Hate can very easily be transformed into an acceptable way of life. The transformation is so insidious that it can creep up on even the best of us – that is why we need to be always mindful of what we think, say and do.

It is only when we understand the wisdom of why we must not take the course of least intellectual resistance and succumb to hatred – that we can be mindful of what we think, say and do. 

In the game that we play. Once upon a time, we were known as gypsies. A vagabond race who wandered from planet to planet. Usually if our numbers are small, most gamers will tolerate us – if we got too large, they would exterminate us like Kangaroos. That was really our lot.

The reason for our diaspora was because our planet was destroyed by the Aryanians – a white supremacist group of gamers. The Aryanians and their allies hunted us relentlessly, so we learnt to live with the spectre of hatred and being different from all others – this we did for so many years scuttling always like rats in the shadows, always mindful that we had plenty of enemies who would give us no quarter.

In the year of rocket, some 3,500 space years ago – we waged war against the Aryanians. The rest as they say is history.

Since then many people have speculated – how did a rag tag army comprising is of a motley bunch of misfits manage to vanquish a modern army in the virtual?

What they did not fully understand is this. The moment you make life difficult for one segment of society – then you have begun inadvertently to fashion of a super race. Since many of us were always hunted – we were accustommed to being discriminated, marginalized and despised – we had to all learn to keep our self esteem, moral and sense of belonging intact under extreme conditions of hardship.

Through the continumm of space time, we developed a language that was invisible to all except those who belonged to our creed – a language where a scrawl on sand could speak the length of a sentence – this meant it was impossible for the enemy to ever detect us or to even get a handle on our numbers, let alone our designs.

As time went by, we infiltrated their ranks and hid amongst those who brought us death – we assimilated their ways, took to their customs to such a degree that many of us aspired to positions of power in the very oligrachy that was conceived to destroy our way of life – as the eons passed on, we became virtually indistinguishable from those who once hunted us – the only way it became possible for anyone of us to recognize another from our own creed was the secret language of codes we had once developed centuries ago – and so for mellinia, we whispered in the corridors of power, conspired and planned our day of victory …..such is the complication of strategy.

My point is when you begin to hate someone just because they are different from you – do not think they will just curl up and die. Those who will survive will have developed special attributes that you don’t have, they will develop skill sets that you never perceived the need to ever cultivate. They will even see opportunities that you don’t see. As you are spoilt for choice. They will even take risk that you do not dare to take.  

So do not be stupid – be wise. And do not just believe for one moment when you hate, you have won. As you have no idea what you have already given up and lost. All you have managed to fashion with your own hand is a proud beggar who has a tube of Mentos in your pocket.

If you want to defeat them, learn their ways – cultivate their friendship and get to know their families. Get so close to them that you will begin to see opportunities that they dont ever see and when you are ready, strike like a screaming falcon!

This is known as the weirding ways in our creed – the craft of how to understand, love and respect your enemies till they cease completely to exist and are rendered harmless – as they have become you. As you have become them.

This can only be accomplished with a strong mind that is able to conquer a weaker mind and make them part your creed – the only enduring way for any tribe to perpetuate itself and grow from strenght to strenght – there is no other way!

This is the highest acme of strategy – and it regrettable that so few these days understand its arcanum.”

st3993093

Most people don’t really know how strong a bond can be formed between a man and a woman – they only know it in terms of an abstraction. But they don’t really know how strong it can be and what it can endure.

We like to take comfort in the belief – once a moment has passed, it will slip into the oblivion of time. We mark these milestones in our life with a marriage band or some other symbol – from time to time, we tell ourselves, that life is over and all there is now is the present. But the past will always call us back – and even should we have the strength to walk on without ever once turning back – we will come face to face with the sum of all our fears and fascination.

And when that happens – we will know how strong a bond can be formed between a man and a woman.

Shssss…Listen to me….Please….One should never underestimate the power of the written word – granted you may well be in another time zone. Our lives may even resemble the moon and the sun. When I am awake, you’re a sleep. But that doesn’t mean we don’t share a connection beyond the dictionary meaning of friendship.

