This Is The Story Behind PenLah – Andrew Koo

My first exposure to publishing was back in 2004 (20 years old). Being a teen with zero knowledge of SEO, domains, hosting etc – I started writing about things that I love seeing on the internet space. Latest Nike shoes worn by Kanye West, edgy designers furnitures, street fashion tees (Stussy & BAPE) – I covered it on my blog. It didn’t survive. The blog was abandoned after 3 months of writing.

Graduated With A Boring Career Life

You see, I did my degree in civil engineering. Back then when our brains are not fully-developed, we choose our education path by listening to our friends and family. Engineering, doctors, lawyers – those were glam professions in the 90s. Graduated as an engineer, I am obliged to honour my scholarship bond and serve a private company for 5 years. Life was boring and it didn’t took me long to decide to leave after 3 years. It isn’t something which I see myself in the next 20 years!

MC Hypeman In a Local Night Club

I picked up a MC hosting job in a local club called Poppy Garden while working a day job. Poppy Garden is an up-market cigar bar/club where celebrities gather on a hippy-weekend and was the place to go to (Beating Zouk KL and Quattro Avenue K). Ask anyone in their 40s now and they would know! I fall in love with the job and 70% of my friends contacts today were built from this club. On and off, I am invited to perform at top clubs in the city (Maison, Ministry Of Sound, Gosh, Quatro, Stage, Butter Factory KL, Rootz etc).

May be an image of 2 people, hair, people standing and outerwear
Image : Hypeman job but met the boss of my morning job

Entrepreneurship, Publishing and

My MC Hypeman job leads me to publishing business exposure in Nuffnang. Nuffnang is the biggest bloggers community in Southeast Asia region. There, I was tasked to sell blogs inventories and ad-spaces (Digital Sales). Super love the role and meeting key opinion leaders within the country. The super-difficult-entrepreneurship journey started after leaving the company in 2013.

We created with several of my close friends and managed to convince them into starting up together. PCMamak is an electronic tech blog in Bahasa Melayu. In the process of building it, we won the Best Tech Blog in Blogr Awards supported by the government. It didn’t survived either. The blog was abandoned after 1 year of operation due to bleeding overhead operation costs. That’s the 2nd time failing on a publishing model

Then after, I kickstarted several start-ups on my own and partner. You see, the whole entrepreneurship journey is about failing, failing, more failures and fail until you find light. (There’s where most start-up companies pivot and stay relevant) was my most successful start-up up to date until the pandemic killed it.

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So….what is PenLah laaaa?

Okay, enough of the over-looping life story (HAHA). is our 3rd publishing news portal focuses on tech stories, local business and start-up stories. When we first started, it’s very difficult to get the exposure it needed due to lack of financing (We bootstrapped it!) and media giant companies would not be interested to cover us as they only feature news-worthy stories. With mentor supports from publisher friends from, we hoped PenLah could grow and serve the local community of passionate entrepreneurs.

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PenLah was created to help these small and medium enterprises get the coverage they deserve. Most small enterprises do not have the necessary big funds to engage a PR firm. We aim to help small start-ups grow and build a network of like-minded community in Malaysia. (And probably Thailand too)

With this in mind, we have started a new category segment call ‘Local Heroes’ which will highlight local start-ups and business stories during this Covid-19 pandemic.

In case you’re wondering, the word PenLah has no relevance to business verticals. We just thought the name gel well with writing ‘Pen’ and ‘Lah’ for us being Malaysians-lah.

If you’re a Malaysian business owner and would like to cover your company, reach out to us through WhatsApp +60102006880 or email us at [email protected]

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