I need a back massage lah

August 21, 2018

Manipulators

August 21, 2018

It is not entirely true to say that those who are malevolent and seldom ever work for your best interest bring out the worse in you. Or even exploit your weaknesses.

The truth can only be to awlful that I suspect may well be why this subject is rarely ever discussed.

In reality, manipulators dont ever exploit one’s weaknesses. After all why should they settle for the rump when they can take a royal bite out of the choicest cuts.

Rather when we speak about what is actually manipulated by manipulators.

They milk their victims kindness, their decency, and the best aspects of what makes them worthwhile human beings.

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‘Today one of my business colleagues mentioned, he trust no one. At first I just ignored him and continued eating. After everyone had left the table. I summoned him to come closer to impress upon him what I was about to share can only be highly confidential and valuable – ‘dont take it personally. As I dont even trust myself. So how reasonable is it to expect me to trust you?’

Q: Mahathir plans to cancel many mega projects such as the ECRL, LRT3 and HSR that links Kuala Lumpur to Jurong East Singapore. How do you see this strategy panning out given that many of these mega projects have already been penned by the defeated BN government?

A: If you look at it only from a legal standpoint. Then its cut and dried. That’s to say Mahathir & Co is locked by agreements that the previous BN government entered into. Even if it happens to be a one sided lousy agreement. The new PH government is locked solid. That is the legal vantage prognosis.

But you and I both know the PH win is no ordinary win. It is perhaps one of the epic political stories that is comparable to the Ramayana and Mahabrata and possibly even the romance of the three kingdoms put together. This at least is how most people and the political elite in Asia see this historical development.

My point is Mahathir is not a run of the mill politician. He is widely perceived to be a symbol against repression and graft etc etc.

If you look at the Mahathir narrative is it the story of a retired swordsman who is forced to pick up his old sword and right the many wrongs and inequities despite the overwhelming odds. The Chinese are not stupid. They are not going to commit public relations hara kiri before the whole wide world by insisting on black letter law. Besides they happen to be great story tellers as well. So they are very sensitive of the propaganda value of Mahathir in relation to how their soft power policy might work in the rest of Asia.

In my assessment the Chinese will be very understanding and accomodating to Mahathir. In short they will give him what he wants, even if it means cancelling many of the keystone OBOR projects in Malaysia. Only understand why the Chinese are doing this. They are not doing all this because they believe for one moment the fairytsle that Mahathir is the savior of a ruined Malaysia. No. The only reason why they would consider a policy of appeasement is simply because in the long term, going with and not against Mahathir will supply China with the much needed moral and ethical currency to push ahead with bigger agendas thru out Asia. If they resist Mahathir & Co and insist on pure black letter law. The Chinese know only too well they would win the battles, but end up losing the war. So they are not stupid. So long as Mahathir is the blued eyed boy cum ambassador of the downtrodden, oppressed and cheated, he is likely to get what he wants.

Q: How do you think Singapore will respond to the cancellation of the HSR?

A: I am not so sure that its to Malaysia interest to cancel the HSR project. From my assessment the main beneficiaries of this project is Malaysia. Because the HSR will revivify many half dead zombie towns along the southern corridor leading to negeri sembilan and Kuala Lumpur. There are actually significantly more pluses for Malaysia than Singapore.

I think the primary bone of contention with the HSR is the price. And to understand why that might be the case one has to understand the PH mindset – they all believe BN are crooks. A corrolary of that requires them to buy into the believe the price for the HSR has been inflated beyond its actual cost, so that BN cronies can cream off the top or use it as a backdoor way of refinancing. To some degree PH is correct. Because if you look at the equivalent of the Kuala lumpur MRT. It is the general consensus that the whole project could have been done for far less and this would naturally lead one to ask – where did the rest of the money go?

So at one perspective. I believe PH has a valid point that deserves the courtesy of a second hearing.

As for how Singapore will respond. I have no comment.

Q: I would like to go back to a very interesting point that you highlighted that is the issue of moral and ethical currency. Why is this suddenly so important now to China? And how does this new metric feature in the geo political stance of China towards the rest of Asia?

