A Resurgent Malaysia Festival of the Mind

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Can you solve this addition ‘27+86+78+99+72+10’ in less than five seconds without using a calculator? While most people gave up without trying, one man stood by undaunted. This was West Wong, touted as the ‘Malaysia Human Calculator’ who did it the sum in a flash at the 9th Malaysia Festival of the Mind held at Dewan Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in UTAR Perak Campus recently.

West Wong, who is a UTAR alumnus, was invited as guest speaker for a crowd enlightening session which followed the launching ceremony of the 9th Malaysia Festival of the Mind. In what appeared to be a spectacular showpiece from the Math prodigy, West demonstrated his startling arithmetic and calculation abilities, and maintained his cool despite being bombarded with an outpouring of uncharacteristic complex equations from the animated crowd. His ability to produce razor-sharp answers in a hairsbreadth of time has garnered the crowd pleaser widespread adulation.

A Resurgent Malaysia Festival of the Mind

“I discovered my knack for numbers at the age of nine, and have not looked back since,” said Wong, co-founder and tutor of Nexus Learning Centre who is also the bronze medallist in the category of Flash Anzan at the 2012 World Mental Olympics (Memoriad) in Antalya, Turkey. West pioneered a historic feat for Malaysia, bagging the country’s first-ever medal in the final showdown of world-class Math wunderkinds. He is now bent on nurturing talents to represent Malaysia in the upcoming Memoriad in Las Vegas in 2016. His parting remark to the crowd was, “Believe in yourself and love what you do!”

Present were UTAR Council and Malaysia Mental Literacy Movement (MMLM) Chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik,  UTAR Council Member Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan, who was also the guest-of-honour for the two-day event, UTAR Planning and Development Committee Advisor Tan Sri Hew See Tong, UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik and senior UTAR officials.

The annual Malaysia Festival of the Mind is a brainchild of MMLM, and is jointly organised by MMLM, UTAR and Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) University College. Through its activities, the festival aims to create greater awareness among Malaysians of all ages and all walks of life on how to develop thinking, memory and creativity skills. Admission to the festival, exhibition, talks and workshops are open to the public for free.