Prestine Davekhaw - founder of MalaysianPAYGAP, Disappearing Jobs - shares life story on the So This Is My Why podcast with Ling Yah Wong, the host and producer

Ep 136: I don’t want to hang out with famous influencers because… [Prestine Davekhaw, Founder of MalaysianPAYGAP & Disappearing Jobs]

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Welcome to Episode 136!

STIMY Episode 136 features Prestine Davekhaw.

Prestine Davekhaw knows how much you earn.

Thanks to a viral IG platform she launched called MalaysianPAYGAP, where she has Malaysians anonymously submit [payslip verified] details about their job, including:

  • Their earning + benefits (if any)
  • How they landed that job
  • The realities of doing their job
  • Advice for those wanting to do the same

So you can see why people are obsessed with MPG. 😉

But what about the person behind MPG?

You’ll have to listen to the latest STIMY episode to find out!

P/S: This episode is available on YouTube too!


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    Who is Prestine Davekhaw?

    Prestine grew up in a drug-infested home with her grandmother, who was her best friend. 

    She was told that her father was a dangerous man and that it was good that he wasn’t in her life.

    When she moved to the US for studies, she found herself homeless for a period.

    She ended up doing all kinds of insane jobs to make ends meet, including grilling 100 chicken wings in the Chicago South Side where she was at risk of being shot at at any moment!

    She also spent her last $900 on a camera out of desperation – she only had 2.5 weeks to make rent!

    • 3:13 Grandmother as her best friend
    • 8:42 Life is a work of art – Wilde
    • 12:24 I can only learn by asking questions
    • 14:36 Being homeless
    • 19:44 Spending $900 to buy a camera off Amazon
    Prestine Davekhaw - founder of MalaysianPAYGAP, Disappearing Jobs - shares life story on the So This Is My Why podcast with Ling Yah Wong, the host and producer

    Starting MalaysianPAYGAP & Disappearing Jobs

    But as it turns out, it was a fantastic decision and the start of good things in her life.

    Clients came knocking and she was doing well.

    But… something wasn’t quite right.

    In 2020, she had her first taste of going viral when she published an article sharing why she was unfollowing famous influencers on Instagram – many of her clients then were famous influencers and they were, as you can imagine, not happy.

    Prestine shares her life journey with remarkable candidness, not just the highs but also the lows like how she bombed her Bvlgari campaign because she was “a cocky photographer”. And how MPG came to be.

    • 21:57 9 hours of sense
    • 22:38 Photography came out of desperation
    • 24:15 Going back
    • 25:49 Quitting without a plan
    • 26:40 Landing international clients – including in Shanghai!
    • 27:19 Going viral in 2020 through an article, “Why I Unfollow Famous Influencers on Instagram”
    • 29:24 The Bvlgari campaign
    • 32:48 The genesis behind MPG
    • 35:10 The launch
    • 37:16 Surprising submissions
    • 41:31 Information is power
    • 42:25 Becoming jobless
    • 46:11 Community building lessons
    • 49:21 Helpful advice
    • 52:45 MPG Summit 2024
    • 54:28 Disappearing Jobs
    • 56:54 The controversy with the Side Hustlers IG page
    • 59:56 Hustling to meet the CEO of AirAsia
    • 1:01:33 Advice to others wanting to start side hustles

    If you’re looking for more inspirational stories, check out:

    • Phil Libin: Co-Founder, Evernote
    • Justin Byam Shaw: Co-Owner of the Evening Standard & the Independent – on building the UK’s largest media empire
    • Karl Mak: Founder, Hepmil Media – Building a Viral Meme Business in Southeast Asia
    • Chen Chow Yeoh: Co-Founder, Fave – the Non-Charismatic Leader We All Need?!
    • Adrian Tan: The Late President of the Singapore Law Society & King of Singapore

    If you enjoyed this episode, you can: 

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    If you’d like to support STIMY as a patron, you can visit STIMY’s Patreon page here

    External Links

    Some of the things we talked about in this STIMY Episode can be found below:

    STIMY Ep 136. Going Viral & Promoting Wage Transparency in Malaysia - Prestine Davekhaw [Founder, MalaysianPAYGAP & Disappearing Jobs]


    Ling Yah: Hey, STIMIES!

    Welcome to episode 136 of the So This Is My Why podcast and the first episode of 2024!

    I'm your host and producer, Ling Yah. And today's guest is the founder of the extremely viral MalaysianPAYGAP and disappearing jobs. And her name is Prestine Davekhaw. Or is it Prestine? We discussed this at the start of the episode.

    Prestine Davekhaw: How do I say your name, Prestine I don't even know. Really? Because I hear people say Prestine and Prestine and I go... It can be either way because there was no single person who told me that this is the way you should pronounce your name.

    But where does the name come from?

    My dad, but he was never in the picture.

    Yeah. Yeah. But even after you met your dad, the answer was so shit. He told me that he found the name on the electronic dictionary. So he just put it in. Oh, no. Yeah, so even he doesn't know how to pronounce that.

    How do you introduce yourself then? I change it all the time. Hi, I'm Pristine. Hi, I am pristine. . Okay. Pristine. Pristine. Thank you for joining me today. Yes.

    Ling Yah: Who is Prestine exactly? Well, Prestine, or Prestine Davekhaw is the founder of Malaysian Pay Gap, which is a viral IG platform where Malaysians submit their wages, the benefits that they have, what it's really like working in their job and how they even landed those roles in the first place, which frankly is a type of transparency that we all need.

    Now, as for Prestine herself, she's had quite an eventful life.

    She grew up in a drug infested home and she was told from young that her father was a dangerous man.

    When she moved to the U. S., she found herself homeless at one point, where she was staying overnight in the library and washing up in the gym.

    Eventually, she managed to pay her school fees, but she had to still hustle hard to meet her living expenses, which included grilling 100 chickens in the very dangerous part of Chicago's South Side.

    She spent her last 900 to buy a camera out of desperation and that became a starting point for all good things in her life.

    Now in this STIMY interview we dive deep into her journey. How she's built her career as a photographer. What does 9hoursofsense mean? Her first experience with virality when she wrote a 2020 article on why she unfollowed famous influencers on Instagram. How she bombed her job with Vargari because she was a very cocky photographer.

    The start of MPG. The realization that information is power. Connecting with the CEO of AirAsia and so much more.

    Before we start, don't forget to subscribe to the STIMY newsletter. I share behind the scenes of running STIMY as well as all things on building your personal brand, storytelling, marketing, and the most exciting thing that just happened to me today, being featured on Business Insider.

    Are you ready?

    Let's go.

    Prestine Davekhaw: I love to start online interviews by going to the very beginning, and I learned that your grandmother growing up was your best friend.

