Monday, December 12, 2016

Peanut allergy

No! No! No! Linda in the Playgroup Club book shouted at other mums not to give her son peanuts, he might be allergic to  them. Many thought being cautious is just being paranoid. I wrote with passion, because I am allergic to peanuts. I don't only not eat peanuts, my nose can't smell well.

When friends automatically go and smell flowers, I don't.  This is the story why.

Entertaining with magic tricks and peanuts.

When Dad went to England, in 1956. I was twenty months. We moved back to the village in Lanang Road.

We did not have electricity, radio and TV. So we made our own entertainment. A favourite game the older kid used to make magic tricks. 
Once an uncle demonstrated by putting a peanut, it would appear in the armpit. Impressionable me, I was just four  years old, copied. It did not appear in my armpit. Instead it was lodged in my nose. 
All efforts to get it out failed, and Grandfather Chan said to leave it alone because digging it would only get deeper. 
I did not go to hospital. It remained inside my nose for months until one day I jumped from the jetty to the boat to Grand pa Kong’s house. As I jumped, the peanut came out. 
I was so happy to show everyone. The peanut had turned white. I am allergic to peanuts, the only one of 9 to have it. Was the peanut in my nose the culprit?
I told Father about forty years after. He said he was never told of this situation. Of course they should have taken me to hospital, if not, the peanut might travel up to my lungs and I would asphyxiate and die. 

Peanut allergy can be serious, people can die. I am only mildly allergic to it. When I have eaten peanuts, I feel a reflux, I feel like vomit coming out of my mouth. I feel the peanut have got rancid. If there is peanut oil in the food, I feel terrible the whole day.

I wrote part of this in my book,"From China to Borneo to Beyond."

Thursday, November 10, 2016

My latest book: The Playgroup

The Playgroup, paper back. ISBN 978-0-473-37871-4
Available at: Wheelers Books or from me,
eBook: Kindle Amazon ASIN: B01N0AWTOL

This book talks of a hotchpotch SAHM (Stay At Home Mums) jelled by a common denominator, the Playgroup. This book will resonate in women who went to Playgroup with their children or grandchildren. This hotchpotch include mothers of nuclear families, single families, bereaved parents, widowed, widowers, cancer survivors, volunteers, and so on. Issues like death, bereavement, cancer, adoption, fostering, and remarriage are sensitively discussed.

My latest book: The playgroup

The Playgroup, paper back. ISBN 978-0-473-37871-4
Available at: Wheelers Books or from me,
eBook: Kindle Amazon ASIN: B01N0AWTOL

This book talks of a hotchpotch SAHM (Stay At Home Mums) jelled by a common denominator, the Playgroup. This book will resonate in women who went to Playgroup with their children or grandchildren. This hotchpotch include mothers of nuclear families, single families, bereaved parents, widowed, widowers, cancer survivors, volunteers, and so on. Issues like death, bereavement, cancer, adoption, fostering, and remarriage are sensitively discussed.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

我的中国梦: 海外华人的中国魂, my Chinese Dream



New Zealand edition.  book cover 书皮
Published in April 2015. 
 It was a surprised meeting. This couple saw my husband and they said they remembered me and had read my book. They were a couple we met more than ten years ago and our boys were doing karate. We parted ways and I almost couldn't recognise her. She said I told her that I was writing a book, and then almost ten years later, she saw my book at the Epsom library.  Her son recognised my name.,

Friday, September 23, 2016

NZ universities ranked among world's best, again

NZ universities ranked among world's best, again

My university, so proud. six Chin and Chans kids attended NZ universities, 3 PhDs and Uni professors, and two lawyers. We inherited good genes. Our great grand father was a Siew Cai in the early 1900.

My great grand father Chan Kwong Kuok, he co founded a school in the early 1900s. The school still exists in Sibu.

