April 3, 2014
Late this afternoon I decided to take a walk around the eastern fringes of my lands. Chanced across a group of men. They asked me who I was. I merely replied I was passing by. Soon we started to exchange cigarettes and they told me they were thieves out to steal palm fruit. One of them asked, ‘is it true the devil stays in the house on top of the hill.’ Another added, ‘the one who the villagers say never grows old and belong to the ages.’
I merely shrugged my shoulders and asked them what might this fellow look like. The leader told me, though he had never ever seen the devil, he had heard from the villagers – he wore a bush jacket, sported dark glasses, had a hairline mustache like the movie star MGR, had a deep scar above his right eye and never ever smiled.
I moved closer to him and asked whether I could take a closer look at his hand made parang. I knew he was proud of it, as it was in a well polished sheath. He said sure and handed it over to me. Then when the dying light caught the blade and glinted, he suddenly noticed the man before him wore a bush jacket, sported dark glasses, had a hairline mustache like the movie star MGR, had a deep scar above his right eye and never ever smiled.
I realized at that very moment, it was just us and the never ending ocean of green palms as far as the eye could see. There was no one else…no one to hear them scream.
April 3, 2014
Just think about it. How stupid is this…. Premium seafood needs to be caught in the wild by fishermen who need to use petrol to run their engines to go out to the dangerous seas – when the produce is bagged, it needs to be iced and packed to be airflown to Dubai or some landlocked country where there r loads of fat rich folk who are more than willing to pay top $ to nom nom on fish.
Now if all this can be done let’s say in a skyscraper on location somewhere in the heart of the city, let’s say in a fish tank in Dubai. Then you can take all that extraneous supply chain cost and throw it right out of the window or put it in your Swiss account.
The only barrier is the technology. But that to me is not a big problem, as I am very good in industrial espionage and working around intellectual property rights. One of the best lah. No one in the whole wide world even comes remotely close to the level of dedication, operational detail and anal completeness as me, absolutely no one. I even suspect, I may have criminal genes. I am the best there is.
Think about it. Breeding fish for the commercial market like manufacturing cars like Toyota motors…..
This is the future right now today.
I don’t need to work with people who r highly educated. I just need to work with people who have their feet grounded and who know what it takes for a man to dedicate himself seriously to an enterprise….if you happen to be such a man. Drop me a line…we will take it from there….I have too much on my plate right now. But this is a project that I am willing to fund…I just need someone who I can trust and believes in this idea to drive it all the way to the stars.
Trust me, it’s doable. Don’t let the phrase ‘high tech’ intimidate you – it’s just code for a bunch of people who want to come across as more intelligent than they actually are. You need to look at it like a bank heist and just see it as just a giant fish tank….now how hard can that really be.
April 2, 2014
As a multitude of nations continue to scrounge for clues in the eternity of the Indian ocean as to where the wreckage of MH370 lies. The mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian national carrier has certainly peeled off layer after layer of intrigues.
At one level of intrigue is, how is it possible for a commercial airliner the size of a flying barn to cruise almost undetected across such a wide swathe of land and sea?
Yes, I hear and understand what some pundits say, the Malaysians should have interdicted the bogey by scrambling their interceptors yada yada yada yada…that’s certainly a reasonable assertation when one considers how since 9/11 everyone in the security services should be mindful how even benign lumbering passenger aircrafts to perhaps dinky crop sprayers can very easily be weaponized by malevolent forces.
But I suspect, this is where much hyped military theory may well give way to reality – to put it another way, just because the technology exist to interdict aerial threats, doesn’t by itself suggest it has the power to do so….not reliably at least… And definitely not anywhere near the gold standard of 24/7 goal keeping that is so often misrepresented by Hollywood action movies. As when one considers how shambolic radars are historically at detecting aerial intruders….then it shouldn’t come as a surprise at all that the Malaysians didn’t detect MH370.
As not even the Americans with their advanced pineapple eye skill of arms managed to successfully detect the two rouge commercial jetliners that departed from their planned flight route and ploughed into the world trade centre in 9/11. And before that what about the cessna plane flown by the nineteen year old in 87 that landed right smack in the inner sanctum of the Kremlin which managed to elude the entire iron curtain soviet air defense network.
The only reason why I felt it necessary to highlight the patchy history of radars is to inject what I shall term as a necessary sense of scale and perspective into this whole idea that just because the Malaysians didn’t manage to successfully detect the fly by of MH370 does not imply mean they were automatically guilty of gross incompetence….as when one considers the theoretical possibility, if MH370 did in fact fly like some airborne Mary Celeste – then it would in all probability have flown by or proximate to the air jurisdiction of other countries as well…such as the Indonesians, Thais Indians and of course the all seeing panopticon eye in the sky of the CIA and NSA – when seen from this vantage it’s conceivable other nations possessing similar hardware as the Malaysians were enqually switched off. But one thing is palpably clear from all this – the lay man’s assumption that radars are 100% fool proof may well be at best misplaced. I suspect much closer to movie lands fiction than brass tacks reality.
I am of course reminded the whole notion of defense as a theoretical science does not only hinge entirely on the whole idea of possessing the deterrent hardware to ward off a would be aggressor, but in many cases (much more than I suspect the lay person is privy too) it may even involve an adjunct of Sun Tzu’s famous adage on war – ‘all warfare is based on deception.’ And that would of course imply militaries regularly have to embellish, exaggerate and in some cases fib about what they can and cannot do – that could well explain why when the Indians in New Delhi were asked whether their air defence caught sight of MH370 flying along the Northern air corridor – all they could do was mumble avoid eye contact while giving out mixed signals…
That sort of response is quite understandable as radar systems will always be the stuff of cloak and dagger – it’s given militarise are invariably cagey when it comes to discussing the range and effectiveness of how far and what they can see…especially if it extends over their territories – and I suspect when Indian bureaucrats in New Delhi mentioned rather sardonically their extensive radar network–which scans the skies across the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea—caught no sign of the Malaysian aircraft because it was switched off due to lack of funding or maintenance – it’s really just military parlance for, ‘we are not in the position to confirm or deny that we have such capabilities.’ I wonder what the boys in Islamabad had to say about that? But let us just leave that to one intrigue to one side as they are so many other layers of intrigues which we have to go thru. My fear is, if we don’t limit the range of possibilities, this article would probably run a further ten pages and Mossad agents would probably be hunting for me.
My point is the Malaysians were not only the one’s who failed to catch the ball – as its conceivable the Thai’s, Indonesians, Australians and possibly ten other countries that have similar hardware to scan the skies probably failed or deliberately withheld vital information concerning MH370 – it’s fair to say given the preponderant role of radars and their ability to secure geo political interest, we, the general public will probably never ever know the truth.
Another layer of intrigue that beggars the imagination is why didn’t the authorities who are responsible for regulating air travel such as the FAA or NSTB specify a higher standard locator besides the something as electronically medieval as the black box – one would have thought given that air travel is so ubiquitous these days as to be the norm, every plane would be fitted with at least something more advanced that what’s currently riveted to a tail of a plane. To me it just seems a criminal waste to spend so much men and materiel to look high and low for such a vital piece of equipment that holds the Rosetta stone to shed more light on why did MH370 take a bad turn. The subsequent revelation by Immarsat, a sat phone operator that the final position of MH370 was approximated to have crashed somewhere in the Indian ocean should prompt every aviation pundit to question: if there already exist the technology capable of streaming information from plane to ground – why wasn’t the black box retrofitted to do the same for critical positioning and cockpit data from aircraft in real time as well!