    Yeah. Can you tell me more about grandma?

    I would say like she was the sole caretaker in my life.

    I saw that you would share different photos and stories. And she was always there. Always cooking for you. That was really, really beautiful, especially for you to see that she was your best friend.

    Yes. Yeah. And you didn't have an easy life growing up, right?

    You said before when I was speaking to you that you grew up in a drug infested family background. Yeah. What was that like?

    So I was born in Johor, and When I was an infant, my mom didn't know how to, like, regulate her emotion.

    would, like, physically try to put pressure on me. My family deemed that, okay, she's not going to be a good caretaker for me. So I was under care at those caretaker family. Okay. And when I was three years old, my mom moved back to Penang, and then she paid my grandma to take care of me.

    But still, I was never in the same home as my mom. So my grandma...

    Now that she has to take care of me and my uncle also offer her the same thing like I'll pay you to take care of my own kids. So we were all living together, but

    I think at that point I didn't know what B40 was. But it seems like we definitely are in that kind of environment. The house is very, I think 600 square feet and then three bedrooms. And then my grandma got the smallest bedroom. So that was where I grew up in. It was like a cave, like it's always really dark because it's not a room with direct window where sunlight can come through.

    Yeah, but it was, so safe in that room.

    I wonder if you don't mind sharing, what was your grandma like?

    She was very funny all the time. Yeah. She's very, oh my god, it's present tense. She's very light hearted and she has a very delayed response to Anger or anything bad.

    If she got bullied or somebody said something mean to her, she will only realize it a few days later.

    Oh, that's sweet. Yeah. It's like, Oh, I should have done this. I should have said that. Or you have to tell her. My anger. No, she will tell that to me. So I always thought that was pretty funny.

    She's not a judgmental person at all. Yeah. So even back then when we were living in that house, she made it so judgment free, so even if I was in a bad environment, I never felt that it was bad enough to make a case. so that allows you to basically look at life not in such a negative lens as you might have grown up with. because by the time she has all those bad emotions, like when she remembered to be resentful, I was already educated in a way that anything is fine.

    We spoke briefly about your dad earlier. You met him for the first time when you were 20. Why was that and how did that meeting come about?

    So throughout my, I would say teenage year, when I could make sense of things, my family relatives always said that, Your dad is a gangster.

    Your dad is a very dangerous man. So it's good that he's not in your life. And then they will always tell me, Okay, what if one day he's going to come into your life again? How would you react? And they told me that anger should be the emotion. But ever since then, I never felt that though.

    Growing up in a single parent family in the Chinese community is not a good experience because at school, somehow the teachers will make it seem like a very bad thing. Everybody already put you down, But still, I don't see it as a problem. Having no father is not something that I was ever ashamed of. If they said that, oh, whose family is single or from single parent, I would just raise my hand without anything. Probably because of your grandma. Yeah, because of my grandma.

    And I also thought that it's cool to have a gangster dad who never appeared in my life. Were people afraid to touch you as well? Yeah. So when he first reached out to me on Facebook, I was super excited. There was no other mixed feeling.

    It's just pure excitement. And when he called to say to meet up, I just immediately called my best friend and said, let's go together.

    And what was that like?

    So he texted me, we were supposed to meet in his hotel room. And before I was there, he just asked me to go buy him road trip. Wow.

    So I thought that was pretty weird, but okay, at least he's direct. And the moment he opened the door, I just saw, wow, someone like really tall. Really looks like a gangster. Looks dangerous, but then he has that really kind and warm smile on his face. Yeah. Yeah, immediately we just hit it off like there's no barrier.

    of course I'll question him everything like what happened? Like why are you not never in my life? Why is my name like that?

    And how did he respond to you? He told me everything and it was only through him that I found out that him and my mom was never married. And they feel as though, oh, at least I know where I am now.

    I'm more settled. It was just, okay, fine. Thank you so much for telling me. Because I never attached that gap in my life as something deficient. So meeting him or not wouldn't make me feel plus or negative.

    I learned when you were 19, you really liked this sentence by Wilde, life is a work of art and it influences you deeply.

    Yeah, how did it influence you?

    I think a lot happened before 19, definitely. I would say that at that point, I was discovering what I was good in. And art was one of it. And to call it a work of art. It's just aligned with what happened to me during my teenage years.

    So I was never conventional. I never really care about any school rules. If I don't like a subject, I wouldn't participate in the examination. I'm okay with, you know, getting zero, getting fail. I still have the assurance that if I know what I'm good at, I'm going to do it. So life is a work of art. It's about progression.

    It's about constantly trying to work on it, reflect on it. That's why I feel very attached to that sentence when I was 19. That's fair.

    And you actually wanted to go study abroad in Taiwan. Yeah. But then you ended up in the US. Yeah. So what happened?

    I always wanted to get into mass communication. Yeah, I always imagined myself as a news reporter.

    So Taiwan naturally a very good option. But something critical happened at that point. My mom was seeing a guy who saw so much potential in me, but that critical point came the right after SPM. So I was very honest and tell him that, you know, for five subjects, I actually slept through all of them.

    So don't expect me to get anything out of my SPM result, but I guarantee you, I'll have A's because anything with language and essay, I know I'll nail it. And so he immediately just said, forget about Taiwan, I'll put you through Inti, international college for AUP program. And said that if you are so into carving your own chapter, then just go to America where the values are serving you.

    Do you think that was right?

    He was right. I was mostly surprised I said yes to that because I had to relearn so many things, like first semester into Inti, it was really bad because I couldn't speak English. And people really looked down on me and my Kancil.

    But you were determined. Not really determined, I was just going with the flow.

    And what was it like when you went to the U. S. then?

    It was much better. Because that INTI, being exposed to American program for the first semester, I couldn't get used to it. I only got like 1. 9 GPA. It's only when they said that, 1. 9 plus your SPM result, we can just kick you out of the program. There's no second semester for you.

    So I worked really hard to get better in the second semester. So once I got to the U. S., it's the same thing all over again. It's the adaptation. I couldn't really adapt really well. but then, it was the professors there, very open to tell me take however time that I need. But I definitely need to be open minded enough to adapt.

    So I did just that and it changed everything.

    How did you adapt?

    By asking more questions, don't be shy. If there is something that I feel like I cannot cope, I should always take it back and negotiate with them. So they gave me that freedom and therefore I really appreciate that.

    And I would say the changing point was when I was taking a philosophy class and also a business ethics class. Because these two classes is where I could swim in.

    Before that, I never realized that I can only learn by asking questions. I can only learn by knowing something like this, but having my own spin on it.

    And these two classes allowed me to do that. they really just opened up my academy life. 19.