You see it is really very simple. Perhaps you need to believe that I am separated from you in the way. Yes you need it – that essential lie that is – so that you can take comfort in the idea that you’re just looking at me through bullet proof glass and nothing can ever go through this side or the other side to affect you; maybe that idea of separation is something that your mind needs to continue this relationship – but I am not so sure nothing can ever pass this way or that way. I am not even so sure that both of us are like desolate islands separate by vast continental shelfs. You in your shark infested island and mine God knows where. But I know we share a common country of thoughts, emotions and aspirations – as whenever one person writes from the the heart and another reads, then a sort of magic occurs where you can say, within the span of time, you’re reading and digesting this, then we are really connected. And if we can even share these things regularly, then it’s even possible that something here might possibly be able to make it over to your side and vice versa share. This is really how I see the whole idea of human connections. It really needs to go beyond the whole idea of the internet to culminate in something real and concrete. Otherwise what you are really doing is just writing and stuffing it into a bottle to throw out into the infinity of the digital ocean. But don’t push your mind to understand what I am saying now. Just let it grow on you. The idea that is. Besides I am much older and I am supposed to be wiser, so let us just leave it as it as for the time being – I don’t see any compelling need to rush. Perhaps it best to just go with the flow and take it one step at a time. Whatever makes you most comfortable. Remember, you’re always in control and even if you aren’t maybe it makes perfect sense to believe that you are. It’s a way of getting a handle on things. Only to answer your original question: what do I think is the furthest distance in the universe? Is it the distance between two distant stars? No! The furthest place between two points is when I am standing right before you and you cannot even see me. Correction: you refuse to see me, for reasons only known to yourself – and if you must know that just happens to be the furthest point that separates two points in this universe or in this case two people. But I understand. I understand completely.

(Intercepted by the digital jamming deep space cruiser KDD Eng Neo III / Somewhere in the Kiladron System in sector 893 – relayed by the Laanstrad Spacing Guild)

I received this last week. This was our reply.

“Nothing would give me the keenest pleasure. However, due to the PAP recently enacting the world’s most repressive internet laws to further heighten the climate of fear in blogoland. I am afraid, neither I or any of our allies in the virtual will want anything to do with this initiative.

We wish you all the best of luck in this noble endeavor and God speed.”

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“I believe very strongly in the idea that we should all take responsibility for our actions.

By this, I mean you should at least conduct a risk assessment as to whether certain things you want to do or omit will come back and bite you – and not simply take the course of least resistance and assume that people will just forget and life will just go right on.

That idea misleads – as it’s a very lazy way of seeing the world. I don’t doubt many will say, the victors can write whatever version of history they wish. But I am not so sure it’s possible to do this in the internet age – as it’s really such a wide and broad geography for even governments to assert control.

Truth is there will always be certain words, deeds and thoughts that one will find difficult to live down, especially if they are considered unreasonable –  given time instead of just fading away, these transgressions may actually come to assume a disproportionate sense of importance that will certainly color how thinking folk may regard you – so you need to be always careful of what you say, think and even do, least it comes back to haunt you.

Let me give you some examples. Consider this! Will the PAP be able to live down the idea that their ministers deserve to be paid millions? And this somehow represents good value?

I don’t know – all I know is nearly ten years have passed and through that period of time instead of that idea waning into historical obscurity – the dissonance has increased to a point where it can only be described as discursive – coupled to that, the idea of millionaire ministers has morphed into an allegory of what is so wrong with the PAP these days – out of touch, aloof and the stuff of let them eat cake – as since no one can see the valence between high pay and extraordinary performance – all that the PAP has really done is to come across to the chattering classes as an organization that regularly tries to mythologize their own importance along with perpetuating their cult of infallibility.

Have they been successful?

You decide for yourself.

Will Stomping Tin Pei Ling be able to live down Kate Spade galore along with I don’t know what to say? Again, I don’t know.

All I can really say is certain actions and deeds will always stick like chewing gum – and even if it’s scrapped right off, there will still be a lasting residue to remind many – this is what this person stands for, this is his legacy, this is the sum of his life.

That’s why I happen to believe very strongly – if you want to sit well in the pages of history without stirring controversy along with giving everyone high blood pressure – then it pays to abide by the norms and expectations of the times.