I can’t understand that part at all.
At another level of intrigue stirred up by MH370 is the ascendancy of China as a superpower and how it’s starting to manage itself and other nations. China has been quick to showcase it’s military prowess by being one of the largest contingent in the search for MH370. Curiously the Americans have remained largely muted, preferring to play a supporting role….very intriguing. Could it be, what we are seeing here is the waning of American global influence and the nascent of Chinese power?
What I find especially disturbing about China is how willing it is to weaponize it’s growing economic affluence regionally as an instrument of foreign policy by using it to pressure regimes that it perceives as uncooperative – the growing anonymosity towards Malaysia by the Chinese public has even threatened to sully cross border trade that the Malaysians have been benefiting from as a source of foreign direct investment – as recently some big Chinese property developers who have already made a substantial bet on selling homes in Malaysia to mainland Chinese investors are now starting to scale back many of their ambitious plans.
Even the Malaysians have had buckets of intrigues as never before has the insular and parochial bubble wrapped ruling Barisan Nasional had to deal with such a mega fall out on a global scale.
They have had to literally shift gears overnight and jettison many of their moribund kampung attitudes and project as best they can to a global audience that they’re a transparent, responsive and globally atuned to the times – pretty difficult, when you have bomohs wailing in the foyer holding up coconuts if you ask me….but they seem to be getting better as the days go by…that much I am prepared to give them.
Coupled to this, this tragedy has highlighted within and outside UMNO the urgent need to revivify their political hegemony with a new generation of western educated politicians who are adept at managing public perception on the global stags – the intensity of the scrutiny brought forth by the international press corps has underscored starkly – if Malaysia is to continue to thrive in a globalized world, it needs to be perceived as a competent not only by local kampung standards, but possibly even by international standards.
This has always been a bone of contention within UMNO and historically the schism between the traditionalist and the modern Western educated Bumiputra has remained unresolved stretching back all the way to the days of Tunku Abdul Rahman – as UMNO, as a political creature has always relied on a ultra nationalist Malay stalwarts (who I can only describe as a bunch of kampung ulu payar heroes) to perpetuate their class politics – after MH370, it’s conceivable even this mode of ritualized class politics may not be possible any longer….the winds of change are here…..very intriguing.
Then there is the never ending intrigue of the much publicized on going hunt for the remnants of MH370, which is also very interesting. As each country jockeys to be the first to fish out the first credible clues. What we see is not only a considerable investment in terms of men and materiale, but what I suspect is at stake may also be national prestige along with possibly bragging rights for the nation that manages to first find the black box judging from the range of nifty hardware that is used to search for the ill fated aircraft.
And finally but not least is the emergence of an increasingly vocal public consciousness in China brought forth by a bulging middle class that is not only starting to make it’s presence felt within China but also across the world – and from the looks of it, its very far from the ideal Rennaisance man and much closer to the spoilt and petulant twelve year old throwing a tantrum and blaming everyone…..ranging from Chinese film stars openly calling the Malaysians murderers to even those who advocate economic boycott of all things Malaysian as they believe Barisan Nasional have a secret pact with the Martians to pack off the plane and the occupants to the moon.
Yes its all very intriguing. I don’t much care about the many versions of conspiracy theories that I read in the China blogoland….as its conceivable a plane crash is just what it is….a plane crash….nothing very intruiging about that.
‘Many stupid people still harbor the belief Malaysia is a backward banana republic. But how can that be? Do you see Najib and his gang muzzling free speech online with authoritarian laws where if you even so much as step out of line, you will be hauled up for an inquisition – there is no mind control machine like the state owned press that is engineering consent 24/7 and even if there is such a thing exist, there are plenty of alternative views to ferret out your version of the truth. Neither is there such a thing as a climate of fear and intimidation to speak of in Malaysia.
So to me this is how a democracy is…it’s messy…but at least the foundation is right and that to me is my point…if you want to gainfully make progress, the foundation needs to be right.
I can for example march up to the BN rep in my kampung with an army of villagers if I am not happy about something – call him a pukimak and ask him to get out from under his bed to face me – it is definitely a heated argument, we can even threaten to fight, but at the end of the day we can sit underneath a tree and work things out man to man. No one is ever going to put me in jail, sue me or even call me a violent man….so that is how things are in Malaysia…it is not perfect…there is a lot of mess and sometimes things which are supposed to work don’t work. You need a lot of rubber band, superglue and duct tape to get by in Malaysia. But by and large, life proceeds at a very sympathetic pace, people are generally happy, they don’t dread going to work and most importantly they are hopeful about the future so they continue to have babies and that to me is good governance.
Above all I don’t have to live with a vampire government who keeps passing on the cost of living automatically to me at every turn and opportunity. I don’t have to live with people who keep taking, taking and taking from me.
At times in Malaysia, they (the government) take off the edge by absorbing some of the cost. Sure some people may call it a subsidy, but in my book, it just means they have the foundation and basics screwed on right.
My point is Malaysia is not a five star hotel…it is maybe a motel with perhaps even a roach problem, but I don’t mind it at all..as I know one day things will improve because as I said, they have the fundamentals screwed on right, that’s more than I can say for some countries that just look good from the outside, but when you’re in it, you know it’s just a place that will eat you right up and spit out your bones.’
April 1, 2014
As a rule, I try not to talk to psychotic women. As in the past whenever I get myself entangled with siaow charbor I have always ended up in either the police station or an expensive law suit.
Today as I was driving out of the plantation to run some errands in town. I came across a car with Singaporean plates with a flat. I recognised the tow truck – it’s owned by a local pocket gangster who specialises in ripping off unfortunate motorist who find themselves stranded in kampung roads.
As I drove by I told myself to mind my own business – but at the end, I turned back.
When I got out the tow truck operator and his red neck brother gave me a nervous ‘why are you so kaypoh look.’ I asked the lady what had happened, she told me that her car skidded in the rain and the axle is busted and according to the tow truck operator it had to be towed to a workshop for a hefty cost of $1,500.
I turned to those two fucks and gave them one of my famous, ‘if I check out you’re both up to no good, I am going to pay your MILF mother and sista a visit in my tightest trousers.’ Took off my bush jacket popped underneath the chassis and went I got up the tow truck operator and his brother had promptly scooted off….poof!
Waved down a passing tractor to pull the car out of the ditch and told the girl she was good to go – found out later that she was the cousin of Larry, someone who I used to go cycling on weekends to Bukit Timah with.
‘Past experiences can either disable or enable us. Some people if you notice will always bring their past hurts and disappointments into their current relationship and spoil it for themselves and those who they love. Others may do the same with their jobs and because they have been used and abused by their bosses that stops them dead of tracks from giving more than they received. Then there are those who just know how to take, take and take without once ever giving back…even these people I reckon have to be victims of some hurtful past experience as maybe once upon a time, they gave it their all and since their trust and loyalty was betrayed, now all they’re really doing is protecting whatever little they still have of themselves.
But when we think long and hard about it. The past is something that we should all learn from to make us better…it’s a means of increasing our chances of success….so to me the past should never be something that paralyses us with fear, self doubt and constant questioning of our self worth…if we allow the past to have this power over us then it could be said we are inadvertently living our lives in the past and never the present or future. And if that is the case what really is the point of living.
