At Age 41. The only daughter of the one million hectare oil palm tycoon no longer saw the world through rose tinted glasses – she now saw the world prosaically. Realistically. Warts and all.

At 41, the daughter of the one million hectare oil palm tycoon – had finally learnt to see through the world – for what it really is – and not what it’s so often painted out to be in the moment of her carefree youth.

At age 41, she realized the only active ingredient in an expensive jar of anti-ageing moisturizing cream was really only water. At 41, she had even discovered much to her consternation, that she needed reading glasses and teeth were not made to last beyond 40, if one was cursed with a sweet tooth. Such as herself. 

Above all at age 41, she realized not every man who came her way always had the best of intentions. Not even the gentleman planter who had suddenly appeared from nowhere in his stylish black turtle neck and matching Italian suit. Most of them just wanted something from her – she could see it in their searching eyes; seek it out even in the shifty way they carried themselves and tried to impress her with the vapid and faintly interesting – there was always just enough of doubt for the 41 year old woman to ALWAYS hold back. To keep that part of her heart’s of heart all to herself. To never ever surrender it all to just any man. Never….As at age 41, the little rich girl who was the daughter of the one million hectare land owner realized only to well – to give all to any man would simply be like flinging open her armored plated door of her heart to allow hurt and crushing disappointment to color the rest of her days.

As at age 41, the daughter of the oil palm tycoon Chan Sim had finally reconciled herself with the many missed opportunities and shattered dreams that had traced through her life. She even entertained the idea, there were only so many mistakes in love a woman her age could make from this point onwards – after all, despite her frequent visits to Wuffles (if he wasn’t at court to trying to get out from another traffic offense fix) – she knew that even flesh, bone and sinew could never stand up before the chastening passage of time – that great equalizer – that mother of all spoilers for womanhood. At age 41, she realized Botox, lifts and tucks behind the ear, merely created the illusion of youth. The chastening passage of time would also win like the rigged roulette wheel in the Casino de Monte Carlo.

At age 41, the daughter of the one million hectare land owner had reconciled her sweet remembrance of all things in the moment of youth in exchange for the crushing reality that she was now a woman who whenever she looked at herself in mirror – could never really allow herself to see the image reflected. As the woman in the mirror had began the inexorable journey towards the next level of life she dreaded most – Auntyhood. 

Through the years, the 41 year old woman had lost her wide eyed innocence and sense of optimism along with having to regulary take sleeping pills that had once allowed her to see the world in only bright and clear cuts of hope and joy – a world where she remembered always smiling and filled with a sense of expectancy. But now at age 41, the light from that world of innocence had through the years grown so faint and distant.

In this desolate geography of shattered dreams and hopes of a 41 year old woman – she realized that good and decent men these days were as hard to find like clean toilets – she would often recount to her retinue of hanger on’s – “the good ones are already all ENGAGED. As for what’s still left – they are all full shit!”

But that day when Chan Sim had decided to accept the farmer’s invitation for coffee – when he had suddenly appeared before her on the pavement in St.Martin’s. Poof! When he had even looked at her in the way he did and said to her in a murmuring rush like rolling thunder “…..after all, I’ve travelled half the world for this cup of coffee.” What really stirred and resonated deep within the 41 year old woman who saw the world prosaically – wasn’t what he said, or even how he said it. If anything. What moved the terminally jaded woman most to even follow the man demurely and even obediently as if being hypnotized was the completeness of the realization that this man had seen every hemisphere of her hopes and aspirations along with all her shattered dreams in that one singular moment when their eyes had locked – in that one momentary span of time, she could just about make out how this man had stood there in the barren landscape of her desolate heart like a knowing farmer who stands with one leg on his fence at the edge of his field and lights a cigarette only to look contemplatively at the last remnants of a dying evening as it bows out to the velvety darkness of night – she knew that he saw it all – she could tell from his eyes.

Chan Sim could tell. The 41 year old woman wasn’t naive. She could even make out deep beneath the cool confident exterior of the sophisticated gentlemen planter there was a  dark windy road that led to the same palace of pain that she knew so well. She had remembered saying to herself when she first set eyes of on that gentleman planter.

“He is the only man that I have ever known who can see deep into my heart’s of heart. He saw it all! Yes in the one moment. I feel naked. I must find out how did he learn to see it all so clearly. Pain cannot be described. It has to be felt. I need to find out his pain. It’s not fair! I tell you all it’s not fair. He can see my pain and all my hopes so clearly. But I can’t see his. I’ve been waiting for all my life?- I MUST FIND OUT! I must find out his pain – then I will know. Then I will truly know whether he is the one…the only one.”

That day as the 41 year old woman walked alongside the farmer who she much preferred to call the gentleman planter – she realized there was more to this man than met the eye – much much more it seems and that intrigued her no end. And as they walked together as the light slowly turned a currelean hue to greet the approaching night – somewhere between two lampost, the 41 year old woman no longer saw herself as the 41 year old woman any longer. She had simply been reincarnated into the year zero woman, the reset button had been pressed – she had magically travelled back through time and now as the year zero woman walked beside the mythical lover. As she knew this was really the point in when her life would really begin – the man had after all peered into her heart’s of heart and had said with his quiet, understanding and gentle eyes,

“I understand. I understand completely…. I am after all the mythical lover. Do you not recognize me you silly girl? I am the man who you have been waiting for you…the man who has travelled through the ocean of time just to find you. And to complete you……I am the mythical lover.”

Running across the street from the Apple Computer outlet to the Burger King fast food joint in Piccadilly Circus just off Old Crompton Street was an invisible line – this was the East Gate to Chinatown London. The gate which all in the underworld knew only as the “Pak Mein Mun.” – “8 faced gate.”

Though such a gate never once existed except in the realm of the imagination – the man who stood there that day in the dark Italian suit, slicked back hair and dark glasses could see this gate clearly in his mind’s eye – he knew it was there, invisible to all except him and those who walked the underworld. The man paused as he approached the invisible gate. In his mind’s eye, he could make out the line that separated this world from that other world that he had once walked so many years ago in the moment of his youth.

That day as the man paused before what seemed to be like an invisible line on the pavement just outside the China town London. He seemed almost to stand out like a solitary unmoving figure amid an ocean of men – those who passed by him were purposeful, either walking briskly or pausing before the many shop fronts to window shop. But for the lean man dressed in the dark Italian suit. He was perfectly still. So still that he looked almost like a solitary lotus on a calm lake – so still that he even radiated a familiarity the stirred the interest of the proprietor of the Kam Far (Golden flower) restaurant across the road – who was inexplicably drawn to the sight of this strange lone figure – he had seen this same man before. But it cannot be. It cannot! He blurted out. The man was slightly older now; but he was the same man the restauranteur reckoned – his mix of hardness and implacability came through in the way he narrowed his eyes; even in the very manner in which he who stood his ground abreast before this invisible gate that only gangsters could see – and very slowly and gradually, it dawned on the restauranter that this was the same man who had once carried the bag for the venerable four houses -

“The benefactor who used to carry the money for the four houses had returned to China town!” The restauranteur murmured to himself as his voice began to tremble uncontrollably.

That same afternoon as the sun crossed over to cast an eerie twilight over the lone figure standing before the gate that did not exist except in the man’s eye – the restauranteur steadied his nerves with a double shot of brandy. He was after the gate keeper of the Pak Mein Mun – the East Gate to China town. And so like his father and father before him; the third generation restauranteur keeper of the key to the PaK Mein Mun walked out into the pavement and bowed solemnly to the lone figure and said,

“You must be thirsty and hungry, please allow me to offer you some refreshments.”

The stranger did not speak. Neither did he look at the restauranteur. As he realized this was only the first quatrain of many to follow before the custom of seeking passage through this invisible gate was possible. 

That evening as the stranger sat in a discreet table hidden by a screen from the crowd with the rest of the elders all dressed in dark sombre suits in China town – tea was ceremoniously served.

One of the elders mentioned that the fish was unusually fresh this season and he should try some – soon a fish was served with a single chopstick inserted through the gills – the restauranteur who had served the fish was trembling so violently that he even stained the white linen table cloth – much to the irritation of the elders who waved him away.

Whereupon the elders looked on silently, stoically and sternly at the man seated in the seat facing the East – as this was an ancient custom which the laws of heaven and earth had dictated had to be played out with as much care as a Chinese opera – this was after all a part of their lives as it was a part of them – a language written in an alphabet that only those who had once walked the underworld knew how to read.

That evening as the stranger removed the chopstick from the fish and snapped it in half and placed it down gently by his side of the table. All the elders of China town turned to each other with a look of familiarity that suggested that words were truly unnecessary. As by now it was evident to all that the man who was wearing the dark Italian suit sporting dark glasses was none other than the benefactor who once carried the money for the venerable houses.

That same evening – a lion dance troupe assembled at the same spot where the man had paused and waited earlier in the day. Those who were oblivious of this ancient custom probably regarded it as just another cultural event staged to promote China town as a tourist hub – but that day as the man who sat in the chair facing East sipped tea with the elders. He knew that permission had been granted for him to enter the underworld once again. When the last of the firecrackers rented out leaving only a lingering silence – one of the elders leaned forward and in a grave voice whispered to the stranger,

“Do not be offended benefactor. No disrespect was intended. Through the years there had been rumors that you have passed on. We had to be sure that it was you benefactor. Now tell us please. As you have traveled so far through an ocean of time to come back here – tell us how can the venerable four houses be of assistance to the honorable benefactor?”

The man did not reply immediately. He realized that ritual was missing a vital piece. He knew that it was incomplete. He could make out the stout body guards who stood some distance away from the elders – he knew that they were all armed. And so he leaned back in his chair and sighed. And after what can only be considered as an eternity – one of the elders walked to the nearby altar of Kwang Kong lit three joss sticks and handed it to the man.

This was what the man was waiting for – this was why he had remain still and silent all this time. The ritual now only had one more quartrain before it all ended. 

And this was when the man spoke for the very first time, “I am not a monk. I am a swordsman.”

With these words the man could see that the rest of the elders had begun to really relax. Only a while ago they had just been pretending he reckoned. Some had even begun to smile openly now and even smoke their cigarettes. The scene had after played out to the very end in exactly the way that it was meant to be played out for generations – with hardly the slightest deviation, except for that long and unexpected pause which the man realized was designed to trap an imposter.The man realized had he even deviated even so much as one millimeter from this ancient custom of seeking permission to enter the pak mein mun – he would never be able to walk out of the restaurant alive – they would have certainly killed him there and then. This the man knew only too well was how politics was conducted in the underworld.

By now even the bodyguards had begun to loosen up as their eyes moved indolently to the leggy waitresses instead of peering menacingly at the stranger in the dark Italian suit. And when the man saw all this, he stood up, bowed to the elders and walked to the altar of Kwan Kong with joss sticks – that day as the ex-gangster, farmer and mortal enemy of Mr Big Bully knelt before the stern crimson face of the bearded God of War – he realized that he was simply an actor where the stage manager of life and destiny who choreographed ever turn and twist of his life ruled – and what can an actor really do? Except maybe utter the lines that he had been given – and so like those who once left only to return again – the farmer whose only wish in life was to plant row after row of oil palm realized that he had finally crossed into the underworld. Only this time, he had crossed the line of no return – the die was cast.

 

You know, I can put up with many things – I can put up with even compulsive liars, congenital cheats, delusional people etc. Providing it’s done well enough to cum across as believable and convincing. My standards are so incredibly lax and forgiving that I don’t even expect all the bits of the story to hold up to scrutiny.

But I draw the line when the testimony of a woman insults the sexual IQ of every man in Singapore along presuming super powers concerning certain body parts that we all happen to know very well.

Please. I am not trying to be offensive. Only let us all try to be anatomically and biologically correct. Let us for one moment suspend belief for what we have all read and heard about this baffling case of a woman who is forced to do things against her will. 