New Zealand's eight universities have once again ranked among the best in the world. Photo /

Sunday, August 7, 2016


These pineapple plants are in my uncle's house. Looking at them, I notice that the sharp "swords" have been cut off.
Naturally pineapples are not like this. I have told this story many times, and upon my death bed I will still tell it.
Back in 1969, my father's Fiat 1100 were no longer the much loved car. It was breaking down a lot, and the mechanic told mum that...
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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

My Students

As I finish this book, I pause and ponder. Am I blowing our trumpet? Have I painted too honourable about Father and too virtuous about Mother?
I leave you with these words from Orlando Chua Siao Hui, a lawyer in Sarawak. I taught Orlando in 1974-75. When I left for Canada, I had not seen him since.
In 2012 he wrote on my Facebook:
“I will never forget you Miss Chan. I was 13 and representing Binatang in a sports meet in Sarikei. You came with a pile of blankets and pillows for us students.”
I have no recollection about this, and I believe it was Mother and Father who told me to do it. Mother knew these kids had to sleep on top of school desks without any bedding.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Phyllanthus niruri or Dukung anak.

I have been looking for this wild herb for a long time. When we were young, my mother would send my siblings and I to collect by pulling these herb, roots and all. She boiled this for us to drink. I found this growing a in pot sharing another plant in Singapore.
We called this MA ZAI CHO. Phyllanthus niruri or Dukung anak.

Traditional Medicine

My Sis E inherited the skills of a traditional medical practitioner.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Chinese immigrants

In my books, From China to Borneo to Beyond, and World War II, Chinese immigrants were not considered a citizen of Sarawak.
The Brooke Government had made it very clearly the law of ius sanguinis the rule of the blood, you are a Chinese regardless of where you are born.
I found my Father-in-law's entry certificate. He was considered an alien.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Book Launch: From China to Borneo to beyond and CMM

Tonight, I will be returning to Sarawak, Borneo. CMM, Chinese Methodist Message will be celebrating their 65 anniversary. In conjunction with this, they will be launching my book.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Copac national, academic & specialist library catalogue.

Help with Title
This record is part of the Copac national, academic & specialist library catalogue.
Cover image

Hai wai hua ren de Zhong Guo hun = From China to Borneo and beyond / Zhu: Chen Jie Xue ; Yi: Chen Kang Sheng = [written by] Ann Kit Suet Chin-Chan/Chen Jie Xue ; [translated by]Ting Kong Sing.

Other titles
  • Translation: From China to Borneo and beyond
Chinese edition.
  • [Auckland] : [Ann Chin] [2015]
Physical description
324 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
  • 9780473309626
  • 0473309629
  • Text in traditional Chinese.
Other names
  • Illustrated
  • text
  • Chinese
Direct Link
  • Printed

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

leaping lizard Chai Song Lip.

This is my very sports talented nephew Chai Song Lip. His nickname is creepy. The sports writers dubbed him the leaping lizard. Once he won the Sportsman of the year. His forte was triple jump. I am a very proud aunt.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Engelske bøger | Gratis levering til Danmark

Forlag: Ann Kit Suet Chin Chan

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sweet potato/kumara

During the World War II, there was an embargo on ships crossing the South China Sea. There was no rice import, an staple of the people. People planted root vegetables like sweet potato/kumara, tapioca and pumpkin as staple.

Dad said when you eat this day in and day out, withour any oil or salt, you soon get very tired of it. 

The world has turned around. I like sweet potatoes , and sometimes I steam them on top of the rice.

rubber tree

some 70,000 seeds being smuggled to Kew in 1875, by Henry Wickham, at the service of the British Empire, from Brazil and stole some rubber seeds aka Hevea brasiliensi.

From those stolen seeds, they grew to supply the rubber gardens in Malaysia and Borneo.
The original rubber trees were very good, but took too long to reach a productive age. Then the good old scientist developed a smaller tree but produced more and called it high yielding tree.

My plant is a miniature tree. It's a tribute to both sets of my ancestry. It was rubber that brought them to Borneo.In 1907, my Great Grand father was scouted to lead a developing company to grow this important cash crop.

During the World War Two, trading ceased. People stitched up rubber sheets and wore them. The more enterprising ones even made shoes.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Life in Myanmar

Nang Kham Set This pic was taken at the occasion when my little nephew entering into novice and at the same time ear piercing ceremony of my daughter and nieces was performed
Sai Kaung Set Yan Paing is Nang Kham Set's son  .Sai is our Shan family name that means Mr. This is Kaung Set Yan Paing and her  nephews entering Monkhood ceremony and daughter and nieces ear piercing

I have been very privileged to have lived in many countries and made wonderful friends from all over the world. In Singapore, I have amazing friends from Myanmar, Daniel Lwin and Grace Lwin. 