What happened in the past is as it is, nothing more or less….something that happened in the past and it should stay right there….as for the present and future, it’s always filled with hope and intensely beautiful experiences…that at least is what I always tell myself when I come across something in the present that reminds of an awful experience in the past.
I happen to believe very strongly and to live a happy life, we need to be mindful of this…otherwise the past with all it’s hurts and bad experiences will just make us very angry and bitter people and that if you ask me has to be a form of death.’
April 1, 2014
The life giving monsoon rains has arrived again. I will reap a good harvest this time round. I am so happy.
I am often reminded 99.9% of farming is all about doing the right things TODAY and reaping the benefits somewhere down the distant future.
That’s because results usually take loads of time to show up in agriculture, it’s not nearly like baking a cake, painting a wall, carpentry or body building where you can just work at it and in a relatively short period of time, you can even stand back and appreciate the work, effort and dedication you have put it to motivate yourself to put more of yourself into what you want to succeed in.
Farming is much more philosophical.
In farming, it’s not uncommon for results to take a good six or eight months to show up. Do all the right things in January and you will probably only see the results somewhere around July or August. Usually progress is so slow that one may not even realise the incremental changes – it’s a bit like watching grass grow or how you just realise it’s time to cut either your hair or fingernails as they have grown too long.
This analogy of how we dedicate ourselves to the things we choose put all of ourselves into, only to reap the rewards somewhere down the distant future is a necessary wisdom to live life well. That at least is how I have always seen it – as at times the best results can only come from investing in the long and not the short term.
Often we forget or just can’t be bothered with the whole idea of putting in the effort today to reap the benefits tomorrow….either because we are just too impatient or caught up with the whole idea of short term gains. As a consequence when most of us don’t see immediate improvements, we either give up or opt for shortcuts.
Or maybe we all been victimised by either people or circumstances who have conditioned us all to believe in the idea of taking whenever possible as the only reliable way to get ahead in life. Whilst prefering to believe investing in the long term is just a crappy idea that pays out zero.
We have all had bad experiences with takers. People who just take without ever once giving back. Recently I took off my shoes and threw it at a farmhand, as he doesn’t seem to understand that good will must flow both ways to sustain a long term and meaningful relationship, its my way of telling him – don’t ever try to beggar me!
On another occasion when a politician paid me a visit to ask for my support. I just told him, he would do well to keep his day job. As since the only time he ever shows his face around the kampung is to hand out trinkets and freebies during election time. I made it very clear to him that I will do everything to undermine him…again it’s my way of telling his shitty sort….I don’t have time for you! No time means no time!
And from time to time it’s not unusual for me to prune away the company of people who I can only consider toxic. People who are just so fixated on chasing the buck or an advantage all the time, that if they call you up for lunch – you just know they always want a favour and they are least interested in doing the same for you…these are poisonous people who have all their values coated in a film of shit!
But what should one do in life – allow a few bad apples to ruin the crate? Buy into the belief that everyone is just another short term fuck and treat everyone you come across as just someone whose out to take a slice out of you. No! As when we buy into that idea, then we would NEVER be able to reap the sweetest fruits that can only come from investing in the long term – as that’s usually where you get the best returns that you can never ever get from just chasing the short term.
As when I consider the case of investing in the long term, there are many cases where I’ve invested in tomorrow today and it has all worked out wonderfully. Many years ago when I came across a farmer in a fertiliser shop pleading with the proprietor for credit – I vouched for this man who I hardly knew by standing as a guarantor even though everyone in the village knew this farmer was a bankrupt – some years later when I had all but forgotten about the matter and when my enemies planned to cheat me, this man told me their plans – when I think back, the returns are many a hundred fold what I once gave out. More that worth it.
There are other such edifying cases that are too numerous to mention.
Enough at least for me to continue investing in today for tomorrow….as life really is not so different from cultivating sweet fruit…there is no such thing as fast ripening sweet fruit…the best things in life usually takes time…time to come full circle that is.’
March 31, 2014
This dog is named Ping Piang (that’s his temporary name).
March 30, 2014
The people who we choose to be with or avoid like lepers hinges entirely on our attitudes. Usually it depends entirely on whether we wish to seek out differences or similarities.
I realize many people may say there’s more to it. But when you strip down everything to the chassis, that is really all there is to it.
The funny things is, when one searches hard enough for differences along with reasons (real or imagined) to despise someone…guess what? Viola, you will ALWAYS find enough reason to fuel that idea whether all by yourself or in a support group, ‘he is so different from us…’ or ‘we have absolutely nothing in common with each other.’
The same calculus applies for seeking out similarities and what is common in people.
Search hard enough for what is common and don’t be surprised if you find that those who you once consider unlovable are really not so different from you and you may have more in common with them.
‘The tiny Singaporean community that I regularly touch base with every week in the Bak Kut Teh shop is divided into two main groups – the first believe the sun shines out of the asshole of the PAP and they are the best thing since the invention of Viagra and sliced bread…this group considers to insist PAP is the very definition of salvation.
Another group see the PAP as some bone crushing machine that is hell bent on destroying their quality of life. They are not happy and continue to nurse the idea, the PAP is the main reason why so many PMET’s are reduced to driving taxi’s and guarding condo’s back home in Singapore.
Then there is a third group that swing from one side to another and there is nothing much to be said for them except perhaps to describe their attitude as very similar to a type of weed called lalang that shifts to the prevailing winds.
Every time we met these three groups will fight it out and at times it can get so heated that the proprietor of the Bak Kut Teh shop even takes me to onside and ask, ‘what is wrong with you people are you all crazy…why can’t you just eat quietly without making so much noise?’ When there is a stalemate everyone will turn to me….today when it happened again…I kicked a ball….another person kicked back and soon a friendly Sunday game of football ensued in an open clearing at the back of the shop.
In a short while others began to join in. Then as soon as it started a mini league had developed – Singapore versus Malaysia.
For that brief moment, we were all so united….gone were the divisions of you with or against me…no right or wrong way…for as long as the ball continued to be kicked around, it seemed as if all our differences could never be so great as the sum of all that continues to divide us – I took off my bush jacket and refereed the game…it seemed the right thing to do.
Through it all, I couldn’t help but feel when we are all like this, we can do anything…nothing is impossible….everything is possible.’
March 29, 2014
One of them goes by the name of Turbo. As he always tries to runaway. So a brightly colored plastic oil container was tied to him like a buoy, that way whenever he tried to run away. He could never go too far as he was always easy to spot or made so much noise. One day when he ran away again and no one knew what his name was, one of the farmhands called him Turbo…after the oil container.
The other is called Big Foot. As his paws are larger than other pups and when he fights, he never ever uses his fangs and much prefers to use his oversized paws.
Both of these monkeys can make as much noise a ten locomotives. It is non stop 24/7.
Both of them have balaku’s…
March 28, 2014
You don’t need to be old to enjoy retirement. You could just as well enjoy a moment of retirement even when you’re in your nubile twenties. As retirement to me simply means stilling your mind….enjoying a quiet moment all by yourself….it’s my way of coping with the frenetic pace of the world.
Will it rain in the next few days? Will the dry spell last the whole year and reduce the fields into a smothering cinder? Could it even be this presages the coming of the end of the world as we know it?
Who cares? The great thing about enjoying a moment of retirement is you NEVER ever need to worry about the past or future….all you have to do is enjoy the NOW….to be so invested in the present that you’re like that unflappable calmness in the eye of a raging storm….nothing can ever touch you when you’re calm as you are comfortable nothing is impossible…including stopping time.
