Freda Liu - A Tough, Terrific and Talented Lady!

IJ Anita Tejwani
Published on: 8th April 2015
“Some things can be planned and some things just happen. Go with the flow and enjoy the process at every step of the way. Never be driven by money or fame,” says Freda Liu, a lady in her 40s from Malaysia who has tried her hand in various fields, and today, stands as an example for many.

Starting her career with Edelman PR in Kuala Lumpur, she joined IBM after five years. At IBM too she started working as a PR before taking on regional roles. This was when she learned the art of making news and identifying what is newsworthy.

During that period, I worked part-time as a news presenter on radio and TV and also lectured in PR for one semester. My other interests include doing emcee work and doing voiceovers for commercials. I was very happy with that equation,” states Freda

She also took up coaching with the International Coaching Federation and completed her Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming.

About 7 years ago, a new type of radio station called BFM ( appeared on her doorsteps. “It is two traffic lights from my house!” she smiles. “Many years ago, there were attempts of a talk radio but it didn’t work and most radio stations then were music stations but BFM is a talk radio which is an unproven entity,” says Freda Liu.

She found the idea of a talk radio about business coupled with great music very appealing.  All her years in the corporate world and broadcasting finally came together. “I have done the whole gamut of communications; PR in an agency and a multinational, working in a radio and a TV station and now finally journalism!!” she explains.
Freda Liu - A Tough, Terrific and Talented Lady!
“The fact that I am learning every day through the people I meet inspires me. I always ask myself each morning ‘What am I going to learn today?’” mentions Freda Liu. Over the course of these 7 years, she has interviewed over 5000 people from the likes of Stephen R Covey, Robert Kiyosaki, Nick Vjucic, Jarno Trulli, Julian Assange to many more people who have an amazing story to share.

At BFM 89.9, she hosts a show called Enterprise which is targeted at entrepreneurs and managers. In the four-hour show from 10am to 2pm, there is Open for Business about entrepreneurs, Raise Your Game about personal development, Tech Talk about technology and Resource Centre about everything in running a business from legal to marketing.

Apart from all her present assets at work, she has worked as a receptionist at Hilton Kuching, a choir member with the Sarawak Symphony Orchestra, a DJ and many other things just to learn about the many choices in life.

There have been many turning points in Freda’s life where she lists her marriage, divorce, the birth of her son, the different things she has tried her hands on, God finding her and it goes on. “Every choice in life has its consequences; so, make your choices wisely,” she advises.

However, the most challenging phase of her life was the end of her marriage. “When everything was bleak, all I could say to myself everyday was ‘I will come of out this better, not bitter’.” There was this positive attitude in her even though she was unsure of the steps.  During that period, she realized that one cannot change anyone but self and how one should choose to perceive a situation.

My Lord Saviour Jesus Christ has been my most prominent anchor. Books and the right choice of people to hang around with also made the difficult times seem easier. There have been many people who always encouraged and inspired from the first boss at the PR consultancy Julius Evanson to my current boss Malek Ali,” she says with gratitude. Alongside all this inspiration, she made exercise and running to be permanent parts of her lifestyle as it is a great tool to de-stress and let out tension.
Being a mother, a daughter, a radio show host, a team leader, an employee, a team player, a connector and so many other things, she has learnt to work in accordance to priorities. “I set goals every year in 8 areas of my life, sometimes, call the wheel of life; finance, career/business, fitness, lifestyle, mental, relationships, family and spiritual. This is important because you can make all the money and then turn around to find that your family has disappeared. What’s the point of all the money?” Freda shares her thoughts on balancing each aspect of life.

She feels proud on finishing a half-marathon and is now planning for a full marathon. There is also a Silver Cannes Lion Award the station received for breast cancer awareness. “The award is called “Freda”. So, I guess that’s quite a buzz,” she smiles. 

Freda has authored a book which goes by the name ‘PR Yourself - Red Lipstick and Amazing Shoes’. The book is an outcome of her experiences after having met many entrepreneurs who are shy about sharing their stories. She thinks that this is, sometimes, an Asian thing where we don’t like to talk about ourselves because we feel we are boasting.

However, she feels that if we don’t talk about ourselves and our brand, someone else will.  Having done the gamut in communications, she wanted to share some tips on how they can leverage on the most cost-effective marketing tool which is PR. She has shared tips on how they can do it themselves but if budget permits, they should hire an expert in-house or outsource the work.

Till date, everything I have done has led to where I am today. Nothing has been a waste of time because money did not dictate me. In the future, I foresee myself being a professional speaker and writing more books. I see myself travelling more,” shares Freda.

“Be patient. Some things take time to percolate. Where I am today took close to two decades. Try different things in life to meet new circles of people to expand your network and not just for the purpose of business,” were her words of wisdom to inspire generations to come.
On a scale of 1-10, how inspiring did you find this article?