.

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Located in almost every kopitiam and mamak, this nifty device made all half-boiled eggs perfect to its core. Invented by Datuk Hew Ah Kow, it is a detachable 4-piece plasticware. Basically, you place raw eggs into the container, pour in boiling water, then wait for the water to slowly drip to the bottom. Your eggs are done when the water has drained fully!

2. Rubber stamp clone.

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Before this invention, you would have to wait for days for a custom rubber stamp to be made. The Polyclone can do it in 5 minutes. The invention by Robest Yong eliminates completely the need for lettering bits, composing messy plaster moulds, the use of high temperatures, and the need for photographic equipment.

3. Nehemiah walls.

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Did you know those hexagon-shaped blocks along flyovers are invented by a Malaysian? The design by Dr. Nehemiah Lee is such a success that it is being used in countries such as Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong. Its facade, or facing panel, comprises hexagonal (honeycomb-shaped) blocks of pre-cast concrete, each interlocked with dowel bars. But the real ingenuity lies behind these panels: the compressed soil, usually sand, that holds up the facade is strengthened with galvanised carbon steel rods running through it and into the panel. Each hexagon in the facade has at least four of these steel bars, with each bar secured by an anchor block.

4. Lytro camera.

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The Lytro camera solves the age-old problem of unfocused photos. Since its inception, many competitors have been mimicking the technology onto their own products. Designed by Ren Ng, it is a plenoptic camera which lets users adjust the focus of a photograph after the fact thanks to an array of micro-lenses over the camera’s sensor.

5. Water dispensers.

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These greener and cheaper water dispensers have been a life saviour to many college students around Malaysia.  Designed by Ooi Seng Chye, it is a water dispensing machine which processes raw sewage water into clean drinking water, via reverse osmosis method, reducing the waste to nearly nett zero.

6. Flipper toothbrush holder.

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Designed by Goo Yock Tee to keep your toothbrushes clean, the toothbrush holder was a commercial success and won numerous design awards both locally and abroad. Flipper is a nifty toothbrush holder with a unique patented design. Through a cleverly-designed mechanism, a Flipper stores your toothbrush in an enclosed compartment and yet opens/closes automatically and conveniently.

7. Flash drive.

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All your assignments, all your movies, and songs stored into one little device. Who ever knew it was all because of the work of one Malaysian? Designed by Pua Khein Seng, a USB Flash drive is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. However there has been some claims from other parties that they have invented the USB flash drive first. This item is seriously the most useful and also the only things in this list of 8 that I knew beforehand that was invented by a Malaysian.

8. Loom bands.

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The humble rubber band designed by Cheong Choon Ng is all the rage in schools today. The ability to create your own jewellery with rubber bands has been a hit, selling 3 million units worldwide! It is a favourite accessories to many popular figures. Even Duchess of Cambridge wear it in occasions. If you still didn’t get it,  The Rainbow Loom is a plastic device for turning small rubber bands into jewellery.

The link of the original article is here: http://says.com/my/tech/everyday-things-you-didn-t-know-were-invented-by-malaysians. More information of these 8 items can be found from the link too, like how and why these persons invented these items.

The source only listed 8 items. Wouldn’t it be nice if there are 10 in the list to make the list more perfect? I believe there may be some inventions out there that are by Malaysians too which we still didn’t realize yet. If you do know, you can share it here in the comments.

Pray for MH370.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2014 by vincentloy

Really a heartbreaking news today. Woke up this morning to hear my dad calling home to inform that a Malaysia Airlines’ plane had gone missing on its route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. From that moment onwards, I kept refreshing several pages of local and international online news portal the whole day to look for latest updates of the tragic incident in hope that nothing bad will happen to the plane.

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The plane departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 12.40am in 8th March 2014. It is supposed to arrive at Beijing International Airport on 6.30am. However, the signal from the plane is lost at about 1.30am or some says 2.40am in the midnight. From the time onwards, the plane is officially missing at the South China Sea between Malaysian and Vietnamese water. The search and rescue effort is still on-going as no sight of the plane or its wreckage is found so far.