‘The greatest gift you can bestow on someone who you care for is to give him or her a state of calmness.
As calmness is the skeleton key that opens the door to the secret garden where one can rest and set aside the worries of the world – and be a beautiful person.
That I imagine may be why even the damned are served a last meal of their choice just before they’re marched to the firing squad – as after a warm satisfying meal, I reckon a man is calmest and he can really face anything including the prospects of death…without too much fuss.
As when one is calm…one has elected to retire from the hustle and bustle of the world…to just be in the present…to enjoy the moment….so me it’s always a blessing to find someone who can always put you in a calm state…to me if a woman happens to be beautiful but she’s radiating so much anxiety and nervous energy, then in my book she can’t be that desirable, not at all.
I happen to know a lot of women like that and usually I just tell them I am married to twenty wifes and have two hundred and fifty kids….if that doesnt work, I just tell them that I have all the STD in the world..usually after that they runaway and I am so happy that evil has left me…as to me being in a calm state is something that I have always considered to be very rare and valuable…as I don’t get many opportunities to be a very beautiful person often…..and I happen to believe very strongly it’s very important for one to believe – you’re still capable of being a beautiful and good person from time to time. It’s like a woman knowing she can still turn heads when she is in her late forties or fifties, it’s something that can only add and never subtract from the whole idea of womanhood…so it’s nourishing to the marrow of her bones and its intensely edifying to every cell in her body.
As when you no longer believe you can be beautiful – then to me it just means there will always be endlessly shouting in your life…and that is really when calmness gives way to anxieties, stress and opens up so many diseases to ravage you… if that happens then it could be said the world has already taken away something very valuable and precious from you….and that thing is none other than the person who you were always meant to be….a beautiful person who everyone wants to be with….someone calm….like a lotus set on a mirror lake…that has to be very beautiful to me.
People who do not know this always live in the shadow of anger, resentment and hate….they always have an axe to grind….nothing is ever right….and they always believe, they have given more than they have ever received…usually they all die without the person who should love them most by their side….as since they have once in their life seen the wisdom of cultivating calmness…they can only bring out the worst in themselves and others.’
March 28, 2014
I don’t think it’s easy for anyone to get close to me. Not at all. As I stay in a house on a hill smack in the middle of literally nowhere – the roads leading up to the house is bobby trapped. These traps are changed twice every day. There is razor wire on the outer parameter fence and in the inner fencing it’s guarded by six Doberman guard dogs. Even if an intruder can somehow manage to subdue the dogs and manage to break into the house, there is a house within a house. Every door in this other house is reinforced with concrete and plated two inch ductile steel designed to annul even an explosive attack – and added to all that there is an array of security measures that is designed to funnel a would be intruder into a kill zone to blunt their numerical superiority.
It’s impossible…..even if they’re armed to the teeth…the body count would be so high that it will just be incredibly demoralising to sustain the resolve or discipline.
As far as my movements are concerned. There is no discernible pattern to speak of. It’s random. I never ever take the same route twice and there are plenty of decoys – even if I happen to get ambushed, there is at least four to five escape routes that can usually take to funnel a car tailing me into a kill zone.
When I do go out. I am always half a hour early to check out the place to make sure it’s safe. I never walk into a building without a floor plan. I often enter a building thru the service entrance and have at least two escape plans. I sit only with my back against the wall and only eat and drink in places where I have a relationship with the proprietor.
On the rare occasions when I do met people. I am always guarded. I much prefer to ask questions and listen than to talk….I never reveal anything about my personal life. I am always asking myself – is this person a threat? If this is answered in the affirmative, then the next logical security measure kicks in automatically – how can I neutralise the threat?
In conversations. I never commit myself to anything. I show no emotion and it’s hard if not impossible for anyone to use flattery or appeal to my greed to lead me down a trap. As I never believe what people have to say, unless it has been collaborated by at least two independent sources and it’s impossible for them to ever fathom my thoughts….at times, I sow disinformation to mislead my enemies….At other times deception is deployed to drain their resources or stress their resolve that it becomes prohibitively expensive and demoralising to spy on me.
In business I am well known to be a man of my word….my word is as good as a promissory note from the bank of England. It is not uncommon for me to transact deals running into six figures in a jungle clearing with either a curt nod or a handshake. Everyone who has dealt with me can testify to this.
However, I am also a man who has a reputation of being particularly ruthless to those who try to take advantage, betray or mislead me to gain a pecuniary advantage. Usually I make an example out of them so that the others realise, this fellow is just too troublesome…he isn’t worth the trouble.
As I grow older, my life becomes increasingly reclusive and I find myself leading a hermetically sealed existence where I much prefer the company of animals to human beings. I relate well to animals. They like me…. as far as the eye can see….there is no else….except me.
I have often wonder to myself, how did my life become this way.
‘It is very easy for all of us to build walls around ourselves. In some cases life could possibly be unbearable if we didn’t have these walls to shield us from the vagaries of life…that at least is how I see it.
Only my feel is even if we feel comfortable and at ease within the confines of these seemingly secured walls that we have managed to fashion with the power of our minds. Living a walled exsitence has to be at best an acquired taste…that is to say, it is conceivable we are not so different from one of those prisoners who was once sent to prison. At first the corseted confines of a twelve by nine cell with just a tiny barred window may appear intimidating….stifling…oppressive….but the strange thing about life is things can change with just a perceptive shift. As give this prisoner enough time and what will eventually happen is he may even find those bricks that once riled him lovable….endearing….that life cannot possibly go on without them – that’s to say, this man has grown so accustomed of those bricks that it has permeated his existence and being to such an extent – it’s even conceivable this man may not be able to continue living, should the dimensions of his cell be enlarged or appointed with more comfortable features….this could perhaps explain why some inmates when they are let out after serving their term of imprisonment…either commit suicide or hold up petrol stations just to get themselves back into prison….they all yearn to return back to that womb of consciousness…they all cannot live without their walls.
That I feel is the ultimate irony of life, that man has in him the ability to fashion heaven or hell out of his life….but my feel is if the goal is to live a purpose driven life – then we cannot just build walls subconsciously. As when you take the trouble to look around, we do this all the time without even consciously being aware of it – a group of people sit around, they speak of another person in terms of, ‘he’s so different from us’ ‘our character is so different’ ‘we have nothing in common’ – the way I see it, all these people are really doing is erecting walls and soon that person who was once part of their lives is estranged….a stranger…and what you really have is two lives that should be intertwined separated by the divide of space and time across a no man’s land….that I feel is the tragedy of leading an unexamined life….that I feel is something that I need to remind myself of daily….not to live a walled existence….to always make a conscious effort to connect and stay connected…either that or the walls will just close right in and blot out the sun…leaving only darkness.’
Rained briefly last night. It’s not a biggy, just a small one. But it’s good enough….as I have fertilised my trees specifically for exactly this sort of mini skirt rain this year.
So now I just need it to rain a couple more times like this…. don’t need epic rains….just the variety that fell last night will do very nicely…already made all the necessary calculations…all that needs to be done has been done…now all I have to do is wait patiently so everything to fit right in – if I can just get a little bit more rain like last night again. I reckon, it will be a very good harvest this year…yes, it will flow sweet and clear.
