From today onwards, Alina Tong will be a friend. Before today she wasn’t just a friend but also my boss. A terrific one at that.

The first time I met her, my eyes immediately spot the 3 row piercings on each of her ears filled with spunk studs..that just wrote funky all over her face. I have a thing for piercings, spotting some of my own..not too many on the ears though, I’ve got small ears so single piercing is enough. 

Alina will be migrating toAustralia in July.

I popped by her office last night and thought I’d give her a hand at packing up her stuff..all the 10 years worth of work at the SC. It was a pretty emotional process…we sorted all the stuff into stacks ..Shred, File, Throw, Nadia . Yup everybody had their own stack of inheritance… guidelines, reference files,books,reports..each for our different portfolios.

dsc04055.jpg the stacks..

Ahh yes we will all remember Alina for amongst others her..

Zesty Smile

Anytime you knock on her door (which is always open by the way) and pop your head in, without fail you will be greeted by a smile. All the while that I’ve worked under her stewardship I have never ever not gotten that smile. And I appreciated it a lot cos it made me feel comfortable to approach her with any matter, whether to be discussed, for her decision or just for some guidance.

This smile is flashed by a person that has 1000 different things on her plate. It’s different when someone behind a movie ticket counter flashes you a smile, cos I doubt printing out movie tickets is a nerve wrecking, pressure filled job. But when you’re responsible to head the Market Development Department of the SC,it’s a whole different ball game.

So when she can flash a smile while running multiple capital market issues in her head..then that’s something to shout out loud about.

dsc04051_s.jpg the colgate smile

High Speed Processor

Our department manages a wide array of portfolios…natural for a department called Market Development.

The department deals with amongst others bilateral/multilateral agreements, fund management, derivatives, corporate governance, venture capital.. the list really just goes on.

This is where Alina’s high speed processor is valuable ..and which all of us are thankful for, cos it makes the delivery of our work easier and faster.She can switch modes from discussing structured products to foreign fund management license in just a split second.

And attend one meeting after the other to thrash out entirely different issues..mind you again this is not like a wedding planner meeting one bride then  another discussing flower arrangements..Jane would like tulips, Fatimah wants African daisies..blah! But the materials Alina has to deal with can sometimes be very technical and it’s amazing the depository of info she has.

Big hearty laugh

When Alina laughs she really laughs. It’s difficult  to describe. It’s not the irritating “shut up I can’t stand it” kinda laugh but more the “this is bloody funny and it deserves a real laugh” kinda laugh. Aarrghh u just have to hear her laugh then you’d get it.

Her don’t worry-be happy attitude

So far, I’ve not seen her buckle under pressure. And believe me the work pressure is there all the time and often reach those insane peaks. But she’s cool as a cucumber..that’s a quality I’d love my bosses to have, and she did.

It’s crucial cos if the head of the ship panics then the rest of the crew can’t count on the captain for any sort of direction, and can just prepare to mati lemas..haha.

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But above all that.. she’s a dedicated mother who makes it a point to go back to her house which is an envious  5 minutes away from the office, and tuck little  Chayanne for her afternoon nap, and she makes sure that when her kids get up in the morning, she’s the first person they see…not their Indonesian Bibi’.

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“Life goes on, and all of you must continue to work hard” A simple advise from her..but one that I can bet my last penny on will be relevant even in a hundred years to come.

Alina has given me countless opportunities to enrich myself, continued to challenge me and gave me exposure to the dynamic mechanics of the capital market, that I’ve yet to fully grasp.. and I’m grateful for it.

She will be missed for her wonderful leadership qualities, progressive thinking and cheerful demeanour.

I tell everyone that she’s a great boss, she indeed is, and also without a doubt a remarkable person.

The work and effort will continue at the department and the SC  like always..

as for Alina..

like she said..this isn’t goodbye..it’s till we meet again.

All the best AT. 

_s.jpg one last look before she leaves…

dsc04068_s.jpgoff she goes.

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