TOWARDS the end of 2019, I grabbed the opportunity to fly out of the country for a long overdue break from work; to relax, to experience new things and to broaden my perspective of things that I had taken for granted for a long time.

Like the Land of the Rising Sun where I was headed, my horizon was unleashed to absorb new adventures and experiences along the way. It may come as a surprise to many but my lifelong dream was to one day experience snow; to step on it, to touch it and to play in it. I did just that on my trip on a clear day up Mount Fuji. It was a long drive up the mountain but when we stepped out to -3 Degrees Celsius weather I knew I had just ticked off another item on my bucket list to fulfill.

My last encounter with snow (from a distance) was the snowcapped mountains of the Alps in Switzerland when I had travelled to Gland for work almost 18 years ago. Because of the hectic schedule, I had had no opportunity to make my way up there to experience snow. Ever since then, I had dreamed of one day making this dream come true.

I am happy that 2019 had been a somewhat good year for me albeit some hiccups and stumbles along the way. Generally speaking, I had spent the 365 days (minus the holiday) spearheading change for SJEcho; making its content more interesting and strengthening its distribution. Our social media site has grown in leaps and bounces in 2019 and even our physical edition is “going” to more places for our readers to conveniently pick up a copy.

The New Year beckons and holds within its bosom opportunities waiting to be unfolded. Our readership database has increased and so has our line-up of advertisers. With the support and trust we have from the community, we are confident 2020 will be a greater year ahead as we take it on day-by-day; month-by-month. In this New Year we will bring in more interesting content, forge more partnerships and grow in the community.

We are optimistic and that’s because we know that despite what the naysayers have to say about the economy, it’s all about the people who will make the difference. When some said “there’s no water”; the optimistic among us would say “water is coming back soon”.

In 2020, Subang Jaya will be accorded City Council status. This is a good recognition of how this community has built this neighbourhood into what it is today. But we should not rest on our laurels. The local authority should not be complacent to think that achieving city status means the conclusion of the journey. The new city status is the beginning of yet another new journey to make Subang Jaya better. Why be contented with water supply from a static tank when you can get constant water supply from a fixed pipeline?

Infrastructure especially maintenance is crucial in providing good quality city status to the rate payers. There is no point in being a city on paper but in reality we are still with municipality services and attitudes. Mindsets have to be changed and to keep up with the times. Let’s not allow ourselves to have first class facilities but third class mentalities. New logos and uniforms don’t make a difference; change for the better does.

Let’s reduce our reasoning for failure in 2020 and let’s focus on what we can achieve in this New Year.

Here’s wishing everyone KEONG HEE HUAT CHYE for the coming Chinese New Year. It’s just a few weeks to go before we greet the Year of the Rat.