I remain hopeful….yes she’s still kicking up a fuss and throwing pots and pans at me. Mothernature that is. But I reckon, I can still dodge and recover from many of my mistakes that I’ve made it the beginning of the year and rush up her skirt to grab me a piece of heaven…We will win!
“Sometimes I feel as if I am in a tiny boat smack in the middle of a perfect storm. You know the sort where every wave curls up like a giant fist and slams right into you lifting you up in the air momentarily.
The sort of epic storms where you don’t even know whether you can ride out to see the others side. As it heaves and swells blotting out every path to just siam…cutting off every route of your escape…the sort of storm that makes you kick yourself as you wonder why didn’t you just stay at home…or curse :this just isn’t fucking worth it!
I know people think I am brave…As I’ve climbed so many mountains and sailed to the edge of the world. You know to stand in a place where all time stops as you wonder to yourself – are you the first man to stand here.
Most of the time, I tell these people who hero worship my exploits – I am shit scared. Most of the time, they just think I am a really humble guy who much prefers to water down his exploits…that’s the funny thing about people…usually they prefer to see what they want to see and there is no way to tell them otherwise…as they have already made most of it up in their heads already.
But that’s the truth. I am shit scared most of the time when I am right in the thick of it. So scared when I am up there all by myself. I shit bricks. There was this time when I was up on a rickety scaffolding high above KL doing some work on a sign board…someone said I did it as I was a famous climber who just wanted to show off that I could fly like a bird in Bukit Bintang. But I just did it as I needed the money real bad and it paid very very well…as the owner of the building couldnt find anyone dumb enough to take up the job. So one day I bought some climbing rope in camper corners in City Hall, geared up and up I went. All by myself high above the clouds with just barely two inches of footing and I was always shit scared….scared that I wasn’t good enough to make it to very end…scared of falling….scared that I had chewed off more than I can handle…scared perpetually.
I went up every single day….was shit scared that every minute sliced my insides up like a knife…and one day just as it begun the job was finished. A job that maybe only less than hundred climbers in the whole world could have pulled off. As it was considered unclimbable….but I did it.
There was no ticker tape parade…no fanfare…I didn’t speak to anyone about it – I was just marooned in my head… that’s the way it usually is for me. I am not the sort who likes to publicise my exploits. Only a few photos exist of it in wayang party I reckon…as I remember Harphoon wrote about it.
But that’s the way it always is…after a climb or just after taking on something really scary. As only you know how hard it is to get all of yourself together swallow your fear and just put one feet in front of another..only you know…other people can only imagine…but most of the time, they don’t do a very good job I reckon…because if they did, they probably know that I was shit scared all the time and skip the hero worship part. I can tell..it’s a vampire thing…they don’t know what’s like to face death. I know they’ve never ever gone there before, so I never explain and just keep it all to myself like one of those guys who speaks a dead language no one else understands.
I remember celebrating in McDonalds over a big Mac and some cheap whisky…that’s my way marking that milestone in my life…I remember, my hands were still trembling…but I was happy it was over. No sorry…I was relieved. It was then that I began to wonder to myself – what do you have to show for all this? Is it even worth it? Or maybe it’s just like pouring water into a tin can with a hole…
That’s the funny thing about making it to the otherside successfully when you decide to take on something that most people will just run away from. You don’t ever know what you’ve gained from it. Not at that moment in time…I know some people say they derive an intense sense of satisfaction from it all or they see it in terms of an epic baptism of fire yada yada yada and they hear trumpets and angels start flying around them to reveal the mysteries of this world and it does wonders for their confidence that they can even write motivation books about their experiences…but my point is, it’s never like that for me. Never.
For me. I just feel incredibly relieved it’s over and my hands…they’re always trembling…sometimes I cry for no reason….and I never ever know what I’ve gained from it…never…that’s just me. I am a bit slow, I reckon.
But life is an incredibly funny thing…as many years could even go right by and you may not even remember the name of that mountain or sea that you once took on and won…so there you are in the present thinking that it’s all cut and dried….it’s all behind you.
Then something big and menacing stands right before you again…something scary…you narrow your eyes…flare your nostrils….as this thing unfurls it’s terror before you…it’s so big and it’s making a giant fist again…then it all clicks into place, like a satisfying Lego piece finding another…click!…a moment of epiphany and you realise then and there… that mountain or sea that you once took on so many years ago did change you after all…You know because when this really big scary thing that can smash your life into a thousand pieces is kicking it’s hoofs and panting….you’re still looking at it and have not run yet and asking yourself……how can I kill it dead? Yes, you’re still shitting bricks….but my point is you’re still there facing the sum of all your fears…sure you’re shit scared….but you have not run off…..as you’ve decided to fight and kill it dead!
So you step right inside that mythical storm, go right through it even though it feels as if you’re breathing in needles and every moment you’re dying tiny slices of death…. You’re still scared, but it’s like a street fight….your hands move purposefully…you’re scared…but you’re calm and controlled and deadly as well…you know exactly where to hit and how much force to use to snap a bone, cut an artery, you’re like a well oiled machine…but you’re still shit scared… no fumbling, no hesitation….you just in the swirl of the moment as if you’re standing there all again….in the eye of the storm as all hell breaks loose all around you like that time so many years ago.
And the next thing you know….you have made it through that symbolic storm. It’s over.
The funny thing is once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through….it’s just exactly like the day after you once took on the many mountains and seas that you once decided to take on….your hands are trembling….you still have that residue effect of fear….and you’re back in McDonalds downing cheap whisky and you’re asking yourself – was that really worth it? But one thing is certain…..
When step right out of that metaphorical storm, you will NEVER be the same person who walked in. You’re changed…and that’s really my point…you have changed.
Whether it’s for the better or worse…I can’t say, but you have changed.
As you’ve gone thru stuff that most men never ever get to go thru…they may have seen it in the movies or read about it. But since you’ve lived the before, during and after…you will always be very different from all those other men.
That’s how I see it when a man decides to take on something so big that it can just crush him like an ant….. he becomes a very different man.’
March 26, 2014
It’s settled. There will be less of a precious thing this year….it will rain less. I don’t care what the weather bureau or any of the experts have to say….the matter is settled…in my mind at least…. if I am wrong and the heavens pour down… its a bonus…but if I am spot on….I will still have one opportunity to rush up mother nature’s skirt when she’s got her head turned the other way and snatch a bountiful harvest…the only cost is the new methods of fertilisation will require back breaking work. As they are maybe four or five times harder to put into effect than the traditional methods of fertilisation.
Having to accept a lousy situation doesn’t mean a bountiful harvest is out of my grasp this year. Not at all. I just have to throw out the old way of doing things and bring in a method.
To hedge against the prospects of another round of dry spell. I am using a method of fertilisation that is commonly used by the Israelis to grow crops in semi arid terrain. This means all the dosages along with cations will have to be radically changed as I will rely implicitly on morning dew to break down the fertiliser – can this be accomplished in a tropical setting….I don’t see why not. Besides it’s not as if I have a choice….and that is really life….as sometimes all of us have make the best of a lousy situation, especially when we are all confronted with an event that’s bigger than what we can hope to be…..it’s like one of those epic storms where you don’t even know whether you can ride it out to see the otherwise, but you do the best you can and you try everything…that’s all there is to it.