There have been a lot of false rumours spreading today including news of the plane having made a safe emergency landing at Nanning, China. The Vietnamese authority also reported that the wreckage has been discovered near one of its islands but this had not been confirmed yet. Kindly stop spreading lies and check the truth first before sharing. It is now almost 20 hours after the ill-fated plane is reported missing. This is really sad as many had expected the worst already.

What angers me is that the airline department and authority here did very little things or acted very slow in the first few hours which are very critical to determine the fate of the plane and the 239 passengers on board (227 passengers and 12 crew members). Shameful. Fortunately, now, we have search and rescue teams also from various countries. Really appreciate their emergency assistance.

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This tragedy had been making headlines as breaking news in various international news including CNN, BBC, etc as this is a major event, but of something extremely saddening. Will update this post when the discovery of the plane is known. Pray for MH370.

8D 7N CNY 2014 Trip to Yunnan, China

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2014 by vincentloy

Finally, I’m back. What a trip! If you didn’t know, the reason I’m not here updating my blog for over a week is that I’m away for an oversea family trip to Yunnan, China from 1 Feb to 8 Feb 2014 during the Chinese New Year break. I had just returned to Malaysia yesterday’s night, and it was overall an exhausting trip. Here below are the highlights of this trip that I wish to share with you. Right after the list of places I have visited, there is a star rating I awarded based on my experience for that particular tourist destination.

Ok. I promised. More photos than words this time to make this post not that long or boring. By the way, this is one of the not-so-good trips I ever had. I’m not feeling well most of the time (reasons: oily food, place at very high altitude, throat not well even before the trip started), and some places (I mean quite a lot) are nothing spectacular or worthy to visit.

Feb 1 (Saturday) Kuala Lumpur – Kunming

– Afternoon flight to Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, China by AirAsia. Took a little less than 4 hours. Flight of this duration is still bearable, but the cabin space is too tight (that’s usual for AirAsia planes). No tourist destination to visit today. Head for dinner and then back to hotel for rest.

Feb 2 (Sunday) Kunming 

Stone Forest ***

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– Admitted to hospital for about 6 hours due to extreme stomach pain in the early morning. Hence, skipped the first destination: Stone Forest. But luckily managed to join back the tour later on.

Jiuxang Scenic Area ****

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– The boat tour along the small canyon is too short. The caves are made beautiful mostly by the colourful artificial lights. Still there are some beautiful cave formations to see. This place comes with over 700 steps as mentioned by tour guide. Very tiring.

Colourful Yunnan **

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– Nothing to visit here except some shops selling some of Yunnan’s distinctive stuff but in higher price. We spend the time walking around bored and feeding fishes on the pond.

Feb 3 (Monday) Kunming – Dali

Dinosaur Valley ****

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– This is the most interesting of the whole trip. It’s like we have entered China’s Jurassic Park. We got to see a museum featuring countless dinosaur fossils (my first time seeing all these) and got to learn about the species once dominated this valley before their extinction. But the 4D show provided here is disappointing.

Feb 4 (Tuesday) Dali – Lijiang

Mount Cangshan **

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– Another letdown. We took a cable car up to this mountain and there is nothing spectacular to see from there, except a huge Chinese chess board, a small pond with crystal clear water and some typical waterfalls.

Dali Ancient Town ***

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– Looking at the town from the gate tower makes me feel that I’m in a TVB ancient drama’s shooting. The feeling is great but when it comes to walking down and touring the streets, the ‘ancient’ atmosphere gone. They shouldn’t allow cars or motorbikes to go in (except than tourist shuttle car).

Residential Houses of Bai Minority ***

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– We got to see the courtyard-houses here, but we do see things like this in Malaysia too. Hence, nothing new. The 3-course tea ceremony and the short dancing show featuring costumes and wedding tradition of people of Bai Minority are fine.

Feb 5 (Wednesday) Lijiang

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain ****

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– For visit to this mountain, we had to purposely wake up at 4.00 am and had to go early to the place to avoid massive crowd. But still as we reached there around 6 to 7 am, there were a lot of people queuing already. Wasted few hours just to queue. Hate it. But the view at the mountain is really magnificent and breathtaking. I mean literally breathtaking as we were lack of breath at 4506 metres above sea level. We had to purchase small oxygen tank to breath smoothly. That is the highest point I had ever step on, and it is even higher than Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu.