    Weren't you also struggling with homelessness at some point? Yeah, it was also because of my dad. This one, I did feel like I should be like angry a little, but not enough to hold a grudge. Thanks, grandma.

    after I was like pretty close to finishing my study, he came into my life and said that, Oh, you need to get a master's degree.

    You have to get into agriculture because that's the future of the world. And I guess at that point, it's sort of like the second time that somebody tell me that you should do something and not, because the first time was my mom's ex boyfriend and I listened to that and the outcome was good. So when he came into picture, I didn't critically analyze everything.

    I just accepted it and said, okay, maybe if you believe it's good, then I should do it. From an art background, switching into science was tough, but I was determined to do that.

    After he supported the first semester in, all of a sudden he disappeared.. And by that time I already told my mom that I do, I no longer need her financial support because for two years when I was in America, so my mom never planned for my education fund because she never even think about it.

    She barely graduated primary school herself. I told her that I don't want her money anymore because every time a semester came, my mom could cry.

    she'll make me feel very bad to ask money from her. She would try to tell me about like how hard she has to work.

    So I don't want to feel that dependence. so my dad sparked that desire for me to get master degree. So his sudden disappearance just like, turned everything like, really badly. But by that time, after the first semester in the environmental science department, I was already making like, really good connection with all of my professors.

    When I was homeless for that week, I didn't tell anybody, but then they realized something was off.

    So I always go to the school gym anyway and I could take a shower there. And then even before being homeless, I already found out that library is the place where you can study overnight.

    Of course, like the security guard will try to chase you out sometimes. So as long as you know their route and you switch, They can never find you. When that happened, the money was gone from my bank account. It was actually frozen too in Hong Kong. So I was like completely running on zero fund.

    I slept for a few nights between the gym and also the library, never tell anybody. And then my professor found out.

    How did he find out?

    I usually, will pick school outfits very seriously. I always look very presentable, but that week I looked like a mess. So they found out it was also exam week, and my favorite professor, she put me at a hostel.

    Oh, that's nice. just to let me get through everything.

    Everything sort of crumbled for that few months. To maintain a student visa in the U. S., you definitely need to enroll into a program actively. So once you cannot pay for a semester, the international department will immediately notify and revoke your visa.

    So that was going to happen and it was a private school in the U. S. There wasn't much financial aid available. And even though I was already getting the Global Ambassador Scholarship, it wasn't enough to cover. It was only 1, 000 per semester. My semester tuition fee was 12, 000. So they helped me to talk to the principal.

    They helped me to look for the funds. Yeah, it was really tough. I still have all the emails that where we tried to back from different departments, tried to ask for different. foundation to help support my study.

    How did you figure it out?

    It was my good friend in China. That school being a private university means that students will go there.

    They are from really well to do family. And I got connected with them because I'm always the one who like have to hustle. So I was helping them to do their homework. And one of them, my loyal clients said that, you know, life shouldn't be like this. I already worked so hard. Like, why is this still happening to me?

    So she called her family and asked her family to support me. Oh, that's so nice. Wow. So it was her family and also her family, friends who owns a foundation in China. Because in China everything is really strict. You can't have like a family just transferring money out to a non family member.

    So he has to go through a foundation. It's like a scholarship. Yeah. A scholarship that they ask nothing in return.

    When they offer me the tuitions, I just put it as tuition and that's it. I don't ask for my living expenses.

    So living in Chicago is very expensive.

    So I still had to work really hard to support that living part.

    So what were you doing to be able to afford it?

    So many things. I was known to be the girl who would just sometimes leave class earlier. and work in between classes. There's this app called Task Rabbit.

    So I was like a top rated rabbit. So any job that I could do in between classes or after class, I would do it. It can range from delivering flowers. The most memorable one is going to Chicago Southside, which is a very dangerous place, to grill 100 chicken for their party. It was so dangerous that the host made sure that she drive to the Train station to pick me up or if I walk from train station to her house.

    I might get risk of shooting. Oh my god Yeah, I might get shot but on the way to just grill chicken. and did I pay your hazard pay? No, the grilling is actually outdoor. So I was so scared at their garden all the time. Just me one Chinese girl grilling chicken, like, things can happen behind me anytime.

    So that was the most memorable one. And there are also some dodgy ones, and a lot of crazy ones too. Like the dodgy one would be being paid 100

    or 250 a night just to go to a club. You don't have to do anything, you're just sitting there and they'll give you a drink voucher In one night, they will send you to like four different bars or clubs just to be there, just to be there for 20 minutes. Oh, yeah, it's not even one hour. You don't need to interact with anybody.

    You just need to be there. Oh, wow. Yeah, so that was weird. And there were others. It was really cute, like I always get the organization job. Because you were top rated. Yeah, and moving, helping people to pack and move. Helping a teenager to arrange her closet. Okay, wow. A lot of weird jobs. Helping someone to clean her house before she went on a Tinder date, just in case she's bringing her date home.

    The whole house clean.

    But you've actually made enough to be able to spend nine hundred dollars to buy a camera of Amazon.

    No, so it was actually out of desperation too.

    Having that camera was actually a Starting point of something good happening in my life So I was still have to do all the weird jobs and at that time I'm not sure whether you know this, but when your bank has negative amount, they will charge you overdrawn fee, yeah, 15 a day. So I have to keep calling them and say, can you please don't do this?

    If I already have no money, why are you taking more money from me? Can you please have some empathy?

    I think there was one month, so I couldn't work enough to help support that money. So account was only left with I think 600 something. I couldn't use it to pay for rent. There's not enough money anyway. So I had to make a choice.

    Okay. How can I turn this 600 something into 900 something that I can survive easily. So one of the jobs previously at taskRabbit was that somebody gave me their camera to help them to shoot a wedding proposal. The person paid me 150 for only 20 minutes of work. I know that okay, photography must be the one that brings in easy money.

    So I just went on Amazon. Look at the camera, price point that I can pay, the Panasonic Lumix was one of it. so I bought it. And then immediately, no money in the bank account, only have maybe two and a half weeks left to earn that money to pay for my rental.

    Wow, that was quite the risk.

    You weren't a photographer before that. I wouldn't say I was a photographer before that, but then I know how to take pictures before that. Because one of the students who hired me to do homework was a photography homework too. So from then I already know that I have that eye for it.

    So how did you make those two weeks last longer?

    You found jobs immediately?

    It was very fast. I think I found a job on Craigslist. It was a event photo company that hire photographer to shoot different events. So it can be two events a night. And one event is also around that range, 150

    And then from there, is that how Nine Hours of Sense was born?

    No, it wasn't. Nine hours of senses, I love philosophy and theory behind it is that we have 24 hours, eight hours is dedicated to school or work. And then you have like around seven hours to sleep and then you're left with nine hours to do things completely on your own.