Most farmers are sticking to the old method. The way I see it. If the rains come, they will be well and fine. But if it remains dry, then they’re as good as fucked….truth remains, the kampung economy is wholly dependent on the well being of primary producers and the prospects of another prolonged dry spell is bound to play a preponderant role in modulating the kampung economy. As when there is less or no crop….then the harvesters will take home less pay, the pasar and eateries will begin to thin out and the whole economy runs the risk of grinding to a halt. This cannot be allowed to happen and that is why it’s imperative that primary producers continue to do well.
Lately I have been making it a point to circulate in the local community to get a feel of what people have been buying – this is the equivalent of my intelligence spy ring to keep my ears firmly on the ground to make certain that I nothing takes me by surprise – experience informs me this is usually a very reliable barometer of how the common folk are coping with the dry spell – from the looks of it, everyone seems to be tightening their belts and most don’t see the necessity of making contingency plans – this I can only surmise is a failing common to simple folk. They know no better.
It’s regrettable that I don’t have better relations with the village elders. Many still consider me a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler. And from what I have seen there seems to be a concerted effort to contain or neutralize what they perceive as my ‘imperialistic’ bent – either that or my paranoia is just getting the better of me.
Its regrettable. If I had a working relationship based on mutual respect and dignity with the village elders. I would be able to share many of my modern farming scientific techniques with the many small holders to improve yield despite the drought. As it is, it’s very likely that I will have to broadcast this new methods beneath a tree on a black board kampung style like a travelling Koyok vendor.
Not that I mind. This will be my hidden strategy of undermining the authority of the village elders and I hope to use this dry spell to full advantage by waging a systematic war of the hearts and minds.
War is just a continuation of politics by other means.
We will win!
March 25, 2014
This afternoon a group of men asked me whether I would be interested to lend my extensive knowledge of oil palm to help Singapore solve the haze problem.
I asked them twice, who did they represent. They were quite evasive and kept on mentioning that was not important….one of them even said to me….is that really important.
I told them….I am so sorry….this conversation is over unless you can all make some arrangement to pay me USD$1,000 per hour. I went back to surfing porn and playing Sudoku on my iPad.
After a while they left.
They all looked so confused as if I was written in an alphabet that none of them could read. I don’t understand….as it is all so precise and clear to me….the way things have to be that is.
(This has been broadcasted through out the strange lands by the Niberium class signal vessel KDD Shalom – Interspacing Mercantile Guild – The Brotherhood Press 2014)
“When I made the decision to join politics in 2006, pay was not a key factor. Loss of privacy, public scrutiny on myself and my family and loss of personal time were. The disruption to my career was also an important consideration. I had some ground to believe that my family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income. So it is with this recent pay cut. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for any one [sic] considering political office.” Grace Fu.
March 24, 2014
I know what everyone thinks. The monsoon rains is finally here. Evil has been vanquished….the serpents head is crushed…the good times are back again..the dry spell is well and truly over.
I don’t believe that’s the case. Not at all – as it has only really rained twice this whole entire month followed by scattered showers. For me at least.
The way I see it. Most of the rains will fall mainly on the southern tip of peninsula this year. So if you’re in Singapore. You’re good to go. But since I am located up North the best we can hope for this year is intermittent showers from now till the end of May i.e Mickey Mouse rain. Thereafter another dry spell will close right in when the winds shift again in early June – this may not mean anything at all to most people. But to farmers it means the real rains will only come somewhere around in September. From now till then, there will be very little of a very precious thing.
But this does not mean a bountiful harvest is out of my grasp. There is a way and I have been experimenting with new fertilisation techniques that the Israelis use to grow Jaffa oranges in the Sinai – if the fucking Jews can grow juicy oranges in the desert don’t tell me the same techniques cannot be adapted to grow oil palm!
Yes, these methods are radical to say the least, where I split the dosage per palm into micro quantities so as that they can be absorbed despite the low rainfall. So instead of broadcasting 3 kg per palm. I will split it into 1 kg and broadcast it over a wider surface area – naturally the farmhands are not happy as it’s three times their normal workload and this is completely alien to them – and since the calculations of required nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, boron and magnesium are so complicated there is no way I can possibly explain it to most people. Even if I could, no one will believe me.
Everyone thinks I am crazy….but I know deep down in my bones I am on the right track. I just know! They way I see it, let the yield speak for itself. I don’t want to talk too much. Let the yield do all the talking lah!
Let’s see how it goes. I am hopeful.
We will win!
I don’t believe in meritocracy per se. I happen to be one of those who believe this word has been so evacuated of meaning since its regularly embellished to justify all sorts of dehumanizing policies.
The way I see it. If meritocracy has to come at an exorbitant social cost of watching droves of people lose their standard living while they get systematically marginalized on an industrial scale only to end up at the bottom of the heap as either taxi drivers or security guards. Then to me that sort of shitty corseted definition of meritocracy has as much utility as weed killer in a cocktail glass…it’s no good lah! I dowan lah!
The way I see it, if meritocracy is so narrowly defined to exclude so many important things such as the human spirit and whole of idea of dignity and respect – then it’s just an unimaginative and lazy man’s way of making things work really well – as everything is premised on the no brainer calculus i.e either you make the grade or you’re toast, it has to be a clearest form of reductionism.
Like I said, there is zero skill in just FINDING the right fit – any bloody fool can do that. As when the word meritocracy is hijacked, embellished and defined so narrowly that it can only elide so many factors that make up life – then to me it’s just a mindless efficiency theory that doesn’t even question what the social cost may be if all we do is select the best and set aside what we have to work with – it just means meritocracy (in the Singaporean context) can only mean life as we know it will increasingly become binary without us realizing it – you’re either a scholar or a cookie cutter, successful or a failure, switched on or off, team player or dyfunctional, with or against us.
Life is NEVER like that! The way I see it, if things are no good. I will MAKE it good – put in the effort, try harder, try everything and anything and just keep on hammering the shit out of it, till it gets better. That way even if someone or something comes to me as a thing most people will throw away and consider garbage. I can always strip it right down to it’s chassis and rebuild it all over again to be the best that it can be….I’ve done this many times. Taken stuff that someone has thrown away, rebuilt it and make it work better than new! If this can be done with things, like pumps, tractors and farming equipment what more, if it’s alive!
The way I see it, no one needs to be ever left behind. Only people who are bankrupted of all imagination throw away things that can be improved on…to me these are incredibly lazy people.
My vet for example is one of these fucked up people. He keeps insisting Kee Kee is retarded and should be terminated as he doesn’t know how to run and jump like a normal puppy. But what the fuck does he know!
Recently I did some research on the internet and found that horses which had lost their natural instinct to run after recovering from a prolonged limb injury were put into a swimming pool to wake their muscles up – so I have been regularly giving Kee Kee swimming lessons in a home made tank.
Kee Kee doesn’t seem to have any problems threading water with his front paws. The problem is, he doesn’t use his hind legs at all…so I help him along.
I am starting Kee Kee with just a few minutes a day and I plan to slowly increase the duration bit by bit.
Let’s see how it goes…I am hopeful.
We will win!
That to me is how life really is…we are all born with flaws. No one is perfect. And those who tell you they’re the best thing since sliced bread are perfect liars!
Sometimes when things don’t go the way you plan it. You just need to work at it to make it better….instead of just throwing it away or saying to yourself, it’s a big mistake. Above all you need to hold on to the idea: things will get better…..above all you need to cultivate the discipline to go your own way and not to believe them….but to just hold on to that idea….it will get better if you continue to work at it.
I remain hopeful.