Baishui River and Blue Moon Valley (at the mountain scenic area) ***

– Just pass by and is amazed by the crystal clear water and picturesque surrounding at this place.

Impression of Lijiang (performance show) ****

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– Quite an interesting performance show directed by acclaimed director, Zhang Yimou set against the Snow Mountain that acts as a beautiful natural backdrop to the performance.

Jade Water Village **

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– Nothing interesting to see in this village. It’s more like a park, and more relevant to jog and relax there rather than visit the place as a tourist. Fishes in the several ponds here turn out more appealing.

Lijiang Ancient Town ****

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– Beautiful traditional architecture observed here. Wonderful atmosphere in this huge area of ancient plazas, streets, restaurants, pubs and shops rich in heritage value. But we don’t have enough time here.

Feb 6 (Thursday) Lijiang – Shangri La 

Tiger Leaping Gorge ****

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– We are now at much higher altitude. And this tourist destination comes with few hundred steps again. Very tiring. But the view offered below near the canyon is quite impressive. The wind here is so strong and I felt freaking cold. Worth visit anyway.

Feb 7 (Friday) Shangri La (Zhongdian) – Kunming

Pudacuo National Park **

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– Before I came to visit Shangri La (formerly known as Zhongdian), my impression of the place is very beautiful, spectacular, mostly untouched from outer world, like a heaven on Earth. But when I visited the place, it’s nothing more than a small town with small population surrounded by mountains, and that’s it. Nothing more. Another major disappointment. Even this national park offers simply nothing to ‘wow’ us. The two lakes we visited in the park are nothing extraordinary.

Songzanlin Monastery ***

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– This is a slightly smaller version of the Tibet’s Potala Palace.

Feb 8 (Saturday) Kunming – Kuala Lumpur

Yuantong Temple **

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– Just a typical Chinese temple in Kunming city.

Jinma Biji Archway **

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– Considered as the ‘heart’ of Kunming, the plaza features two traditional Chinese archways, and that’s it. The plaza is surrounded by bustling streets, roads and buildings.

Flower Market ***

– The last destination before the trip ends. A huge indoor market selling variety of items like snacks, coffees, jades, herbs and mostly flower-related items. I hate it when the layout or circulation of the market forced us to pass through all the stores before exiting the building.

Generally, this trip is quite of a disappointment rather than an excitement. The beauty of nature offered the most from this trip isn’t that fascinating and failed to had me ‘wow’ including the supposingly exotic Shangri La. The very unhygienic public toilets and the typical rude behaviours of the local people made the trip worst. Also not to forget the extreme dryness and coldness of the weather there which made us all not feeling well throughout the trip especially when it comes to its last few days.

‘The Iron Lady’, Margaret Thatcher dies at age 87

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2013 by vincentloy

Known popularly as the ‘Iron Lady’, Margaret Thatcher was UK Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. She was the longest serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and is the only woman to have held the office. She is given the famous nickname of  ‘Iron Lady’ due to her uncompromising politics and leadership style, her policies of ‘Thatcherism’ and staunch opposition to Soviet Union and socialism. Her leadership had generated wide appraisal that brought Britain to what it is today and also received backlash and criticism due to high unemployment rate and social unrest as a result of her administration.

Margaret Thatcher

She passed away yesterday at the age of 87 due to stroke. May she rest in peace. UK’s head of monarch, Queen Elizabeth II and UK’s current Prime Minister, David Cameron had earlier expressed their heartfelt condolences to her family. Flags have been lowered to half-mast at Britain’s parliament to mark the passing of Margaret Thatcher as flowers piled up at her London home – but at the other end of the political spectrum, left-wingers threw parties upon news of her death. Some said she contributed significantly to UK, while some said she messed up the country. Come on…it’s not easy to be a Prime Minister (you have to manage and lead the whole nation, and her years was at the time when many crisis occurred too), and she is a woman. Everyone can’t be perfect. Even when her policies are not working well in her years leading the country and you don’t like it, you don’t need to carry so much hatred and have fun over her death. It’s total disrespect to the deceased.