    And that nine hours should be spent with senses.

    So it was, when I was in my mid twenties, that's when I realized that all of the things that I've been doing, I should call it a name so that people would take me seriously so that I can, upgrade to the next chapter of my life.

    So photography came about out of desperation.

    It was out of desperation and I took a huge chance actually.

    The next photography turning point for me was there was a model. from Malaysia, And I saw that, I immediately texted her and said that if you need a photographer, I am here. I can take photos for you. Very nice.

    No money involved. And she let me do it. I think she came to Chicago just to meet her boyfriend. It was early days. Instagram for the Malaysian crowd. And it's the first time that somebody take... photography on Instagram so seriously, like using a professional camera to do it.

    So she got very good response out of it. Brands approached her and said that we would love to have some photos taken in that kind of style. So even before she went to New York Fashion Week, the next year, she already told me that, when you do come back to Malaysia, you're going to be my photographer.

    So, New York Fashion Week happened the following year. I flew to New York, did photoshoot. It was so well received that before I even decided to leave US and go back to Malaysia, I already have projects waiting for me.

    And were you clear at that time that this is going to be my career when I come back?

    Not at all, because Photography, to me, it was born out of a desperation. So something like that, you will never think that it could be your career. And I was barely out of survival mode, so I wouldn't have, like, the notion of career in my mind.

    So what was your thought when you came back?

    I should apply to, like, companies because my education level is good. I should apply to ad agencies that are on my wish list, like Leo Burnett, but it wasn't that easy. When I came back, I realized that the pay is very low. I guess I was so used to the hustle culture. I know that the time that I can put in, the focus that I can put in, I know the return of money is certain level.

    So if you want to put me in a full time position, Coming to work every single day minus the commute time and you still paying me something that I can get this output in five days that I wouldn't want to participate. But things changed. I actually did have a my first ever office job. I got it when I was at a cafe.

    There was a magazine editor. I started to chat with her and she invited me to something to do with content at the publishing house. But first month in, I found out that they are not paying EPF to their staff. I talked to the co

    I talked to the co-workers then and said that something is off here. Like, why are you not getting what you deserve? And they just told me it's the norm here in Malaysia, amongst SME, there's nothing that you can do. If you are talking to the boss, then you are at risk of losing your job. Do you want that? I'm like, yeah, why not?

    So you quit. I quit, but of course I fought with them first. and in the end, some of the, staff with like three years of experience being there, they finally got paid their EPF. But I left after that.

    So you quit. Without a plan in mind.

    Without a plan in mind, but then I was already having that photography project supporting me.

    And there that was enough. Th at was enough

    And so what was the plan when you quit?

    I have this gig, I'm gonna get even more gigs. No, I actually never planned that. I think that's where I feel like I wasted some of my years in that space. I never strategize my next moves. I never plan. I really just go with the flow.

    So how were clients coming to you? Word of mouth.

    Yeah, word of mouth. Even until this point, I never push my website out to anybody. Oh until disappearing jobs happened, that's the first time that I took initiative to try to change the course of my project. But prior to that, for six years almost, whatever comes, it comes.

    But prior to MPG, you were getting a lot of international jobs. Getting international jobs and also, Where were those coming from?

    Also word of mouth. Oh yeah. Out of the word of mouth started when I was in Chicago. Yep. In that school. Really known for being a hustler there. Worked so hard every single day.

    So when they went back to their own countries, any opportunities, they will think of me first. That's amazing. Yeah. Wow. And they would fly you to go to their country? Yes, or they would refer me to their friends who could be like a fashion designer in China, in Korea. And then they would just find me there.

    But then you wrote this article in 2020, which is your first experience of virality called why I unfollow famous influencers on Instagram. Yeah. Tell me the story behind that.

    Yeah, I actually, until now, I'm not sure whether that was the mature move. So in Malaysia, I would say at that time I was the content creator for content creators.

    And that's how I know that a lot of creative, or a lot of thought process was never related to them. They were just in it for the money. I mean, some of them, because it's a very lucrative job. So at that time, I felt that I have this power to make people look good, but am I using it well? It's not well.

    Previously, my Instagram was public and then slowly, slowly, I closed out my Instagram, make it private.

    And I also make an announcement that I'm just going to quit. I don't want to be part of this anymore. I don't want to hang out with famous influencers because they make me feel like, life is too transactional. Life has no further meaning to it. So I wrote that to try to make people aware that. when you think that influencers should be sort of the public anchor for you to learn something or to be influenced, you have to be critical that what you see is not exactly that.

    You have to be critical that when they're using lipstick to try to talk to you about feminism. Stay away from that you have to have more anchor within yourself and you have to seek out for other sources for knowledge. Not them.

    So I wrote that as a public awareness.

    It was a very well received amongst people who are not creators, but people who were creators, they were very offended by that.

    And were you blacklisted? Did you lose all your clients?

    I think definitely because they were the ones hiring me to take photos. So after that I was blacklisted, but I was okay with it because I already announced that I'm just gonna quit. I'm not gonna do it anymore.

    What was your plan after that? Also no plan.

    But with photography back then, I did have a wish list. I said that if I could shoot editorial for one of the fashion magazine, then I will call it as an end. I'm happy to leave it. And I did have a editorial on L'Officiel magazine. So I was happy with that.

    How did that happen?

    It was, again, referral.

    So when I first came back to through Malaysia, I was shooting at the Astro Chinese pageant show and one of the judges was jojo Go.

    She's a very cool actress and she might be listening to this. At that time, I think I already made an impression on her and she followed my Instagram and then she liked how. The visual that I have, there's always a very unique point of view. I wouldn't follow a trend. And she always said that, you know, when there's an opportunity come, we should work together.

    And so she was the one who gave me that. I was so happy then. But I didn't do a good job. It was for Bvlgari. I didn't do a good job.

    Yeah. Why would you say that?

    I didn't do enough planning into the shoot. I was still having that workflow and mindset of a casual photographer. As a, actually a very cocky photographer.

    I just thought that, okay, I have this talent I can go to, but should I prepare, not realizing that for editorial, when there's such a big brand involved, you should give it a lot of thoughts.

    What kind of outlook do you want to put out? I never thought of that, I really just went there with my camera that's not even a full frame camera. It's still my Lumix camera from Amazon. Oh wow. Yeah. they publish it, but I feel bad.

    I think the first time I had a big photoshoot in China. That's when I decide that, wow, this is a craft that requires so much respect and practice.

    So when I was in China, it was the first time that I was given a team. There was a lighting master that I don't have to do anything. I just have to tell him that this is kind of the look that I want to go with. And they really just let me shoot. I don't have to be concerned of what are the outfits, what are their hair going to be.