I know this may be difficult. As sex is a funny thing where one can easily confuse the sex lives of others for one’s own. That could incidently also supply an explanation as to why ‘SEX’ is the most Googled word in blogoland – but just consider the incredulity of the following statements and ask yourself – how much sense does this testimony make?

“He wanted sex in parked cars and would force her head to his groin.” OK that part, I can understand. After all even car manufacturers these days concede to that reality of the human condition – otherwise, what can account for cup holders, reclining seats and of course the ubiquitious Kleenex in every car.

But the statement that really takes the cake is this: “…She said the sex acts lasted from “split seconds” to minutes.”  Now this part, I can’t understand at all – how is that even possible? Are you telling me that she has a mouth that is capable of giving a man a blow job that surpasses even the speed of sound? Is it really possible for this woman or for that matter any woman to give a man or for that matter any man a supersonic blow job? If that were to happen let me just tell you a few things that are likely to happen according to the laws of physics – first of all, unless this occured in a Soviet era armored plated tank with an industrial suspension. ANY automobile fitted with standard issued springs would probably be vibrating so vigorously that it would probably have enough kinetic energy to fly right out of the car park, do a fly past twice around the padang and cum to land within the grounds of the Istana within a “split second.” In short what she said is a scientific, biological and anatomical impossibility. This woman’s testimony even makes the Kamasutra look like an instruction manual for a toaster. FACT: No woman can make a man cum within a split second – anymore than you can expect to get a climax, if you put your dick into a blender. Don’t be silly!  

Coupled to this already mind boggling story where one has to be already so open minded that one’s brain is probably spilling out “The 36-year-old married mother of one said she did not like being forced to perform the act.” Let me understand this for what it is. She doesn’t like to be regularly face fucked in a car. Yet she puts herself in the very position where any reasonable woman who has already been forced to suck a man’s dick would know that the probability of getting face fucked again is as close to 100%, if not a mathematical certainty. Do you now see how this woman is so cunning and ruthless that she is even prepared to lie to save her own hide?

Of Ng’s requests for oral sex, she said: “I was irritated but didn’t want to offend him as he’s a high-ranking officer.” Again this makes absolutely no sense to me at all. She was “irritated.” As some of you men may already know – this hardly requires any elaboration. As getting irritated is something that really only applies to not being able to find the car keys when one needs to get out of the house pronto – getting irritated may even apply when has to regularly deal with pesky car coupon aunties that keep on giving me a ticket. But apparently she was just “irritated,” it seems after being face fucked forcibly.  

But of all the self incriminating statements – this woman claims to be able to perform the impossible – she is able to perform a supersonic blow job to deliver five chili satisfaction within “split seconds.” Added further, she had continued to see him again. As he had apologized after the first time. She even thought someone of his stature would keep his word.

Let me understand this for what it is – this woman has been forcibly faced fucked against her will – and actually expects all of us to believe that she carried on meeting him as she thought he was a man who would keep his word?????? Let me paraphrase. She actually believes that this will not happen again???????????????

Look here lah – I have to go to the field now. And I really don’t have time to indulge in dissecting tangled sheet tales. So let me cum directly to the point at roughly the speed of a motorized wheelchair. As even I find it uphill to cum to the point within a split second . There is no doubt in my mind. No doubt whatsoever Gentlemen. That this woman obviously thinks that every man in Singapore has a sexual IQ of 5 below idiot or hasn’t even taken the trouble to get acquianted with his own plumbing  – she actually believes we are all dumb, stupid and probably don’t know our dicks from our knee caps.

And that my friends is the truth and nothing but the truth – you can’t blame me after all, I am a farmer and all I am really doing here is calling a spade a spade.

Darkness 2012

“Whatever a man does with his dick during his free time providing it’s consensual is his own business. It may be morally questionable. But it’s hardly a crime. This is really how I see it. Man and woman goes out for drinks. One thing leads to another. Both know what they are getting into. Whether it is morally or ethically right is not the issue here. What remains cogent here is this may have all the set pieces of sex in exchange for favors. But things can be deceptive.

Can anyone please tell me how the charge of corruption can possibly stand up without falling down like a drunkard after the self incriminating testimony from this ridicolous woman? You all don’t see the contradictions, do you?

And it gives me no pleasure to say this. But it seems in this forum. There are many who are inclined to reach a conclusion based on the path of least resistance. And the reason why all of you believe this is because none of you understand how even something as benign as womanhood can be transformed into a weapon – this is still a mystery to all of you. An unopened chapter in your lives.

Hey don’t get angry – I am just telling you all the truth – farmer’s have immunity to call a spade a spade. Understand this! A man just doesnt grab a woman’s hair and say suck it! What you’re looking at is the thunderclap and not the lightning – ask yourself a simple question: what transpire BEFORE this alleged act? What did they say ? What was hinted? Suggested? Let me put it another way. Let’s say one of you sisterfuckers who like to call me names decided to invite me over for dinner. As you probably want to put some rat poison into my food for intruding into this forum and threatening to shut it down!

Let’s just say that I was there. Let’s just say your mom is a MILF 5 chili pucker lips hot type – now think to yourself – would I just like grab your mummy by the hair when she’s all alone in the kitchen and say to her – suck my cock!

Let me tell you why no ladies man would ever do that. Because all your mummy needs to do, if it could fit that is, is clamp her jaws shut like a doberman – and poof! There goes the family jewels, there goes your rod of joy. Your DIY home entertainment kit. From now onwards you have to get used to pissing through a straw like an eunuch. You see this how a ladies man thinks. He’s always making trade off’s. Besides your mummy could go to the police and he would be toasted. None of you sisterfuckers think like that because half the time you’re either secretly masturbating to online porn or commiting mental rape on the MRT when you look at a girl with a short skirt. And try to figure out whether it’s a good idea to smile at her – and how to do it without coming across as a crazed stalker. To put it in plain simple Farmer’s language. None of you have fucked enough women to really know what it takes to create the RIGHT conditions where its agreeable and even perfectly natural for a man to grab a womans hair and to say to her suck my cock!

The truth hurts doesn’t. I can see now that this entire forum is now so silent. When only just a while ago, there was a wall of noise. Well you all better get used to it. As I haven’t even began yet. None of you know how LOVE or a perfect imitation of LOVE can be weapon. Just as people who seldom travel by air bother about air miles. Those who do – just know that it pays to collect as much of it as you can. They know. So today let me tell you why I don’t believe that lying Cobra’s sob sob…”he forced me lah!” Let me also show you how little all of you fucks know about a woman when even she can create just the right CONDITIONS for a man to grab her and say, suck my cock!

You see the relationship between the grabber and the grabee is not so simple.

Let me show you how those CONDITIONS can be created by a woman. Let’s say that when I went for this dinner in your house – your mummy leaned my way revealing her 34D papaya’s when she ladled another slice of cheesecake on my plate. Let’s say your mama even looked funny at farmer. You have never seen her behave like that before. Or take so long to eat a banana before which she did when moving over to the seat next to farmer. At first you don’t understand it – how could you? Remember you haven’t fucked past that magic number of women in your life before. You probably fucked a couple. And even then the magic gates of manhood didn’t really open – there were no trumpeting angels – the ground did not shake – it’s still a big mystery to you.

Let’s say your mama even snuggled up close to farmer after dinner. We are in the living room now. Mama has her legs curled up on the sofa, she’s looking all funny at farmer. You wondering to yourself how long does it take for her to chomp down that banana that she still has. You notice farmer looking at her all funny as well. You seem to be the only one watching TV.

Now under those conditions that I have just described. Dont be surprised if mama said it’s time to kiss teddy and hit the sack now. And its all dark in your room. You lying in bed. Dont be surprise if you hear a loud voice, “suck my cock!” Of course you would never think it came from your own living room. How could you? The world is after all so simple to all of you sisterfuckers who think that you rule the internet isn’t it? You don’t see the nuances. You are not even aware of it.

My point is this. What conditions made it possible for a man to say to a woman. Suck my cock!

But let’s say if I went for dinner to another house. Whose a Christian here? OK, your mama will do. Let say you all invited farmer over. First thing when the door opens is farmer is greeted by a 9 by 5 stainless steel crucifix. Mama even ask farmer to give thanks…so he rattles off something like, “may the Lord make us thankful for whatever we are about to receive.” Though deep down farmer knows he aint going to get anything after dessert that night. Now let say you turned in. Now you could hear alot of things coming from the living room – “I’ve seen the light!” – but it just ain’t that light that all of us want to see when we are busy humping to get there before we need to see the chiropractor. Nothing is going to happen. Farmer will probably go back and masturbate.

Now in this case those CONDITIONS did not exist. Dinner was only dinner. Probably the last for farmer in that house.

Do you understand what I am talking about? Why has this man and his family been made to suffer in this manner. Has anyone even given any thought to his poor wife and kids or even what type of life he may have in Singapore when all this is over? Has anyone even perhaps thought that it could have happened to even the best husband, best civil servant, best of the best. Where is the justice in all this?

When even before all this begins, there is already the presumption that what this woman said is the truth. She may be able to fool every single person in the court room. But I happen to be a man of the world. She ain’t fooling me at all. You see I am not like the rest of you people who just make noise in the internet day and night – or get titilated over tangled sheet tales like nuns blushing when they secret surf porn.

I know what CONDITIONS must exist for a man to even say to a woman, suck my cock! As a farmer. I am businessman. And as a business I know only too well how a woman can be fashioned into a crowbar to prize open the door to a man’s weakness.

I am mindful of this weapon in the form of an intelligent, attractive and unassuming woman in the way that I know that when a Geisha has been trained to supply a perfect imitation of love.

As many of my enemies have used this strategy against me. As I have used it against them. I know the specifications of this weapons system. A weapon where to be proficient it in; the practioner must first learn to betray himself and everything he or she believes in – to be perfect mythical lover, the courtesan – the purveyor of remembrance of things past.

Now one more time please, if you all don’t mind. Are you all telling me that the MAN created these CONDITIONS without the woman playing any part in it? You mean he just grabbed her out of the blue and said, say hello to Mr Dicky Dally? You see that’s how little you know of setting the right CONDITIONS before that sort of talk can even transpire between two people. Wonder no more why most people in this forum can’t seem to get laid unless they prepared to get cancer of the wallet.

I know this aspect of warcraft. I know this well. All I see here is a woman who has successfully weaponized her beauty with knowledge afore thought to procure favors by every possible means. This is her mission. Where seduction is the skeleton key that opens up all the doors. It could happen to you. It could also happen to me. But it will almost invariably happen to men who claim that they value fidelity in their marriage above all else. This is the nature of the weapon, it is hard as tungsten steel wrapped in a soft textured cloth that is soft as a baby’s bottom – harmless yet deadly – reposed yet purposeful. As when you make a claw with your hand and stick your nails out like talons. That is what it is, a weapon that if used correctly can strike right into the heart of any man and cause him to even lose himself. He will of course try to fight it, at first. But he can never last, if the practioner in the art of supplying a perfect immitation of love knows his or her warcraft at the highest level.

This is the art of war.

I see a married man who has lost his head momentarily. I see a woman who knows the practical realities of how competitive her industry is – how even the self has to be relegated to something as rudimentary as a tool – if she wants to aspire to the top of this capitalist nirvana. In this world everything and anything is possible. Merchants of convenience abound. Every has a pruce. Morality is malleable as the profit motive obliterates all else, except the goal. In this world where everything is tradable, negotiatable and can be parlayed – let us all not be naive and believe that giving a first class blow job can’t get you one step higher in the game. Let’s not just believe that she is the classical damsel in distress who found herself suddenly wandering into the darkest reaches of the woods where big bad wolves live. As that is not what it is.

It is far more complicated….”

Captured very recently in a thread in Ekunaba

All I can say to you Mr Ng is hold your head up high. In my book, you have done nothing wrong – it’s the system that should be ashamed of itself and not you. Never ever forget that!”

“Hilly ground is useless for growing oil palm. No water there. Everyone knows that. Why do you even want to put good money into a black hole? I don’t understand. Let me show you a better plot..it’s just three minutes by chopper from here…” Asked the real estate agent.