As doing so means you respect the values and beliefs of others and remains the clearest testimony that they are important enough for you to modulate your behavior to suit their needs.

For example, in the month of Ramadan. I fast. Though I am not a Muslim. I do so to convey to those who I aspire to lead that I understand completely. In this way even if I should decide to work hard and push ahead – not a single man in the ranks would ever grumble. They will just follow.

It is the same with the Hindu, Taoist and even the tribesmen – their ways must be respected, if the goal is to gain the requisite agency to influence and shape thoughts in the community.

So when a party political outfit just comes along and surreptitiously passes the world’s most repressive internet laws to muzzle free speech online without even bothering to debate the merits of whether this is even a good or bad idea – then I think, you cannot blame reasonable people, if they decide to just walk away and have absolutely nothing to do with these clowns. Trust me, there is nothing subversive about this – after all, there is no law that says I have to agree, cooperate and listen to you.

All I am just doing is exercising my elemental right as a member of the human race to say in clear and unambiguous terms – I rather go my own way and do my own thing. You are now irrelevant. I mean gentlemen, this is a slight diversion – but it reminds of the time when I had a really insecure and down right unreasonable boss who kept abusing me.

So one day I just got really fed up and decided to wear my tightest trousers and go and seduce his wife lah – I mean to cut a very long story short. One day he came back early from the factory and saw me and his dearest in the kitchen – we weren’t exactly baking cakes if you know what I mean – but let me skip that OMG what the fuck are you doing here! part and get down to the nuts (not those nuts, the other nuts that go with bolts) – so there I was in the kitchen with my boss who was still trying to recover from the shock – I just told him all this in a really matter of fact manner while his lovely scolded him for coming home early – I went on to tell my boss, if he kept giving me a hard time trying to take away my self esteem and trying to bully me to stay well back beyond my contractual eight hours – then I will have no choice but to teach him the meaning of loss. He called me a gangster – and threatened to report me to the police. He told me to get out of his house. His wife told him to go back to the factory. He called me a weirdo. His wife told him not to be insensitive. He cried like a baby. I decided to go for second helpings of fruit cake and hot custard.

Anyways to cut a long story short, after I told him that I was open to negotiations – he was quite reasonable, professional and level headed about it and even agreed that we needed fight like animals – he even admitted, he had been somewhat unreasonable of late. So eventually, I gave some and so did he and we both came to a happy compromise – so it all ended well.

Infact, after that incident – my boss was really super nice to me – everytime, I threatened to leave, he would beg me to stay – he said, it was his duty to make sure that I succeed in my dreams to be a farmer – every time I packed up my things to leave the factory after work – he would beat me to the lift and take an interest on where I wanted to go – even volunteered to drive me wherever I wanted to go – on a few occasions, he even waited for me and offered to drive me all the way back to East Coast. He just followed me wherever I went, stuck to me like superglue – even offered to pay for all my mobile phone bills providing the bill came to him, encouraged me to seek my fortune abroad (he even paid for my feasibility study for starting a farming enterprise), bankrolled all my hefty book purchases in Borders and even allowed me to take Mondays off.

My point is sometimes you just have to put your foot down so that the other side knows that you are serious about the things you consider important – it’s really a matter of how far you are willing to go to defend your values – only bear in mind, not every conflict resolves itself that way, some just go right on from year to year and it just creates bad karma that makes it impossible for two people to sit down and resolve their differences – I think one needs to be mindful that some conflicts can go on and on – that’s why, if you want to be a successful businessman.

You just have to learn to respect what’s important to other people, otherwise you run the clear and present danger that they are going to disrespect you – and when that happens, you may find yourself in a bind.

As you can all see, I don’t have much respect for authority. Especially not the sort that bullies regularly use.”

Then can someone please kindly enlighten me – why does a senior minister even feel compelled to stand on a soap box in the public square and tell the whole nation that she believes tuition is unnecessary?

It’s subtle and takes it’s cue from the slow burn school of thought. So don’t force your mind to wrap around it just yet. Go with the flow. Take your sweet time to savor it like an exotic claret – set it aside even and do something else, if possible – let the very idea even simmer for a while in your head and very slowly you will come to see all as it reveals itself before you – the truth, that is.

