I dont like to be threatened….

April 22, 2013

Three weeks ago. I had the misfortune to met a rather obnoxious Singaporean in a planter’s luncheon. This person made it clear to everyone on the table, he wasn’t particularly fond of my political views. Apparently he knows of me and sought me out specially to give me a hosing down. He actually thinks he’s some big self appointed Tai Koh – even went so far as to threaten me – it’s best that I don’t go into specifics. Not that it had any effect in altering my views – since I hardly made any effort to disguise what I thought about the current political outfit in Singapore.

But once a threat is made – it’s not uncommon for me to take it seriously. That’s my nature. I am by nature ultra paranoid. It doesn’t take alot to set me on the war path. 

To cut a long story short. I needed the help of this individual to kick off my new oil palm refinery mill that I have developing for the last five years – this chap must have thought I was desperate. That is perfectly understandable. As I prefer to always sell myself short – it’s a habit that I find difficult to break. So this fellow must have interpreted it as desperation and played hard to get and gave me the round the world treatment.

This only pushed me to the brink of war. As despite our differences, I was still prepared to keep to my word and offer him the first bite at the cherry – that was really my private gesture of peace -my way to telling this narrow minded asshole that we needn’t fight, that we can all live and let live, despite our differences. What I meant to convey to this chap is although he and I may hold different political views – this shouldn’t in any way prevent us all from collaborating on a business joint venture. After all we both have wifes and children back home in Singapore – and despite our apparent differences, we may actually have more in common – as we both hope for a better Singapore….but all this is now water under the bridge.

In reality, I would have much preferred, if this fellow just left me and my political views all to myself – what I especially take exception too, is how he and motley crew stupidly surmised that I was mucho desperate or that I wasn’t too confident in what I was trying to sell – a new machine, a new way to refine oil palm. That’s not surprising as the roll out can at best be described as patchy with loads of room for improvement. So he used this as an opportunity to press down my price.

Yesterday I told this chap that all the adjacent mills will be buying my new centrifuge separator – he was shocked beyond belief – that I had moved so fast behind his back. As I had emboldened him a couple of months ago with disinformation that it was hell trying to transport these huge cylindrical separators through plantation roads – and too many of my lorries have over turned. In reality, all my lorries don’t have any problems these days tranversing even the most inaccessible plantation roads – we have been training, training and training for the last 4 years! In business, it is not unusual for me to highlight my strenghts as weaknesses and weaknesses as strenghts to throw the enemies off the scent.

When this chap asked pleadingly whether my offer still stood – I told him in a very matter of fact style that it had lapsed as he had delayed too long and there was no way for me to supply any separators for at least one calendar – as I had committed myself to too many orders.

What this fool doesn’t realize is, he was going to go out of business very soon – as I intend to secretly subsidize his competitors with a regular transfusion of technology to make sure that their productivity and yield is at least 20% higher than what he can currently churn out with off-the-shelf technology.

In six months time when he is sufficiently ground to dust – I think it would be a good time for me to stroll in wearing my tightest trousers and sunglasses with a bad ass consortium to buy him out at rock bottom fire sale prices. He’s finished!

Moral of the story. Never ever allow your political views to interfere with your business judgement – it can be fatal. NEVER.

And in this case, I will make sure it is fatal by breaking his rice bowl – it will be siwft and sudden. When will this stupid people learn that they are not in Singapore? No Davinder Singh here to save your bacon. No, CPIB threat don’t cut any ice here – infact, they have as much effect as mosquito bites. No power lah. Not even on a rainy day….that is life…I am afraid.

Besides I have a brain…why can’t I hold on to my beliefs. It’s not as if I am planning hell or mayhem…I am just minding my own business…planting row after row of palms….What about thinking? is thinking a crime? Is there a law that says that I have to die die support PAP, if I want to be a successful businessman? Can anyone please tell me whether there is such a law?

Now you all know why its best for every businessman to consider business as war! And nothing else.

Darkness 2013


“Life these days is no longer a simple calculus as in LKY’s time, where the mantra used to be – if you are not with me, then you are against me. It is much more complicated, varied and sophisticated – as these days no one really cares what the ST has to say – they can go ahead and conduct any poll they want. But whether people choose to regard it as a reflection of how bad the press is or whether it is an accurate depiction of reality is really a matter of great speculation. The same goes for what ministers have to say about any topic under the sun. They will be challenged.

As these days the iron curtain of information has been irrevocably smashed – as a consequence we already living in a social political landscape where we all know there is more than one way to create a better tomorrow without necessarily having to follow the trite yellow brick road of the PAP.

What the custodians of power need to understand is they can forward any version of the truth they want. They can even sugar coat it and put the best spin on it – but no one is just going to be buy it these days. Except maybe the die hard PAP zombies.

Having said that certain things will never change. Such as the capacity of a man to make an informed judgment about let’s say his standard of living – or for that matter any subject that piques his interest.

The sooner that the custodians of power understand the need to respect the views of others – the better it will be for all. The sooner they jettison the pie In the sky idea that journalist and only journalist can reliably be trusted to be purveyors of truth the better it will be for all of us. The sooner that they can mothball the idea that there is nothing of value in the internet except noise, the better it is for all of us.

After all when you consider that even those who criticize the PAP merely do so as they all wish for a better Singapore – then don’t you think, we already have such a thing as common ground, where it might even be possible to agree to disagree like gentlemen – and if that is the case, then wouldn’t it be right to say – the sum total of what continues to unite us all even if we are all throwing chairs at each others will always be stronger than what will threaten to divide us – and if that is the case…tell me my friend, what is the value in holding on to the old hat idea, you are either with me or against me…Because if you structure any conversation along those lines. Then In my book you’re just not giving the conversation a chance – tell me where does that sort of zero sum logic fit in this modern social political landscape. Let me put it another way, how far do you think you’re going to go with that sort of lousy thought ware? What if I said, you wouldn’t even be able to get out of your gate without crashing and burning?”

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