“No…this is perfect. I will take it.” The farmer cut him short.

“Why are you even buying up all the hills and mountains around here? I don’t understand.” The real estate agent pressed again. He was well aware that he had allowed his curiosity to get the better of him. As the farmer had suddenly paused mid way writing out a cheque. And had begun to take off his dark glasses which he rarely did to look up at him.

Then in a slow rolling voice. The farmer replied. “Have you ever asked yourself, maybe I just like the view? Just make sure you say the same thing to the one million hectare land owner and his friends…if they ask…I want this to be a surprise. This time the farmer looked sternly at the 63 year old land broker as if he was about to snap his neck. There was an unmistakeable abruptness and hardness in the tone. That suggested that his patience was running thin. The latter lowered his eyes submissively. At that very moment, the land broker realized he may have may have stuck his neck out a bit too far out that day. Meanwhile the farmer resumed writing out the cheque. Slowly and silently and seriously this time. As if lost in the depths of some mysterious abyss known only to himself. As the 63 year old broker who had seen more lands exchange through his many years than his white hair. He couldn’t but help feel that he was looking at a man who was written in an alphabet that he could hardly read or even understand. It just didn’t make sense.

That very same night before turning in – the 63 year old land broker recounted the curious story of the farmer who lived on the hill to his wife along with his standing instructions to look for more hilly lands. His wife sighed. And replied, “Can’t you see that the man is planning to build a love nest for the daughter of the one million hectare landowner. Have you gone senile? Can’t you see that he’s trying to show off to her? To woo her by showing off his wealth? To prove to her that he is a man of means? Do you really expect him to tell you his real intentions? Why are you so kaypoh? (intrusive). Have you really forgotten the lenghts that you, yourself have gone through to win me over in the moment of your youth? Why can’t you just respect his privacy? He’s after all a good paymaster and we need his business!”

When the 63 land broker heard this. He nodded agreeably and said to himself, “Now it all makes sense….I am after all just a silly old man aren’t I?” And with these words the land broker felt a wave of embarrasment past through him like a rolling fog. Tomorrow he told himself, “I will look for more hilly land for the farmer who lives on the hill” He owed it to him. He had after all been so patient and forgiving with him”.

————————————————————————————————–

Somewhere in a makeshift shipyard where the farmer regularly fixes his plastic boat. Only this time, he was there to review his latest prototype reservoir that he had personally designed to grow oil palm on hills and mountains.

The private investigation firm of Ashley & Crown otherwise known as “the tobacconist,” in polite circles was located just above a tudor styled snuff shop in Old Holborn Street, London. 

Mr Big Bully had used this same firm to secretly film a politician with a Mongolian beauty – and used it as a bargaining chip to get a land concession that made him a one million hectare landowner. On another occasion, He had even used the same firm to blackmail a politician with a busty chambermaid in the Savoy to secure land concessions in Madagascar – in summary, the unassuming P.I firm of Ashley & Crown was one of many of Mr Big Bully’s bag of dirty tricks that he used to fix his enemies.

That day as the lone motorcyclist with the faced helmet in a dark BMW parked across St. Martins where Chan Sim, the one and only love of Mr Big Bully had just walked in – it didn’t take him very long to make out that this same firm had also been contracted to shadow his one and only love in London. She was after all Mr Big Bully’s precious – money it seemed was no object either – the man traced out with a practiced eye a three man surveillance team. 

“The gorilla,” whose role was to flatten anyone who even remotely presented a threat. The man concluded was probably ex foreign legion. His Alsace brand of clove cigarettes gave him instantly away. “The minstrel,” whose role was to take photos of any suspicious characters – the man again had no trouble whatsoever making out with his concealed Minox camera secreted on the handle of his umbrella. And lastly, “the thinker,” who role whose role was to call in more muscle, if needed was, was harder to ferret out – but eventually even he emerged, as the man had no trouble whatsoever recognizing the discreetly concealed ear piece behind his oversized horn rimmed glasses. 

The three man team from the firm of Ashley & Crown moved like a well choreographed ballet troupe, so well that not even Chan Sim knew that she had been tailed. How could she possibly know. They were after all professionals – experts in the game of cat and mouse – who all preferred the cold war technique once used by M-15 known as the “diamond.” When the man saw all this – he was happiest. As he knew that whatever he was about to do with Chan Sim tomorrow will go right back to Mr Big Bully.

The trap had been set – with these thoughts, the BMW motorcycle sprung to life and the man headed towards Chinatown in London.

There was some unsettled business that he had to attend to.

Mr Big Bully was not particularfly fond of the farmer who lived on the hill. Nonetheless the hardnosed oil palm tycoon had come to see the world slightly differently of late. He had even taken an uncharacteristic shine to the farmer. Besides considering the larger scheme of things. The farmer wasn’t such a bad candidate for his daughter. She could have done worse. Had often done worse with her last torrid liaison with that good for nothing Indonesian playboy who crashed his Ferrari into a dumpster while under the influence of cocaine. And what about that parvenu who he had to scare off, when Mr Big Bully found out that he had been forging cheques secretly under his daughter’s name – as it turned out, that loser was nothing more than a con artist masquerading as a well heeled gentlemen from a non-existent reputable family.

When Mr Big Bully considered all the shattered dreams and hard aches along with the less than suitable suitors that his one and only love Chan Sim had once hitched up with –  the 72 year old self made tycoon could do very little except look benevolently on the farmer who lived on the hill. Mr Big Bully had even began to make excuses for the farmer  – just the other day, during his regular mah jong cum private fuck session with his heavy weight buddies – when one of them mentioned that the farmer on the hill he had begun secretly snapping up more hilly land for some incomprehensible reason and if someone didn’t put an end to his nonsense – we would all find ourselves in hot soup one day. Mr Big Bully was heard recounting sardonically,

“The man is ambitious. Weren’t we all like that at his age? You can’t blame a man for wanting a piece of the action.”

Even Mr Big Bully’s regular gin gang was surprised by that unexpected retort – after all just about a year ago. Mr Big Bully had sent gangsters from his own Red Dragon Tong to poison some of the farmer’s trees in the hope of scaring him off. Now he was even making excuses for the farmer on the hill.

At age 72, the hardnosed  oil palm tycoon no longer saw the world in terms of black and white. He had long since come to terms there were always plenty of grey areas in life that often required compromises. And Mr Big Bully saw himself as a master of compromises – a merchant of convenience who simply excelled in the art of finding possibilities in a barren field of impossibilities. So even after he had disgested the detailed private investigators file that evening in his study concerning the life of the farmer who lived on the hill – he wasn’t in the least surprised that the farmer who lived on the hills had a past. Mr Big Bully realized the farmer who lived on the hill wasn’t nearly half the Mr Goody two shoes that he so often came across to others – the man may have had impeccable credentials, attended all the right universities. Worked in even all the bluest of the blue firms, aspired even to a high and respectable position as a salaried man – and now he had set his eyes on turning the wheel of life as a planter – he may have even carried himself well as a gentlemen planter in polite circles. But deep down Mr Big Bully had sensed that this man who had now been responsible for the sudden and unexpected return of his one and only love – his daughter – Chan Sim was none other than a man cut from the same cloth as himself – he had seen that same implacable hardness in the farmer’s eyes. Eyes that seemed almost to convey an indestructible willfulness that even scared him – eyes that the farmer who lived on the hill often hid behind dark glasses – neither was Mr Big Bully surprised when the local Tai Koh, had never seemed to fear anyone once mentioned in passing, “Ye kor yau, heih mor kom kan tan” – “this man is not a simple man. He has a past.” He had heard of how even the local Tong’s had since shied away from getting tangled up with the farmer even when he demanded them to harass him – as the farmer who lived on the hill had once walked into the local red dragon Tong just after his trees had been poisoned which doubled as a restaurant specializing in Peking Duck, had ordered a fish and placed a chopstick through the gills and told the waiter – ‘show this to the owner.” And how when the proprietor of the restaurant had seen this strange sight of a fish with a chopstick sticking out awkwardly from one its gills – the elders of the Red Dragon Tong had convened for tea that evening to discuss this strange turn of events – only for them to all agree that this man was certainly not a simple man. That they may even have been rash to dismiss as just another city boy who had decided fo turn the wheel of life in these parts naively without even the slightest inkling about what he’s getting in. As only a man who has walked and familiar with that other world where darkness ruled would have knowledge of the ancient language of the old country. The farmer who lived on the hill was a gangster. Not just any gangster but one who carried the bag for the venerable four houses – the man who all called, the benefactor. He may have left that life – closed that door even, walked away never looking back once, turned over even a new leaf – he may have sorrounded himself in an air of respectability and conviality – but nonetheless, the farmer who lived on the hill was a man who the Cantonese would rightly term, “Moh kom kan tan.” – “not so simple.” Such a man should never ever be taken lightly.

That day when Mr Big Bully had chanced on how his one and only love – his one pain and unalloyed joy – his only daughter had stood there like a love struck girl and ran her fingers through the farmer’s hair absentmindedly – Mr Big Bully the consummate master of compromises was prepared to even overlook all these indiscretions and much more concerning the man who lived on the hill – he was after all a merchant of convenience par excellence. A man who was even prepared to concede that the farmer who lived on the hill was indeed worthy to be his future son-in-law. Husband to his one and only love – Chan Sim.

After all, the farmer who lived on the hill had pulled off quite a remakeable and impossible feat. His one and only love Chan Sim was now home and she was even talking about settling down and that was all that really mattered to the one million hectare oil palm tycoon. With these thoughts Mr Big Bully sighed and said to himself,

“Now I just need to find out what my future son-in- law really wants for bringing me a slice of heaven…how much will it cost me…how much?….whatever the price, it would certainly we would worth the price.”

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“In a stout unassuming building somewhere in the endless labyrinth of Wanchai Hong Kong – a sixth generation Hon Kuen master recounts an ancient story to his pupils – this story involves a wandering master swordsman by the name of Kueh Ling who had perfected the whispering flute cut –  who after slaying his 1,000th adversary – had resigned to live a life of peace from there on after. He had vowed to turn his back on violence, blood and grief that had colored so many of his days and instead retreat into the cloistered life of monkhood to seek peace and unity with the forces of heaven and earth. So that day Kueh Ling traded his mythical sword for a fish – an assuming fish that a fisherman had brought to him. When the fisherman asked, why had such a great swordsman decided to turn his back on the world, when he could well earn a fortune working as a hired swordsman for any of the neighboring warlords in the district. Kueh Ling did not answer. Instead the legendary swordsman inserted one of his chopsticks through the gills of the fish. The fisherman did not understand what this meant. Neither did he dare to press for an answer.

For years the retired swordsman led an unassuming life as a monk.

Many years later when a wandering monk came across a bunch of brigands in a tea house assaulting the proprietor and the daughter – the monk intervened. At first he pleaded with the brigands. But to no avail. And when one of them finally raised his sword – the monk moved like lightning and drew a sword from one of the brigands and slew them all sixteen of them within seven paces.

When the proprietor saw this he exclaimed, “You are not a monk. You are a swordsman!” And Kueh Ling took a chopstick and inserted it through the gills of a fish and walked away. Just as the travelling monk disappeared over the knoll, the proprietor of the tea house recalled the faint story of a fisherman who had once brought a valuable sword to these parts many years ago – a sword he claimed which belonged to a great swordman who had renounced his life of violence by laying down his sword in exchange for a humble fish.” 

The Thoughts of Chan Sim when she chanced on Farmer digging a hole one hot afternoon

“Good. I’ve caught him by surprised. I have to know. I need to know. When he looks at me. I will know then. I will wait here, till he looks up at me. Then I shall know whether he is really the one….He can fake many things but he can’t fake the moment when he looks up and sees me – it will really be all in his eyes – I must know.”

The price of oil palm has begun to plummet. By the looks of it, it will probably be plunging down a bottomless pit. Despite the depressed prices. I was most pleasently surprised when I was still able to get a decent price from the oil mills. It seems Mr Big Bully might have spoken to the mill manager. The latter wasn’t too happy when he handed me a cheque as he could hardly hide that all too familiar expression, “what makes you so special that you get a higher price when others have to bear the full brunt of market forces.”

