Newsletter No.48

Welcome to our last issue for 2005.

Our 20th Anniversary Annual Dinner on 18th November was a huge success compared to the last couple of Annual Dinners. The last few Annual Dinners were held on an informal and smaller basis (around 100 people attending or equivalent to about 10 tables). This year, in celebration of our 20 years of successful activities, it was held on a grander scale. We were happy that our target of at least 20 tables was achieved. The Organizing Committee led by Mr Theodore Wong did an excellent job. Our two beautiful ladies Ms Angela Saul and Ms Surinam played an important coordinating role to ensure that the Dinner function went smoothly. Our thanks to all those involved, and also to our sponsors and organisations who bought the tables.

The Hippo Family Homestay program was successfully held in Malacca from 18th-25th August 2005. When I met them during the farewell dinner, it was a joy to see that the Japanese guests greatly appreciated their stay. A big “Thank you” to the host families who made the guests’ stay a memorable one. Our Ms Surinam did a tremendous job of coordinating with the Malacca host families (a first time for PAAM to organise it in Malacca).

Local training programmes, in cooperation with the AOTS Malaysia office, increased this year. We thank AOTS for their kind cooperation.

On behalf of your Central Committee Members, I wish all of you a “Merry Christmas” and a “Very Happy New Year”. I also wish all of you success in your undertakings, and good health to you and your family.


Working committee, PAAM & AOTS staff together with entertainer on the evening

PAAM’s 20th Anniversary Dinner was held successfully at the Holiday Villa Subang Victorian Ballroom the beautiful Friday evening of 18th November 2005.

The 260 who supported and actively participated in the evening’s event were made up of our members, associates and corporations wanting to give something back to AOTS. Their support not only shows that AOTS’s programs have benefited many in Malaysia and Singapore, it also showed that many are truly grateful of what the Association has given throughout the years.

We were also truly honoured to have YB Dato’ Ch’ng Toh Eng, The Selangor State Executive Councillor for Multimedia, Environment and Village Development, grace the event. While many do not realize, the AOTS sponsored activities carried out in recent times have had both IT and Village involvement. The program utilizing tele-conferencing and the hippo family club recent visits to Malaysia are just some of the many examples where the relationship is evident.

The speeches by our PAAM President, En. Aziz Y. Kamaruddin, Mr. Toshikazu Kumazawa, Managing Director of AOTS Japan and from Y.B. Dato’ Ch’ng Toh Eng spoke of the common need for both AOTS and PAAM in particular or Malaysia in general to continue the strong relationship between them, and to further build on the partnership, taking into consideration the needs and wants of the Malaysian business environment.

The entertainment provided by Noryn Aziz and Tourism Malaysia’s recommended group from Negeri Sembilan was indeed very entertaining. Towards the end of the event, everybody started to stand and sang together with the performer. With all that was going on, friendships were further strengthened and new ones made.

PAAM would like to express its sincere appreciation to everyone who have contributed in one way or another towards making the event a success. Kudos to our friends from the Singapore AOTS Alumni who traveled all the way here to joyously celebrate our event. We would also like to say thank you to our friends from Japan and Sarawak for without whom one would feel something is definitely missing. So, Arigato Gozaimashita.

Group photo at Mini Malaysia

It was a wonderful experience for Hippo members from Japan and host families in Malaysia.

With the cooperation made between PAAM and MISDEC (Melaka Industrial Skills Development Centre), this homestay was held successfully.

15 members from Hippo Club Japan were fascinated with their experience and appreciated the warmth and kindness of the host families. Tourism Malaysia supported this exchange program by kindly sponsoring free tickets to Mini Malaysia and Night Zoo for Hippo members and host family members.

It was a delicious time when we had the opportunity to go to the “Pesta Makanan & Buah-Buahan Tempatan” organized by the Melaka State Government and Tourism Melaka. It was a great opportunity particularly for the Japanese, to taste and experience the many varieties of foods and fruits in our country.

Thanks to our PAAM Committee Members and their families who came all the way from Kuala Lumpur to participate and support our activities.

Smiling faces of Itoh San & Watanabe San Welcoming introduction…
Fun games Ladies with food presentation..
Some of the streets in the cities are very narrow
to discourage access of automobiles.

All of us were nervous to arrive at the Hippo Office because there we’ll meet our host family for the first time. All of them were holding a mini banner with our names on them. The banner made by my host family was written ‘Selamat Datang Nurussaadah Mokhtar’. Cool! All of them were written in Malay!

We just sat with our host families and I noticed everybody was holding a dictionary together with a lot of hand movements, struggling very hard to explain things or create a topic… everybody was smiling, some kids looked happy but some looked amazed with people of different skin and some women wearing scarves.

