I believe Sunday Starters is different because I reﬂect on many contemporary issues through what I see and experience in my own life, and the lives of others. Without the personal touch, it would be nothing more than just a feel-good inspirational column which can be found in many publications and websites.—Soo Ewe Jin
Sunday, for those who work a normal week, is a day of rest. It is a time to reﬂect and to recharge oneself for the week ahead. And Sunday Starters helps readers to do precisely that. The weekly column written by The Star’s executive editor Soo Ewe Jin reﬂects on everyday life situations. Ewe Jin has a way of looking at current issues and putting a perspective to it that resonates with ordinary readers. He writes the way he does to remind himself and everyone who reads this column, that amidst the busyness of life, we need to pause and look at things with our heart, and not just our eyes. He pens his reﬂections on life in a highly readeable style that interlaces simplicity and brevity with deep messages. His column covers a range of issues and emotions that has moved readers to laugh, shed a tear or two, and ponder over the deeper meaning of life.
Sunday Starters made its debut on Feb 19, 2012 in The Sunday Star. The column actually began much earlier, on Dec 29 2008, when it ﬁrst appeared in the business section of The Star as Monday Starters.
I was pleasantly surprised at the response, says Ewe Jin. CEOs wrote back to thank me for reminding them that there is more to life than just the bottom line. For ordinary workers, the column reminded them that there is more to life than just the daily grind of work, and that they must be able to ﬁnd time for people and to stop and smell the flowers.
When the column was shifted to Sunday Star and renamed Sunday Starters, the tone of the column remained the same but had a wider variety of subjects to write on since it was going out to a wider audience. Its purpose remained the same. Penned in 500 words or so each week, it served to remind the author and everyone who reads his column, that amidst the busyness of life, they need to pause and look at things with their heart, and not just their eyes. It was the writer’s hope that his column would give readers something to chew on as they awaited the main courses that would come later in the week.
The writer continues: I have been heartened by the response as readers wrote in to express their thanks, and to also share their stories. Many asked when I would put my writings into book form. It didn’t seem too difficult since this would just be a compilation of the articles. But it did take me a while to work on this project. I felt the articles should be separated thematically and I got a friend to help me do this.
The biggest challenge for the writer was deciding which article to drop. Every article always held some special meaning for him. And from the feedback, he felt blessed that his writing could help turn a life around; that his sharing of personal journeys as a cancer survivor inspired others to persevere through their own trials and tribulations; and that his love for the country which resonated at the people-level made the political intrigues of the day seem less signiﬁcant.
The proceeds from the ﬁrst print will go to The Star Foundation to be disbursed to various charities.
About the author: Soo Ewe ]in began his journalism career at The National Echo in Penang before moving to The Malay Mail. He took a break from journalism to work at ISIS Malaysia and WWF Malaysia before making an even braver decision to exit the workforce and stay at home as a full-time househusband. He returned to the workforce to help set up The Edge where he served as editorial consultant and associate editor. He subsequently went back home for a second stint as househusband. In 2000, he joined The Star where he has served in various positions: as Star Online Editor; Sunday Star Editor; Special Projects Editor and his current designation as Executive Editor. He considers his years at home as fulltime househusband to be the most wonderful milestones in his career. He is married to Angeline Lim and they have two sons, Kevin and Timothy.