Supermodel-turned-entrepreneur in response to my cover story of her in Malaysian Women’s Weekly, Feb 2014 issue
“Super writer with the magic hands”
Kalyx Consultants Founder and Managing Director
“If you’re a business owner, you’ll want her on your side. Many writers have impressive vocabularies, flawless grammar and an excellent command of English. But what makes also makes Alex invaluable is her ability to turn even the ordinary into something special, to dig deep and find stories that will make you shine. She thinks like an entrepreneur and writes like an artist, always mindful that her job is to help you show the world your best side.”
Dato’ Sandra Lee
Persatuan Daybreak Founder & former Crabtree & Evelyn CEO
“Alex brings more than just writing or editing skills to the table. She demonstrates keen business insight and marketing smarts, and as a result, is able to craft a message with the right tone and impact. She did a topnotch job refining my profile with her thoughtful edits. I would recommend her to anyone needing help writing about themselves – Linkedin Profile, speakers’ bio, etc.”
Chief Editor & Publisher, M.Sc. Journalism
“Alexandra Wong is a fine reporter and writer, but more importantly, she is a curious perfectionist. How to write a better lead sentence, how to construct a better story–these are questions constantly driving her. Hence, her work ultimately is not that of one person, as is typical of writers. Rather, it emerges from a professional journalistic community–people she has queried over the years and collaborated with–along the road to betterment. From contemporary editorial wisdom, she’ll suddenly leap with new reportage in a style that makes even the most seasoned editor smile.”
Deputy Executive Editor
“Alex is one of those rare storytellers who write with lots of heart and humour. She sweeps you into a story and makes you feel like you’re going along for that exhilarating life journey she’s writing about.”
“Alexandra Wong is a writer with a refreshing perspective of the planet. As a writer, she is inspiring, with a hint of humour and charm. Her stories are very human because she writes from the heart and soul. Not only is she fun to work with, she is a breeze to edit!”
Editor for an in-house maritime organisation
“Writing for a maritime publication can be very dry and technical. It is hard to find someone who is enthusiastic to work on stories that a general audience may find hard to swallow. Alex is thorough and professional with the proof reading engagements we had for my company’s publication for the last two years. She is a fast worker and very responsive with communications. With that, I can rest assured that I will receive a job well done at the end of the day.”
It’s More Than a SIP Tea Art Gallery
“The translation work of Alexandra and her team for our tea business has always been accomplished so efficiently and accurately to what it represents. As our Chinese tea articles involve a lot of terminology, getting the precise meaning can be complex, yet they are still capable of delivering every piece of the work accurately and on time. Good luck and Success in the coming future.”
Response to The Chatty Taxi Driver
6 January 2013
THE Chatty taxi-driver (Navel Gazer, Living, Dec 29, 2012) was an article I enjoyed very much – it was alive with feeling and humour. The man’s humble gratitude and love for his wife, which he was not ashamed to reveal to a total stranger, said a lot about his character.
The way the article was written with such sensitivity was what made it so interesting. Columnist Alexandra Wong managed to make us realise that these people who work hard for long hours have their own problems too. When a taxi-driver is not as pleasant as we want them to be, we just label them “rude and insufferable”. We never stop to think they are human too, and they might be having worries they are struggling with.
In this day and age, the job they do has an element of danger too. When my husband and I have to go somewhere in a taxi occasionally and come across a friendly driver, we are told about “customers” who threaten drivers and make off with the poor man’s hard-earned money.
Thank you for your enlightening and well-written article, Alexandra Wong. You have made us aware that these are people who deserve our respect.
Amyna, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya
Response to Stranger Danger
2 Sept 2012
CONGRATULATIONS to Alexandra Wong for her wonderful article titled Stranger danger? (Navel Gazer; Living, Aug 25)
Another great article with insight into local people, places and interactions.
I look forward to more of this quality of reading from The Star.
Proud of Encik Ismail
I AM writing to say that I totally enjoyed Stranger danger? and, at the same time, I feel proud about this Encik Ismail in the story.
I hope Alexandra Wong will write many more wonderful stories and I look forward to reading them.
Response to The Artist in Geek’s Clothing
Rcv 1 June 2011
Dear Ms Alexandra,
Usually I read newspaper which are two weeks old or more. So today I had the opportunity to read your article:”The artist in geek’s clothing” published in The Star on May 7th. I would like to tell you that your articles are some of the better written columns in newspapers nowadays. They reminded me of a less self-indulgent version of XXXX and his ‘XXXXXX’ in NST in the early 90’s.
One line in your article reminded me of a story that happened to me. “What are you doing, Auntie?” I don’t think you are too old to be qualified as Auntie.
