Boosting brainpower

Choose any word from the dictionary and Teo (standing) can tell you which page it’s on. A guest (right) chooses a word while Dr Ling looks on.

TO improve the mental literacy of Malaysians, the Malaysia Mental Literacy Movement (MMLM), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and Tunku Abdul Rahman University College will hold the Mind Competitions 2017 at UTAR Sungai Long Campus on April 15.

This competition enhances various skills such as brainpower, creativity, intelligence quotient (IQ), emotional intelligence, memory skills, mind mapping and the critical thinking skills of Malaysians.

“Training for brain games strengthens memory and improves the mental literacy of the young and elderly,” said UTAR chancellor Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik during a press conference at UTAR Sungai Long. MMLM was the brainchild of Dr Ling that was set up in 2006.

The competition has three categories: Memory, Mind Mapping, and Mental Calculation.

There are also sub-categories: Random Words, Numbers, Letters of the Alphabet, Dates & Events, Note Making on given topics, Note taking from speech and text, Mental Calculations (additions and multiplications).

Students who have problems memorising might not do well in certain subjects, and this would make them dislike the subjects, said Teo Kim Fook, a judge of the Memory Competition.

But this skill can be learnt, as long as one knows the technique, Teo added.

Another Memory Competition judge, Kingsley Chew shared his experience.

“When I was younger, I had very bad memory.

I was last in class in primary school because I couldn’t remember what I had read.

But after learning memory techniques and practising this skill, he won the MMLM Category Event Champion 2015 and broke four Malaysia Memory records at the Asia Memory Championships last year.

“If you practise consistently for 15 minutes every day for a month, you will see a tremendous improvement in memory,” said West Wong, who will judge the Mental Calculation Competition.

To demonstrate just what they mean, the judges showcased their mental capabilities during the press conference.

Wong added and multiplied random numbers thrown at him by the attendees, while Chew read out a string of 28 random numbers – forwards and backwards – from memory. Teo asked attendees to pick out words from a dictionary, and would tell them on what page that word was on.

Aside from the memory and mental arithmetic categories, there is also a Mind Mapping challenge, where participants would convey their thoughts and ideas in a mind map.

“Mind mapping is a tool we can use to organise our thoughts,” said Paul Chan Kum Hoe, a Mind Mapping Competiton judge.

“It helps us remember things, come up with creative ideas and solve problems.”

Participants stand a chance to win a share of RM60,000.

The winner, first runners-up and second runners-up from each of the categories will receive RM5,000, RM2,000 and RM1,000, respectively.

MMLM will also award five consolation prizes worth RM100, and RM500 for the Best School, and the best performer in the Child category (aged nine and under) and Senior Citizen category aged 60 and above).

This competition is open to all. Registration closes on April 5. For more information, contact MMLM at 03 9019 3882/9019 8088, e-mail or visit

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Education , minds competitions


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