A: Moral and ethical currency or authority has to be increasingly important to China as that is part and parcel of social evolution. As people become more educated and have more discreationary income to be classified as middle class. They are not just interested in bread and butter issues. This 101 Maslow. Eventually society will gravitate towards good governance, rule of law, transparency and accountability. I believe in the case of Malaysia this tipping point has already been breached. I would not go as far as to describe it in terms of an Arab spring or solidarity movement like what once transpired in soviet era Poland under lech Walesa. But what cannot be denied is China’s tried and tested geo economic policy of no strings attached soft loans which was such a successful formula in transforming the African continent must be adjusted to take stock of the new stream of consciousness that is sweeping thru the new Asia social landscape, where the guarantee of mere economic growth is simply not good enough any longer. In the past providing people had three square meals they dont mind shutting up. These days they also want the right to speak their mind along with have their elemental right to stand up in the public square and tell the world that if they dont hunch and stand up straight, they stand two inches taller.

Against this chastening backdrop of social and political change China cannot be seen to be a co-conspirator or collaborator of corrupt regimes and power crazy politicians. Neither can China use their old geo economic template that they once used to good effect in Africa which is now facing criticism from Western and African civil society over its controversial business practices, as well as China’s militant refusal to take equity in good governance and human rights. It is conceivable in the new Asia where the masses have attained a level of prosperity that makes it possible to sustain a vibrant intelligentsia along with active civil society, China would have to make adjustments to its soft power policy if she wants to be an effective influencer. Either that or she would have to consider bowing out from a prima inter pares role. Because this is what thinking people expect from leadership. They are not only tasked with creating ideal conditions where we can all bring back the bacon. But increasingly the voting public expects them to be moral and ethical and congruent to perserving their rights and freedoms.

Q: Mahathir seems to be leaning towards Japan. How do you see the Chinese responding to this shift in power?

A: I think this is an interesting question. When you use the term leaning. I assume what you really mean to say is he looks to Japan for financing and perhaps product, innovation and market opportunities. To some extent you are correct as Mahathir was the proponent of the look east policy. This was really how Proton came about. The general philosophy during the eighties was the Japanese would be able to infuse Malaysians with the requisite thoughtware. You know work ethic etc etc to be more industrious. Though how this alchemy would actually occur was never ever discussed. Could be brain transplant or cloning. But what was even less discussed is how much of an epic failure Proton turned out to be.

Besides the Japan of the eighties and present day is really the sad tale of two very distant and unrecognizabke cities. In my opinion all roads now lead to Beijing. Sooner or later Mahathir too will have to come to that realization. Whether he likes it or not, China is the pre-eminent superpower in the region. As for Japan it is in decline.

So even if he wants Japan to play a meaningful role in jump starting the Malaysian economy. I think he is likely to face strong domestic head winds. As many Malaysians despite their admiration and fondness for Mahathir do not regard his forays into heavy industry such as car making with the same happy memories. The name Proton has become a caricature for kampung hero. That is to say in local parlance of the vernacular it is used to describe a person who only thinks he is good, but that is because he has never been out of his frog in the well village.

Preferring to be alone

August 20, 2018

Being alone has been successfully sold as a character flaw to such an extent. That today it is often perceived to be a leading social problem. There are even words to ostracise people who choose to be alone….loner etc etc.

Hence society has programmed many to believe loneliness is an urgent problem that requires treatment. And so people respond to this ‘problem’ by connecting.

Only understand this! The desire to connect is a symptom not a cure.

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‘I am negotiating for land. Today an emissary sent by the otherside exlaimed – you told us…you will buy the land. I asked of him, where did you here this from?

He said. He heard it, but he cannot recall where….that was when I said. You must be hearing voices….

Being alone allows us to audit our thoughts, actions along with setting our priorities according to what we consider necessary, rather than the needs of others.’

When your thoughts, methods, expectations and habits settle into a predictable pattern. That is when your business rivals will be able to plan very effectively to engineer your downfall….and since there no mystery whatsoever to where you would like to go along with how. The chances are your business rivals will succeed.

