Monday, 18 February 2013

The Land Below the Wind

While most of my Chinese friends and family spend the one week Chinese New Year break celebrating Chinese New Year, I made my yearly pilgrimage to the Land Below the Wind, Sabah. My only justification for doing so is that Sabah is tooo damn beautiful to not visit whenever I have a chance.

5 other friends joined me on my pilgrimage. So, introducing the "pilgrims":





 And of course
One star Brigadier General Lim

My trip went something like that:

I flew from Kuala Lumpur to Semporna, diving & snorkeling at the islands in the Celebes Seas. Namely, Mabul Island, Mataking Island & Sibuan Island. And believe me when I say it was BEAUTIFUL! It was so beautiful that is has become a curse to me. Since I have now looked upon that which is paradise, I now have to live my life in eternal craving to return to these islands. I wake up everyday with a hole in my heart when I realize I am not there. Yes, it is that beautiful there :P

Sitting normally patiently waiting for the boat 

A teaser how the beautiful it is under the sea

FMDH at Mataking

Group shot in the sea

And on land

More photos can be seen in my Facebook page after one or two days. I have to say that the photos do not do justice to the beauty of the islands, you'll just have to take my word that it is THIS! beautiful.

After we were fully saturated with the insurmountable beauty of the ocean, we took a flight to Kota Kinabalu for our next agenda: Conquer Mount Kota Kinabalu... again. Mount Kinabalu standing proud at 4095m is the 5th highest mountain in South East Asia.

Mount Kinabalu from the distance
 My friends and me trained hard to achieve a certain level of fitness so that this climb would be a breeze for us. But Mount KK proved too tough for us.

Exhausted after only just 0.5KM

I'm joking of course hehe. I can proudly say that we, the pride of the Malaysian Army conquered Mount KK without much difficulty. Our climb took 2 days. The first day we climbed to Laban Rata, a guest house at the height of 3272.7m. Here we rested for the night then continued with the ascend to the peak at 2am in morning. Perhaps something worth mentioning was the temperature during our ascend to the peak. 

The temperature during our climb to Laban Rata (The guest house where we spent the night) was perfect: 
Bright and sunny,
like a funny bunny 
drinking some honey.

Cotton Candy clouds

En route to Laban Rata

One of the few complete group picture we managed to take

The joy upon arriving at Laban Rata

But during the ascend to the peak at 2am the next day, a wicked bone freezing wind came upon us. We were buffeted by the bitter cold wind every step of the way to the peak. When we arrived at the peak, we were practically frozen solid.

It was so cold that even the water iced up
We later found out that the temperature during our ascend was around -5ÂșC. Even though the distance to the peak was only 2.7km, the cold and the thin air made the ascend to the peak the most challenging part of the whole climb. But the scenery from the peak was worth every moment we were freezing. 

Sun rise from the peak
The peak at long last

The surreal scenery  

Well, after spending about an hour at the peak, we descended Mount KK with a heavy heart, reluctant to leave the peak we worked so hard to conquer. I don't know what went through my friend's mind when they were standing on top of the world savoring the magnificent view but at that moment, I silently swore to my self that I am going to travel the world and conquer more mountains. And to have the means to do so, I am going have to work hard and excel in all I do. In other words, I left Mount Kinabalu inspired and truly motivated to study hard and train hard!

Yours truly, Lim Shimri

Monday, 4 February 2013

2013 Royal Commissioning Parade UPNM

In the military, no matter how incompetent or vile or repulsive you find your superiors, in the end you would have to swallow your ego, eat their shit and salute them as a sign of respect. But there is this saying which goes: "We salute the rank, not the man". What happens is that any respect shown is actually meant for the rank and none for the man. Well, in some exceptional cases, there are superiors or seniors who actually do not qualify for this saying. People actually respect them with or without their ranks. They excel and earn respect without even demanding for it and they live by UPNM's motto "Duty, Honor, Integrity". These are the seniors who represent the true essence of being a military officer and a gentlemen.

A perfect example would be Second Lieutenant Chan Jun Shen. This is the man who guided me through out my journey in UPNM. He showed me how to carry my self as a future officer; he also showed me a good example how seniors should act whereby teaching and guiding should be the main priority not anything else. Without his guidance, I would have turn out to be a bloody mucopurulent bastard with third world mentality who oppresses juniors out of fun and greed.

Second Lieutenant Chan jun Shen 

"Kecil-Kecil Cili Padi". This is the malay peribahasa you associate with Senior Chan. Small in stature but gigantic in every other way. Be it endurance, power, knowledge, voice or confidence. It is amazing how one so small can appear so humongous. I have seen him cowed people very much larger than him, out run people taller than him and also fight for his men against higher authority and actually getting his way. Small and deadly just like a cili padi.  

Senior Chan was the one who encouraged me to start triathlon. Heck, he was the one who got me my first bike. I still remember him walking almost 2km under the hot sun to go to another senior's room just to negotiate the price of my bike. Imagine a 3rd year senior doing that for the most junior cadet, it was unheard of.  He taught me everything I needed to know as a triathlete, how to bike hard and run fast, how to transition smoothly and much much more. What I'm trying to say is that I would not be who I am today without Senior Chan. I'm proud to be the protege of 3xIronman Finisher Chan Jun Shen.

My mentor

Well, last Saturday, Senior Chan and the rest of his batch commissioned as a second lieutenant by the Agung himself. It is a very significant day which marks the beginning of a journey as a military officer. This is what they all have been training and preparing for since they joined UPNM 5 years ago. All the shit eaten, all the pain endured, all the hardships undergone led to that very day.

Agung (standing in the middle) going to inspect the parade

So as a token of gratitude and appreciation of what Senior Chan has done for me all this years, I volunteered to be his photographer for that very special day. It was a nice experience seeing the proud beaming parents, the seniors in their parade jacket, seeing the flawless parade by our seniors and actually seeing the Agung in person. The pictures can be seen on my wall or via this link. 
I hope it works. Do let me know if you can't view the pictures. Oh ya, the pictures were taken by me and edited by none other than Senior Chan himself.

So yeah, would like to to take this chance to wish: all the best to you, Tuan Chan! We know you will excel in the Navy, godspeed!