Enjoy!

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“A little goes a long way, especially when you are dealing with stupid people – as stupid people will always think, say and do very stupid things. And because people who are stupid regularly do this all the time – you don’t need to lift a finger to undermine their credibility – that’s not an efficient way to bring them down – all that needs to be done is to give them lots of rope and freedom to think, say and do whatever they do best. It’s really like giving a hand grenade to a idiot – at some point, the pin will be pulled and they will go up in smoke.

That’s why when I come across stupid people who try their very best to fix me – I just give them all the freedom in the world. All the opportunities even for them to put across their designs. And I just wait….wait like a hunter. Wait patiently. 

This strategy has never failed me.

As let me share you a secret on the art of war. Stupid people will always be their worse enemies. You just need to be very patient and wait for them to go up smoke. After that all you have to do is stroll right in and tell them – have you had enough?”

3

Stupid people will always do stupid things. Today a car with four men tailed me. I don’t think they meant to do anything, except follow me – probably sent by one of my enemies to intimidate me – it’s what I call extremely low intensity psychological warfare. Tailing someone that is. Usually that’s enough to just distract them to take a wrong turn or bang into something.

But if you know how it works, then it’s easy peasy to neutralize it. To render it even harmless and turn the tables around.

Somewhere along the eighty or so kilometer tail, I turned into plantation – I choose that particular plantation slip road, as the I know it very well – so well that I even know those dummies would follow me. As the road starts off with a smooth bitumen track. But the stinger comes unexpectedly. As the deeper one drives – it gives way to a bumpy gravel road only to deteriorate to a point where it’s really only driveable in a 4X4.

When I reached a point where the car following me was struggling noticeably just to keep on the slippery laterite road – I suddenly shifted into turbo charged four wheel drive, picked up speed, did a S turn and suddenly there I was facing off with stupid people… I told myself, stupid people will always do stupid things. All 3.5 tons of me complete with a menacing heavy duty field ductile steel bumper, with even an option to disable my airbag.

No one can hear them scream. Not this deep in an oil palm plantation……..stupid people will always do stupid things.

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Mine Lee recently urged Singaporeans to exert strong social pressure on “free-riders” who may default on the premiums for MediShield Life, which is anticipated to be made universal.

The Nation destroying press dutifully second fiddled this stricture and went on to even suggest we must “shame those guilty of free-riding.”

What baffles me is all this is done even BEFORE the details of how the national insurance scheme might work funded.

Rather presumptous don’t you think so? To even infer those who may find it difficult to keep up with their payments to bankroll a national insurance scheme should do so with the intention of trying to game the system.

Perhaps what mini Lee would do well to appreciate is the distinction between those who are unwilling and those who simply cannot afford to pay the premium for a national insurance scheme.

After all how is it reasonable to expect those who are already struggling to make ends meet or living on a subsistence level to make regular monthly payments towards a national insurance scheme?

Surely any reasonable person would have absolutely no difficulty in agreeing – if one is genuinely poor – then surely, it’s hardly reasonable to expect them to pay their premiums? If that is the case, then where does the intention to game the system come into play? – so why even structure the penalties for defaulters in such an arbitrary and draconian manner to impute those who may default on their premiums are automatically free riders?

Besides who was the one who created this intractable problem in the first place? Coming to think of it, who stands to benefit most from the national insurance scheme?

When one discounts all the hype and spin of the national insurance scheme and take a closer look on why both the nation destroying press and Bertha Henson & co have been rhapsodizing no end – why this is the next best thing since sliced bread – then it becomes apparently clear, it’s not as if the government of the day has a choice on the matter. It’s even conceivable, if they don’t implement a national insurance scheme that requires everyone to pay for it – then it would have to come out from their end – as it’s conceivable the current system to guarantee universal health coverage is kaput!

This should prompt us all to ask – why is a compulsary national insurance scheme now brought to the forefront of public consciousness?