Neither did my lorries encounter any difficulties either during the harvest earlier in the day. As usually the adjoining estate which Mr Big Bully owned would make it a point to block the estate routes forcing me to take the longer route to the oil mills. Today for the very first time since I came over to these parts, Mr Big Bully’s estate manager seemed most accomodating to the point of embarrasing himself. He even suggested that if I didn’t have enough lorries to transport my oil bunches. He could loan me his fleet, free of charge. It seems Mr Big Bully might have spoken to him as well. As when he made that offer like the oil mill manager, he too found it impossibly hard to mask that questioning look, “what makes you so special that you get to access to our estate roads when others have to take the long road?”

Even the palm oil trader that I regularly deal with based in some cubicle in some skyscraper in Singapore seemed most accomodating. When he suddenly suggested that I should upgrade my trading account to “private,” which came with the obligatory waive all miscellaneous charges. When I asked why, the man on the otherside who usually spoke as if he was rattling off a reply from a laminated cue card even asked me to drop by over to the trading office for a spot of lunch when I next visited Singapore. Again it seems Mr Big Bully might have spoken to the palm oil commodities trader as well.

I didn’t take very long to figure out what might possibly account for my most unexpected change in fortune – the answer came in the form of Chan Sim (Mr Big Bully’s one and only love. His only daughter) who had decided to pay me a surprise visit. There I was working with the rest of the farm hands digging a giant hole in the ground. I had stripped right down to my underwear except for my belt which my revolver and parang slung from. It was after all hot as a furnace. And I was hell bent on finishing it off before sun down.

And there she was standing some distance away – Chan Sim – it’s hard to say how long she had stood there with her laced linen parasol, decked in a matching white dress and gloves. As its not unusual for me to lose myself whenever I am at work with my farmhands.

But as soon as our eyes met, I reckoned, Chan Sim must have been for a terribly long time. Long enough for her to realize that she had suddenly stumbled across a scene that she had probably never ever seen before in her life – a scene where a man works with his bare hands and revels in the honesty of sweat along with putting up as best he can with the aching pain that comes from muscles pushed to its limits. A scene that’s even hypnotic as it’s played out in a series of calming repetitions that involves a man shovelling dirt out of a hole – like one prayer bead slipping past another smoothly, till it reaches the very bead where it all began from – only to start all over again. A happy litany.

It would not be wrong for me to say that Chan Sim was embarrassed when I walked towards her in my naked sweaty state – as I approached her, she looked down abruptly to the left then to the right. And when she had runned out of places to hide her eyes from mine – her eyes locked on to mine. I realized in that one moment – she was at a lost. And as I looked on deeper beyond flesh, bone and into her mind. I could make out that I had somehow inadvertently invaded her hermetically sealed bubble – stepped right into that place even – overwhelmed her to the point where she was shaking like a leaf. Something had stirred in her. And now it had to simply work itself through her. Maybe it was the way the light had glinted off my sweaty body as I walked towards her that afternoon. Maybe I am just reading too much into it. It’s hard to say. But one thing is certain the daughter of Mr Big Bully had sensed my most primal thoughts when I first caught sight of her. In the briefest of moments. She had sensed that I wanted her. To be in her. She had seen that momentary weakness that afflicts 9 out of 10 men (and the one who denies it is a liar). She could see my desire. She knew I wanted to fuck her. To fuck her and split her in two halves if possible. It lasted only for one moment. A glint. a distant thunderclap. But she saw it. And that was all that mattered (as I shall explain later why).

When I came close. I was abrupt, slightly rude and even scolding in my tone, “this is no place for a woman…” Before I could complete my sentence – the only daughter of the one million hectare landowner stepped forward and ran her fingers through my hair with what I can only describe as a surreal air of complete detachment. It was as if she was in another world. Perhaps even saying good bye to all the memories of her past. One that was so very faraway. And in a whispering rush as if ushering a new dawn in her 41 years of age – the daughter of the million hectare landowner murmured ever so gently,

“You have dirt all over your hair.”

At that very moment from the corner of my eye – I caught sight of an ivory white landcruiser. Seated behind was Mr Big Bully and his one metric ton wife. They were both smiling ear to ear.

I realized then – I have to be more careful with my thoughts in future. I am after all playing a very dangerous game. A very dangerous game indeed.

Gentlemen let me dive in – land is expensive. And it’s likely to get more expensive as time goes by. Flat land especially commands the highest price as its the gold standard for planting oil palm. Hilly terrain on the otherhand is usually frowned upon and considered it’s poorer cousin. As yield from flat land out strips hilly land by a ratio of 3:1. With climate shift I can only forsee that we may even have to branch out into irrigation services – I ain’t kidding!

I have read many field reports and academic papers concerning the disadvantages of growing oil palm in hilly terrain. I disagree with many of these findings. I happen to think most of what is written is dated circa 1800’s. As in almost every single case hardly anyone has conducted any studies on irrigating oil palm on hilly terrain using modern irrigation methods e.g drip irrigation. 

My goal for this season is simple, to develop cheap and practical methods to increase yield on hilly terrain by irrigating palms – this I feel is key. As since hilly lands is significantly cheaper than flat lands – if it is possible to do this in a cost effective manner. Then this is where we should go in the near term.

This should be the medium term strategy for this season, especially in Africa and South America, where irrigation of palms on hilly terrain is unheard of. The rough outline of the strategy is as follows. Buy cheap hilly terrain that no one wants. Use technology to improve yield and this would definitely be able to generate a good return on investment without having to stick our necks out too far – we should all buy up as many hilly lands as possible. What others don’t want or see as worthless. We should pick up at fire sale prices. As with high tech computer controlled irrigation methods, I do not see any compelling reason why hilly lands cannot be as productive as flat lands. If the Isrealis can grow Jaffa oranges in the Sinai. I see no reason why oil palm cannot grow on even hills and mountains. Besides since no one wants to plant on hilly terrain. This should be one compelling reason why this is where we should go. IMHO it makes perfect business sense to buy into something that no one currently wants.

As once the technology we develop to grow oil palm on hilly terrain becomes commercially avaliable – and the methods are widely used and considered proven. I expect that the price of hilly lands will shoot up by at least 100%. When this is factored into the plantation appreciation cost – this makes perfect commercial sense. This is opportunity gentlemen. We must strike when the iron is hot. All our boats must sail in the same direction.

Darkness 2012

Pls also take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59qg9yuMiYQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qymPcV4keFs&feature=related

What is the mystery Lawrence? You mean, you still can’t figure it out? Let me make it very simple for you to connect the dots. Listen up! In an age of perpetual hype and spin, authenticity sells. Phoniness on the other hand just turns people off and provokes them to tune out of the conversation.

It is really as simple as that. Why don’t you run along and pass the message upstairs – tell them all to just cultivate the art of being comfortable in their own skin. Instead of trying to engineer consent like the Truman show and not try be someone that they’re obviously not? Besides who are they trying to fool?

Start there and the rest should take care of itself very nicely. But NEVER try to shift the blame to others just because you and your motley crew can’t seem to get up to speed on how to crack the Da Vinci code to prosper online by being real and authentic. That’s just plain rude and insulting.

Like I said, it’s as simple as that. Anyone who wants to make it more complicated than what it already is – simply doesn’t know how to have a real conversation. Or for that matter sell tractors to a farmer who simply cant bear a whinner spouting happy sounding bullshit. Please try to take this constructively. As I mean. I do. Believe me.

Darkness 2012

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“Read this very slowly. Don’t speed read. When I first began writing sappy toe curling love stories to save up money to buy land many years ago – I made it a point to make as little spelling and grammatical mistakes as possible. I refrained from using “too,” when I should rightly use “to.” You know that sort of thing. And one reason why I did all this was because that’s the way I have always thought about books in general. They’re all well sentenced, paragraphed and typefaced. Added to that when I first started writing love stories online. I wasn’t really confident with wordsmithing. What you need to understand is writing doesn’t come naturally to me. As deep down, I am a technical sort of man. I am good with numbers and I have a way with tools. That’s just me. But despite my best efforts at scripting perfect sentences, paragraphs and chapters. I noticed that all it did was corset my style. So naturally no one was really interested to read what I regularly churned out – the plot came out trite – the characters card boardish and scenery two dimensional. Something was missing – a certain je ne ce quoi, maybe depth or perhaps even style. Or the lack of it. In short, the crowd simply weren’t interested.

One day I just decided to write off the cuff, spelling and grammar mistakes galore. It didn’t matter to me. Not in the least. You could even say all  I was just really focussed on was getting the story out in the way a man empties his bladder. In one continuous stream with no breaks – that was when the characters in my novels acquired a reality than went beyond merely flesh, bone and muscle – they had soul.

Within a very short period of time. My readership shot up by nearly 10,000%. I had chapters opening up all over the world. And one reason was because many of those readers began to see my work as something that wasn’t really in the commercial genre – they couldn’t quite figure out where this peculiar work should fit in the larger scheme of things. It was really so odd that it couldn’t even be pigeon holed. Defined. Or even categorized. As what you have to bear in mind is e-novellas was still a relatively new genre at that time. It hadn’t really existed till then. And my work was really a prototypal experiment of sorts. Something that resembled a man writing one chapter everyday in a deserted island, snuffing it into a bottle and just throwing it out into the digital sea of infinity. But one thing can never be discounted. My writing improved. I developed my own style. I was comfortable with it in the way I am comfortable when I look at tabula data and numbers. Everyday thousands of secretaries, middle managers, policemen, high class call girls would log in and read about the adventures of the Singaporean gangster in London. Since then I have written over 36 e- books. I churned them out like Toyota motors.

But something strange happened. Since what I wrote was true to me in every sense but with really terrible grammar, spelling along with probably inverting the English language on its head. Many of my readers began to rework the stories I once wrote. This was possible as icered.com was an open platform. Some even took ownership of certain chapters to the point where they no longer even considered me as the author. Can you imagine. I, the author was baned from a thread that has set up to debate about the vapid life of Jeannie Yu and her torrid affair with the Singaporean gangster in London! The temerity. The barbed repartee. The effrontery. I remember this was slightly disconcerting at first. As its only natural for one to be possesive about one’s work. But when I began to reflect on this deeply – I realized a shift might have occured. One where the power to narrate has shifted imperceptibly from the author to reader. That’s to say reading is no longer just a passive exercise where one just vicariously experiences the intrigues of the plot.

Instead it had been inadvertently transformed into a dynamic and living thing, where the reader actually believes, he has both the right and power to take ownership of the narrative. If they didn’t believe the femme fatale should be wearing a red cheong sam as it was considered too kitsch. They just changed it. That sort of thing. So in essence when you speak about many of my e-book love stories – my work has ceased to be mine in the true sense of the word. And was instead a tabula rasa, very much like one of those blank walls where you will find alot of people scribbling all kinds of stuff on it. That to me, has to be a very exciting thing. A precious thing. As it’s not easy to get people involved in anything these days. They have grown so jaded and it’s hard to get them excited these days. Harder still these days is to build up enthuiasm in a community of readers for them to make that commitment to be not only passive readers but also stakeholders in the story. But the strange thing is when people believe (whether real or imagined is not important) they have every right to shape the speed, cadence and trajectory of the narrative. Then a sort of magic occurs. Something significant stirs. And soon its not whether you control it. But whether it will eventually control you. It’s like detonating a nuclear bomb. That’s especially true when one is writing for the thinking crowd versus the Xiaxue and Wayang Party readership cachet. Thinking folk need to be stimulated. They need food to feed their minds. And they never ever form a good opinion about those who bring them pain.

When that happens, the most difficult and wisest thing for an author to do is to simply take a back seat and watch it all go by like a speeding train. This I readily admit is easier said than done. I can recall vividly feeling an acute sense of being appropriated when all this happened – as what you need to understand is this was really my work. It may have been a mangled opus. But nonetheless, it was truly mine. That was how I saw it. And so I hated these people. I remember, even told Tim the owner of ice red.com. I was pulling out.

