THE last two month was a challenging period for us when SJEcho’s Facebook Page was hacked and we lost access to the administration of the social media platform. The initial realisation that our Page had been hijacked by an unknown handler sent ripples of panic and worry.

Against all odds, we however managed to get the news out to the community via our SJEcho website and Facebook Group and via Whatsapp and Telegram while working on getting our Page back into our hands. Everyone around me panicked and kept asking me almost on a daily basis if we had managed to grab our Page back from the hacker.

We were almost ready to restart with a new Page when we got the good news from Facebook that the team was working to restore and help us regain access to our Page. That happened in early December, making it the best Christmas present one can ask for.

That horrible experience taught us one thing – panicking was not an option. Patience and perseverance was the formula to keep our nerve wreaking ordeal under check. Cool minds and a backup plan was just as important to continue having our presence on socmed.

We would like to thank all our readers and partners for their patience and support during this ordeal. We are back online and measures have been taken to keep the Page as secure as we possibly can.

The month of November saw me travelling a little bit for charity work under the Children’s Wish Society of Malaysia as well as a little bit for my own healing time. A wish from a terminally ill child took me to Four Seasons Langkawi where we spent a few days chaperoning a young girl stricken with cancer who had wished to visit the isle with her parents. Right after that, it was a trip to the wilds of Sabah for some birdwatching with good friends (the human kind).We spent a day without telecommunications in Trusmadi enjoying what we did without any form of distractions from our smartphone; not even a call since the signal was “zero”.

I cannot recall when was the last time I had that privilege of being cut off from the world while healing with friends; and making new friends at the location. It was good and definitely very invigorating.

This December is expected to be busier than usual with Christmas and New Year celebrations underway. I will be joining a team to accompany a cancer stricken boy from Yan, Kedah to fulfill his wish to ride in the cable car in Langkawi. Our trip will see us putting up at Berjaya Langkawi Resort while we bring the young boy and family to Dream Forest, the island’s latest attraction to have a good and wonderful time together.

Wrapping up 2023 will not be easy since my schedule will be quite tight with work all laid out for me. But I am looking forward to usher in the New Year.

I am looking forward to an exciting 2024. It is a reset button for me every time we come to the beginning of a New Year. It motivates me to reassess the year that was and how we can do better in the New Year.

Subang Jaya can look forward to new initiatives and new adventures in 2024. Expected in early January 2024 is the change of guards or reshuffle of councilors in the Subang Jaya City Council. New blood is expected to be injected into the city council as new councilors are appointed to coordinate and be the go-between for MBSJ and the community.

We are enthusiastic and optimistic that the 24 councillors to be appointed for the new two-year term in MBSJ will be fully motivated to carry out their duties efficiently, transparently and equally across the areas they are appointed to represent. They should be sufficiently skilled to handle the many “longkang” and technical issues that come their way; and not just be a rubber stamp. Councillors are accountable to the communities they have been appointed to represent and they should do their utmost best not to shirk that heavy responsibility.

In 2024, we renew our hope that efforts to bring back local government elections can be restarted. Having local government elections is the “Madani” way forward to have a more efficient, people-caring and transparent body that can serve the rakyat better. Subang Jaya is probably well suited to become the first city council to initiate local government elections in its folds.

The New Year is a new book with blank pages for us to fill. Let’s get started.

Here’s wishing everyone MERRY CHRISTMAS and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! If you are travelling, we wish you a great and safe journey. See you in the New Year of 2024.