    It's purely creative direction. And that's when I found that, okay, the magic is there. This is the kind of clients that I want. I don't no longer want to just serve for the influencers. And then the lockdown happened. And then the lockdown happened.

    Before the lockdown happened, I was actually planning to open up a studio in Shanghai.

    I really like it there so much that I just want to go there and because my career there. But then that didn't happen.

    So how did you figure out what to do? Because the nature of your work is that it's in person. And you can't do it in person.

    Yes. I do enjoy that time too.

    It made me think a lot. I reach out to local fashion brands and offer them my service, even though I feel like, okay, I'm selling myself short in doing that. So I was thinking a lot, but at that time it was when I do want to earn some local currency. So I talked to some local photographer. When I have pitched to those local fashion brands, I want to find out how much I should be charging them.

    And those photographer didn't. refused to tell me their rates. So I thought that was weird. So that was actually the beginning of MPG, plus the incident at the magazine publishing house. So the two combined together, that made me realize that there is something missing. Like, why is it a taboo? Why is it the right things cannot happen just because people are afraid to talk about it?

    It also goes back to A value that I hold very dearly naturally since I was little because I have a very strong sense of like justice. I don't like injustice. When I see injustice, I get very reactive.

    I would feel the flame on my back and I just want to do something about it. So with all of this in the background and knowing that all of my power previously had poured into the commercial type of social media, I know that I want to do something also in social media, but then it's for the better good.

    And then you had this idea that kept you up for two days.

    Yeah, I just couldn't sleep. There's something already going on. I just couldn't like connect the dots But when I could connect the dots that today I just couldn't sleep. I felt so anxious I feel like there's so many butterflies in my tummy.

    I couldn't sleep. I know that I have to do it If I don't do it, I really will be sleepless for the entire week And what was that idea when you connected the dots? I didn't have a full shape at that time, but I could feel very strongly that I want to create a space where people can safely share about their problems.

    I didn't have the format yet. I only had the format when I talked to this idea about, oh, I wish I could show you the first message that I sent to people. when I want them to be the first views to submit.

    I just pitched the concept to him because he's an engineer and he was very supportive. So I sent it to multiple people.

    A lot of people on my following list, most people ignore me. Some people, when they respond, they just say it's not going to work. Why would people want to tell you stuff like this? He was the only one who said such a brilliant idea. Yeah. So I just went straight into it. he was the first one to submit and he sent to his friends to pitch the idea to them too.

    So the initial format was job, age, gender, race, years of work, qualification, current salary increment, what do you want to be heard. It would ask like, do you think like this information are sufficient, you know, and then we keep tweaking, keep tweaking.

    And then you launched it.

    I launched it very fast, immediately.

    After he sent me the first one, I immediately posted it and talked to more friends. Yeah. And they just... Went viral. Instantly. Not yet. So I was very active on Twitter for many years. I have my wish list of people that I want to reach out to.

    So Soraya from Ringgit or Ringgit was one of them. And then also Aaron Tang. Aaron Tang was my first on the list.

    Luno? Yes, Luno yeah, but because first on the list, if he said no, I would be so down. So I don't, I didn't go with him. I go with Soraya. So Soraya become the first that I reach out to. She helped me to post on Twitter.

    It was trending on Twitter first before. Everybody move into Instagram.

    Did you not think to be based on Twitter then since that's where a lot of people are coming from?

    No, because Twitter is quite a bubble. Yeah. Yeah. But Instagram wasn't. I think for something that is relating to such a general, I need to be at where the people are.

    So then. People from Twitter started coming in, pushing it out.

    And so many people were sharing this, and it was just working non stop. Because if you want people to feel safe to submit it, you need to show that you are open to a huge spectrum of jobs. Yeah. So that they feel that, oh, maybe I'm from copywriting.

    Maybe I shouldn't do it because nobody's doing it yet. But if I show that there is one, they are eager to submit.

    So once it picked up. It was almost, I would say, like, not much of sleep.

    Yeah, what were you doing behind the scenes that people didn't see?

    Talking to people individually, really chatting with them, having conversation with them.

    If they write something that I know that they might get, Very bad public opinion about, then I will try to redirect it and help them to submit it again. Sometimes they will just tell me something. I said, I'm not really good in writing, but I don't want people to pull me down because of my writing. Can you please help me to write it?

    And then I will do that.

    What were some of the earlier submissions that surprised you?

    All of them are surprising. I think the most surprising was the graphic designer who was earning RM 4,000 even after working 10 years. Yeah, so that was the most surprising.

    But then one defining moment was that surgical consultant who submitted because that was our first one with like really high earning, was it the one with 100, 000? Yes, 132, 000 something.

    Because that's when I realized that, wow, people are really dying to know somebody who have made it out there. They're dying to be inspired because the economy market really is not the best. Yeah. So if we keep sharing all of those, it's not helping anybody. So it was that point that I sort of learned how to look out for job posting.

    It switched, some of the cultures switched, like you cannot just use it to find out how much people are earning, you're also using it as a tool to learn.

    And how was the reaction to posting his?

    It was so good, it was so, so, so good.

    But then there was also the negative comments as well.

    Oh my god, the negative comments, they almost killed me. As naturally not a negative person, being exposed to such negativity for the first time is insane. I couldn't wrap my head around them. Initially, I would always call out to people who are being very sexist. Say, if a female is earning that much in a male dominant industry, they would just say that, oh, she must be sleeping with her boss.

    And I find that very rude to say. It takes courage for someone to share their story out. And you shouldn't be so irresponsible with your words.

    I took every negative comment so seriously. And it was very bad for me for, I think, a few months. It took me a while to detach from that and to accept that there are people who are truly that negative and you cannot do anything to change it.

    So you just let it go.

    Previously, I would not abandon them, actually. I would still try to reason with them, Because I, at that point, I was feeling that if I abandon, I'm robbing them freedom of speech, then who am I? Am I doing good or bad? It's only later stage I realized that if they are not taking their freedom of speech with respect and dignity, They're stepping on other people with no reason.

    I shouldn't create a breeding ground for that kind of people. So I just ban without thinking. It was a learning process.

    What are some of the incredible entries that you could share for people who haven't gone to this platform yet so that they would know, oh, this is what I could find?

    Yeah, it's all on the highlight. There was a chef who was working really long hours.

    He didn't realize that he was being underpaid. He didn't realize that he actually had options. I think we always have options.

    He listened to the comment section, he listened to the suggestion, and he really quit his job and had a very improved life after.