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‘Never be a sitting duck. Always be a moving target.

When everyone expects you to say something, do the opposite and remain very still and keep quiet. Doing so will confuse them. Confusion after a certain point can only heighten nervousness and eventually drive your business rivals crazy. Once they are mentally scattered, it is no longer possible for them to make sensible calculations.

This is the moment when you must prepare for war…..

When you desire something. You must feign disinterest. Better still if you can suppress your desire to the value of zero. I find by just playing mental soduku one is able to fashion an expression of someone who is completely preoccupied and uninterested. Doing so will force your business rivals to commit more men and materiale to fathom out your motives. When they do so, use disinformation and misdirection to good effect. This will short circuit their planning unit rendering them ineffective as without reliable intelligence it is impossible to plan.

This is the moment when you must launch your attack…

Never be predictable. Do a thing to lead everyone into thinking that you are interested. Then suddenly and unexpectedly change tack without rhyme or reason. This will have the effect of unsettling the rythm of your rivals. When their timing is disrupted, it is very difficult for them to perform at the top of their game. They will not have the confidence or stomanch to make bold moves. This is the method to destroy moral.’

Half way into crazy rich Asians. Suddenly Fu Manchu comes across like Marcus Aurellis. As for Suzie Wong, after watching this horrible movie, she is definitely Marie Curie or very close to Eleanor Roosevelt. But Charlie Chan….what can I say.

I want to be him.

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‘A new philosophy must guide man. Otherwise mankind will not be able to gainfully live a purpose driven life. That is because fixing his eyes on money even a bit will always lead him astray. If man knows himself well enough to realize money will always be a lousy master mankind does not have a problem. The problem is like the fabled drug addict or alcoholic, man is in denial and believes he can handle it!

The profit motive is not only mindless, but left to its own devices it can also be callous, indifferent and sanctimoniously destructive. Nothing in this world even comes close to the destructive power of money! Absolutely nothing.

To counter the evils of money. A new human being needs to be fashioned. Otherwise greater Asia as we know it will descend into the very same avarice that once plagued imperial China and plunged millions of Chinese into darkness and hopelessness.

This new human being I speak about must be a sort of superman. Since it seems almost impossible for the vast majority of humans to resist the seduction of money. But it is precisely because it is so difficult and even futile that suggest this is where mankind should rightly direct all his efforts if he is genuinely serious about saving people and planet…the creation of a superman, guided by a higher ethos besides the vapidness and feralness of money all its corrosive intrigues of power and politics.

Already in this age of money mindlessness, ‘leaders’ are beginning to set in stone their philosophy of how money is the very nucleas that powers the alpha and omega. They do this unabashly as if it is the most normal thing to do and in a sense they have successfully programmed the rest of humanity to buy unthinkingly into their logic.

Only the narcotic of money or more precisely the profit motive is an acquired taste….man was never like a dog who is only motivated to perform circus tricks in exchange for liver bisucits…like I said someone taught him to see the world and to define personal and organization success only in this insular and destructive manner.

If man was really like that then many noble things in history can never be accomplished….we will still be studying shadows in a cave.’

Silence & Maturity

August 18, 2018

A surefire sign of a mature mind is the complete lack of will to prove who you are by telling the world about your story……when you are completely comfortable in silence that by itself is saying it loud enough.

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‘It is needless to talk too much….people who talk alot if you observe carefully all come across as flakey and unconvincing. What gives them away is they try too darn hard and most people can sense it.

Its the people who talk very little and mind their own business, who are usually command the most respect and attention.

So dont fall into the trap of trying to explain, justify or prove….it is not needful to divert so much of yourself in that worthless direction. Makes more sense to go inwards and invest in the self.

This is not to suggest for one moment you should be an anti social person. Rather it is the wisdom to know your priorities and to focus on only the needful.’

I much prefer to listen than talk….

I have entered into negotiations to prospect for land. Sorry…it is not ‘I’ rather my lawyers have been instructed to begin negotiations.