March 23, 2014
This morning a very well respected elder from a neighboring village invited me for breakfast. When I arrived at the Bak Kut Teh shop and saw a group of businessmen who tried to cheat me on a land deal two months ago was on the same table. I realized I had been ambushed and the respectable elder may have been asked my the elders of my village to broker a peace deal between me and these businessmen.
Throughout breakfast. I made it point to stress to all. I was prepared to forgive and forget all transgressions – to even let the matter slide for the sake of the common good…..for I value peace and harmony above all else.
I even went to the extent of assuring all parties it made absolutely no sense for me to hold grudges that it would be far better if we could all cooperate and work together for the common good – that to forgive is to be free from bondage and suffering…and to be free is to live…somewhere in all this desiderata. I bounced babies on my knees and looked at them lovingly and often saying to these men – ‘how lucky you are future, your will be happy and prosperous….Uncle will consider you his God son…..he will always love and protect you.’
Everyone believed me. Everyone was so happy…..so relieved…..and hopeful. Everyone except me. I felt very sad. As it was all an elaborate lie and I did not believe a single word I said.
God have mercy on my soul.
God have mercy….I lied thru my teeth.
I know one day, I will burn in the hottest place in hell……I will burn.
March 23, 2014
99.9% of leadership is all about managing opportunities and threats. That means when opportunity presents itself – usually we have to strike decisively – often to accomplish this, we need to do so in a business environment of resource scarcity….it is very rare to for one to have the luxury of optimum men and material.
Yesterday I pushed my farm hands hard. So hard that I am sure many may even come to regard me as some sort of mini Stalin cum Adolf Hitler. But I had no choice. As before one can even fertilise trees – heavy bags of fertilisers must first be placed in strategic high points in a plantation. To exacerbate the already back breaking work load. This year of fertilisation, I have opted for direct and not compound fertilisers. This means the work load is multiplied three to four fold.
Today I made it a special point to go easy on my farm hands. I told them all, yesterday most of the back breaking work had already been done. Thousands of heavy bags of fertilisers have already been heaved up the hill. Now all we need to do is to work our way down. It will be light work.
Had I not pushed them hard yesterday from dawn till sunset and beyond even in the rain – it is doubtful that we would have it so easy today. As last night it rained heavily and the roads would have been too slippery for the lorries to climb all the way to the hill or for the men to carry such heavy loads of their backs.
Everything seems to be going to plan. I am tired, but very happy with the progress.
‘There are times when a leader needs to push thru unpopular policies. This is part and parcel of leadership. Any man who does not fully understand this reality, I suspect is not well versed in the art of leadership at all.
As at times, the aperture of opportunity presents itself only for a very brief period and no more. And if one doesn’t strike when the iron is hot. You may not get another chance at all or have to wait for the next opportunity when and if it comes.
That’s life…as I see it…it’s all about managing opportunities usually in an environment of resource scarcity….and this underscores the importance of managing perception.
As a large part of leadership has to do with selling the persona of the leader and what he stands for…it may not be real. But that is hardly the point…as reality is largely a matter of what others choose to regard as real.
For a leader to maintain the discipline necessary for his men to follow him even if from time to time he has to lead them with scorpions and whips without incurring their wrath – he must be seen to be sharing their burden. That is to say he too must sweat blood and tears….he must be on the ground….firmly invested in the common folk.
Fortunately that is not necessary most of the time. As managing the perception of being on the ground is all that is required – all that really needs to be done is to camp out with the men, eat the same food as them and to continue leading a simple and unpretentious life.
This way in the evenings when the men sit around the fire and drink their guiness stout, smoke, crack dirty jokes and chat about football.
They will from time to time turn to look at the solitary camp of their leader who is burning the midnight oil. They will whisper amongst themselves. What a miserable life…his life is just slightly better than a beggar. After all, he eats the same food as us. He even sleeps on hard planks with only a mosquito coil like us. Look at him. All he has is that giant black dog to keep him company, that cannot be much fun as he cannot hug it and go to sleep like a woman….and when our candles dim. The light in his camp still glows thru the dead of night. As he has to crack his head day and night juggling numbers like hand grenades – and after this is finished, while we can all look forward to going home to our wife’s and children and enjoy the warmth that can only come from family – the poor devil can only go back to his huge haunted house on the hill…all by his lonesome….all the time…shouldering all the worries of the world…and he does not even have a woman to keep his bones warm….all he has is that ugly giant black dog.
Soon someone will say…
How miserable it is to own so much land. We are so lucky, we are not like those miserable landowners.
To know how to use the simple way of life as a strategic weapon to manage yourself and others is to be wise beyond your years. As this requires nothing short of perfect self discipline and 100% control over the ego.
True power is NEVER to be found in a man showing off his wealth which can only provoke jealousy and resentment in others. It is to be found in the simple life – where a man who can easily afford to drive a Mercedes rides around in a bicycle.
ALL THE SERIOUS MEN OF THIS WORLD KNOW THIS. Those who do not know this will always inflict pain on others by just living and breathing – as not to know this is to mean many will just call you Liao jiak bee and they will be so jealous of your wealth that they may even hate and resent you.
So study and research this well – as this Dao can be adapted to leading platoons, teams, expeditions, managing change and dealing with relatives who always ask you for money.’
March 21, 2014
Last night I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep. I spent the whole night running up and down my bird house to make sure everything was as it should be for the arrival of my friends.
When the morning came my friends arrived.
I am so happy they made it safely across the Straits. Rest my fine feathered friends…fatten up. I will feed you nom nom nom nom
March 21, 2014
I guess when someone says, you have a compassion deficit – what they really are really trying to say is…..you’re selfish. You only think about yourself and your own welfare, other people don’t matter to you. Not unless they can help you to advanced your goals.
It may also mean you see the world only according to your terms and you consider all other world views just minor details that can be negotiated to fit into your worldview. Since other world views don’t count for very much. They can’t possibly alter the way you ascribe value to the things which you consider worthy. Only your worldview matters. But of course, you do them the courtesy of listening or pretending too.
Above all when someone calls you selfish it simply means they don’t want to have anything whatsoever to do with you.
‘I get looked down a lot by city folk. Especially when they see me toiling in the fields with my farm hands, it’s not uncommon for them to turn to their kids and say, ‘if you don’t study hard…you will end up like that man.’
But I don’t take it personally, not at all. I used too. But since I’ve already given the matter a lot of thought – these days I believe city folk hold on to that parochial attitude only because they know absolutely nothing about farming. That’s to say, they are ignorant about the allure of living the farmers life.
And people only know very little or nothing about a thing except what they cobble up in the TV, then it’s hard, if impossible to give that thing the respect it rightly deserves.
You could even say that’s axiomatic of everything in life that one doesn’t really take the trouble to understand from the inside out.
But let’s just conduct a social experiment here and ask ourselves a philosophical question: why do farmers farm, given that it’s such an uncertain existence where everything seems to be placed before the vagaries of nature?
The simple answer is farming since time immemorial has always been one of the few politically correct ways to be selfish and still gainfully employed without being called a troublemaker.
Farmers like to be their own man…their own boss, that’s why their favourite greeting is, ‘you’re on my land’ which is quickly followed by a volley of birdshot followed by ‘don’t ever let me see you here again!’
Farmers especially like to spend their time in the field. Put a farmer in a cubicle in a skyscraper where he has to juggle office politics and perpetual deadlines and he will probably die.
