HEADS turn when I start speaking in Thai. Many are surprised that I can speak the language fluently.
I love learning foreign languages. Although there aren’t not many opportunities for me to converse in Thai in Johor, I have no regrets learning it because learning not only brings joy to life, it enriches the mind.
My hometown is Tumpat, Kelantan. I left in 1973 to pursue my studies in Kuala Lumpur. I obtained a Diploma in Civil Engineering and started my career in 1977 as a technical assistant in the Public Works Depart in Kulim, Kedah.
In 1984, I left the Public Works Department to take up the position of senior technical assistant at the Works Department of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Johor Baru.
I took study leave in 1995 to pursue a degree. Upon obtaining the degree, I took up and completed part-time course for a Masters’ degree programme.
After that, in 2000, I joined UTM’s Faculty of Civil Engineering.
I am now a senior lecturer in the Department of Structures and Materials. I really enjoy lecturing, as we all learn by sharing. The more you share, the more learned you become. So, my advice to everyone is not to be stingy when it comes to the sharing of knowledge.
I am married to Kaldip Kaur, who is from Batu Pahat. We have three children — a daughter and twin sons.
Besides Thai, I also speak Bahasa Malaysia, Punjabi and English. I am able to speak Thai because I attended an advanced course conducted in Penang.
I am not someone who will let distance deter me from self-development. I have just come back from a three-day motivation workshop held at The Regency Jerai Hill Resort in Kedah, organised by Oracle Advanced Toastmasters Club District 51, Malaysia.
I am the president of the Bahasa Melayu Toastmasters Club as well as the vice-president of the UTM Toastmasters Club.
I am also an associate member of the Malaysian Association of Professional Speakers.
My interests also lie in spirituality. I am fascinated by thought management and everything to do with the mind. In 1980, I attended the Silva Mind Control course and have since bought many books that focus on the mind. I studied a little of Christianity, Sufism, Buddhism and Hinduism.
I am also interested in laughter We live in a world that is full of stress, but we can “laugh” away the stress and replace it with joy.
I attended the Certified Laughter Yoga Leader course in December 2011 in Johor Baru. I even went to Bangalore, India, last January for the Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher course.
I have conducted motivational courses and lecture to part-time degree students in Sarawak, Sabah, Terengganu, Kelantan, Kedah and Kuala Lumpur.
Bachan Singh, 57, lives with his wife and three children in Taman Bukit Indah, Johor Baru.