I have given them clear instructions to respond in the following manner…the matter is currently under consideration…..We are not in a position to either confirm or deny that which you have mentioned….no information is avaliable at the present moment.

Exactly one month has passed. The otherside has not moved…neither have ‘I’.

All other things may move and make noise…but the mountain is always silent and never moves.

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‘The mind that is weak can only find silence unbearable and scary. That is because silence is a very unnatural state of being. That is why silence is often comes across as awkward and triggers anxiety….but there is good news…this power to disturb can be harnessed and even redirected to serve you.

Sometimes staying quiet can be the most effective crowbar you need to get what you want.

Silence can be powerful during a negotiation, product presentation or when you are just trying to get your point across.

Here are some of the reasons why.

1. Silence allows key points to stand out from the noise of communication. Most people can only walk away from a meeting remembering no more than three key points. Anymore and their brains will explode. Being silence magnifies your key points.

2. Less is more. Saying less avoids confusion and enhances clarity of vision. People who talk too much come across as disorganized and scattered brain. To inspire trust and confidence, one should talk less.

3. Since most people have an innate fear of silence. They will often say anything rather than bear the awkwardness of silence. When they talk under these conditions, they are actually thinking aloud and this makes it possible to read them.

4. When less is said. There is less chances for acrimony and conflict and misunderstandings.

Q: How would you rate the performance of the new Pakatan Harapan govt on a scale of 1 to 10?

A: I think the outcome of the performance rating would depend on the vantage of where you decide the see events unfolding in Malaysia. From the five foot way, it seems justice has been done. That I will give you – the once cooked accounts are getting a nice squaring – the once arrogant BN has been humbled. The excesses of Najib & Co has been reined in and not a day goes by when Malaysians wake up to new revelations concerning graft and abuse of power under the once corrupt BN.

From a perception stand point there is certainly a palpable impression things are improving and they might even get better.

The most immideate is the dismantling of the climate of fear by PH. While BN consolidated their rule largely on curbing free speech, censorship and a plethora of repressive laws ranging from dentention without trial under SOSMA and the much hated fake news laws. Today in Malaysia there is no fear to speak out any longer.

The other is the zero rating of the much hated and derided consumption tax known as GST.

Again Malaysians felt the relief almost immediately like stepping into an air conditioned mall directly from hot and humid conditions. The same can also be said about the move to resubsiside petrol and diesel, despite the increasing global fuel price Malaysian consumers have been largely insulated.

So there is definitely a feel good atmosphere in the air. If I would have to say otherwise that would mislead.

Q: You mentioned one’s perception of the new Malaysia is largely a function of which vantage one chooses to view all these heady developments. Do you mean to say that many of the ‘feel good’ gains are merely chimeric?

A: I think if you look at Malaysia now, it has never been more politically and economically uncertain. I will not go as far as to say many of the social, economic and political reforms insituted by PH is chimeric. Only I tell those who seek my counsel, keep it all in the right scale and perspective. Dont get emotional. And when one adopts this attitude, it becomes immediately clear that many of the problems facing Malaysia are very serious.

Let me give you a few illustrations of what I mean by serious. For example. GST can be zeroed. And the new PH government wants to revive back the old service sales tax. Only understand this hardly changes the reality. As this move in now way insulates Malaysians from the caprice and vagaries of relying exclusively on petroluem and oil palm revenues. Neither does this move alter the reality that at some GST has to be rolled out simply because the revenue base on Malaysia is simply too small and there is no other sustainable way to revivfy the economy without GST.

From a demographuc and infrastructural perspective. PH has announced cancelling the MRT3 project. But that would in effect make a nonsense of phase 1 and 2 of their MRT project as it would create stations that would lead to nowhere and cancelling the KL and SG high-speed rail is also a big mistake. Because the alternative is roads and they are already getting choked even as we speak.

On the social and ideological front. Especially the dominant race, the Malays located in the rural regions are creeping imperceptibly towards islamification and arabification. So Malaysia is becoming a very polarized society. Even as we speak there are historical changes canaling thru Malaysia. And these are only the sum of the tip of the iceberg stuff.

