- Oversea Trip Opportunity with IEM G&S:
Since my first participation in IEM event more than 2 years ago, I have been actively involved with IEM event especially organized by the G&S (Graduate & Student Section). Since then, besides participate in IEM HQ activities & events in Petaling Jaya, I also given chance to involve myself with other IEM branches events such as at Malacca, Johor, and even went to Singapore for IEM-IES Meet 2005.
On end of 2005, I was chosen by IEM G&S as one of the two student representatives to follow IEM Delegates participated in 12th Young Engineers of the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organization Conference (YEAFEO), at Vientiane, Laos. After heard about all the great experience from those IEM G&S Committees who attended 11th YEAFEO, 2004, which held in Myanmar, I was counting the time, hoping for next day to be the departure date to Laos. But on other hand, there’re still some matters worrying me as it’s a function which gather graduate and senior Engineers, so there might be a huge possibility that there won’t be any Engineering students attending the event, and it could caused some gap between other YEAFEO participants and myself. Luckily, there’s still another student representative (Sdri. Heah Hooi Kiang, MMU Cyberjaya) in IEM Delegates. So, both of us just prepare ourselves and wait for the time to come.
- The Mighty IEM G&S Delegates to YEAFEO 2005:
All the “Chosen Ones” from IEM HQ prepared themselves by surfing Internet to get more information about Thailand & Laos. Besides went through a very “precise” Thailand & Laos map to study all the places of attraction, we all also prepare the sufficient US, Thai & Lao currency. Of cause, we also learnt some basic local language and words as the “survival tools” when we arrived at Thailand & Laos.
Before started our “mission” at Laos, we had met up in Thailand with IEM G&S Penang Branch committees and Ansie, a young & passion female Engineer from Hong Kong, but represent the Canada Institution of Engineers. We spent one night at Udon Thani, border of Thailand & Laos. In this one day, I have the chance to better know the Penang Young Engineers & Ansie, and it’s always feel great when know some new friends especially Engineers. Since all the trip schedule had been well-planned by my Big Brothers in IEM G&S, so most of the time I no need to worry about the accommodation, transportation, food, or even some basic spending along the trip.
- MISSION at Laos:
Since this is the first time student are chosen to represent in YEAFEO’s IEM Delegates, both Hooi Kiang & myself are given high hope to achieve something & benefit ourselves during the whole YEAFEO activities. Each of the IEM G&S Delegates has their own tasks for YEAFEO 2005, so do Hooi Kiang and me. Besides helping up for YEAFEO Closing Ceremony’s performance, as the “Chosen Ones”, both of us were given mission as Manager for ASEAN University Students Liaison. Our main tasks will be promote Malaysia’s Engineering student’s activities and encourage university students participation in YEAFEO. We also hope to establish contacts with other universities’ student societies in ASEAN countries.
- Nice Food… Nice Culture… & Nice Friends!!!
Along the trip, we showed our “G&S Explorer Spirit”, and managed to find many recommended & “hidden” stalls & restaurants for some nice local food, such as the famous sticky rice and Laos style “Ayam Bakar”. Other than that, there’s also chance for me to see different culture and lifestyle compare to Malaysia, especially for Laos, a country that I didn’t hear much of before I went there. At Laos, I can feel very peaceful, as the lifestyle is not as rush as Malaysia. Locals at Laos just seem to enjoy the way of their life and the environment, and its not as competitive as Malaysian. The weather in Laos is something that I prefer the most, because normally in Malaysia, we can’t feel cold and fresh in bright sunny day. So, I think Laos might be the best place for people like me to stay, as I prefer sunny day but without high temperature.
Shopping is a must for anyone who travels. Products that available in Laos are mostly imported from Thailand, so it’s quite hard for me to look for any typical Laos’s local product. The price also not as cheap as I expected, because most of the vendors & hawkers prefer tourists pay in US Dollars. Anyhow, I bought some Laos traditional cloth, bag and also some souvenirs for my family and friends in Malaysia.
The biggest achievement, or I should say reward, for this trip to Laos’s YEAFEO, must be the people who I know during YEAFEO. I have the chance to know many Senior & Young Engineers all across ASEAN countries, and also from Japan & Canada. Besides Engineers, I also glad to meet some students from Laos as they also participate in YEAFEO 2005. The hospitality of Laos Young Engineers & students as host can only be described by one word – “I-CHI-BAN”. Besides taking good care of all YEAFEO Delegates daily activities to some very interesting tourist attractions, Laos Young Engineers & students who lead by Dr. Kampaseuth, also make sure that all of us had great time together and enjoy ourselves during outing after the formal YEAFEO function.
Although we only spent less than 4 days in Laos, but few students and myself already became very close friend. The friendship between my Laos GOOD FRIENDS such as Ya, Ai & Noi, and me is much appreciated by us and we hope this friendship can last forever.
- MISSION Accomplished …
Besides enjoying myself along YEAFEO trip, I believe that IEM G&S Delegates once again proved that “IEM BOLEH!!!” as most of us successfully achieved our given task & mission. We send out a very clear message to all CAFEO & YEAFEO delegates on how determine IEM want CAFEO & YEAFEO continue to be a great annual event in ASEAN. As Malaysia’s Young delegates, we out shown to other CAFEO & YEAFEO delegates our passion while promoted & welcomed them for CAFEO & YEAFEO 2006 in Malaysia.
For Hooi Kiang & me as student representatives, we managed to get some student & university contacts of ASEAN countries while promoting engineering student participation in such an event. We strongly hope that in future time, besides CAFEO & YEAFEO, there will be another conference especially for ASEAN countries’ Engineering Student Society. And for my personal mission, all the new friends that I know during YEAFEO bring some satisfaction for myself, as I able to expand my friends network to other countries and met some good friends along the way.
This experience for participated in YEAFEO will be long remember by me, as it will be an unforgotten memory in future. I really feel grateful to know many new friends during my time in Laos, especially few of my Lao’s good friends. I also appreciate that having Hooi Kiang as the other only student representative to join me for this trip. A special thank must be address to IEM and IEM G&S, such as Suresh, Chau Fong and Cheng, for giving me this opportunity, and I really hope there’ll be more opportunity for students to participate in such a good event in future time.
SEE YOU ALL IN 13TH YEAFEO, YEAR 2006 IN MALAYSIA!!!
PREPARED BY ALEX,HOOI KIANG