    And then there was this I think 28 year old. Law graduate. The pandemic that affected her job searching. She was feeling very demotivated by it, so she was working as a part time service crew. She wrote the story about how she feels very... bad about herself having graduated from law, but this is what she's working, even though she's grateful that she is still managing her life pretty well.

    And people reading her entry could tell how genuine and smart she is. And they offer her interviews. They will go on DM. We do this all the time. Actually, we don't publicize it because we don't want a lot of people to do it. A lot of people will text us and say that I would love to give her an interview opportunity.

    Can you please like share the contact? And we'll always do the manual sharing, we'll get permission first. Oh, wow. And then we'll... Do the sharing and then we'll have to like follow up to make sure everything is okay, nothing creepy.

    She got a new job. We're so happy for her. And that's not the first time it's actually happened on a platform. Some people will also use the information to negotiate for better income. As well as 10x. Yeah. Income, right. And then some people will report.

    Yeah, cases if there's something actually bad going on.

    I think for the first year of running MPG, I realized that information really is power. Sometimes people just need to have that information. But second year running it, I realized that, okay, information is power, but then the true power is taking that information and act upon it.

    So you started it because you wanted to know what the pay rates for local photographers are. Yes. Did it actually help you?

    Anyhow, they actually submitted. Two of them submitted and I was like, Yeah, now I know your rates. Now I know. And then I also submitted myself too. Yeah.

    Do you feel like it's had an impact in terms of you applying for jobs as well?

    Because surely these employers, these companies must know this page exists.

    I think they were scared of me. There's no impact, I think, because okay, right after MPG happened, I actually didn't have much time to do my own work.

    So I was jobless for a few months. Yeah, I was going to bring that up next, like, was it planned or was it just... It wasn't planned, I just don't have that time and energy to do my own work anymore. And it was very bad, because financial stability and security was very important to me. But I'm also glad that...

    I was able to have, I think, one and, one and a half years with no income because previously for that six years I worked crazy hard, so I already saved up enough for me to, even though there's anxiety going on, but then I still feel like, okay, it's okay, I'm still good, I don't need to panic.

    And then you decide to go jobless for quite a while.

    It's not a decision. It just happened. It just happened because it's so time consuming. The most time consuming part that people are not realizing is that every time we post something, the moderation has to happen quite long. Moderating the comments. Moderating the comments. Because any bad comments can turn the whole post into something very bad.

    So you need to catch that quickly and just block that person or even respond very quickly.

    So I feel that community building, you're shaping a culture. What you are enabling, what you don't enable, people will pick that up. So right now we don't need to moderate that much anymore because majority of the followers, they already pick up that style.

    So if there is bad things going on, they'll immediate jump on that person. So we don't have to do it anymore.

    So what is the culture, how will you describe the MPG culture?

    It's definitely people with growth mindset. I want to say global mindset, but we're still trying to shape that. I actually think it rooted from politics. I think in Malaysia, which politicians are trying to cage us into this box of being patriotic. So if you seek out for opportunities abroad, you're being seen as such a, a traitor.

    Yeah, so we're trying to reshape that because if you have the capability, you have the freedom to be wherever you are. Your contribution is not limited to the country. Your contributions should be serving to the humanity and it's borderless.

    You have attracted a lot of interest. A lot of people definitely feel like they have benefits from you.

    I'm sure there were lots of offers to volunteer and help you out. How do you sieve through and go, These are the people I will work with. Because some people will give empty promises or...

    Oh, I'm so bad at that. I had a first batch of MVG volunteers and it ended very badly.

    How so?

    So they were helping out on Discord.

    It's my first time having to work with so many people. And I didn't know that power control is one thing, and then I also needed to make everything very clearly. Even though they are helping me on Discord, but I saw them as, Okay, this is the group of people we're going to grow MPG with.

    So I pitched them my big idea, big picture for MPG. And they were not very I wouldn't say alignment, but I guess there are so many bad business people out here in Malaysia, so many scammers. So many people with different motives, so many people who just want to use something to earn big money. So I guess they associate me with that.

    So they were not happy with the big picture. And then since then on, there were a lot of small conflicts that I didn't resolve it quickly enough. So it ended very badly.

    So right now, anything regarding to volunteers I passed to my partner to handle it because she is very good in people management.

    She knows how to be very firm and cold and warm all together. I have this problem of, you know, just seeing everybody. Okay, it's fine. We can just talk about anything.

    Any lessons that you could share in terms of community building for people who are doing it now or looking to do it in the future?

    Community building is about the communities. It's less about ourselves. Of course, you can have a narrative, or you can have a story, you have a value that you want to put out. But do know that if they are not, it's not a value that they need, there's no community. I So with MPG, a lot of people actually come to us and hoping that we can build similar communities for them.

    Wow. But what they are missing out is that they always have a very strong agenda that they want to force into the community. It's not people first. Is them first and that's why it will fail and after we notice something like this I was I would just stay away because there's no way to try to change their mind.

    But you managed to find enough people together because you've done things like launch the data base as well tell us about that.

    So after we went viral for a few days, I wanted to have a Excel sheet where people can just easily use the search bar to look for, Oh, I'm a system architect. I can search for it. And then I will know, Oh, this side uh, their income. So I sort of know where I stand. have that Excel sheet.

    I use Google font to collect the data. When I publicized that Excel sheet, that's when problem came. All the people are scraping our data. And then people would DM me and said that, that data is actually very valuable if you're putting it out there, people, some agency who are charging people for this kind of information, they can take your data out easily and you are no longer serving the community, you're doing harm.

    So I immediately just closed that Excel sheet down and seek out to a group of volunteers to turn that Excel sheets into a data dashboard.

    And how does that help people?

    So on our data dashboard, you can use different criteria on the search bar. And you can see, say, if I'm a graphic designer or five year experience, this is my company size, you can search exactly that.

    And then you will come to see, oh, they're also graphic designer of similar experiences, we're putting the similar criteria, how much they're earning. But right now it's very limited, even though we have 5, 000 data points. If you don't have enough people to fill in a particular role, you cannot draw really meaningful insight out of it.

    So next year, our core activity is to redo the data collection again, but this time going to work with a proper data scientist to make sure that whatever that we are getting is useful. Most talking to HR, people from the company, recruitment industry. The first one is definitely just everything is very ad hoc.

    I was just going with the flow.

    But even going with the flow, I'm sure looking through so much data, you must have extracted some kind of conclusions.

    Actually, no conclusion. I might that I am so interested in individual story than seeing them from a data standpoint. So I draw more conclusion from the Instagram page than from our data studio.

    From the individual stories behind each number.

    That's fair. You said before as well. Be able to learn to negotiate better. What are some of the advice that you've come across that have helped people in general?

    There are multiple. So the first one is that you always need to go in to negotiate as if you have nothing to lose.