When you take all these changes into an account. I think nothing short of a coherent reponse is required. The problem is. I dont see it.

(To be cont)

THIS SITE HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY OCCUPIED BY THE IMG. WE WILL RESTORE THIS THREAD AS SOON AS WE HAVE FIXED SOME SYSTEM PROBLEMS. DO BEAR WITH US.

The current outfit is still thinking, acting and talking like the opposition. That may well explain why they have been unable to chart a long term social economic policy for Malaysia.

For some unknown reason. The new Pakatan Harapan government seems to be experiencing difficulties in shifting gears to get up to speed on their roles….they seem to be far more interested in playing police and thief. Not realizing Najib & Co is already cut and dried…its old news.

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‘You can certainly blame some of the countries problems on Najib & Co. But you cannot blame all of the problems on his leadership and the kaput BN…..my point is at some point in the ongoing blame game, there has to be a cut off.

That is really the inception point when the new PH government has to get up to speed on taking responsibity for many of the social economic challenges facing Malaysia.

The way I see it, the case for a strategic social economic blue print is especially urgent for Malaysia, simply because there are significant shifts in the region that require a coherent policy response. The US have rolled out a slew of protectionist policies that threatens global free trade. China has a long term geo political agenda in Asia and beyond. These are just a few shifts worth mentioning. Hello is anyone there! There is not even an agri and livestock policy for the country!

Against the backdrop of these shifts. Many of the countries in ASEAN have already settled on a model on where they want to go and how they are going to go about prosecuting on their goals.

Thailand has set its sights on being the Detroit of Asia, it is focussing heavily on building a technocratic society. Indonesia has set sights on building a strong and reliable middle class to strenghten its revenue base and by the looks of it they are doing an excellent job of distributing wealth. Singapore has wants to be the new smart nation of Asia to improve productivity and enhance innovation. Despite a few set backs such as SMRT and the recent hacking of medical data, they are moving steadily to the finishing line. Even Vietnam want to be an agri and textile superpower. As for the Philippines, they want to profile themselves as a logistic hub and centre to reap the benefits of OBOR…in the case of Malaysia. They want to build cars like they did some forty years ago. To me going backwards to move forward is very perculiar social economic strategy….very odd indeed!’

A big part of the art of manliness involves mastery of sissy girl skills such as cooking, housekeeping, babying puppies and of course sewing.

Sewing does not come naturally to men. Men are hardwired to only be good at the big, strategic and long range things. That may well explain why mens watches are much bigger, while women dont have any problems telling time from very tiny watch dials…they are hardwired to be good at low light, micro task that require attention to detail such as sewing.

Sewing is a life and death skill in the frontier. What you need to understand is what will do you in nice and proper in the field is seldom the dramatic. Rather it is the mundane and everyday stuff that will kill you faster than a bullet. That is why sewing must be taken very seriously.

I have a range of threads ranging from linen for light stuff like buttons to industrial heavy duty kelvar threads for repairing climbing and load bearing harnesses.

I am not going to go into the specifics. As there are plenty of links in Youtube.

Only remember this….if everytime you pop a button in the wild and you have to throw away a perfectly decent pair of pants or shirt. Or have to run back to mummy…there’s something very wrong with that picture!

Here are some brief tips:

(1) Use only linen thread. Avoid cotton. As linen is much stronger than cotton and does not rot under damp.

(2) Be careful with your needles. In damp conditions like the jungle. They will certainly corrode. 100%. Keep them lovingly wrapped in oiled paper and store in an airtight capsule. Mark out your needles with flourescent stickers so that they do not jab or get accidentally consumed by the dogs.

(3) Always keep a few needles of varying sizes threaded. This way you can take them out and they are good to go even under low light and stressful conditions.

(4) If you or your dogs have a nasty gash or cut. It MUST be sewn up. Always keep a surgical grade scissor and scapel with No.4 blade with your sewing kit.

