About me

I was born and brought up in Miri an oil town in Sarawak (Borneo). I attended Pujut Chinese Primary, St. Joseph's Miri and Tanjong Lobang School. (I was at Tanjong for two years as a boarder doing 6th form, 63/64) I worked for Shell Lutong for 23 years and have lived in NZ for 15 years. I am married to Christine Wong. We have 3 grown children: Kevin, Pearl and Eugene.
I retired from full time work at age 58 in Hamilton (2002). After a few months, the prospects of looking at 20 years of annual leave got to me (I became bored with doing nothing). I enrolled as an English tutor, did a short course in Hamilton and taught English to new migrants for 3 years (2-hour/week) During this time I was also involved with working for the Salvation Army (5 hrs every morning on Mon, Tue, Wed). During this initial retirement period, I also played golf in the afternoons. There was a gap of 25 years during which time I have not touched a golf club. I took up sailing as a hobby in the early 80's and played some tennis.

Soon, in NZ I became a serious golfer again, playing 3 or more rounds a week. In the end, I found that the volunteer work interfered with my golfing schedules and it was also too warm in the afternoons to golf. I stopped doing all volunteer work in the mornings and decided to play golf full time. I found that golf was not enough to fill all my free time. I intensified sailing as a second hobby and took part in regattas every Sunday and exploring the many lakes and harbours in the North Island. When the weather was not suitable for golfing and sailing, I blog. I became a very active blogger with more than 50 blogs.
Missing the volunteer work and the human interactions, I have now replaced that with cyber volunteer work on the internet helping new bloggers all around the world. I am now a blogging guru. This work is less demanding; but just as satisfying as the previous type of volunteer work. The interactions with different bloggers were very rewarding for me and satisfied a deeper need inside all of us to make contact with other people on common ground. I am also an active participant on the extanjong forum (human interactions) and have formed another Google group for ex-Shell employees (SSB). I have recently started a group on Face Book for Overseas Sarawakians. I am constantly looking for new ways to fill my time. I have even considered taking up photography seriously as a hobby.

Sharing my own retirement experience with you, will hopefully help some of you, who are my friends, during this difficult transition period from full time work to no work. Please remember that it is a fact that you do not need money to retire. The secret is in keeping busy and learning to phase out the extravagant life style (5 stars hotels) and begin to live within our reduced budget and accepting our new identity as a retired person.
The simple truth is this: No one is able to save enough money to maintain the same standard of living for retirement because we do not know exactly how long we will live. There is no bottom line. It is therefore impossible to plan financially for our retirement. For this same reason we must retire now, today; and not work until we die. This can happen tomorrow or even sooner, tonight, in our sleep! :)

a very retired person
(according to Chang Yi, a friend)


  1. Truly appreciated your words and wisdom.

  2. I do enjoy reading your stories and learning from your life experiences. And, from your blogging savvy ! A big thank you.

  3. I am on my retirement, willing to follow your style soon. Wish me some good luck!

  4. Hi David, very interesting Blog. My name is Gabriel and I came across it while researching Noelex 22's. There are a few q's I need to ask, is it possible to email me at gabe@xtra.co.nz? Thanks

  5. hi David,
    interesting blog and i was also born in Miri, and read once somewhere you mentioned lawyer Yee and he was my teacher a long time ago before he became a lawyer. my uncle was Abang Zen Sarkawi who worked at Shell for years and so did my dad.we used to live in piasau. I also knew the Brodie, Carroll,Bracken,Jolly family. often wondering what ever happen to them all. would appreciate if you can enlighten me.thank you.

  6. Hi,
    Yes but how do I contact you to carry on this discussion?
    My private email is davidchin38@gmaildotcom Please contact me to continue this discussion.


  7. Hi David, I was looking up my father's time in Sarawak, Douglas Rawlins, and came across your blog. I enjoyed your writing about school. Both he and Joan now gone, but three children all well. I am in Sydney, with sisters in the UK.
    Regards, mike

  8. I stumbled upon your lovely blog and very glad to read a blog from a local Sarawakian. Happy Retirement :)

  9. Jess, I have added your WordPress blog to my list (below)

  10. Hi,

    I just found your blog and want to invite you to guest post on our site, Retirement And Good Living, about living/retiring in New Zealand.

    We launched our retirement site at http://retirementandgoodliving.com which provides information on a variety of topics including travel, retirement locations, finances, health, hobbies, volunteering, part time work and much more to boomers, recent retirees and others thinking about or planning for retirement.

    Currently the blog section of our site is comprised entirely of posts by guests on a variety of topics. To date nearly 150 guests from around the globe provided posts to our blog.

    Please send me an email if interested and I will forward additional information.



  11. due to spam filters, the comment section on Blogger doesn't seem to work efficiently, . To contact me, please click on my FaceBook link in the left margin. It will take you directly to my FB page. Click on [message] to use the messenger service. I am usually on line once or twice a day! :)

  12. Hi David,
    Thank you very much for inviting me to your BlogSpot. I was impress by your Life experience. I hope I could fully retired as you did by year 2020. Thank you very much and I'm Truly appreciated your words and wisdom.

  13. Ramli,
    It is certainly good that Sarawakians help Sarawakians because other people are not going to help us. Most politicians are similar to Donald Trump; he helps only himself. :)


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