    It's just a casual conversation. It's just play time. Okay. Don't focus on how much you're losing, how much you're earning. And this is the number one. You need to have the confidence to know that if you didn't get anything out of it, you will still be fine. So this will change your confidence level when you are negotiating.

    The second one, I'll just share with someone actually, how do I put it? Say, if you want a job at 6, 000 ringgit, when people are asking you, what is your expected income? You know that they are actually putting the range as 4, 000 to maybe 6, 000. So you can still go with the range, but then be so clear that say that, okay, my range is 4, 000 to 6, 000, but I do know that my capability is RM 6,000 range.

    I'll do it for 4, 000 for the first few months. After that, I wish to have a re evaluation to see whether I could be up to 6, 000. So this one, even at that point, you're already prepping the talk in the future. So you don't need to accept some, an offer that you feel like, Oh, I'm so, I don't know how to bring it up.

    I've already accepted this, but I wish to get increments. I don't know how to bring it up to you because you're already at that point of offering, you already mentioned that, you know, this is something that we need to re evaluate. And it's just easier. So this is the second one.

    And then the third one would be do your homework.

    Always find out what is roughly the market wage, but I also find that you need to know yourself. I wish more people can have this self awareness. You need to know what your true capability is and you need to know the company situation. And you need to sort of guess if this is an SME, that's their business model.

    If you cannot read their financial report, you need to have that basic common sense. So when you're approaching, you're not, you're not giving a crazy amount that's not realistic. If you're there to ask for more, then you need to know that within you, you really have the fire to deliver. If you cannot deliver, then don't.

    Has MPG become what you hoped it would be when you first started it?

    I have no expectation when I first started it. So, I would say now it is going great, but I'm also getting so tired recently. I feel like I'm not taking care of the community as well as before. There is a lot of story elements that could be stronger.

    In what sense?

    You can see we have this series called MPG Stories, where I stop people from focusing on just how much you're earning, how much you're earning. But something that's more intangible but important. Say if somebody facing burnout, how was their experience like for that person?

    Sharing this story out will actually help a lot of people. Because sometimes people, they are feeling a lot of things, but then they don't have the words to put in place. By reading true story, they will feel, okay, I'm not lonely. This is normal. I shouldn't judge myself too much because it's happening to this person and it's okay for me to take my time.

    It's okay for me to have that identity crisis. So I find that this story component is very important. It's just that recently I'm too tired to help support that.

    And you also have the MPG summit coming up. Yes. Tell us about that.

    So the first summit ever.

    So after MPG, we were invited to different conferences. And I realized that the conference are mostly for entrepreneurs, founders. People in like top leadership level. And then at the same time, there are a lot of career fairs going on for the job seekers, for the students, but then there's nothing in between.

    There is nothing that celebrate the working folks. So we just think that, Oh, we have a huge community of work folks. Then we should celebrate them. We should create something. That is fun for them, informative for them, that they can network with each other. That's how the summit idea came about.

    So day one is all about the serious stuff. How should you be spending your income? How to negotiate better and multiple fun elements like a rapid fire debate. And of course the career fair, but we're trying to take the career fair into a non conventional spin to it. We're talking to a lot of HR to find out their pain points, especially during career fair, also pain points of the attendees of career fair, to make sure that we can start something better.

    And then the second day is all about the more holistic stuff, about personal development, confidence, public speaking even, how to manage your stress, burnout, support cycle, circle.

    Sounds like a lot of things to do.

    Yes, and it's our first time ever. Yeah. Yeah, never done anything this large scale, but I'm not nervous about it yet.

    I think it's just too positive. Maybe it's not healthy, grandma. I don't know, I don't know, I it's not healthy.

    There's another part of it that you were very involved in. Disappearing jobs. Yeah, tell us more about that.

    Disappearing job is my most precious baby, I would say. Because since I have to hustle for like the past 10 years, actually at 19 years old, I already had the dream of becoming a documentary photographer.

    I came across this website called MediaStorm. It's an organization that offers photojournalism to communities of disadvantage. So I always wanted to become part of it. But my life circumstances doesn't allow me to do that until late.

    I was switching my style to, so coming from fashion into photo journalism is actually tough, shooting professional models. And celebrating is a very different form of shooting the ordinary people.

    Because they know how to pose?

    Yeah, they wouldn't know how to pose, especially when you want to do photojournalism. You cannot direct them too much. You cannot manipulate it too much. But because you are trained in fashion, you have that quest for aesthetic. The standard is very high. So with these two clashing together, it was tough in the beginning.

    I was facing a lot of fear. I was reluctant to even... Give that test shooting a try because what if this is my vision and my capability is only like this, right here. So I was testing it, Disappearing Jobs still haven't come into picture.

    I went to Vietnam with my best friend and my mom and they were helping me to just shoot anything that I feel very inspired to.

    And then it was after we came back, I realized that The portraits that I captured, they are all working in particular type of jobs. And I realized that it's that justice thing coming into play again. I wanted to dignify people who are often overlooked by people.

    People who are working in vulnerable jobs, or jobs that deemed not important for GTP, people rarely look at them. But I find there's so much beauty in them. If you go to a place, you appreciate certain dish, this noodle, somebody's hand making them. You only love this place in this country because of that person.

    And why are you not paying that person respect?

    The more I do it, the more I realize that, okay, this is it. It's called Disappearing Jobs, it's about the vanishing traits, people who are forgotten, people who are being left behind.

    And you actually took over the site hustlers.

    Oh my god, that was so bad.

    There was a big hoo ha over this. Yes. Because you turned basically, for people who didn't know, an Instagram page, you started for site hustlers. And turned it into Disappearing Jobs project.

    So how Side Hustler came about, was that on malaysian pay gap, Instagram, there was one day I asked people that, okay, I know that our job economy is, they're not paying living wage, so a lot of people are doing a lot of side things to support their life. So I was just casually asking, what is your side hustle, what is your side job? There were some really juicy ones.

    So juicy and so many people submitted. There was a lawyer working at a strip club. Yes, I saw that one. I was shocked. I can't find it anymore, but wow. Yeah, so many. Yeah, so, so, so many. People who breed the fish just to sell. The white fish? Oh, yeah, I didn't see that one. That's a fish. There's that. So lucrative too.

    Yeah, so lucrative and it's fun too. So when I see that, wow, the response is so good that maybe I should create another page to collect all of this. Because I do believe in side hustle. Side hustle is what made me. Being able to travel and eat and sleep. Yeah. So I created that. The format was very similar.

    It grew very fast because people are being transferred from Malaysian pickup. But it also died very quickly. So after a few weeks, it really struggled to receive submission. And there's no way to keep pushing for it because at 17k, when you post a story out, The active ones, they've already given you their stories.