When you have ministers who are the highest paid in the world. Then they will never be able to walk away from the job….and when a man no longer has the free will to put a thing down.

He will never ever see the wisdom of sticking his neck. Or for that matter standing his ground. No matter what the personal cost.

Instead he will eventually become a lackey.

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‘It has been said. It is ‘an admirable sentiment’ to expect capable people to step forward to serve the country when so little is on offer. I have thought long and hard about this and I tend to believe, it is precisely because it is an admirable sentiment, that is why it is a matter of strategic priority for the state to seek out such men and women for public service.

I am not suggesting for one moment those who are eminently qualified to serve and who are prepared to sleep on a wafer thin straw mattress, dine on boiled water and sunflower seeds, wear a hair vest and who enjoy self flagellation can serve.

I think the correct context was raised in the city harvest case where a judge mentioned something to this effect, you can be true to your faith, but you dont have to be so extravagant. What this judge meant to say in my opinion (I stand to be corrected as always) is – you can be true to your faith. But you dont have to do it with penthouses, sportscars, satin sheets, first class air travel, caviar and champagne.

That to me is another way of saying for those who aspire to lead without controversy, it is best to do so considerately and thoughtfully with regard to the prevailing the social economic landscape.

If lets say Singapore is like Sweden where a garbage collector can go for two holidays every year and even set aside a modest sum to invest in a summer home that overlooks a pictureque lake in the country side. Then i think it will not be an issue to pay ministers the highest pay scale in the world. Because this arrangement is in synch with the social economic ecology.

But if old people are eeking a miserable living by collecting cardboard and still have to work a seven day work week clearing cutlery in food courts or they’re always thinking of ever more inventive ways to commit suicide because their twilight years is so hellish and against this backdrop the custodians of power are talking about value in the context of paying ministers the highest salary in the world.

Then there is something terribly wrong with this bengkok (bent) picture.

And if you cannot understand where and how the dissonance may arise. Then it is a big problem. Only understand this. And understand it maturely and wisely. The problem resides with YOU and not on those who may be critical of the worlds highest pay for ministers.’

I really dont know what that IT might be….However, I do know this. If everything just boils down to the monthly pay cheque. Then that’s certainly a pariah dog motivating factor.

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‘If Edwin Tong finds it difficult for any reason to come to terms with a 75% pay cut to serve as a ministar, then he should perhaps ask himself – where in the bloody world can he sit in on high bench and structure condescending and ‘let me insult the shit out of your intelligence’ yes and no questions in a parliamentary committee? Where in the world can he reasonably expect that quantity and quality of forebearance, consideration and sagacity from his dearly unfortuanate participants and audience. It cannot possibly be from the fraternity of planters, because I really dont see anyone here giving his nonsense even so much as sixty seconds. So maybe he should consider himself lucky and that should be enough reason. Because no where in the world, do you fail and still manage to come up on top. Please dont say I am subversive or embellishing the account. Because this is not from me. I am merely recounting what is commonly said about Singapore ministers. They cannot fail. Or rather they cannot be seen to fail. Doesnt matter how many times the trains goes kaput…can even be everyday….even if get hacked, internet thieves cart away millions worth of confidential information. Also can get praised. Why HSR terms so lax, that one also can. So what we have here is a very sad case where performance is not commensurated with pay. Or rather that I believe is the common perception. Otherwise what else can account for the scale of the public aghast whenever the subject of ministerial pay is raised…I dont know. Maybe you can tell me.’

The price of being

August 7, 2018

When one suddenly becomes aware that the self has a bent for introspection and self examination. It is easy to assume this may have something to do with being more mature…enlightened…wiser.

Truth is…it has nothing to do with maturity and even less to do with wisdom. Rather, the reason why the vast majority of humans rarely ever spend their time navel gazing or trying to understanding themselves and others is simply because there’s no need. They can be like fish in water or a bird that takes to the sky, its their natural element to be part of and to be even accepted by society. By and large providing they dont do any thing stupid like murder someone or try to rob a bank. These people will get by quite well in life.