Every morning when I go to work, I take the lift from my floor to the carpark, and sometimes I would meet my neighbour, a young woman sending her two sons about ages 5 and 3 to kindergarten. One day the 5-year-old boy ran ahead of his mom and meet me at the lift. He was quiet as usual. The mom arrived and told the son,”Why you never say good morning?”. The boy looked at me and say,”Good morning Uncle.” Then the mom admonished the child,”People are not married, you cannot call Uncle, you must call Ko ko.” So the boy repeated his greeting,”Good morning Ko ko.”
So I would think:”What are you doing, Che che?” would be a more appropriate line.
Keep up the good and honest writing.
Response to The Artist in Geek’s Clothing
Rcv 8 May 2011
This would be the first time ever I’m writing fan mail, so forgive my clumsy and overwrought prose. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for “The artist in geek’s clothing” which I read in The Star late one Saturday night.
Like you, I doggedly pursued the Science stream after scoring straight A’s for my PMR. It seemed the “right thing to do” – as the teachers would have us believe – because it allegedly opened “a world of options” career-wise, unlike the arts which continue to be much-derided in Malaysia. But I am a person of the arts and of words and of writing, and I suppose there are consequences to ignoring one’s heart.
Needless to say, my SPM results was not a pot of shining stars, which convinced me that that world was not for me. I entered the heady world of Communication Studies thereafter, with the idea of becoming a journalist at the forefront of my mind.
But it is not true to say “I have not looked back since”. I have indeed looked back, and wondered whether I might have done better to muddle through something more scholarly. Certainly, a newly-minted graduate like me is convinced of this when leafing through the classifieds. My heart skipped a beat when I read that your first outing as a writer ended badly. I, the journalist-wannabe, the writer-in-waiting, have so far engaged in a string of internships that, while media-related, did not allow me to explore the terrain and potential of my writing.
Perhaps it was fear – I have been in love with books, newspapers, and the written word since I was in the womb. What if the life of a journalist or writer fails to be what it’s cracked up to be? I don’t know if I could survive the disappointment. But your latest article gave me some comfort, more so than previous columns. On reading that you left writing to sell computers, only to return to freelance years later, it taught me this: that our lives will come full circle, and that happiness comes to those who are true to themselves.
The coming months will be decisive as I look for gainful employment, and God willing, I will be able to write! Though the future is hazy, I would like to believe that life will indeed come full circle for me. It is heartening to see that you, Alex, can do what you love (writing, eating, travelling!) and earn money while at it. I hope to do that someday.
But I have rambled enough. All the best, Alex, and may you have many more adventures that you can write about with honesty and passion, as you always have. I will be looking forward to your next one (as I do every month!).
Oh and you should totally get a Mac Air – it’s light, lasts longer and no viruses!
With much sincerity,
Response to No Beef
2 May 2011
I’ve been following your writings for so long that I can’t recall when it all started or which article that drawn me to your name, but nevertheless I will definitely search for your articles every time I read The Star. And I never wrote to a single writer that I love cause I feel there’s no need for it. But I do realise that you faced challenges and difficulties all the time so if a small mail like this can help to encourage and support you, I will be gladly writing to you more often 🙂
Well, back to the subject 1st. I read your article “No Beef” with much saliva waiting to drip out and wondering how I miss this place out when I have live in Batu 9 for years. So last Saturday, when I and my friend still thinking where to eat, suddenly he remembered of the Afghan kebab that I mentioned to him so we decided to try our luck. I whipped out my phone and dialled the number provided by you and was directed to a place that I passed by so often that I slapped my forehead to have missed this place. The 1st thing we did is to order the chapli kebab with naan. The rest was as your experience, we are lost for word to describe how delicious it is. By the end of the night, we have tasted two more different drinks recommended by them, a yogurt taste cow milk but much stronger taste and tea with some herbs and cow milk. That night, me and my friend are won over by the food and drinks so we definitely going to visit it often. Tell me when you decided to drop by again to give me a chance to thank you again for your articles.
Alright, I think I rambled enough here. Thank you again for all your wonderful writings and keep it up. No matter what the world said, you will always have me as your loyal reader so don’t ever give up your pen and laptop.
Looking forward to your next articles and ciao ;P
3rd March 2011
A very good day to you Alex.
I enjoyed reading your articles and that I am a Ipohite ( or claimed to be for actually from Kuala Kangsar ) so as orang kampung feel sort of proud about you and want to share something with you.
I’m a warga mas i.e retiree (ex-soldier and later ex-civilian) and now staying in Penang. Do go back quite frequently to Ipoh to have curry mee and “kai shi hor fun” for just can’t fall in love to Penang curry mee and the koay teow here nowhere compare to Ipoh. Now that I am quite fully retired I read some and try very hard to write some. To date just managed to have some letters published in The Star editor columns and two little articles (if that what is called) published in Starmag column. The first was titled “Lift and let live” dated 22 Aug 2010 and second “A mouthful of good advice” dated 21 Nov 2010. Not shy to say I was thrilled like a little boy with a new toy and very proud of myself.
