Teh covered the anti-government protests in Bangkok, Thailand for The Star.

Teh covered the anti-government protests in Bangkok, Thailand for The Star.

Teh Eng Hock, bureau chief, The Star
From the bloody street protests in Bangkok to foreign diplomatic trips with the Prime Minister, Teh has covered his fair share of assignments in his eight years (and counting) as a news journalist in The Star – and it all came about after a BRATs workshop in 1998.

Teh has considered himself a part of The Star ever since. He helped out with the BRATs by facilitating workshops and organising community projects, and he also contributed articles to StarMetro.

Upon graduation, he joined The Star as a full-time reporter. He is now head of the Klang bureau.

Teh on assignment at the Macau Grand Prix in 2007.

Teh on assignment at the Macau Grand Prix in 2007.


Why did you join BRATs?

I actually thought I would get a lot of freebies, like movie passes and concert tickets. That never happened. Instead, I helped with a lot of community service programmes, which I would never have volunteered for as an individual.


What’s the fondest memory you have from your time with BRATs?

I enjoyed getting paid for my articles. And my friends and I loved seeing our photos out in the papers. We learnt pretty quickly that Uncle Chua (Kok Hwa, a photographer who recently retired from The Star) preferred candid shots, so we would pose as naturally as possible every time he walked by. But the expeditions, trips and overnight stays are the best, as that was when these life-long bonds with some of my “bestest” friends grew.


What was the most important thing you learned through BRATs?

It is the relationships which are most important. Although many of us went overseas to study, we never drifted apart (there are plenty of BRATs in Australia, Britain and the United States). In fact, two of them – Azri Zulfadli and Choo Dee Wei – became my housemates. Our apartment became an unofficial BRATs pad for the rest, with regular visitors from our fellow BRATs. We would even go for holidays together, in a bid to recreate the BRATs year-end expeditions.


What impact did BRATs have on your life?

The fact that I came full circle and chose journalism as a career should be a powerful statement. BRATs is more than just journalism, though. It opened my eyes and ears to the diversity in opinions and mindsets in society. I understood better the struggles of the less fortunate. I saw more. I listened and I was heard. I was quite shy and introverted before I joined BRATs. Today, I am confident in offering my views and taking the lead.

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