As for me. No such luck. In the moment of my youth. I realized an awful fact about what sort of life I would have to lead till the day I expired. I unlike all others had to play a part that was as unnatural as a bird behaving like a dog. It was a role that would require considerable understanding and study. So it was not maturity. Rather it was my sense of something amiss. A lag between me and the world that created this sense of dissonance that subsconsciously steered me to gain control over my consciousness.

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A Cafe

August 6, 2018

The man who ordered a double shot Americano that afternoon was different from all other men who had ever walked into the cafe. It was not only his voice that marked him out as different, it was as if he was impersonating the whispering hush of the pssssssh just after the barrista had finished a cycle. Even the way he moved was different, it was slow, defferential, resembling the cadence of a funeral procession.

The man could be nothing other than different from all other men. As he believed he was perhaps the only person who regarded cafe’s as some temple of solitude. To him the idea of a cafe differed not only principally, but also philosophically from either a restaurant or beer hall and any other commercial establishment.

The man who took a seat in one discreet corner that afternoon knew only too well. A cafe wasn’t a sort of place that offered escape from the self. Here in this temple of solitude where even the furnishings radiated a sort of aloofness arranged like solitary islands. He knew it to be a place that venerated loneliness, unlike the atmosphere of congeniality offered by a long table lined with bar stools where one is expected to escape into small talk with strangers.

The man wasn’t interested in escapism. He was not the sort to seek out solace in the company of strangers by impersonating a drop of red dye in a clear glass of water…neither did he wish to lose himself in the floating world that alcohol held out. Least of all he wasn’t interested in losing as much of who he actually was into the faceless crowd just to runaway from who he was….that was why he choose the cafe. He knew cafe’s to be terribly selfish places. Transactional even. Cafe’s are the only place on this planet that force you to give something back to them in exchange for the solitude they offer. They weren’t like darkened cinemas where you could just sink back into the chair and lose yourself in mindless passivity while images flash before you. Neither are cafe’s places where anyone looks you up and down with hungry eyes as they ask themselves…mmh he looks interesting.

No. Cafe’s don’t do ever do that. Especially not the variety the man walked in that hot afternoon where he knew, he would be the only customer long enough to finish his coffee without being disturbed.

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‘Just because you’re in a crowd marinating with other souls doesn’t mean that you’re not like me. A man who much rather keeps to himself. A man of few words. Just becauze you make it a point to talk to at least five people every day doesn’t mean that you’re socialising and making contact. Even a dog can manage a grunt. All it really is, is an elaborate ritual that you go thru to convince yourself a gulf that you can sense deep down in the marrow of your bones can be bridge.

Truth is we will always be alone even when are connected…especially when we connect. As that is the moment when we realize how unlike we are to those who we speak to. Sure we push these thoughts away like reeds that get in our face. That’s only natural. Only understand this. The only reason why we choose to indulge in sugary lies concerning how easy it is to bond with orhers is simply because this is the necessary lie that we need to tell ourselcws just to get by.

Just like I tell myself…money has made me into a man of few words. A man who much prefers the company of his dogs to humans. A man who no longer seems to smile. You see we are forced to forget ourselves in order to come to terms with who we really are. This ugly process for lack of a better word is always mistaken for resolution. No. That it is not what it actually is. Although I personally don’t mind others for thinking so. Only because that would be less of an indictment on my character. If anything it is a form of redemption.’

Resting

August 6, 2018

It never pays to push on. Especially when you’re tired. To do so is a bit like forcing yourself to stay awake while driving, when all you really want to do is close your eyes….you will end in an accident.

Best to just sleep it off…once you are rested. You can come back to it again.

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‘Many people suffer unnecessarily from hang ups when it comes to taking a nap. They dont do it. Because they see it as a sign of acting outside the social norm or worse still, they believe others will mark them down for it.

But I dont see it that way. Not at all. For me, when you’re tired for whatever reason, it is very natural for the mind and body to seek rest.

If it was me. I would make it mandatory for every firm in Singapore to set aside some office space dedicated to just napping. I am not talking about sleeping half the work day away. But there are times when a one hour nap can make all the difference in the world to increase productivity.’