To the farmer his office is the great outdoors where he can always be close to animals – birds aren’t just idolent dots in the skies to farmers. They be like fire exits, elevator music and things that just exist in your pheriphery vision – but to a farmer they are his friends like the trees, they can talk to a farmer. You can’t hear the conversation because you have never stilled your mind and walked for hours on end in the fields. Farmers especially love to live where they work and to work where they live – it’s very rare to come across farmers who has to commute to work, as even if they have to live in the middle of nowherevile and put up with the isolation….they much prefer it to living in pigeon hole in the sky amongst nosey neighbours and the pineapple eyed auntie brigade where you can’t even enjoy the simple joys of life like scratching your guli’s.
Above all, all farmers without a single exception strive to live life under their own terms….they don’t live for other people or regularly do stupid things like city folk do by pretending to be someone they’re not. All farmers only aspire to be their own man. That’s why so many farmers are prepared to go through so much trouble to remain self-employed to live their lives without ever having to put up with a boss breathing down their shoulder micro managing them…Or having to do stupid things like take conference calls in the middle of the night and go to work blurry eyed the next day. You rarely ever see a farmer putting in extra hours like how city folk regularly stay back in the office. Others just stay with farming because they much prefer to call the shots and be their own boss.
And this is the precisely the reason why when city folk spend three or four days in a farm. They never ever want to go back to the city again. Never…don’t believe me just give it a chance…you will never live to regret it. Never! If you do. Drop me a line and I promise to publish your letter of complaint on my blog like Ashton. The real tragedy is no one sees it that way, except maybe the politically correct selfish man whose called the farmer.’
March 20, 2014
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the monsoon rains for weeks. Till now, the rains have been the Mickey Mouse variety. Mostly brought by pot luck winds that blow along the South Westerly direction that originate from China deep within the Gobi desert.
Today the winds suddenly shifted to the North Easterly direction and stayed true for the whole day – soon they brought with it, the first monsoon rains all the way from the Andaman seas stretching all the way back to the Himalayas. These rains are warm and nitrogen rich unlike the chilled South Westerly rains, they can open the floodgates of heaven for hours on end. They bring both blessings and curses. From today onwards it will rain like today.
The question now is how long will these rains last?
It is hard to say, the Brahmins in the village temple of Kali say Uranus is too far out of it’s orbit and it’s creating loads of nervous energy – they continue to insist April will be bone dry. Even the village bomoh who has been offering alms in the form of coconuts to make rain concur with the Brahmins. As for the highland tribesmen, their shaman say the oracle is on the blink this year – that’s tribal code for ‘let’s cover our ass.’
I need to be wise to read this season for what it is and not what others say it is. Last year was a walk in the park. I managed to get 8 out of 10 without even trying. Did it by just following the textbook approach. But I reckon, this year judging from the siaowness of mother nature when the year started is likely to test my mettle as a farmer to renewed heights of hardship.
I need to remain very calm and patient and not rush impulsively into anything….if I play my cards right, I can still reverse many of my mistakes in the beginning of the year and turn a lousy situation into a bountiful harvest.
That’s how life is. It’s NEVER about getting it spot on all the time. The only people I know in the whole world who keep insisting they are infallible and beyond reproach is the PAP. Not that anyone believes them – truth is it’s not always possible to get it ALL right, not unless you’re a reincarnation of Nostradamus – all one can really do in life is strive to get most of it right and as for those aspects of the plan that took a wrong turn, they just need to be worked on to get them to work right….life I am reminded has more do with RECOVERY, than getting it right the first time.
Recovering from an unexpected set back that just hits you on the blind side when everything is just cruising along smoothly…wham! You’re down for the count!
It’s all about your capacity to recover.
Doesn’t matter what it is, bad debts, a lousy business deal, a poisonous relationship, terminal cancer or even if you just stuck in a rut…IT’S REALLY ONLY ABOUT HOW WELL YOU CAN RECOVER FROM THAT SHITTY POSITION….recovering from a bad investment that threatens to wipe you out….recovering from a failure and getting your confidence and courage back again to try one more time….it’s all about how well one can recover and it’s never ever about getting it spot on the first time! Never!
I must be deadly calm and above all patient….above all I must
‘Now that the winds have changed suddenly. My friends (the birds) will begin their long and trecherous flight across the Straits from Sumatra. They were not able to do this earlier as the South Westerly was against them – now the winds are with them, they will prepare for their marathon flight across the windswept Straits soon – it is hardly a matter of choice, fires have been raging in the Indonesian archipelago, soon the choking wall of smoke will make a fist and strike the birds one by one from the skies….they will all have to flee.
It is the good that the monsoon has come just about now, it is only two days after the full moon – my friends will have no trouble making their way here with the moon beam lighting up the many river routes from high above. Last night, I put up laterns to guide them safely home….a home to rest and fatten up.’
March 20, 2014
When we cultivate the good habit of acknowledging the good others have brought into our lives. Then we will not be so quick to judge or anger when they do us wrong from time to time. Our hearts will still be soft. As we remember the goodness they once shared with us to make us who we are.
To know gratitude is to know how to remain grounded and human in a very cruel world.
‘Yesterday one of the village elders asked me why I am always sticking my neck out for the ‘foreigners.’ This is how he refers to many of the Singaporeans who have been forced out of Singapore as a result of the lousy economic policy of the PAP. Many have started trading companies, some have ventured into fisheries and farming.
The old man went on to tell me, my attitude was causing unease with many who see the influx of foreigners as a threat to their way of life. I went on to tell the old man, that I once lived, worked and played for over ten years with these ‘foreigners.’ And they are really not so different from us. That may be hard to believe as their leaders are so stingy, wicked and conceited, but as far as the common folk are concerned, they have always been good to me.
To press the point home. I took the old man’s teacup and poured some tea into mine and drank it – the old man understood the language of the old country. He merely said, ‘your waters mix with theirs it seems….your destiny is linked.’
I shared with the old man when I was in Singapore. All of life was still a great mystery to me. So I was fool in the moment of my youth and I took and took and took without ever once thinking of ever giving back. I was just stupid as I thought this is how the world is.
Later on in my life, as I experienced first hand how difficult it is for one to build an enterprise all by oneself without any help – then I began to feel guilty…ashamed. So one day when I came across these ‘foreigners.’ I took it upon myself to repay the debt that I once owed. I went to tell the old man, this is the only way for me to redeem myself. As I have lost contact with the many good people who once helped me in Singapore. I went on to share with him for many of these foreigners, they have sold everything to start an enterprise, so if they fail because someone cheats, harass or maligns them, it will be very sad for their families. As they would probably have to return back to Singapore with zero savings and drive a taxi or guard a condominium.
They have to succeed. Failure is not an option. I know those odds very well first hand. And let us all be honest, there is no law in the kampung, it is really just a cowboy town. The man in the bush jacket is still very much the sheriff, magistrate, Stalin, Oprah Winfrey, Clark Kent, Al Capone, MGR all rolled up into the person who all knows as the keeper of the wheel of life – it has been this way since the days of the British and that will never ever change…..there is no one else…..
I told the old man if I did make every effort to square the accounts when I am still alive. My food will not taste good and I will not be able to sleep soundly. So I must do what I do and to do it without every once complaining….as this the first lesson in the education of a serious man to always make it a point to remember his roots and not to behave like those vapid Americans who just believes everyone walks right out of a knoll without any history at all.
The old man merely said, ‘it seems you have no choice then…’