Tim even flew down to Singapore to persuade me to stay. As by then my love soap opera series had gone viral. One night I reflected honestly and truthfully. Then it came to me, it really had more to do with my super inflated ego cum inferiority complex than anything else. And that’s really the truth. Once I figured that part out, it was much easier to let go and just enjoy the whole experience. So this is something that is incredibly edifying – its really the moment when a man learns for the first time to be comfortable in his own skin.

Many of you who are young who may be reading this. Especially the guildsmen from the Interspacing Guild can relate to what I am saying – and I think that many bloggers can relate to this sort of positive feedback whenever they take the time and effort to wordsmith a really killer essay. This is where I feel the PAP has been slow on the up take in investing in the real and authentic. Instead what they have really done is outsource the whole idea of how to look better to some PR firm. And what we are really seeing today is a polyglot of contradictions that simply boils down to an outfit that seems to embody the form without the right content. That is why is you look very carefully at their modus operandi, it really only boils down to throwing canon balls out of a boat to move forward – they’re using so much energy, but they’re really getting a lousy return on their energy. As they haven’t really learnt the art of leveraging on the power of real and using it to good effect. That is no good. As our Northern cousins will say, “tak boleh pakai lah,” No bloody good at all.

At this point, it’s worth mentioning that if you attend one of the many read clubs (Mr dearly unfortunate) from Korean, Malaysia to Hong Kong or anywhere else in the world, where people from all walks of life come together together to discuss, splice, analyze, compare, contrast my e-novella’s in some wine bar – one of the funniest things that you will notice is no one really bothers to ask me why I wrote that chapter this or that way. They probably think, this guy can’t write for nuts – why the hell should we even ask that hack! He can’t even string a proper sentence without mangling his verbs and adjectives. So they probably reckon, he is making up the story as he writes. But most importantly, ALL of them in one way or another has bought lock, stock and barrel into the notion: We just need to help this hack write. Otherwise he will just end up making a bloody fool of himself. When that happens. Unbeknown to them, they have already made a commitment to be part of the story – it’s really something that they can truly call their own. As for me, I have no illusions. I am simply there for the ride. Probably the least important person in the room.

And that is really how it should be when a conversation has taken off in earnest. And anyone who tells you different just hasn’t learnt the art of being perfectly comfortable with in their skin. Authenticity is hard to pin down. If I was pressed to define it, then I will probably find it in one Japanese word, wabi-sabi – the idea that perfection resides in imperfection – that may at first sound like a contradiction in terms. But when you look at it from a practised eye – that is really how it is in nature. Nature isn’t neat and rowed. It’s messy. Scruffy. The stuff of  seasoned leather, the scruff of regular and frequent use, five o’clock stubble on a man, rolled up sleeves, bush jacket, well worn boots that sort of thing. That if you must know is why even today I still incorporate many spelling and grammatical mistakes in whatever I churn out.

I think if politicians just learn to write with a few spelling or grammatical mistakes in eithertheir facebook or blog entries – they will slowly get a feel about what I am talking about. They will find that their responses will have that special human touch. Instead of just coming across as contrived, deliberate and metallic.

To me it’s never a good idea to use words such as ‘calibrate’ – that is something that I would use for setting machines for crop spraying or truing my shot gun – it’s not a parlance that I would normally use in an ordinary sense – as I would prefer ‘manage’. But I guess in the age of perpetual hype and spin to say that something can be better calibrated sounds better than mismanaged. My point is to people who know words beyond the dictionary meaning that sort of officialdom speak just smacks of phoniness. It does add as much as subtract.

I guess if politicians are going to use bad grammar and spelling that itself may stirr up its own set of problems – as many will be wondering how is it possible for someone at their level to make a typo. But the way I see it, the pay outs far outweight the penalties. Asthey wouldnt have so much problems as coming across as human and even fallible.

And that is really the skeleton key that opens up the door to creating the ambience of authenticity – being human that is. Or shall we just say, being really comfortable in your own skin. Instead of trying to pretend that you’re superman and the sun comes right out of your ass. I mean in this day and age. You just have to ask yourself – whose going to buy that clap trap?”

It didn’t take very long for the news to go around that the only daughter of the oil palm baron Mr Big Bully was smitten by the farmer who lives on the hill. 

So smitten in fact, that she had even intimated to her friends that from hence forth she had decided to give up her wayward life of jet setting with her retinue of hanger on’s – which Mr Big Bully once sardonically described to his wife as, “a life of utter dissipation filled with flies.”

And now that Mr Big Bully’s one and only love and many a times heartbreak had suddenly and unexpectedly returned home to occupy her bedroom – which happened to be in an annex of Mr Big Bully’s private island. The mythical wheel of Mr Big Bully’s life was finally complete. Whole. It had all come full circle. 

Mrs Big Bully was euphoric. She gave thanks to providence. She gave thanks to Kuan Yin. And rumor has it she even donated two oversized cranes to the local temple in the hope that her daughter would be blessed with LOVE….and dare we say marriage… in this apparently cinematic story of how the lost is found. There is always an AND isn’t there? Or shall I say a BUT. And in this case it came in the form of a very skeptical Mr Big Bully who began asking himself. As he watched all this with a mix of disbelief and elation. What could possibly account for the sudden uncharacteristic change of heart of his one and only love?

It started slowly. Gradually. Somewhere between his fifth or sixth glass of brandy. Well that’s at least how I imagined it. He’s all alone in his Kitsch imitation Roman empire with mahogany wood paneled study. He’s putting all the pieces together. Slowly. Painfully. Then the lines that were once invisible began to straighten out like a rope emerging from the sands. Only just the other day when he had gone over to what he considered to be that measly veggie patch plantation to see the farmer on the hill to threaten to force him to join his cartel.

He remembered the conversation in the courtyard. The farmer had told him things about his daughter – things only someone would take an interest in, if they wanted to harm him. At first Mr Big Bully had regarded it as a veiled threat. 

Mr Big Bully had good cause to regard it as such. He had checked up on the farmer’s past. Found out things – things that didn’t fit too well. Such as one incident just after he had arranged for some of the farmers trees to be poisoned. The farmer did not report the matter to the police – this Mr Big Bully considered highly unusual. Those city types who turn to farming always trust the law. That is all they ever do in Singapore. This one didn’t. This one pretended it was another day in paradise. Smiled at him even whenever they paths crossed paths in the Planters club. This one he thought to himself knows how to fight in a back alley with a switch blade.

The answer came unexpectedly when Mr Big Bully’s local two bit gangsters who were responsible for the dastardly act came to him one day and whispered to Mr Big Bully ears – “ye kau yauh mo kom kan tan.” – this man is not so simple it seems.

Now that his one and only love had suddenly returned back from her whirlwind to everywhere and nowhere to roost back home – which was precisely 20 minutes from the farmer’s lands. It all made sense. 

But Big Bully didn’t get where he is in life by just connecting the obvious dots. He knew through the painful school of hard knocks – it always pays to hedge your bets. That night Mr Big Bully made a call to London. He wanted to know what farmer and his daughter were up to six months ago in London. He wanted to know everything. The bills, credit cards, accounts. Calls received. SMS’s. Everything right down to the day, hour, minute and second. 

Above all he wanted to know who he could blame in his one million hectare plantation that had become the name and face of civilization for so many. For now telling him that farmer on the hill may already be humping his one and only love, his one and only joy, his one and only daughter….unmarried daughter.

And if things don’t check out…..one very dead farmer on the hill it shall be. With those thoughts Mr Big Bully felt he had enough to drink. Tomorrow the truth will be revealed…..

Darkness 2012

Yesterday a helicopter swept low over my lands and landed in the adjoining plantation to the North very early in the morning. Within the hour, a ivory white landcruiser pulled up to my estate villa and a Sikh driver handed a hand written note on a piece of creamy scented paper – apparently the only daughter of the Palm oil baron (Mr Big Bully) had flown in and would like to pay me a visit for a spot of tea.

Naturally, I made hasty preparations. Along with changing from my field attire to my formal Khaki bush jacket.(I have found it strategic to project an older image)

Since I gathered this was her first visit ever to ANY plantation (which is strange, considering the family owns so much lands). I instructed my farm hands to set up a pristine white tent complete with air-con, rattan chairs and linen table cloth in the field, where we could have tea and muffins in comfort during her tour of my plantation.

The daughter of the oil baron is not a young girl. Not at all. She is in her early forties. This is not the first time we have met – I have met her before six months ago in the streets in London. It was made to look like an accident. She thinks its destiny. But I know better.

From what I have been able to gather from our conversations – she seems to be perpetually whiling her time with the arty farty jet setting crowd in either London or Paris. She speaks a variety of languages and is especially fond of art. She carries herself like an aristocrat and has an equestrian quality about her gait. I recognize it for what it is – the quiet confidence that can only come from old money – that I suspect may also have something to do with her education in the moment of her youth in privileged boarding schools in the rolling hills in England. Based on my interaction with her – she reckons herself to be an artist of sorts. However, what I do know for certain is, she is a woman who is searching for something. I can tell from her eyes. They appear willful, yet when I look at her. They turn away demurely. To a man who does not know the way of world. This can easily be taken for shyness. But I know she’s holding back. There enough for me to make out that there’s a lingering sadness in her eyes. Or maybe I am just reading too much intit this. So I must be gentle and draw her out in the way an experienced sea hand lets out rope when the line suddenly strings taut. This I did throughout the entire tour. The tension must be just be right. Too tight and it will snap. Too loose and she might break free. It has to be just right.

The tour proceeded smoothly. The daughter of the oil baron was appropriately attired in a chic ladies bush jacket complete with flared ridding breeches and ankle high mirror polished boots.

During her tour. We spoke about a variety of things. Mostly about what interest her most. She is the talkative sort. Yet there is a part that she’s holding back. Perhaps it’s the rumors she has heard about me that accounts for her reservations. So during the entire tour. I encouraged her to talk most of the time. Trying my very best to put her at ease. I listened attentively to study her motives further. By sun set. I came to the irrevocable conclusion – this woman did not have any ulterior motives whatsoever for this most unexpected of visits. It was clear to me she came here on her own accord. Then again I couldn’t help, but ask myself…..

What is her motivation? What is her goal? What is searching for?

When darkness finally descended on the estate. I suggested that she should refresh herself in my villa. She paused, bit her lip. But since I was most insistent. The lady relented. I had prepared my personal chambers complete with the finest toiletries to make her as comfortable as possible. After a delightful dinner in my villa which I cooked myself. The daughter of the oil palm baron thanked me. Before leaving. She mentioned in passing that she will be returning back for good and she hopes to see more of me from now onwards. I smiled.

We live in interesting times, it seems.

Darkness 2012
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“As a farmer. I cannot just hide in my own world within the walls of my plantation. I have to be mindful of what is happening all around me. You see there are threats and dangers lurking all over the place. Put your hand flat on the table with the fingers spread opened, that is the footprint of the largest landowner in this region – in the space between the thumb and the index finger is where my lands are. If this hand so much as flinches or moves even a bit. Then my interest may be compromised. It is very clear to me, the landowner is a bully who has grown accustomed to having his way most of the time – so I expect that he will make his move very soon to try to edge me out or to join his cartel.

I must move like lightning and blunt his designs. First I will surgically cut off the thumb and fingers by engineering the right conditions to buy up these adjoining lots. This will allow me to create a defensive line from which I can launch an attack to move deeper and cut off the fingers of this giant hand – this entire hand will be eaten away by gangrene. It will be a slow and gradual process – but ONLY if the plan is well executed like a professional bank heist. But to accomplish this implausible feat. I need the daughter of the oil baron to be on my side – only then can I fashion her as a bargaining chip to negotiate with the big bully – with her by my side. Her father will hesitate. That is all I need. One momentary period of hesitation to launch a decisive all out strike. I must walk into her heart within seven paces. I must fashion myself into the mythical lover and earn her love and respect. As she is the skeleton key that will open the gates to this city of dreams – without her, it is only a matter of time before I will be overwhelmed or worst still marginalized. There is so much that I have to do within such a short period of time.