What I like most about your articles is the real simple events of one life, down to earth things etc. I think I share the same kind of wanting to tell a story in the same way. So a thought come to me i.e if I think that I have a good story to tell can I suggest the story line to you and that you write about it?
I hope my suggestion does not sound very silly or rude or anything like that. I’m very sorry if it disturb or in any way offended you.
Please just disregard it if anyway this mail is distasteful.
Well I hope to at least hear from you even if it is like “get lost you really been not only silly but quite mad to even dare to suggest as such”. Is ok am used to be rudely shouted for in the army where the drill sergeant would like to have us for breakfast.
A very good day.
30 May 2010
Ok, so I guess you’ve heard this a million times before by now, but I figure once more wouldn’t hurt, right? *grins* I really really love your articles!
Actually, I’ve been following your column for a long time now and that’s pretty much the only reason I look forward to the weekend paper. I’m not much of a paper reader! Haha!
Apart from the obvious fact that you write really well, the thing I love about your stories is that they’re about real people. I mean that it’s easy to relate to them cos your stories are really down-to-earth.
I really enjoy how well you combine food, places, people, and family all into one! It’s very rare to find people who share strong bonds with their parents, or the guts to make friends with strangers, or the ability to see the beauty in life’s simple (but best!) things.
The thing that appeals to me most about the way you write is that you come across as someone who really appreciates the best things and the right things in life. Most people make the mistake of always believing that life should be about being rich, famous, etc. Such a cliche, but most folk are easily taken in by those things and strive really hard for them.
But the things that really matter are good ties with family and friends, enjoying good food (even if said food is found at a hawker stall instead of some ridiculously overpriced high-end restaurant), and finding knowledge and life changing experiences where you least expect it.
I know you often write about the people who leave great impacts in your life, and I want you to know that you have left a huge impact in mine.
Your articles serve to open up people’s eyes and remind them that ordinary people with ordinary jobs are actually more extraordinary than the ones who have all the outer trappings but are nothing on the inside.
I know this is a pretty long email, but I’ve been wanting to tell you this for a while, so I’m glad I finally got up the guts to do it! Haha!
Keep writing. I usually follow a bunch of articles in the paper and none of the columnists write as well as you do, just as none of their stories are as interesting as yours. Won’t name names, but yeah, I’ve been reading their stuff for years too!
Most of all, keep writing first and foremost, because it’s your passion. Only do things that make you happy. It really comes across in your column – your excitement, surprise, and passion can be felt through your words.
You’re really talented, and that’s a very rare quality.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and thanks above all, for sharing your stories which (you may or may not have realized), I’m positive have impacted the lives of others in more ways than one.
I know you have made a difference in mine. It doesn’t matter if it’s something that made me smile for just a minute, or something I’ll remember for the rest of my life, or something that led me someplace or caused me to make a decision that led to other amazing things.
Know that they all count, and that you have made huge differences as extraordinary as the things you often notice and write about, and I wanted to say thank you so much for that.
Response to Hug Those We Love
Nov 8, 2008
Your article struck a chord in me. Ever since I finished high school, I realised I had become more expressive with my feelings, especially towards my parents.
The simple act of Muslim students kissing the hands of their parents gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Our parents may not be used to such acts but I am confident that they somehow feel appreciated.
I know I would feel that way if I got affectionate hugs every now and then.
I am sorry that you never got to say goodbye to Pakcik. May he rest in peace. After I finish typing this, I am going to text my friends whom I have not met in a while.
Response to Nostalgic over Nosh
27 September 2008
I am one of your ardent fans who would eagerly turn the pages of the Weekender every Saturday morning to hunt down and read your article without delay. More than often, I would be touched by your sincere, genuine, authentic and straight from the heart sharing. It gives me a sense of warmth when I read them.
Even today’s writing put a lump in my throat and my eyes were a bit wet as I read how you recalled your childhood memories of piano lessons and sandwiches. I agree its not just writing about food but also how it evokes us when we see the food operators put in their love, energy and passion to prepare the food for us to enjoy. Especially so if it comes with good and kind service with a personal touch.
I can often differentiate those operators who cook solely for money and those who cook with passion and love. Remember the young baker whom you wrote about recently? It is not about how much she could make from the bakeries but it is the love and authenticity she puts into her work.
It is also no different today that as I came to the end of your article, I reflected on how we live out our lives and calling. We can choose to do a mediocre job and collect our paycheck at the end of the month. Or we can go the extra mile and put in the love and passion to touch those we come in contact daily. I teach English in a private school for a living and come in contact with eight year old angels and rascals each school day.
