Editorial: Taking Time Off from Subang Jaya to Recharge and Seek Refuge in the Highlands of Sabah

I finally decided to hop over to Sabah in early September; my first trip to Kota Kinabalu since the pandemic began. It took a while to convince myself that this trip would be good to rekindle friendships with friends in Borneo and also to get a respite from the rat race in Subang Jaya.

The General Elections in 2022 and subsequently the State elections a few months ago had obviously taken a toll on me. Stress had crept in. Unknown to me, the mounting fatigue had made me edgy and fast to jump at anything that didn’t seem right. My mental health was at the edge.

So, when the opportunity to fly over to Sabah for some charity work and a bit of leisure time popped up, I decided it was time to get away from work in Subang Jaya to find some peace and rest. We headed for the highlands to seek refuge in the shadows of Mount Kinabalu and another mountain top along the Crocker Range. The air was crisp and the sights were refreshing.

Since I am somewhat familiar with Sabah, I took on the role of tour guide for our group. I planned the itinerary and where to go, leaving the choice of where to eat to the ladies in the group. Catching up with friends was a joy, needless to say. We’ve not seen each other for more than three years and we have “grown younger” since then.

On one morning, up in the highland forest of Gunung Alab near Tambunan, we caught sight of the Crimson-headed Partridge (photo inset). It was then that I realised how long it’s been since I last paused to smell the roses along the way and admire the beauty of Mother Nature that rejuvenates and recharges our soul. I told myself – I must do this a bit more to keep my sanity intact.

Back to the present, we are already in the last quarter of 2023. Time flies when you are having fun right? The weather is becoming unpredictable – extreme heat during most days with heavy downpours in between. This crazy weather has made me fall ill. As I am writing this editorial, I am nursing a fever and a flu. Crashing into bed is very tempting but alas, work has to be completed first.

In this month’s edition, we highlight the need for more safety measures to be provided at sporting facilities. I brought up the need for Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at sporting facilities to Youth & Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh when I met her at an event. To my surprise, she told me she had started this push just a few weeks ago and was pursuing it with the Housing and Local Government Minister himself. Great minds think alike, I suppose; but most importantly it’s because we feel deep down in our hearts that victims can have a shot at surviving if we had the right measures in place.

We hope that MBSJ will immediately adopt the proposal by the Minister and take the lead in making sure all the sporting facilities in Subang Jaya are equipped with an AED.

Unavoidable as it may be, now is also the opportune time to start scribbling in our scrapbook our new resolutions for 2024. The list will probably be very long at the start but hopefully before then, we will have a few resolutions which are doable in the New Year. Let’s start.