Could it be under mini Lee’s watch – CPF contributions have gone down steadily to make Singapore a more attractive place for foreign investors. To put it another way, the very means by which universal healthcare coverage can be sustained was cannibalized to make way for stellar economic growth – this coupled with the run away cost of housing and healthcare which today makes Singapore the sixth most expensive city to live has strained the current healthcare calculus to such an extent, it’s conceivable it can no longer be reasonably relied to support most Singaporeans in their old age.

This should prompt us all to ask. Who decided to put stellar economic growth before sustainable healthcare?

And when one sees the underlying problem from that vantage – then there’s absolutely nothing noble, charitable or altruistic about the national insurance scheme – it’s a creature of economic necessity – just another classic case of the old dressed up as new improved – at best it’s one way for the government of the day to justify passing down the helium high cost of healthcare (due to the escalating cost of living) to users as they do with everything else – at worst, it’s a bailout from the electorate to the government for years of bad planning where policymakers have consistently paid scant regard to make possible a sustainable healthcare scheme which would have made this whole idea of proposing a compulsory national insurance scheme wholly unnecessary and moot – if policymakers had planned wisely and prudently instead of just being mesmerized by the allure all out growth BEFORE putting the population on round after round of steroids just to grow the economy – it’s conceivable, we wouldn’t even need a compulsory national insurance scheme.

That’s really how I see it. That at least is my considered opinion on the matter. Once again, I could well be wrong. Then again, I could be right on the money.

You decide for yourself whose really bailing out who? Only don’t ever come to me and tell me you’re doing me a favor, when I know only too well where the chips land. As I am a farmer and I have every right to call a spade a spade!

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“Hello you fucks in this forum want to behave like the Brady bunch – then go ahead lah. Only I feel, if you want to uncork the Bristol creme then surely you should invest a bit on finding out why we suddenly need this now. Or whether its really true that the government is doing everyone a big favor.

I mean if I take money out from your wallet and I buy you grub only from my own rat infested kitchen – then who is really doing who a favor? Huh!

Coming to think of it. Why wasn’t this needed before?

Aha! Pussy cat got all your tongues now eh? No one jumping up and down now?

Understand this! Don’t be so stupid as to just follow any of those zombies and jump on the bandwagon and go whoopee! Just because who saw someone on TV telling you all, he’s hit his head and now managed to grow a heart and this is the best thing since Yahew gave his sermon on the mount.

After all. How the hell do we even know if it’s a good thing, when there is absolutely zero specifics and details?

Do you mean to say you can write a five chili review on a car, when you open up the bonnet and there is no engine except maybe a dead rat and couple of roaches…..I think the blain has to jalan lah! Hello do you all hear me?

Some of you spinning tops should all go right back to the very beginning and find out what conditions were at work to even give birth to this whole idea of a compulsory insurance scheme.

Be mindful not to be swept away by mindless exuberance, platitudes and what I can only describe as a new found awakening that man has an obligation to his fellow men…. ask yourself – why is this suddenly so urgent now? What really went wrong? How did we reach this point?

Go through it like a fine tooth comb – find out what intervening events were operable – if possible draw it all out on a big sheet of paper and trace out all the causal factors to create a chronological account of why and how we even got here!

That is what intelligent folk would do!

The only reason why I say this is because the proponents of this new national insurance scheme seem to consistently dismiss the idea that there was already a comprehensive healthcare insurance scheme in place even before this new proposal was mooted. They all seem to have the presentist attitude that there was previously no such scheme in place – this patently a misrepresentation of fact! It may not have been a compulsory national insurance scheme, but it was nonetheless a comprehensive health coverage plan. So why have we reached a point of conclusion where it’s now generally accepted that most natives will not have enough to pay for their medical bills in their old age?

So what went wrong? And why wasn’t this foresseable? Go and find out. Like I said, life us not so simple where you decide to shame people just because they don’t agree with you – its much more complicated, I reckon. much more.

Don’t you all think so? I am so happy, we all understand each other now – so happy that I don’t have to burn every single village in this planet….”

Stupid people will always see only what they want to see. That’s why they will always say, do and think stupid things.

The way I see it – when very few protestors show up to voice their opposition to the governments plan to put the population on steroids – it just means many people no longer believe by showing up in HLP, it would make the slightest difference to the planned outcome. To put it in another way, they no longer have any faith in the system.

