For our first ever Malaysian Confessions event, we presented a collection of heartfelt and personal stories.
Four speakers graced the stage – a transgender man, a sexual assault survivor, a person suffering from eczema, and a successful entrepreneur – each with their own lessons of overcoming life’s challenges.
Read on for 5 noteworthy moments from the event that night.
1 – A Gathering of Unique Individuals
Each speaker had a story to tell, and a lesson to share. The night started with Jacqueson Cheok, a female-to-male transgender man who came out to his parents and underwent a double mastectomy in Thailand.
Then, Irene Chan shared her story of sexual assault, and how damaging post-assault reactions from friends and family can be.
Charlene Hor followed up with what it’s like living with severe eczema, and the challenges of keeping clients who didn’t understand her condition.
And finally, Timothy Tiah shared his journey of entrepreneurship and how humbling it was starting a successful business – only to leave it, and start over with his latest venture, Colony Coworking Space.
2 – Everyone had a Kahoot !
Who knew that a party game would be so much fun?
Kahoot, a game which takes a public poll using a projector and user’s handphones, was the life of the party.
Most of the attendees participated in answering a series of questions, like “Would you need to sleep with someone before marrying them?” and “Should you disagree and contradict your boss if you feel you’re right?”
After each poll, the MC, Adrian Leow, went around to probe further into some of the audience’s answers. Those who answered his questions won two free movie passes from MBO cinemas. A total of 10 free movie passes were given away!
3 – Malaysians confess their secrets
It wasn’t just the speakers who shared their stories – IRL, true to our motto of “Real People, Real Stories” – asked for stories from the audience. They didn’t disappoint.
We asked Malaysians to share their confessions with us, by submitting their stories to our site via their mobile phones. Some were funny, while others were profound. We picked five as winners of our confession posts. Each confession won a Joy box from Mondelez, chock-full of goodies like Cadbury chocolates, Halls HS Honey Lemon breathmints, Tiger Biscuits, Belvita breakfast biscuits, and more !
“I wish I had more one-night stands before committing to a relationship. Now that I have a partner, I choose to be loyal to her and will not stray.”
“I feel worthless because I do not earn a lot and I have not been progressing in my career. I chose to stay in this company because of its flexibility so that I can leave work earlier to see my baby. As much as I am comfortable in this company, I envy how my peers are doing so much better than I am.”
“When I was in standard one, I peed myself while learning to sing Negaraku. I remember it as the top 3 most embarrassing moments in my life. We were learning to sing the national song. In the middle of the song, I got the urge to pee. I went up to the teacher and asked if I could go to the toilet. The teacher was a very patriotic lady and she was like “Eh jangan kurang ajar! Habiskan lagu ni dulu!” I was like “Omgomgomg OK” and I tried to hold it in. But my tiny bladder just couldn’t. I cried as I sang tanah tumpahnya darah ku…. And I also tumpah.”
4 – Interactive Sessions
The speakers weren’t the only ones who had a chance to speak on stage that night. We also invited members of the audience to come forward and have their say.
5 members from the audience came forward and picked a question out of a box. The questions ranged from funny to deep, and each person had to come up with an answer based on their experience.
One particular question struck every member of the audience – “Would you rather know when you’re going to die, or how you’re going to die?”
The participant answered that she would rather know when – because she had just recently lost someone close to her, and wished that she had a chance to say goodbye.
Here’s her heartfelt story:
“I would rather know when I’m going to die, so that I could prepare and get everything ready and say goodbye to the people that I love, eat the food that I want to eat, see the things that I want to see.
Actually, recently a family member of mine passed away a little over a month ago. So I had time to think about this question, because of what happened recently.
I really think that everyone should just go out and do things they enjoy and don’t ‘save it’. Thinking like, I’m not going to eat that chocolate cake today, because I’m gonna save it for when I really need it. I think you really need it today.”
5 – Prizes and sponsors!
The night ended with IRL’s Founder and CEO, Rachel Tan, coming onstage to hand out tokens of appreciation for each guest speaker, who received a custom printed IRL t-shirt and a goodie bag.
She gave a brief speech about the founding of IRL and thanked all the sponsors for making the event a success.
Notable sponsors include Althea, MBO, Mondelez, and OYO Rooms Malaysia, who contributed to various prizes and hotel stays for our guest speakers.
It was certainly a fun night for everyone, but most importantly, IRL stayed true to its mission: being able to share real stories and personal experiences of fellow Malaysians.
Thank you for sharing your personal stories with us, and we hope that all of you will continue sharing and learning from each other!
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