Andreas Mak Yat Kwai - Designer, DocuXpress
Andreas Mak Yat Kwai - Designer, DocuXpress

Back here, I have this sense of freedom to be in control of my work life and simply be able to carry out my plans of saving for the future.

Just like his brother during high school days, Andreas had wanted to study fine arts. However, their mother would not have it that both her sons were going into the same field of study citing challenging times ahead for students of fine arts. So ultimately Andreas gave in and studied Graphic design instead of in The Malaysian Institute of ART in Kuala Lumpur, one of the few design schools in Malaysia at the time. It was a good move as he had, since young a passion for designing and painting murals and was the Arts society president in high school.

While his brother moved on to be a teacher in fine arts in Sabah, Andreas stayed on in Kuala Lumpur and worked as a designer. This was the start of his career in design and KL offered the valuable exposure he felt he needed at the time. “Living in KL was difficult” declared Andreas. With a small room as lodging and a bicycle as transport, he plodded on for 2 years. In 1996 he quit his KL job and returned to look for opportunities in Penang. This landed him in an advertising company which provided him with new challenges in terms of scope of work in a new environment.

In the year 2000, upon a recommendation from an ex-colleague, Andreas moved to Singapore. His expectation then was to earn Singapore dollars and due to high conversion rate to ringgit, save as much as he can.

Earn Singapore dollar he did, but saving the money was painful as it meant that entertainment, dining out and gym workouts were not on his agenda of play. He had not anticipated that the cost of living in Singapore was relatively higher as compared to Penang and that much of his expenses went to paying for basic amenities like Transport, food, and lodging. Most of his time was spent at the library as his room was too small to do much, least of all invite friends over. Owning a car was definitely not in his radar screening either.

After several years and much thought, he packed his bags and headed back to Penang, this time with a better, positive outlook of Penang. News of the many positive changes happening in Penang had been circulating in the grapevine and he knew that the timing was perfect for him to come back to serve his hometown. With the many design houses mushrooming in Penang, he easily found his current job as a designer for DocuXpress which provides for Events management services, Corporate Branding, Printing Services, and Facilities Management Services. “I can see and feel the positive changes in Penang. “Back here, I have this sense of freedom to be in control of my work life and simply be able to carry out my plans of saving for the future.” I am satisfied with my job remuneration which is better from my previous postings and the future never looked brighter. “Oh, by the way, I drive to work now” he quipped.