    So I just let it sit there for a few weeks, there's still no good response. And at that time, I never even thought of having my own photographing page. I went to... LA for a course, the content creation course. I went there for MPG, but somehow they helped me to breed the Supreme jobs into picture.

    They were brainstorming and said that whatever content creation that I'm going to do for Malaysian PayGap, the structure is already there. And then they found out that I really am, I'm really into photography. They said, why don't you just do something like that? Maybe you can get paid to travel.

    You love travel so much.

    They helped me to look for the name by looking at everything that I have done.

    And then you took it over there, there was a big hoohah.

    Yeah, it was so tough. I talked to so many people and said, do you think I can really do it?

    Should I do it? People just say like this is your page and you can do anything that you like and it's not for bad intention. You're not selling it off to some brands to sell cookies. You're not trying to commercialize it. You're just turning a dying effort into a living effort.

    Looking back. Do you regret having made that change?

    No. Definitely not. After I moved this side hustle back to MPG, the response is still the same. It just couldn't be picked up. Telegram too, just couldn't be picked up.

    And you hustle a lot, equally recently with the AirAsia CEO. Yeah. Can you share the story?

    Okay. So when I came up with the disappearing job brand deck, I was very clear that I want to grow the social media presence, because I cannot be funding my project forever, is burning a lot of money. Every trip would cost like, I don't know, 20, 000 to 30, 000, well, So I know that I definitely want to get airline attention to help fund my travel, so that I can keep doing it. the AirAsia one came into my mind.

    I never thought of approaching them because I feel like at 25, 000 following, it's still a very baby account that maybe nobody want to pay attention to. But I saw that they have a new route coming to fly to Amritsar. I just thought that, wow, I've been talking to people about India all the freaking time.

    Every time I have a chance, I will encourage people to go to India. I love going to India. I keep bringing people there too. Just that I'm the best person for that. Why not?

    I went to fly AirAsia account, and I look at their following list. And try to stalk everybody. Yeah. And I found out that, oh, he's the CEO.

    He's a family guy. I'll text him.

    And he replied.

    And he replied. I was so surprised. And before he replied, I posted on my personal Instagram and saying that, you know, if there's anybody in Malaysia should be it, then that's me. There's nobody else. I'm very confident about that. Very sure. And a lot of my friends, they helped me to pass to their friends who are working in AirAsia.

    So I've already gotten like two response before the CEO reply. Amazing. Yeah, I'm going to pitch to them.

    A lot of people, when I announced I was interviewing would say, please ask Prestine how she even started this hustle. She even started to get her first jobs.

    What is your advice to people like that?

    Mine was out of desperation. So I don't know how to advise to them. Like people who already find comfort in their life, I don't know how they can have this fire. Yeah, you need the fire. You definitely need the fire.

    I think the rule of life It seems like whatever that you can think of, you can actually get it.

    Take Malaysian Pay Gap for example. If for the past few years I was doing the work for other influencers and I feel like I'm not doing it ethically or rightfully, nothing is going to happen if I keep thinking like that. So if I have an idea that I act on it, I keep giving energy to it. It will become real.

    Taking this, same goes to Summit too. It was out of thin air. But I really believe that I can make it happen. So if there's anything that people want, you want that job, you want this to earn this amount of money, you want to go here, you want to create this product, you want to have a new career, new identity, you just need to really believe in it and keep working towards it or else it's not going to happen.

    And before we wrap up.

    Is there anything that listeners can help you with?

    Anytime you see somebody is seeking for help, you should know that not only you can help that person, You're not getting anything less and there's nothing productive to help. So I wouldn't say like this directly to me, but to anybody else.

    Help more people, like the radical generosity is a very healthy habit to have.

    Oh wait. Do help me to spread Disappearing jobs to National Geographic. Yeah, yeah, tag them as well. Exhibition, anything. Link me to some disappearing jobs that you noticed.

    Prestine, thank you so much for your time here. I always end all my interviews with the same questions. Yes. So the first is, do you feel like you have found your why?

    Yeah, since little, I've always known my why.

    And what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

    I think like the legacy that I wanted is that I've always wanted to make an impact in Malaysia, in the society. So that I know for sure that I've already made it with Malaysian pickup. But then other people, They actually keep telling me that the legacy that I am leaving behind is actually acting as a source of inspiration for other people to bravely go after what they want.


    What do you think are the most important qualities of a successful person?

    Be generous. it's very important to be generous.

    Where can people go to find out more about what you are doing and support you?

    You can find out about me on Disappearing Jobs on Instagram, MalaysianPayGap, and also my weird name on LinkedIn is very identifiable.

    Yeah. My name is Davekhaw. I will include that for sure.

    Just before the very final question, if your grandma was here, what would you like her to know about what you've been doing?

    She wouldn't be interested. She'll just say that why don't you just sleep more? Oh, why don't you just chill? It's not like you need any more money.

    Why don't you just you know, why do you care about helping other people? So all of my best friends said that too. Yeah, and my partner also said that yeah Malaysia is not a good thing for them in their eyes Because they see the toll it takes on you. Yeah

    Are you still gonna keep going? I'm gonna keep going until I feel like it's not making positive impact for people.

    Like if people stop telling me that it has helped me, then I'll actually stop it. If some people, they can really increase their income, they can have a better job, they will have better relationship, better family life, better self worth.

    It's such a happy thing. But if it stops, then I'll stop because I would love to live my life. Just chill. And casual and, have fun.

    And any last words before we wrap up?

    No, I just hope more people can support. So this is my why. It's very hard to start a project and being so persistent.

    And it's really tough like on social media where attention is so limited. You put something out. Sometimes all you do is just to share with more people. It's a small action, but it means so much to the person behind the project. Very true. Giving one DM matters a lot.

    Yeah. Whatever you have, if you have something positive to say or to think about that person, always express it because you will never know that person actually desperately needed that.

    Ling Yah: And that was the end of episode 136.

    Just head over to for the show notes, transcript, and also a way to subscribe to the STIMY newsletter.

    Now I can't fit everything into an episode, which is long as it is. So this STIMY Newsletter is a spillover in a way.

    It's also my platform to share all things personal branding and the course I'm coming up with to help other people build their brands the way that I have done with Steamy.

    Frankly, without Steamy and what I've done online, there would have been no way that I could've left law and start to become an entrepreneur.

    So. Want to learn more?

    Just head over to, and don't forget to subscribe to STIMY if you haven't done so already.

    A new episode is released every Sunday, so see you there?

    Prestine Davekhaw - founder of MalaysianPAYGAP, Disappearing Jobs - shares life story on the So This Is My Why podcast with Ling Yah Wong, the host and producer

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