PETALING JAYA, May 17 — Families do a host of things together: eat, holiday or even exercise.
Then there is the Siew family, who “Rubik’s cube” together.
They are so good that three sons are among the top ranked cube players in Malaysia and Asia while the mother Tiffany Soh can solve cubes with her feet.
Family patriarch Siew Hann Wenn took up the activity after his children showed an interest in it years ago.
He said he started to learn how to solve a 3x3 Rubik’s cube for himself so that he could teach his sons after he saw his children’s amazement with it.
“It really helps us bond as a family, all of us gather together for the same mission (to solve the cube),” added Siew during a press conference yesterday.
Siew is part of the organising committee for the Malaysia 10th Anniversary Cube Open 2019.
It is organised by the Malaysia Cube Association (MYCA) which will be held at Citta Mall on June 15 and 16.
Consequently, the whole family gets in on the act as they sit around learning from one another as well as sharing their own tips and tricks with each other.
Soh, 45 got in on the boys’ little game after one of her sons convinced her to start learning how to solve a cube and join them in competitions, instead of just waiting around for them.
She took those words to heart and started learning tips off of her sons, who say that she practises even more than they do now — she has even learnt how to solve a cube with her feet!
“I’m sure that all parents that play the cube with their kids can get closer to them,” said Soh.
This year, their sons Eason, 20, and twins Manfred and Darren, 19, will be competing in the Malaysia 10th Anniversary Cube Open 2019.
Manfred is the current national record holder for the 6x6 and 7x7 cube events, as well as the Rubik’s Clock event, while twin brother Darren holds the national record for the Megaminx (12-sided cube) event.
There are a total of 18 different categories at cube competitions such as this which include events like the fastest to solve a 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 cubes to name a few, including doing all of those blindfolded.
Eason, the oldest of the three, is ranked No. 7 in Malaysia in KinchRanks, a system which takes into account the result of participation in all 18 events that are recognised by the World Cube Association.
At this year’s competition, the brothers will pit their skills against world-class players from all over the world including countries like China, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, as well as other top Malaysian cubers like Muhammad Hariz Azizan.
Muhammad Hariz, 23, is a double national record holder in the Malaysia Book of Records for being the fastest in the 3x3 Rubik’s Cube individual event and a team member of the fastest 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 Cube Relay.
His official average is just 7.91 seconds to solve a 3x3 cube and can even boast the outstanding record of winning every single Cube competition in Malaysia in 2017.
That’s nine out of nine, in case you were wondering.
He said he gained interest in the cube during his schooling days because other students used to bring it with them to school.
He found it interesting to see how people solve it using their different techniques and loved the sense of competition that it created amongst the students.
He added that playing the cube improved hand-eye coordination.
He also said that the cube acts as an object of similar interest and that children who are often very reclusive find it easier to socialise during competitions.