Rio-chan looked very stressful because she was sick. Her tiny size attracted me and I made a move to make her like me but she was the ‘hard’ kind. She kept saying ‘iyak’ which means no! And she cried out for ‘okasan’. I understood she only wanted her mother to soothe her. Kids really are fascinating. When Rina-chan, Hirooki-chan and I were struggling to make ourselves understand each other, Rio-chan suddenly created a scene. Poor Rio-chan, she vomited! There we go… While other families were busy greeting and welcoming, we cleaned up Rio-chan. So guess what was our immediate plan? Go shopping for Rio’s dress!

Hirooki-chan dropped Rina-chan and me off at Hanshin Department Store. It looks not different at all from typical Malaysian stores. I took that opportunity to get to know more about Rina-chan. I wasn’t really sure how actually she felt when I told her I am a fan of Takuya Kimura and Nanako Matsushita. I was quite disappointed when she does not favor any of them. Perhaps I was hoping too much to find something common between us… Yeah; I was going too fast…

It was lunch time and so we went to dine in a restaurant. That was the first time in my life when I worried about what I was going to eat. Wild vegetable noodle soup was what they ordered for me. Vegetable sounded okay but noodle comes from flour and I was concerned for a probability of non-halal substance in it. At that moment I could see how worried Rina-chan was and I tried to explain my situation in the most pleasant manner as possible. Since Japanese are very polite, they could be very sensitive too. Of course, I must have looked like a dreadfully weird person! I mean, vegetarians do exist in this world but it is not easy for them to accept people who cannot eat even noodle or bread or chocolate in their country. I myself feel uneasy with people who refuse my offer. Kamakura family had before received HIPPO guests from America, Indonesia and Vietnam. Obviously none of them were Muslims. So I said to myself not to worry as people take some time to adapt to new situation in a totally different place.

Our next point was Osaka Castle. I had some initial information about this huge castle from the internet. It was quite a hot day while we walked up to the castle. But it turned very cool and windy as we reached the top of it.

From left: Ms. Angela, En. Za’ba, Ms. Surinam & Ms. Au Yong

PAAM’s Honorary Gen.Sec, Ms. Au Yong Hui Nee together with PAAM’s staff attended the ALEPS Depa Raya Open House in Cheras on 10th December 2005.

It was indeed incredible that a family of 5 with kids as young as 4 traveled 5,300 kilometers on a long haul flight of which took 7 hours just to attend a Dinner. Yes, it is our Ex-General Manager, Ichikawa-san & family who did just that to attend our PAAM’s 20th Anniversary Dinner.

arrival at KLIA, the ever cheerful and smiling Ichikawa-san and family members made their way just on time for the official function. All of us including the guests were surprised and happy to see their presence.

The early next morning some of the Central Committee Members (CCM) invited Ichikawa-san’ and family for their favorite ‘ Bak-Kut-Teh ’ breakfast of which they have missed this delicacy so much and were told that most Japanese love this food as it is hardly available back in Japan.

Our VP Mr.Eric jokingly invited Ichikawa-san to venture into this business when he considers for retirement in Japan. Who knows this might lead him to break new ground in this food business.

After the sumptuous breakfast, we were then invited by our Henry Chia to visit his factory which is located not far from the restaurant. It was a real eye-opener for most of us, as not many of us might have seen such a factory. A well established Yarns and Threads manufacturing company located near to Port Klang. For over 20 years in Malaysia, this factory manufactured all types of sewing yarns and threads, strings and filler cords for the industrial needs. Some of the finished products include Dust mop, water filter cartridge and many others. All of us took home samples of the products with courtesy of Mr. Henry.

It was really an enjoyable and educational outing for all of us. The fellowship among the group has brought us even closer as we shared many ideas and stories. It was a day to remember.
On behalf of CCM and everyone here at PAAM we hope Ichikawa san and his family had an enjoyable and memorable trip, and Bon Voyage back to Japan. Wishing them good health and “stay happy always”.

by: C.L Yang

Japanese popular culture not only reflects the attitudes and concerns of the present but also provides a link to the past. Popular films, television programs, comics, and music all developed from older artistic and literary traditions, and many of their themes and styles of presentation can be traced to traditional art forms. Contemporary forms of popular culture, like the traditional forms, provide not only entertainment but also an escape for the contemporary Japanese from the problems of an industrial world. When asked about their leisure time, men and women said they spent about two and one-half hours per weekday watching television, listening to the radio, and reading newspapers or magazines. Some spent an average of two and one-quarter hours a day engaged in hobbies or amusements. Others spent leisure time participating in sports, socializing, and personal study. Teenagers and retired people reported more time spent on all of these activities than did other groups.

In the late 1980s, the family focused more on leisure activities, such as visit to parks or shopping. Although Japan is often thought of as a hard-working society with little time for pleasure, the Japanese seek entertainment wherever they can. It is common to see Japanese commuters riding the train to work, enjoying their favorite comics or listening through earphones to the latest popular music on portable music players.

A wide variety of types of popular entertainment are available. There is a large selection of music, films, and the products of a huge comic book industry, among other forms of entertainment, to be chosen. Game centers, bowling, and karaoke are popular hangout places for teens while older people may play shogi (japanese chess) to fill up their time.

by: Sue