Sunday, December 31, 2006


Just when I was thinking about taking a nice long rest for the next few days, Sam Crane tagged me to talk about five things you do not know about Allan. Well, here goes the high fives.

In the 1960s, I studied in Methodist Boys School, KL and was a classmate of Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, the current CEO of Genting Berhad. I knew his younger brother, Chee Wah and had chatted with their sisters too when their father, Lim Goh Tong, was not around in our school.

I failed my Cambridge School Certificate – O levels – because I had one too many pretty girlfriends.

In 1974 even with similar distractions – a pretty Norwegian girlfriend in Bergen, a lovely English girlfriend in Brighton, and an attractive Maltese girlfriend in London, one managed to obtain a few distinctions and a Business Studies diploma from Brighton Technical College. My English rose likened me to Jason King, an English actor, while my Malaysian girlfriends likened me to Hong Kong film stars – David Chiang, and later George Lam – because of my moustache. Yes, they had loved my moustache more than me! Of course the sleepy eyes, high cheek bones, sharp nose, strong jaw, broad shoulders tapered down to a slim waist helped a bit. An English artist friend had approached me to pose as one of the three musketeers for his painting but I was too shy for that.

1984 was a year of achievement of sorts. One had completed the fastest receivership – within half a day – for a financial institution in Malaysia. Allan Lian was mentioned in the Board minutes of a foreign bank because the directors liked our recovery work. The Arthur Young partners in Hong Kong were so impressed with my technical knowledge that they requested for my transfer to assist them in the Carrian liquidation (the largest insolvency job then) in Hong Kong. But my senior partner disallowed the transfer because the Malaysian partnership was fast becoming the number one receivership firm in town. A few months later, I left the firm and joined Ernst and Whiney.

I came to know the Quanzhen Daoist in 1987 when he visited his friend, the owner of a group where one was helping to turnaround. Twenty years has gone by so fast. Except for most weekends and overseas trips, we chat almost daily since mid 1992. Over the years, he told me some secrets of Quanzhen and I revealed to him heaven’s secrets. Fair exchange, no?

Not wanting to break the ‘meme’ chain, one tags Steve Marshall and Harmen Mesker, if they are reading this entry, to reveal five things we do not know about them. If they do not want to, they can always call upon Confucius for help!



Sam said...

Happy New Year, Allan!

Harmen Mesker said...

1. I am one of a triplet. I advise everybody not to be reborn as one of a triplet. It is not fun when people shout 'did you know he is a triplet?!' And it is not fun when somebody hits you because he thinks I am my brother. I am not. I am one of a triplet. And it was not a personal choice.

2. I consult the Yijing approximately once every five year. Personally I find that a little bit too much - but hey, I'm addicted, I can't be blamed for it.

3. My spiritual guide is Gao Xian 高閑, a Tang dynasty Buddhist monk who is mainly known for his excellent calligraphy (especially cursive hand) and poetry. Now he calls himself Gao Xing 高惺, which sounds like the word gaoxing 高興, 'happy', but it means 'high awakening'. Or something like that. Which shows he's a swank.

4. In 1978 I started to study at a chemistry high school. I had to travel two hours by train to get there. I had to get up at 5:30 and got home at 20:00, every day. Needless to say this was an utter failure. But boy, how I enjoyed those train rides. And I still love to travel by train.

5. There is so much I don't know about myself, that it is very hard to come up with things that I _do_ know about myself. I spent two hours to come up with the four points I gave you above.

Allan said...

Happy New Year!
I am honored by both your presence. It augurs well for 2007. Thank you Harmen for taking the time to be sporting.