It was after half a year of teaching them this year that I admitted to myself despite how naughty they can be I love each of them as my own. At the end of the year, without fail I would reluctantly say farewell to them with a lump in my throat and teary eyes. Well, that the ultimate satisfaction of my job. Its having the privilege to mould their lives for a year and seeing them move on.
That how I see our lives. We touch those whom we come in contact with daily through our love, care and action.
I learn something each time I read your writing. It helps me to reflect and appreciate those who have made a difference in our lives.
And you are one of them. Thanks for all the good sharing.
God bless you.
Response to Standing United
29 March 2008
I read your article on ‘standing united’ where you narrated your childhood experience living in a multi racial neighbourhood and this upbringing has stand you in good stead as adult in the present environment.
Like you, I grew up in similar environment as yours, although I am certain I belong to a different generation from yours. I too grew up in my kampung in Klang sandwiched by a coffee making Chinese neighbour and dobi services Indian neighbour. Boys and girls during those days regardless of colour and religion were allowed to play and study/ do our homework together – no fear of hanky panky between girl/boy or segretation on racial lines. I too were able to speak tamil and hokkien.
Against this backdrop and upbringing, I am able to have a good network of friends and business associates without any problem. But it is sad, after 50 years of independence we are regressing whereas unity in diversity should be our strength.
The country needs young people like you to reengineer and inculcate such an emotion and sentiment, for the future of the country which we love.
Dato’ Kalsom Abd Rahman
Response to The Wongs watch Sivaji
27 Dec 2007
I enjoyed reading your Sivaji experience.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching it- watched it twice actually.
What I enjoy so much about Tamil movie going experience is actually what you have captured.
The merry of being with family, the background cheers, claps, whistles (all in controlled and not rowdy manner).
I was in Adelaide not long ago.
Got a chance to watch Ghajini (If you have not seen it-I will highly recommend it-fantastic Surya & Asin combo-another boxoffice).
Thinking that moving going experience will be subdued here-I was prepared for a quiet & tame affair.
But what I saw was totally opposite.
The theatre was full-with Indians-wonder where they all came from-because you don’t see that many Indians in the streets of Adelaide
As the movie started, the youthful group in the front row started to dance; the whole theatre was a riot of cheers & claps & whistles.
The whole experience was great & more vibrant from one I felt in any Malaysian cinema.
At interval-there was 15 min break.
Every one left the hall.
Outside you could buy hot tea, coffee, Indian snacks-vadai etc and even cold beer.
The movie resumed after the break and the excitement never went down.
And I was told the actual experience in Tamil Nadu is far greater with fire crackers outside the cinema, prayers, coconuts being broken, huge gigantic cut outs of super stars.
Dr Sekar Shanmugam
I came across your article in The Star days ago. I realized that I am not the only chinese guy in the cinema for a Hindi movie, namely the Sivaji…
I did my watching in Ipoh Parade out of plain curiosity. The movie claimed to be of the highest budget and gross in indian movie history and I
wish to know how and where they spent the money on. The other reason to encourage such an odd choice is so that I stay awake for the night and I will be drowsy and
easily fall asleep the next day when I got onto a ten over hours flight.
The ticket cashier for that night was an indian girl of mid twenties. I can still remember her expression when I made my choice for the movie. Her first reaction was: Hey are you sure you are watching this?
I replied spontaneously: Is there any reason why I shoulden be watching this? The indians watch HwangFeiHong and Jackie Chan too. I jokingly added: This is Malaysia, the goverment is always promoting muhibah and now I am practicing it. Upon hearing that, the malay colleague next to her giggles and she told me she was proud of me watching movies of her race. Both of them burst into laughter when I walked away and that confirmed me as the very few chinese who have watched Sivaji. After the first few minutes of screening, I was dismayed learning that I need to live through long hours without any subtitles. I was all alone, trying hard to guess myself through the movie. The stages are flashy, beautiful girls compliment the scenes; the music is everything opposite of the chinese’s. I came to realize that the majority of the budget was spent on the psychedelic dreams of Sivaji.
It was a pure experience, both of the exotic visual art and the hardship of trying to understand someone’s language that is illiterate to you. It also broke my perceptions of the reoccuring props and scenes usually seen in Hindi movies: the snake pit, the hide and seekin the bushes whenever a song is played, heroe being tied with the the dynamites on his body and just in time to do the rescue in the very moment. On other hand, I do notice that some elements were passed down.
At least the smash and knocking sound effects of the fighting scene still remain to this generation.
I just read yr column in Star today. U r really Malaysian in depth! If only all Malaysians could do the same and watch movies of diffirent hues and languages. I for one watch many language type movies even though my mother tongue is Tamil. May the gods follow u always in all that u do.