With Facebook, I made a wonderful friend who made me feel proud when she called me sister.
Nang Kham Set, Lecturer & Head at University of Medicine,Taunggyi. I asked her to educate me the Myanmar culture.

From today on Myanmar will be well known among people as a respected and confident leader is nominated as president today. U Htin Kyaw, old friend and trusted person of Daw Aung San Su Kyi, our national leader.

When Dad studied in Singapore after the World War II, he made some very good friends from Myanmar.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Manihot esculenta, with common names cassava (/kəˈsɑːvə/), Brazilian arrowroot, ... Like other roots and tubers, both bitter and sweet varieties of cassava ...

It must be properly prepared before consumption. Improper preparation of cassava can leave enough residual cyanide to cause acute cyanide intoxication and goiters, and may even cause ataxia or partial paralysis.[8]  wiki 

My father told me there is a folklore that it is very important to grow them the right way up, or the tapioca would be poisonous. It would be better not to eat them.
Tapioca is a dietary staple in Africa, Asia and South America, and you'll also find it in beverages and puddings in the United States. Although commercially packaged tapioca is generally safe, the plant can be highly toxic if not prepared properly.
Tapioca naturally produces cyanide, which is poisonous to humans; however, the cyanide may be removed during processing. By eating poorly prepared tapioca, you may risk cyanide poisoning according to the American Cancer Society. Symptoms include headache and dizziness; in severe cases, you may experience convulsions or coma. It is suggested that if a person is allergic to latex, it is best not to eat tapioca.

I used this story in my World War II, about a family dying after eating the up side down tapioca.

My Ah Kung , Grandfather's attire



This is Myanmar's shan traditional attire. (Photo on the left) I asked permission from my friend Nang Kham Set if I can borrow the photo. She has kindly said yes.

In 1900s, all the men who left Quaang Tung to Borneo dressed like this. Frog buttons and fishermen's pants. Over time, some of them changed to wearing western clothes. My grandfather aka Ah Kung continued to wear it until he died in 1976.

When I was young, I was rather embarrassed he adhered to his Chinese culture. He was like a countrybumpkin wearing slippers/jandals.

 When Bruce Lee became famous, young Sibu boys mistook my Ah Kung to be a Kung Fu Master and nagged at him to teach them Kung Fu. He was tired of them following him, one day, he opened his bamboo umbrella and they all ran away. They thought it was his Kung Fu move.

As I grew older, I am proud of my Chinese roots, and equally proud of my Ah Kung. I wrote about him in my books From China to Borneo to Beyond. In my World war II book, I fictionalised him as a hero.

In the photo, the elderly gentleman wore a fedora. I went at lengths to describe another character who wore a fedora.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

I flung a softball bat.

Baseball fan saves boy from flying bat

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  • A fan saves a bat from hitting a young kid at a baseball game. Photo Christopher Horner  via Twitter/@Hornerfoto1
    A fan saves a bat from hitting a young kid at a baseball game. Photo Christopher Horner via Twitter/@Hornerfoto1
    A fast acting spectator saved a young fan from being whacked by a flying bat at a MLB pre-season game in Florida.
    Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Danny Ortiz lost hold of the bat and photographer Christopher Horner captured what happened next in a series of frames at the Atlanta Braves' spring training stadium.
    The young boy in the firing line had been looking down at his phone when the man next to him flung out a protective arm.

    Ortiz told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.: "I didn't know what happened, if it (hurt) the boy or anything. I went home and my wife said to me, 'You almost killed that kid!'"
    Baseball bosses want clubs to extend protective netting at grounds, and have warned fans about the risks of sitting close to the field.

    From China to Borneo to Beyond: Chinese Edition.

     May be my books are written from a woman's prospective, 
    The theme 重男女, a preference for boys 
    over girls is written all over my books. 
    This is true in many cases..
    I just watched a video where a father
     buried his daughter alive. 
    Perhaps it is dramatised.
    One hundred years ago, my great grand father
     found an abandoned baby girl.
    The episode is written in this book.
    It will be launched next month.