This is war! There is nothing moral about my designs – I wished, I could tell you all that I can somehow manage to reconcile what I am about to do with my beliefs. But I will not even try to defend the indefensible. What I am about to embark on is dastardly and even repulsive. But what choice do I really have? What is a man supposed to do when war comes knocking on his door? All I can really do is work with what I have. And this is really all there is to it. You have every right to despise me. Hate me even. But you do not have any right to pass judgement over me! As when a man knows what needs to be done. Then all else becomes secondary to that one goal. Everything else is obliterated to serve this one goal. This is war!

There is really only one thing to do. Do you see how complicated my life is? And to imagine once upon a time, not so very long ago. All I really wanted to do was to mind my own business and plant row after row of palms. How childish that seems now. How utterly childish.”

Somewhere along a pavement just outside St Martin’s Art College in Convent Garden, London six months ago.

“I recognize you. I know who you are. My father….he  warned me about you.”

“Did he? How fortunate for you young lady.”

“You are the new gentlemen planter who lives on top of the hill. The one all the villagers call the devil. My father says you’re eyeing our lands. He says you’re evil as you have bought the others out.”

“Tell me young lady, do you really want to stand here in the middle of the pavement and talk about leperchauns and blood sucking monsters? Surely, you prefer to sit down over a cup of coffee and really find out whether I am the devil, as what they all say.”

“Give me one good reason why Mr Devil.”

“Maybe. Just maybe, after a cup of coffee you will see the world slightly differently…come my love…..let us walk together. Please..it is after all courtesy. I have after all travelled half way across the world just for this cup of coffee.”

 

Thoughts of a woman two minutes after encountering a man she noticed staring at her across the pavement in Convent Garden. London. .

The woman did not know. She had no idea. How could she possibly know. She realized. If I walk away from this stranger. I will never know. I may keep my pride. But really what’s the point of keeping something that is less than what I really desire, L-O-V-E.

I just want to LOVE and be LOVED. 

No! I am not going to do something as silly as walk away and pretend that I am somehow shocked by how rude he is to stare at me. 

No man has ever looked at me like that before.

What does he see I wonder. I must know. I must ask him. He will come to me. He must. This is destiny.

This morning a group of oil palm barons invited me for breakfast in a nearby estate. They made their point clear that I should join them to form a cartel. I have been stalling this group for months. As I do not believe in what they are trying to do. I do not believe in their goals. Neither do I consider their methods sound. But sometimes to say ‘No’ is very difficult in business. Especially when the other side has already invested so much in their position.

This group is led by a bully. From what little I have been able to make out – he has a habit of threatening his competitors into submission. His credo seems to be, ‘join me or perish.’ So when I declined their offer politely to join their cartel. This man became enraged, slammed the table, stood up and accused me of trying to undermine their interest. He went on to threaten me in a variety of ways – and so I feigned a sense of what I can only describe as resignation. When the bully saw this. He was happiest and turned to the rest of colleagues and said, “you see, I knew he would come to his senses. He just needs a bit of encouragement.”

After breakfast when the rest of the men adjourned to the courtyard of the sprawling estate bungalow for cigarettes and coffee. I took this bully by the arm gently and both of us sat beneath a majestic palm. In a whispering hush, I asked him how his daughter was getting along in her studies in London. The bully told me that his daughter is now considering taking up fashion design instead of continuing her degree course in business administration. This he mentioned was a source of anxiety for his wife. As it seems the daughter is very fickle minded – I nodded knowingly. And when a pause ensued during our conversation. I suggested that maybe that wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Besides she stays in Swiss Cottage and that is really quite a Bohemian part of London. So it is only natural that she’s influenced by the arty and farty crowd. The bully went on to recount, that he was very concerned about his daughter. As she had now hitched up with an English boy. This he said, “…would only confuse her even more.”

When this man turned to me. I sighed and after a while I recounted to him – maybe it was not such a bad thing after all. I even intimated to him that the last man his daughter was going out with was after a good for nothing playboy who could only break her heart. At least this ang moh boy seems level headed enough. His father had been only a shop steward in a steel plant in Manchester. As for the ang moh boy. He seemed to be the no nonsense type. Perhaps he will be a good influence on his daughter. I capped it off by mentioning that perhaps his wife should not worry unnecessarily – as I see only good prospects for his daughters future. The man nodded as if lost in his own thoughts. Then suddenly it hit him. He did not ask me, “how do you know these things about my daughter who is studying so far away in London?”. He need not have too. I could tell. I can always tell – for a brief period fear flashed through the bully’s face like a meteorite tracing across the night skies. It lasted only a while. And soon he recovered. Or at least, he tried to give the impression of doing so – what else is a man or for that matter any man supposed to do?

You could even say certain things in life do not require much words. When the barons prepared to leave – the bully turned to me and said in an uncharacteristic low and pleading voice. “Please forgive me for my harsh words. I really have to apologize, as I don’t know what came over me. I think whatever you choose to do. We would simply have to respect your decision. And if you happen to go to London for business please do take the trouble to drop by and met up with my daughter to see that all is well with her.” I nodded in silent agreement.

As their landcruisers peeled off one by one – I looked up at the grey godless sky – I realized at that very moment, it was impossible for me to ever turn a new leaf. I was sad. Words can never express how sad I felt then. As all I ever wanted was to plant row after row of palms. I have never disturbed anyone before. All I ever wanted in life is to be a good and decent man. But even that is so impossibly hard and difficult it seems. So impossibly hard…so very fucking hard.

Darkness 2012

————————————————————————–

Jeannie Lam was 21 and though she was the only child of the Lam’s, she seemed no closer to her parents than any of the 85 workers who worked in the Mr Lam’s real estate empire.

Unlike her parents who came from the slums of Hong Kong and arrived in London during the 1950’s penniless with nothing except their straw hats and worked day and night to finally succeed in building a successful business.

Jeannie had never known this harsh side of life, instead her days as a young girl were spent running carefree in well manicured lawns in the prestigious all girls school in Malvern far away from the stench and grime of China town. Where for over 500 years English girls were trained to be prim and proper ladies – who could always be counted on to sip and not drink their tea or for that matter nibble and not chew on their crumpets.

Her parents seemed determined to mould her into the same image of the people who they had once served, respected and feared; their colonial master’s – the British upper class. However, despite their best efforts all they really managed to produce was a banana – Yes Jeannie was a 5 foot 7 inch tall banana – she was yellow skinned outside, but she was all white inside – right down to her clipped upper class English accent, Laura Ashley clothes complete with a matching Burberry handbag and an amorg* boyfriend. (* Caucasian)

I can’t say I blamed her for her choice of men, after all, even in China town she very much like a fish out of water and no self respecting Chinese man would dare to approach such an independent woman who hardly behaved like a Chinese woman – so it must have come as a great relief to the Lam’s when I propositioned them for the hand of their only child.

Naturally, everyone in Chinatown and even the Lam’s imagined that I wanted her hand because of money, but as the saying goes, “you scratch my back and I scratch yours” and fortunately Jeannie was a gigantic itch that needed much scratching and the Lam’s like the rest of the 1.8 billion Chinese belonged to– the most practical race in human history.

I moved like lightning and by the end of the week – Jeannie had all but forgotten the name of her English boy friend – and she would often be seen by my side dreamy eyed with her head often resting on my shoulder – I wish I could say more but really it was simply that uneventful, had there been a duel between me and this English boy, it would have made a better story, but there wasn’t and I cannot pretend to tell you otherwise.

One day, I simply appeared after her afternoon lectures in King’s college in my expensive Italian suit and slicked back hair. When her eyes caught mine in the crowd, she looked for a moment like someone who felt something stir inside her.

She wasn’t sure what it was, but the impression it had on her was profound. Jeannie Yu was like a moth being drawn to the naked flame of a candle. Every moment would draw her deeper and deeper into the depths of my fiery eyes – heightening her awareness, she was not simply any woman, but the only woman a man such as myself was content to look upon for the rest of all eternity.

In a while, her eyes came to rest on mine and she became quite still, like a lotus on a calm pond. The slight quivering of her lips as they began to part like the moist petals of a lotus after the rains – her eyes watery reflecting fascination and fear like a ripple in moonlit waters gave the impression of woman who was falling uncontrollably in love.

Yet I continued starring oblivious of even time, space or even the English boy at her side who must have said something like “are you coming?” Even then she hardly heard or even cared to look his way.

In a while, this English boy disappeared with the rest of the crowd, leaving only both of us standing by the steps and four body guards standing some distance away. Yet even then, I did not speak and just at the moment when she came to her senses and would be expected to turn away or say something like, “why do you look at me in this way, do you not know it is rude”. Her hands fidgeted with her necklace nervously and just when her eyes tore away and she felt the first wave of embarrassment brushing her flushed red cheeks for having allowed herself to behave in this matter before a stranger.

I moved in with the spirit of a man who was about to pluck a fruit just when it had reached it’s sweetest moment – Jeannie Yu never had a chance, it was love at first sight.

That evening in Chinatown, the body guards recounted this story to the elders one by one whispering to their masters – though they had been sent by the elders to make sure I did not violate the honor of this young girl and to keep to all the covenants of courtship. They served as the eyes and ears of the elders. Throughout the evening these old men would be seen smiling and laughing amongst themselves after hearing about the incident on the steps – one of them would latter turn to the old man and whispered mischievously,

“We are living in interesting times, are we not my friend?”

Darkness 2002

This has been extracted from the e-book series – A Singaporean Gangster in London – The Brotherhood Press.

Exactly one year ago. My Alsation puppy Milo was severely mauled by a giant monitor lizard in my estate. Considering the seriousness of his wounds, the vet suggested that I put him down. Instead, I drove Milo to Telugu estate which is owned by my good buddy Prof Chee. Prof Chee stays in Tanah Merah very close to where I reside in Singapore. We have been good friends for years long before I decided to venture into commercial oil palm farming. He also happens to be an avid dog breeder so I knew that Milo would be in good hands – last night while passing through Telugu Estate, I dropped by at the Chee’s late in the evening. I was surprised that Mrs Chee was there too. As usually she rarely comes over from Singapore to Telugu Estate.

At the outer parameter gates of the estate bungalow, I called out Milo’s name in darkness and a mid sized Alsation came forward. I knew instinctively, it was my Milo – he could still remember many of the silent hand commands that I had once taught him as a puppy to buddy me when we hunt in ultra silent combat mode. 

The funny thing about dogs is they are alot like women – they never ever forget the good times. Never. The bond between master and animal is the same; it’s rooted in a mixture of sweet memories and nononsense LOVE that fills every cell in your body – a relationship based on a complete understanding of duty, devotion and trust. It is the same when a relationship between a man and a woman is built right the first time. Once QUALITY is built in, it can last forever – like the dog who sees his master as the wise two legged dog. When a woman knows that the man who she married can always keep his dick in his trousers and honor their covenant till he breathes his last – that woman will always protect her man; he doesn’t even have to be there; it’s automatic – in short, it is virtually impossible to separate them or even attempt to divide them without at least getting a decent mauling. Only someone with suicidal tendencies will try to get between a well trained guard dog and his master. Suicide.

The Chee’s being consumate epicurist treated me to a delightful supper. I especially enjoyed Mrs Chee famous Tau You Bak – I for my part brought along one of my best cellared wines to grace the table. And when Mrs Chee retired. Both of us sat in the verandah and polished off half a quart of Prof’s finest double malt aged whiskey as we talked through into the early morn.

Since it was already late. The Chee’s suggested that I stay overnight. In the morning after a hearty farmer’s breakfast Prof Chee asked me whether I would like to take Milo with me – his voice sounded strained and I knew instinctively that Milo had stepped into his heart. So I suggested that Milo should stay. After all, Milo is well settled here and he seems to get along perfectly with the rest of the pack. Besides Prof Chee tells me, he expects Milo to be the pack leader when he grows to full size in six months times. It makes no sense at all to be selfish about the matter.