Well, let’s look at a bit of her legacy. A bit of history here; After moving into 10 Downing Street (official office of UK Prime Minister), Thatcher introduced a series of political and economic initiatives to reverse what she perceived to be Britain’s precipitous national decline.  Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions. ‘Thatcherism’ came to refer to her policies as well as aspects of her ethical outlook and personal style, including moral absolutism, nationalism, interest in the individual, and an uncompromising approach to achieving political goals. Here below basically summarizes the legacy of the Thatcher era;

POLITICS: Margaret Thatcher timeline

She was not of someone very significant in my years (I’m not even born yet when she became the Prime Minister and I’m not living in UK also) but I believed she is no doubt regarded as one of the most highly influential and strongest Prime Minister in British history, carrying the nickname of ‘The Iron Lady’ that none of us don’t know. I had even took a picture of her (I mean her wax figure during my visit to London’s Madame Tussauds Museum early this year). May she rest in peace.

Below are the list of sources for information and images in this post, and you can click on those links to read more about her too:

http://www.euronews.com/2013/04/08/margaret-thatcher-the-iron-lady-who-divided-a-nation/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/08/iron-lady-margaret-thatcher

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher

http://gma.yahoo.com/margaret-thatcher–britain-s–iron-lady–prime-minister–dies-120034251.html

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/4/9/reutersworld/1304091019-on-britains-streets-thatcher-divides-in&sec=reutersworld

Happy International Women’s Day!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2013 by vincentloy

I was reminded this morning from the radio station that today is the International Women’s Day. Basically, it’s a day celebrated annually to show respect, appreciation and love towards women. It’s also a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements, acknowledging and highlighting women’s contribution to every aspects. Instead, the deejay commented that on this morning, some called in to voice out praise to men instead of to women, which goes out of topic. Hilarious. But still, today, most people called in to show their admiration or love to their mother, daughter, grandmother, wife, or girlfriend.

Happy International Women’s Day to all women! Say ‘no’ to violence or discrimination against women. Instead, women nowadays are much more ‘powerful’. I as a man, have to say that women are no where to be forgotten, and that their existence is essential to the continuity and development of our life and the world. It’s unlike in those days when the men go out to get educated, trained and to work while women has to stay at home with no essential contribution to countries. Now, equality is emphasized and women are now trained or educated well just like men. Women now have rights just like men. Some of them have had even hold high status either in politics or economics.

I would like to take this opportunity to list down several notable Malaysian women that I admire (exception of my family members) and should be honored. They are of course highly popular and had contributed significantly to bring Malaysia to international glory. Here they are:

1. Michelle Yeoh – I think she is first in my mind. A very famous international actress known for performing her own stunts whom ventured into Hong Kong film industry successfully. She was also the Bond girl in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ which received critical acclaim for her great performance in Hollywood screen. She was the first and only Malaysian to be nominated in BAFTA for Best Actress, and also the first and only Malaysian to have had her star at Hong Kong’s Avenue of Stars. Charming, talented and beautiful.

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2. Siti Nurhaliza – Perhaps, she is the most famous Malaysian singer known well abroad too. Her voice and songs are beautiful and amazing. Considerably known as one of the divas of Asia, Siti’s status is unchallengeable. She is Malaysia’s very lovely local icon.

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3. Nicol David – Too bad that squash is not a sport included in Olympics. If not, Malaysia would have had won gold medal long time ago. Nicol David is like the master of squash which she had won many of the tournaments she participated. She is no doubt the best Malaysian sportswoman of our generation.

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4. Fish Leong – She is a Malaysian Chinese singer that is now based in Taiwan (due to greater success to achieve there). Her singing career expanded successfully to Chinese-speaking nations; Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. She is best known for love songs (most of her songs are karaoke hit) and she is often called as the Queen of Love Songs.

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Who else you can suggest that could be the most admiring or successful Malaysian women besides than the few I mentioned above? They are usually of celebrities whom made their name known globally too. A big thank you to them as they no doubt contributed significantly that makes Malaysia proud eventhough most of them are now not based in Malaysia anymore (due to several obvious reasons…it’s hard to get famous internationally here as there is not much exposure you can get over here locally). Anyway, Happy International Women’s Day to all women again! Have a great day! But do you know that there is International Men’s Day too? Haha..I believe not many people knew that. It’s celebrated on 19th November every year.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)