“Kee Chiu,” please explain this to me like a baby….

October 23, 2013

Before we begin I would like to disclose that when I was a baby, I was dropped on my head. So I hope that someone who has more brains than me can help me to understand the governments latest resistance to defining a poverty line.

Please feel free to correct my logic. The premise of my argument goes like this.

Now if we don’t have a poverty line which is basically a quantitative method to define poverty.

Then can anyone please tell me how is it possible to even make progress on eradicating poverty?

Coming to think of it, by what methodology do we rely on to benchmark the performance of a ministry?

How is it even possible to get a handle on the intractable problem of the poverty trap?

How and where do we even begin to scale the magnitude of the problem along with track it to determine whether it’s growing smaller, the same or getting worse?

How is it even possible to communicate to those in the field that this or that case deserves the highest priority of intervention – if one does not even see the wisdom of putting down in concrete terms what is the minimum sum required to live, work and play in Singapore to live a life of self determination?

Can anyone please supply me and answer? I promise that if anyone can do this satisfactorily – I will give up blogging and undertake not to wear my leather underwear on Sunday.

Let me illustrate the hubris in by way of analogy. Let us assume one fine day – the committee that makes up the world’s health organisation located somewhere in the labyrinth of the United Nations decide to take an extended holiday from themselves by getting perpetually high on ganja and they decide to scrap the definition for hunger – then how do nutritionist even determine empirically what is the minimum caloric intake for a child or adult necessary to sustain life?

And if an organization that is supposed to alleviate world hunger cannot even define what is the minimum quantity of sustenance necessary to sustain life for either a child or adult – then how do aid agencies even go about the business of interdiciting famine along augmenting malnutrition?

In effect if there is no definition for hunger or poverty – then in short the problem just doesn’t exist. Think about it. The problem melts away happily like lemon drops. To put it another way, it’s just another day in paradise and life just goes right on.

No problemo.

—————————————————————

“Folk who regularly like to say ‘dunno’ are in my opinion, the world’s most dangerous people. Let me share with you why – in a kampung, if a girl likes you – she will ladle so much rice for you that everyone will just start to wonder – why is this girl trying to make this man’s stomach explode?

It doesn’t matter whether it is a Chinese, Indian or Malay girl – in the kampung if a woman loves a man, she will give him a mountain of rice.

When her parents ask her, “why are you trying to murder the farmer with rice?” This girl will just reply blankly “I dunno.”

Whereupon it’s not unusual for the parents to consult the village elder who would usually recommend that they take her to see the dukun, pawang or bomoh – if it is a Chinese girl, she would have to be examined by the village ghost busters who is usually the Sai kong (who incidentally doubles as the four digit consultant) and if it is an Indian girl, she would probably be sent to the Swami.

Usually a feast will be arranged where the kampung toothless wonder auntie pineapple eye brigade will be fully mobilized to examine in great detail whether a love spell has been put on Miss Dunno.

You see it is very simple – if a girl regularly gives a man so much rice that everyone pengshan and eventually becomes the talk of the village – it is never her fault. As kampung folk do not believe women have such a thing as free will. The idea does not exist. Why because they dunno lah.

But not to worry, I’ve got it right down to a science, Houdini marriage escape techniques. I intend to incorporate this in my next e-edition of how to succeed in business like a Mossad secret agent. (incidentally many of asked me, why it comes with just a plain T shirt – duhhhh it’s rather stupid right, if it came with a crest of Mossad or a big star of David, everyone would know that you’ve just uploaded spyware into your head. Besides we are all supposed to be undercover. So please don’t ask me stupid questions any longer. Besides it’s brushed 100% Virginia cotton, not polyester as some of you claim! – I know it’s made in China. But what isn’t fucking made in China these days! Next edition, I am just going to give out those cheap tacky plastic mugs!)

But enough of my gripe regarding internet book sales! Back to the point. Now listen up! If it is a Malay kenduri. The man should be attired in a sombre colored bush jacket with a ceremonial kris worn with the tang sticking out diagonally to the left side of his abdomen – the kris should only be handle by the right and not the unclean left hand. This signifies he’s attending the kenduri in his official capacity as a representative of his lands – in exceptional cases, the driver can carry this symbol of authority and title hood but it should only be carried across the right shoulder with a lions cloth.

The man should only sit on the pentas and when ceruts and hot tea is offered – he should offer only blood tokens in the form of a goat or cow.

Do not offer gold. Or silk with braided gold – this will be interpreted by the auntie brigade as a sure sign that the man is interested in the girl. If you do this, you find that an army of men will march to your plantation with kompangs (drums) bearing the girl a pallaquine and you will have to cut off your foreskin and marry her. Escape is impossible. Radical plastic surgery and burning off your finger prints with acid and assuming a new identity is highly recommended.

If it is a Chinese invitation for dinner – do not wear red. Do not sit on the chair facing East. If it is Fook chow function, there will be two lions at the gates, the one to the right symbolizes, the female. You must never greet this lion and instead only offer oranges and the ang pow to the lion on the left – this signifies that you have come in your official capacity as a clansman.

During dinner if it is a Hokkien function – you should never touch the fish. As this is a trap – it is known as the lifti g of the veil – if you turn over the fish lagi mati, instead of double happiness, you will get double mati – as that’s the cue for the parents of miss dunno to ask a loaded question – is it fresh? If you say yes, it means – you are interested in the girl. If you say ‘no,’ it can be interpreted as a sign that you want to enter into serious negotiations for the dowry. Either way you mati. Stick to veggies that’s my advice.

If it is a Hakka function – it is customary for the elders to ask you to play a hand of mahjong after the dinner – do not enter this other room – as it is the vermillion room and there the girl is supposed to serve you soup. If you drink, it means you want to marry her – if you do not, then it means you wish to drink only in the privacy of chambers and everyone will disappear behind a curtain while only Miss Dunno remains – again either way you mati lah!

Before you leave, ask permission to pray at the ancestral shrine – present three joss sticks to the elders. This symbolizes that you are here on official business and ask him to Cheong heong on your behalf – this signifies that I come in the name of my Tong as a clans man.

In an Indian function – please stay where you are firmly superglued to the table – do not run around coconut trees and palm trees as this can be interpreted that you are very interested in the girl – when alms are offered to the deities, the swami will give you a coconut with flowers – this is puja and you must smash if forcefully on the Lingham. If you leave it to oneside and the girl picks it up – you mati. As everyone will think you want to marry her.

Remember always the girl who says, “I dunno” is the world’s greatest cobra. Beware.”

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