The passions shared with family are usually the ones which remain
the strongest constants in one’s life. And for 53-year-old Lim Bee
Chin, her love for travel can be easily traced back to her father.
This published author and seasoned traveller is the dedicated host
of MyMalaysiabooks (www.mymalaysiabooks.com),
begun in 2005 as an online counterpart to her book, My Penang,
an insider’s guide to the food capital of Malaysia.
"It is dedicated to our father Lim Cheng See for his profound love
of travel, appreciation of art, culture and everything he sees,"
reads the short introduction on the site. Lim Cheng See passed away
in 2006 and the family maintains a blog (myfather-papa.blogspot.com)
dedicated to his loving memory.
For over 20 years, her work as a senior research officer at the
Mineral Research Centre, Department of Minerals and Geosciences in
Ipoh, Perak allowed her to travel extensively throughout Malaysia,
collecting nuggets of insights into our fair country’s treasures –
both well known and hidden. After leaving the Malaysian civil
service in 2000 and a short stint in the private sector, Bee Chin is
now based in Sungai Petani, Kedah.
From her childhood home, Bee Chin continues to blog and share with
the wider world, a comprehensive and meticulously researched guide
to the many facets of Malaysia as both a nation and tourist
destination. Inspired no less by her own love for travel and the
memory of her father’s own passion for the pursuit of discovery.
How and when did you start your website/ blog?
www.mymalaysiabooks.com was started in 2005 to promote my
book My Penang. It started with about 10 pages and only on
Penang. For My Penang, the website has helped popularise the
book. My Penang has even been catalogued is some foreign
libraries – though it is sold only in Malaysia and Singapore. Today
it has over 80 pages.
It’s a wonder to me, that visitors to the website come from all over
the world! Traffic is directed mainly through the search engines
(Google and Yahoo search).
The whole revamped website in looks and content is dedicated to my
father who passed away in 2006 – who loved to travel.
What were your reasons?
mymalaysiabooks.com had only information on the book and
about Penang – for some time. Then, since I was at home looking
after my parents most of the time, I could not travel much so I
started to add on information about Malaysia and things Malaysian,
such as cultural celebrations, food and transport.
I am now putting info on my website like my travelogue. The top
landing page these days is Malaysia news! – which basically links my
readers to the papers and blogs in Malaysia and Singapore.
I think it is the photos, contents and links to other websites that
drives the traffic. I put whatever links I have come across, in my
search for travel information such as links to airlines, bus
companies, newspapers, blogs, tourism website, etc.
It is a hobby as well as something I enjoy doing – maintaining this
website. It is a way of documenting and sharing information I have
for fellow travellers.
I have also started sub-domains, such as myFood (food.mymalaysiabooks.com)
which has many of my home recipes posted there. Its also because
myHomerecipe page at myMalaysiabooks (http://www.mymalaysiabooks.com/recipe/myHomerecipe.htm)
seems to be so popular. As for the myEducation page (education.mymalaysiabooks.com),
I am hoping my sisters can add to it.
It took a while before my website became self-supporting. Today the
few ads posted help me maintain the website.
Has your Internet webbing/blogging changed your life?
I have certainly spent a lot time on the web. It’s now a routine
thing for me to update my webpage. Going into cyberspace also gets
me connected to the outside world.
I used to sometime shop from the web but now am moving to internet
commerce as well – to try selling on the web.
Any regrets over this?
NO! I actually love to surf the net as well as post info on my web
pages. As a former researcher, the search for information is
something that is always in me – and documenting it.
I believe that every web surfer should ‘give as much as they take’
from cyberspace. It’s what Internet is about – sharing of
information and ideas. It also keeps my mind active. Cyberspace is
how I got connected to friends and where I source for news and
information. It's now part of my life – would not want to change it.
Foremost feature in the "Cybersphere" that amazes/irritates
The most wonderful thing about the Cybersphere? You can find all you
want to know about cyberspace in cyberspace! You can learn to design
and manage a website just by looking into the web! No need for books
– that’s how I started.
What amazes me about my website is that people from all over the
world gets directed to some of the pages just through the search
It’s irritating to find websites that put an email to ‘contact us’
but do not respond – this is very common with a number of Malaysian
Government websites! Many do not respond (except for the income tax
dept. and the SPR in my experience). Even Malaysia’s tourism website
has email addresses posted but they do not respond!
It's better not to put an email address if they cannot
respond. If you had to really choose one website to interact with,
which would it be?
There are a few websites that I find most useful such as Malaysia’s
Online News websites, including including Malaysiakini (www.malaysiakini.com),
Malaysia Today (mt.m2day.org)
which are the best option for keeping up with what’s happening
around you. I head to Joomla (www.joomla.org)
for tips on website creation. It’s the best place to go to and you
can get a lot of support at the help pages or forum. Then there’s
for recipes, and You Tube (www.onesmallhome.com)
I actually learnt from Christopher many technical details about
hosting, where to look for software, such as Joomla, etc.
I believe more members of my generation should get themselves
connected to the net. Many retirees and housewives can share their
many experiences and ideas through blogs/web which will certainly
benefit someone out there.
Important for all the governing bodies out there: The Cyberspace
should always remain a free place for people to express themselves
and share information freely. WE SHOULD HAVE FUN IN CYBERSPACE!