Koon Yew Yin
1st Jan 2013
On 28th Dec 2012, I celebrated my 80th birthday. A few guests asked me how I have managed to live so long and happy. I am sure all of you would like to know how I did it. Even my cardiologist said that I may be holding the Malaysian record for being alive after inheriting a blood cholesterol disease and having undergone heart bypass surgery in May 1983. Moreover, I do not have aches and pain which are common for elderly people.
This is what I do:
1. Every day I walk for around 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. When there is rain, I walk about in my house.
2. I must remember that physical movement will reduce stress which can shorten my life. As I spend most of my time on the computer, reading, writing or watching TV, I must not sit down for more than one hour at a time. I must stand up and walk a few steps.
3. I have developed a habit of taking a few deep breaths whenever I remember. I can do it at any time, while sitting, driving or waiting for something. I always take a few deep breaths before I go to sleep.
4. When I wake up I usually drink 2 glasses of water. I eat only fruits and drink a cup of coffee for breakfast. Pineapple is my favourite fruit. I do not eat anything until lunch. In between I may drink some water. In this way I can keep my weight down.
5. I drink one glass of wine with my lunch and I have a nap for about an hour. I also drink another glass of wine before I sleep every night. Wine will improve blood circulation and reduce stress.
6. After my afternoon nap, I make a pot of Chinese tea which keeps me awake so that I can enjoy the rest of my day.
This is what I do for my mental health:
Always keep your mind occupied by reading, writing, playing computer, managing my share investment or watching TV. This will slow down the loss of memory.
1. Although I have completely retired from executive work as company director for which I was paid, I am now working harder and longer hours than before and no one pays me a salary. I find working is the most wonderful entertainment and I enjoy doing what I am doing.
2. After having lived for so long, I accept human weaknesses and forgive those who irritate me. Why should I feel angry just because someone misbehaves? I have only a few close friends and they do not mind if I do something stupid.
3. Avoid working more than an hour at a time, have a short break. Take a holiday once a week. Occasionally go for longer holidays for a change of environment.
4. I must mention my wife’s important contribution. She takes care of my daily needs without which I would not have lived so long and happy.
5. I love my wife, I love myself and people in general. I enjoy all the good things in life.
6. I also love music, especially classical music. It keeps me calm and smoothen my life. I think it also keeps my blood pressure down.
7. I frequently see my doctor to check my blood pressure which is most important if you want to live a long life.
I always try to create happiness. I must always remember that when I die I cannot take anything with me. I will spend almost all my wealth to help poor and needy people. I concentrate my charity in helping poor students to complete their tertiary education. I believe education is the best way to help poor families.
Those students whose family income is less than Rm 2,000 per month can apply for my scholarships as advertised in website: Lim Kit Siang blog or cpiasia.net. I have given scholarships to more than 100 poor students. I frequently I receive letters informing me that they have passed their final degree exam and I would feel so happy and satisfied.
All my scholarship recipients do not need to repay the money I spent on them. Instead, they have to promise me that when they are in a good financial position, they must remember that when they needed help, I helped them and that they must help other poor students. I will die happily knowing that this change effect will create more and more charity workers.
The key to my success:
The biggest obstacle to success is fear. The greatest failure is lack of faith and the root of all failures is egotism.
You are in control of your life. You can choose either to be happy or sad. One very easy way to be happy is to appreciate what you already have and that you do not need any more. Always count your blessings.
I wish you and your family a happy new year.
Koon Yew Yin
Foot note: Koon Yew Yin was one of the founders of IJM Corporation Bhd