Agarwood Project 2018

August 5, 2018

A while back ago. Someone from back home asked – ‘I heard that agarwood is a great investment?’ I told this chap point blank, No! He asked why…I replied, it’s hardly a science. More of an art and even then the whole process is closer to magic than anything scientific….so given that its fraught with so much hocus pocus how can it possibly be a reliable and good investment?

After hearing all this the man asked…if it is all mumbo jumbo, why are you doing it then?

I told him, from time to time, i like to see myself as a magician rather than a farmer.

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‘Personally I happen to believe ALL agarwood schemes. Especially the sort where you put in $1 and those crooks in pin striped suits assure you that you can get back $10 is nothing more than a ponzi con job.

That’s really how I see it. That is why I will never put one brass cent into any commercial agarwood scheme.

Having said all that, its still a challenge. As agarwood cultivation requires the highest level of acme as a grower. Its a game of cerebral fitness where you’re playing chess with mother nature.

You see I have alot of ideas in a head as to what might work. Its like a secret recipe like the ingredients of Coca Cola or the batter of KFC. But I will be honest alot of it at this stage still involves lizard tongue, dried chicken feet, a dash of ostrich bone powder etc etc…its one part shamanism and the rest maybe surreal magic.

The feeling is not unlike one of dearly unfortunate characters in a Paul Auster or Haruki Murakami novel.

They’re all never really sure of themselves. They’re all slightly insecure, have plenty of quirks and emotionally crumbly. They’re always conducting post mortems on whether they said the right thing…did they offend anyone…did they say anything that they shouldn’t. But despite the emotional and spiritual tumble that they’re in. These characters are without a doubt, all members of the one in a millionth club.

That’s to say they can always count on serendipity and pot luck to turn their lousy stories into Pulitzer material and that is how I see my little agarwood project.

You see there is this sliver of hope that I might just get lucky and everything will come around…so I really need to give it a go!’

On the truth

August 5, 2018

Its not that the truth is hard to get at. Not at all. Rather, I’ve reached the finality of the awful conclusion – since the truth demands one must first be initiatiated into a ceremony that usually requires bearing intense pain.

This means the vast majority of humans would much prefer to run away from the truth.

Instead what they would rather do is find politically correct ways to negotiate around the naked truth. This they might do, by seeking out like minded friends to manufacture their home grown version of the truth. Or maybe they join a supermarket church where everyone seems to have the card blance to exchange the truth for simple and comforting stories that make them feel as if their lives have some meaning.

When you know this little secret about the vast majority of people…I think you tend to be less judgemental about humanity in general.

After all, no one wants to get hurt….its never personal.

An experience

August 5, 2018

Never take yourself or the situation too seriously….when one adopts this attitude. Suddenly everything in life acquires a lightness and one is able to see things clearer with an objective eye.

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‘I think most people will eventual realize retrospectively. The most useful life lessons we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned there…they have to be experienced. Having said all that, I happen to believe its not WHAT we experience that really supplies us the many valuable insights to make us wiser and more thoughtfu. Rather it is the HOW we approach the subject of experiencing that really makes the difference.

Most people invest so much of themselves in the experiencing that they can only lose all sense of scale and perspective. As a result their thoughts concerning that experience can only be skewered. Often when they throw so much of themselves into it. They usually emerge so hurt and scarred by the experience and ultimately it robs them of life.

I am not suggesting for one moment – the best way to approach experiencing a person or event is by adopting an attitude of indifference….but it would not be far fetched to say, one should at least make an effort to be slightly detached from the experience.

Detachment does not in any way suggest indifference. In fact its the direct opposite. Because it is only when one is detached that one can summon the full presence to appreciate the entire spiritual and emotional hemisphere that an experience offers.

When I ask myself, why do I some times make such incredibly bad decisions in business…usually it has to do jumping heads first instead of adopting a cool headed detached atttitude.

I happen to think these things are important enough that they should be taught at school. But regrettably they arent.’