As I prepared to leave Telugu Estate. Milo barked at me with one raised paw. As a puppy, this was his way of expressing that he wanted to sit beside me in the landcruiser. I ignored him. As this is the way one must break. Cleanly. Cruelly. Never looking at him even once. When I drove past the gates, Milo ran beside the Landcruiser and as I passed the last gate – he stopped. I stopped. I flashed a look at the rear view mirror and there he was barking with a raised paw. And as I drove on full speed across the laterite roads Milo eventually disappeared completely from sight and the ocean of green flooded over.

The moral of the story is you love someone – then it is very easy to put them first and to do the right thing to ensure their well being and happiness – in this case, the right thing to do is to let them go even if it hurts and never ever look back. Never.

Good bye Milo

Darkness 2012

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“If you tell a woman in Singapore that you are as lovable as my trusted Alsatian. She will probably slap or try to poison you. But if this same woman spends time with you in your plantation. And if she follows you around with your trusted Alsatian – something will begin to stir in her. She will begin to shed all her assumptions that the world has forced fed her with the idea = that comparing a dog with a woman is somehow demeaning and derogatory. By the second day, she will make out that both farmer and dog are actually one – 1+1= 5 or maybe a 10 = when they hunt, each knows their role so well. Where one is weak the other will take up the slack. Where one is strong, the other covers the blindside. They never seem to get tangled up – its as if, they are two sides of the same coin. One unit. At first this woman will begin to confuse this as love. But as the days go by what she will begin to realize, there is a deep bond that simply goes beyond love. There is much much more to this mystery – at times she will see that farmer is hard on the dog. At other times he is firm. There is tenderness, but only for brief moments. By probably the fifth day, this woman would probably realize that there is something that she cannot fathom about this relationship between farmer and dog. But have no doubts, by the fifth day, even she would like nothing else but to be a dog beside the farmer. As this is how mother nature intended it. Women must always submit to men. And in return men take care of them. If women find this arbitrary then one can only conclude they are in the company of lesser men who they would do well never to follow. This is where love itself has to be practical – but before that is possible the man himself needs to be better in the areas where the woman is weak – if she poor is judging people, then be her eyes and ears. Advise her in the way you would train an assassin – don’t waste your time whisper sweet nothings into her ear. Plant a seed in her head, have you ever thought of taking over your bosses job? Don’t spend your time going to malls like rats looking for stimulation in a maze. Really talk to her – share with her the art of war. Ask her questions like how do you fear most in the office? Along with why? And fashion her to be a perfect imitation of her nemesis. As one day when you have successfully done all this and this woman now stands looking at you from the top of the mountain – when you call her name, she will come running to you.

As she knows that to complete her existence as a part of the human species – she needs you, her master to teach her the mysteries of the world.

When this woman’s mind has been opened to this new experiences. She can only awaken and play the role that nature intended for her – its really like a hand fitting a glove. And when you say to her then – you are as lovable as my trusted Alsation. She will probably want to be nothing except your dog.

So ladies please do not sent me death threats or say that you want to boycott whatever I write. I do not mean any disrespect at all. On the contrary, when I say this, its one of the highest compliments I can bestow on a woman.

However if I say that you are as lovable as a green frog who loves to fib – then that is really another matter that probably involves firearms and farmer standard issued buckshot.

So please ladies of the Siglap club for the very last time. There is really no need for me to issue an apology on this post – please ladies do not get your knickers crossed over a misunderstanding.”

“Young Singaporeans entering the workforce today will have accumulated enough savings in their Central Provident Fund (CPF) when they retire to see them through their golden years.
This was one of the key findings from a Ministry of Manpower-commissioned study, revealed Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday….”

As a farmer. I am always mindful of the capricious nature of markets especially when it comes to long term projections. Last year this time. I was literally earning double due to favorable commodity prices for CPO (Crude Palm oil). During that period many eminently qualified economist and futurist predicted that things can only get better for oil palm growers. I was skeptical. You could even say that’s my nature. As when you really boil it down to the crux – many of these so called experts are really just commodity traders sitting in some air conditioned cubicle in some skyscraper thousand of miles away far removed from what’s happening on the ground – how could they be so cock sure? To cut a long story short I prepared for the very worst even in the best of times by diversifying aggressively into other sectors and even buying up large blocks of futures to hedge my bets. And I am glad I did so. Now that the market has turned sour. This would be a good opportunity to buy out more land. As for those foolish farmers who bought lock, stock and barrel into those rosy prediction that the party will never end. Many have over extended and its likely they would be forced to sell part of their estates just to tie them through this period of uncertainty. That just goes to show you how even the best predictions can be so easily outdone by the vagaries of the market. It’s also an instructive lesson on why we should NEVER just believe those who make happy predictions without interrogating their assumptions exhaustively.

I really don’t want to come across as rude or offensive. But it can be difficult at times to remain polite – especially when one is presented with the question: how is it even possible for anyone to predict whether your kids will have enough to retire somewhere down the distant future in an age that is so uncertain? We are talking about one whole generation ahead of us! An entire lifetime! Perhaps maybe 50 years down the road. How is that even possible? I really don’t understand. Has Philip Yeo and his guppies hit pay dirt and successfully cloned Nostradamus? What about economic shifts? inflation? Ever heard of folk being in-between jobs as a result of firms downsizing? Tell me how many of you even know of any middle class families in Singapore who have never had to deal with retrenchment, global shifts, cut throat competition from foreign professionals. No thanks to the happy go lucky unmitigated immigration policy of the PAP. What about the rising cost of living? Spikes in commodities? Economic meltdowns? The bad habit of the PAP to always pass the cost to the user whether he likes it or not? The effects of economic contagion? Most important WHAT Quality of life is Tharman’s assumption based on? – will our kids be just existing hand to mouth shackled to a 12 hour job after 55. Or will they be able to retire with pride and dignity?

As for me I find Tharman’s claim impossibly hard to believe given that many in the middle class have seen their lives literally eroded as the result of diminishing job opportunities due to fierce competition from migrant workers – the helium price of HDBs and cars etc. And all this has occurred within less than a span of ten years! To the extent where Tharman himself even obliquely conceded that PAP’s policy of leaving everything to market forces may well have been wrong. Now he claims to be able to foretell the future 50 to 70 ahead for our kids well into the distant future!

I am really sorry. As I said, I find this impossibly hard to believe in the absence of further details. I am sure the nation destroying press will try their best to fill up the holes with their usual run of the mill happy days stories. But I can literally go on and on for at least ten pages and not even begin to scratch the surface of this subject on why all long term predictions are at best wrong.

The way I see it is simple Simon. The only thing that is certain about the future, is that it is guaranteed to remain uncertain. And against that backdrop you have someone who claims to be able to foretell the future of your kids.

Sure I believe. Care to share with us your assumptions Tharman? Or will this be another rerun caper of how it’s possible to own a HDB and still survive on a salary of 1k.

As usual I give you the facts. You decide for yourself.

Darkness 2012

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“I don’t think there is ANY basis to take Tharman seriously unless we know his working assumptions. Its really as simple as that. What you need to understand here is, the happy facts can be presented in so many ways depending on the assumptions used. I am not trying to be personal or malicious. I am simply calling a spade a spade. As only a fool par excellence will take and run with what he has just said. A wise man will go through his assumptions with a fine tooth comb. But you know what? I have a feeling no details or very little will ever be revealed about those assumptions along with the weightings that has been ascribe to the drivers accounting for the summary of this study. I may be wrong. Then again I may well be spot on. As it is taking this seriously is really like basing all your hopes and aspirations on something that came out from a fortune cookie.

Tell me WHO would even do that when it comes to their families. You’ve got to be kidding me!”

Any bloody fool can run an enterprise by just getting the cheapest unit cost of labor to foot the profit margin. But have you asked yourself a really fundamental question – what is the cost ultimately to the community?

It seems very strange to me that as humans we seem to venerate the metric of GDP and GNP above ALL else. At times we are even prepared to elevate the idea of PROFIT to the upper reaches mindlessly without even bothering to ask HOW all this may impact our communities. 

My point is simply this. Can the free market philosophy be a left to run on auto pilot? Let me put it another way. What happens when the COMMUNITY is placed second to PROFIT at every turn and opportunity? What happens when this one goal obliterates all others? What would happen to the idea that work is supposed to be edifying for the ordinary man in the street. What happens when work can longer make ends met and instead scissors throughout the community of the middle class leaving it completely demoralized and in tatters. What happens when the idea of work can no longer nourish and reaffirm our steadfast belief in the idea of dignity of labor. What happens when work can no longer palliate our fears that there still remains one reliable way to create a better future for our kids – if we are hard working?

Maybe, one solution to this intractable problem is to simply buy into the belief – that the metric we should be ideally adopting if we are really genuinely abt creating a better tomorrow for most Singaporeans and residents is for firms to put people first instead of chasing profit mindlessly. What we need is a new order. A new mercantile benchmark where firms that are terminally addicted to the opium of cheap labor and are unwilling to create a better tomorrow for Singaporeans for whatever reason should go elsewhere to turn the wheel of life. Maybe, the green frog should take his sweat kitchens to Africa. I think the green frog will be very colorful there – as it will no longer be green and instead look blue, black and quite dead. As I doubt even Africans will put up with such nonsense – we would do well to ask ourselves during our quiet time – how wise and sustainable is for govts to bend head over heels to accommodate firms where the CEO can’t turn a profit unless they marginalize the broader interest of natives. Coming to think of it, WHY should even such firms be allowed to use cheap labor IF all it seems to do is produce widespread misery to so many people who are simply asking for the basic right to turn the wheel of life with dignity and to even feel good about putting in a hard days work. Why is govt even supporting lousy businessmen who do not even have the basic business acumen to be able to turn a profit UNLESS they have access to cheap labor. Are you telling me that in countries where the influx of cheap labor is strictly regulated everyone eats on paper plates and banana leaf, that there are no dishwashers. Now you all see how that good for nothing, poor excuse of a businessman continues to insult my intelligence.

This leads me to only one conclusion. If we have serious men running the Chinese chamber of commerce – then I think the green frog will not be allowed to see the light of day. The serious men would stop him. As it is, no stopped him. Even the politicians agreed with him it seems since none of them rebuked him there and then to set the pathologically lying green frog straight. And this is where we have to ask WHY did no one stop him? WHY were they so quick to run with what the green frog said?

It gives me very little pleasure to say this, but in all honesty. I really don’t believe businesses should get too close to politicians. This incident shows WHY. When they get together all they seem to do is produce evil characters like that green frog. Today I threw my application to join the CCC into the dustbin. I was seriously considering it. But after long and deep reflection. I think it is best that we go our own way. And they go their own way. Otherwise we too may end up like talking nonsense like the Green frog – who started a joke only for the whole world to laugh at him. And once you do this – the serious men of this world will just consider you an inconsequential light weight. This is simply no good. No bloody good at all.

Darkness 2012

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“The free market enterprise to me is just a license to reincarnate the idea of the survival of the fittest – that is to say, we are going back to the good olde days of Tarzan and the jungle. That is all it really is when you strip it right down to its bare chassis. 

To me as a farmer this idea doesn’t make one molecule of common sense at all – as how is it possible for mankind to have gone through so many mellinia of wars in the name of peace, brotherhood and freedom. Only for us to return back to the point from which we all started from. 

Are you telling me that mankind has progressed through the chastening passage of time just so he can impersonate an ape that hits another ape with a femur to gain a competitive advantage to win the grand banana prize? Is that what you are telling me?

One day, maybe when we next have another comatose inducing conversation. The voices that we will hear will be from another new generation. These people somewhere down the future will laugh at us – in the way we laugh at people who smoke and drink a quart just because they think it makes them look manly. Some will smack their head and wonder to themselves – why did they put PROFIT before PEOPLE? Why did they not think about the COMMUNITY? Why did they not ask themselves – whether the free market can even be trusted to deliver the good life. 

This new generation somewhere in the future will think that man has gone insane. As the picture that is conjured up here is not so different from a man who is putting everything that is most precious to his himself and children into a giant furnace. And poof. It goes up in smoke. And all for what?

If you ask me – this is all that we should be having a conversation about. As if you think about it, this is really the crux of the matter. The rest are just merely side dishes in the greater scheme of things.”

One of the curiosities of life is whenever the subject of seduction crops up. Many assume that those who take an interest to study the art of seduction are liars and manipulators by nature.

Nothing can be further from the truth. As a farmer, it never ceases to amaze me how nature revels in the idea of seduction –  even in nature trees and animals have perfected the art of seduction to a level that suggest that it is as natural as breathing, eating, sleeping and dreaming. There is nothing contrived and phoney about it – this is as real as it gets.

When a man or woman learns the art of seduction – all he or she is doing is simply tuning into the most natural life force of the universe. There is nothing fake or plastic about a bed of flowers in full bloom attracting honey bees. Neither are animals natural liars and manipulators when they compete with each other to find mates – all they are really doing is following the natural rhythm of life. They are living.

The only animal who seems to be terminally confused and anxious about the art of seduction seems to be humans – wonder no more why most humans are simply existing. They are not living. And that is no good. No bloody good at all. As why would any sane thinking person settle for existence when he or she can live life to the fullest?

Darkness 2012 – This has been extracted from the popular e-series – The Way of the Farmer – The Brotherhood Press 2012

“The art of seduction is perhaps the most confused segment of human relationships in our modern age. Even ants can do this it seems. But humans cannot. Not confidently at least. If you take the trouble to look around in any self improvement section of a book store – it is virtually impossible to find a chapter on this subject. One reason why most people have an aversion to discuss the art of seduction openly is because it presupposes that those who take an interest in this area of life are vain, indolent and lacking in moral rectitude – but what is so vain and deceiving about creating a relaxed atmosphere whereby you can simply walk into the hearts and minds of others and have a deep spirited conversation with another?

When we dwell deeper into this subject – then at some point we will all come to the realization that our inexplicable embarrassment to discuss this subject openly has to be an acquired taste. This is not how we are supposed to live. It is an unnatural state. That is to say someone taught us to feel shameful and dirty about this whole subject. They successfully planted the idea in our brains that to study the art of seduction is to be promiscious and loose. Nothing can be further from the truth. As the art of seduction has absolutely nothing to do with sex and everything to do with attraction. There is a big difference.

Wonder no more why so very few of us these days can even sit down with others and enjoy a meaningful conversation and simply enjoy it for what it is – a conversation where we may perhaps see the world slightly differently from the way, we have always seen it – nothing more or less – no one is trying to climb into your panties. No one is trying to fuck you. It is all in your brain. You have worked yourself up into a frenzied state. As you cannot seem to get over the idea that the art of seduction has absolutely nothing to do with SEX and everything to do with ATTRACTION.

As a result of our coyness. Even the most basic human activity becomes laborious. Nothing comes easy to us. Neither can we influence others either – as to be able to turn a mind of another, one requires nothing short of the art of seduction. And it’s impossible to build consensus. As to do this one would have to successfully calm all the divergent voices of Babel and stream them in such a way where we all speak in one tongue. Even that requires nothing short of the art of seduction.

This is one reason why these days – it is impossibly hard to have a deep spirited and meaningful conversation. Very hard indeed. Perhaps it is time for us to stop pouring knowledge into our heads. Perhaps it is time for us to simply UNLEARN many of the nonsense that has managed to encrust themselves in our thinking. Perhaps when we begin to do this. Then we will be able to live instead of just existing?”

 

As a farmer. I spend alot of time looking at trees. You could even say this is part of my daily routine. One of the reoccurring themes that I have gleaned from nature is how form and function is ALWAYS perfectly balanced. One never sees a tree that is so laden with fruit that the branches snap. They may yield by bending, but that is all. There is balance. A naturalness even amid strife and hardship.

My point is there is an ease and naturalness to nature that is worth emulating.

It is the same with a man. The fundamental principle that accounts for authenticity or naturalness is simply for one to cultivate the discipline of being completely comfortable in one’s own skin – this is not an easy thing to do. As the world constantly imposes its values and beliefs on all of us – it is constantly telling us to fear, to be wary, to hold back, to buy this and that to gain acceptance and approval from our peers. In other words to, the world is constantly shaping us, modulating our thoughts and even influencing the way we make sense of things, people and events. And this is why it is so important for us to develop the skills to be perfectly relaxed like a strolling elephant, yet alert like a panther. A relaxed mind is always effective in no matter what environment or situation. When the mind is not suffering anxiety and nervousness, only then can the face maintain a cool, calm edge of composure that suggests complete and total confidence.

There is no need to pretend. No need for contrivance in any shape or form. No need to fill up the crowds with your own supporters. No need to manipulate others to try to forward the impression of unity and well being. No need to engineer consent. No need for Potemkin villages to forward the idea all is well in paradise. No need to get morally questionable businessmen to float the idea that there is such a thing as a 3K job for dishwashers, when none ever existed. No need even to try to be anyone else except who you really are – and to be perfectly comfortable and ease with the idea that one is simply a child of nature.

Those who pay special attention to cultivating the discipline of being perfectly comfortable with oneself will be able to walk into the hearts and minds of others. Those who cannot would simply have to wonder why they can never seem to cultivate long term relationships based on trust and respect.

Darkness 2012 – This has been extracted from the popular e-series, The way of the Farmer.
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“Being yourself has nothing to do with the level of education you may have or how much money you have in your bank account – I happen to know alot of people who have both, but they are still walking disasters – no matter where they go, they make people nervous and anxious – they can never foster deep spirited relationships. If you look carefully at them, people are always coming and going from their lives like a bus terminal. Most of the time, I say nothing – as it is very rude to give free and uninvited advice of such a personal nature.

But ask yourself, if you happen to be a woman – why do you find certain men sexy and appealing although they may have passed their prime or may not even have physically desirable qualities? Usually when you discount his personality along with education and wealth – it usually boils down to only one factor: naturalness or more precisely authenticity – truth of the matter is there is nothing more appealing than a man who is perfectly comfortable in his own skin – this is personal discipline at the highest level – it simply means, this man has got it all figured out, he has probably gone through many challenges and so it is easy to see how it doesn’t ruffle his feathers – so what you are seeing is a lau chaui at work, he has got it figured out.

Put this man in an interrogation room and he will probably give his interrogators high bloody pressure. Try to threaten him and he will hit back in the most unexpected way where it will damage the other side most. They wouldn’t even know that he is silently undermining them. Harry him and he will make himself into a moving target. Deep within the nucleus of this man’s character is a super hard shell – he knows himself. He knows his strengths and weaknesses. He knows how to fashion each aspect of his character as a weapon.

From this we can draw a few conclusions about life – although you may spend alot on grooming yourself to come across as stylish, neat and hygienic, IF you do not know how to keep your poise – then the only thing you will probably attract is either the policeman or flies. As you are really so nervous and anxious that no one can really feel at ease with you.

Always remember, nervous or for that matter anger along with anxiety can be transmitted to others. Similarly, confidence and calmness can be transmitted to others as well – but what makes this all possible is naturalness and authenticity – the way you carry yourself, speak and process information can be both edifying or disabling to others – it can either give them confidence in you or simply turn them off.

It is the same with a woman. If a woman is fat and the type where others only compliment her on her complexion and very little else – but yet she has invested in grooming herself from “the inside out,” then you will find that she will carry herself with dignity and poise – she is really a marvelous thing to look at – and even very desirable, as she exudes womanhood. There is really nothing as attractive as a woman who projects a motherly sort of calmness. Men usually find this attribute desirable and appealing.

But if the woman is beautiful, but she is like a ball of nervous energy dissipating all herself – then no matter how well dressed or made up she is – she can never come across as attractive or appealing – as she hasn’t really got it together or maybe she didn’t bother to cultivate this aspect of her character whenever she engages others. She is therefore just a girl – this of course may be a very disireable thing – only understand that this is likely to attract the lowest quality of men – as who the hell wants to be landed with a girl?

Practice the power of poise whenever you go out into the world – you will find that as time goes by, people will just take to you like fish to water. A little bit goes a far way, use it sparingly otherwise you will come across as sombong or atas (prideful).

When a man goes into business. Whether he likes it or not. He is already a leader in his community. As the fortunes and well being of many who decide to work for him will depend on the outlook of this one man.

If this man does not understand or is confused about the role that he is supposed to play in a community. Then many will suffer unnecessarily as a result of his greed, foolishness and shortsightedness.

Such a man in my opinion cannot be allowed to grow too big. As he has the wrong values and his head is probably stuck deep in his ass. Coming to think of it, such a bengkok businessman should be taught a serious lesson by the community. And the best way to teach this man the error of his ways is to simply say, No! In this way the foolish businessman will hopefully understand that without the community – he can be nothing.

Darkness 2012

Whenever possible I always try to support Singaporean enterprises. One reason why I do this is because I know from a first hand basis only too well – how difficult it is to establish a foot hold in a foreign country to materialize a profit. This is not an easy act to pull off.

This is one reason why whenever possible – I try my level best to deal with Singaporean firms – although the price may be slightly higher – I am prepared to pay the extra. As I always believe, we all have a shared destiny and it’s important to nourish that idea so that we all stick together whenever we are turning the wheel of life in a foreign land. This is why I prefer to dine in the Green frog. As I believe very strongly, we should always support Singaporean enterprises whenever they branch out abroad. After all, if we don’t support them, then who will take the lead to do the same? 

Only understand this! I draw the line when it becomes patently clear to me that half truths have been used to deliberately pull the eyes over an unassuming public. This I have also done with the nation destroying press as well – I don’t buy it. I don’t read it. And I do not give any interviews –  it doesn’t even matter what Bertha Harian has to say about a great write up she came across – as far as I am concerned, she can take her propagandist rag and shove it up her skirt. Am I clear now? Good. As this is what it means to have the discipline to draw a broad and clear line in the sand. This is discipline. IF you dont have it, my advise to you is please don’t venture into business. Be happy turning the wheel of life as a salaried man – as even if you succeed as a businessman; you will probably cause misery to others on an industrial scale. So that simply tells me – you have lost sight of the goal!

Come over to the window. Do you see that oil mill in between those hills. Look carefully. The chimney stack is not spewing black smoke. That means their refineries have stopped. WHY? Because no one is selling their palm bunches to them. The community has turned against them! As the owners have been greedy and harsh in their terms. They have also been distant and aloof, preferring to hide in their air conditioned bunkers or while their time in golf clubs, oblivious to the sufferings of those who are turning the wheel of life all around them. In two months the owners of this enterprise will be beating a path here and they will beg me to supply them oil bunches – I will see them of course in my bush jacket and pipe. I find these days, it pays to project an older image. But I will never commit. Never. I will just listen. As I have to take stock of the local sentiments. I cannot go against the grain of the community here. Not even if it makes good business sense. In another six months, when they go under. I will buy it up for a song. Business is ruthless. I want you always to keep this at the back of your mind apprentice. You either go into it with the right attitude or you find yourself getting runned out of town! 

Many people say, the farmer who lives on the hill is a heartless and ruthless man. But I did not do any of these things to them. They did it to themselves through their greed, foolishness and addiction to power. And now all I have to do is wait for it all to keel over.

Now coming back to the subject of the green frog. I really do not know what the motivation for this may be. Neither do I understand why either. All I know is what is represented and what is offered bears absolutely no relation to each other. And this is unacceptable! I have zero tolerance for these nefarious methods. You can even say, when a business enterprise does this – then it is very clear that they haven’t really sat down and reflected on the broader question of morality and why it is so important these days for enterprises to have a coherent code of ethic.

I have a feeling. I shall not be seeing the green frog for a very long time. You could even say, I have lost my appetite.”

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