So tell me, how can that possibly be a good thing?

Deep down, I don’t believe it takes any special talent for anyone to step outside their own skin.

We all have it in us—every man and woman – rich and poor – stupid and clever— with enough practice – I reckon every human being is capable of pulling it straight off….like falling off a log..it starts with just being comfortable with yourself.

There is no need to compare and contrast. If you’re doing better than me, then I am happy for you. If you’re a lady killer and I am just a humpback, then I guess I’ve to work with what I have and even if I have absolutely nothing. I can always do something the otherside can never do, like blow bubbles with just spit.

Just let go. Letting it all go completely in the way a river suddenly loses its vigor when it discovers the infinity of the sea. To just let the self be like a ball of camphor slowly giving itself off to the atmosphere – evaporating – disappearing. To even allow your muscles go so very limp till you feel your soul oozing out beneath your skin as it begins to work it’s way through you and into those who are around you.

That’s how I’ve always seen it – that’s why to me certain people are just so startlingly unforgettable.

“Today I met a business man in the bank who was declared a bankrupt. I was with a few of my colleagues and from the way the conversation was going – it seems they all think he’s washed out for good. But I am not so sure that’s the case.

You see I can tell a lot from the way a man faces crisis – I can tell this is not the first time he’s being burnt – can even tell it from the way he carries himself – organizes his thoughts and even how it all seems to bounce off him like shells bouncing off a tiger tank –  my God! To be this cool when whole world seems to be crashing down all around him –  nope, he’s far from a dead ducky that everyone thinks he is.

I’ve come across men like this before. They are not to be taken lightly.

If I had to make an educated bet – I reckon he would bounce right back again in a couple of years and probably be ten bigger than what he was when it he went down under.

One can just tell. These men have a ruggedness about them that you rarely see these days. It’s just unfortunate that they were born in this century. They’re as hard as diamonds. Unbreakable even.

I believe he’s worth investing in. Besides, if I decide to go in now, I am buying into a good thing at fire sale prices, it’s like stocking up on Apple shares when those guys were just tinkering in a garage and trying to make computers work with ductape, superglue and chewing gum – I think, I am going to introduce myself and ask him out for a drink.”

Who are you…really?

October 6, 2013

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Do you really know who you are?….Think about it…Think about it deeply. We all don’t really know ourselves, do we? Not really. Not truly. Not completely and without a shadow of doubt…I reckon.

All we really have is the fuzzy idea of how we might behave under X or Y conditions. Even then it’s at best an approximation. A guessestime. At worse, we just believe because we have to believe – otherwise our world will probably unravel that we will make it successfully through to the other side.

Do you really know who you are?

Mmmmh…not so cocksure any longer are you. Otherwise why hesitate. Why pause? Why even put up so much effort in trying to convince yourself that you should be reading something else besides this on a lazy Sunday.

Truth is… all we really have is the crumbly illusion that we know ourselves – that we have got it all together, see the world clearer than anyone else. That’s all we really have…Beyond that, we aren’t really sure who we are and what we can even be.

As what really happens when we suddenly find ourselves standing in a place where we are not all together sure any longer whether we can be the person who we want to be. After all to be who you really want to be, you’ve got to be able to afford it or somehow reconcile yourself with having to pay the price.

Oh, I am sorry. You mean to say, you didn’t know that just to be who you really are – you need to pay. Or at least be able to afford it – who you want to be, that is…the person who you want to be and not the that other person that you know, you have to be….because you don’t have a choice, do you?…

Now again. One more time please….Do you really know who you are?

Not so sure any longer are you. Relax, breathe…it’s Sunday…and I am just thinking aloud.

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“The real tragedy in life is, the vast of majority of us have NEVER really stopped time and asked ourselves the one question that we should all ask. Who am I? As a consequence most people rarely ever discover they have an intrinsic “i” or “me”.

And that’s quite common in this age where everyone is fast becoming everyone – that’s really just another way of saying modern life is fast becoming binary – now don’t get intimidated by that word. It just means life is increasingly becoming generic instead of individualistic – we are either switched on or off, scholar or cookiecutter, successful or just have to make do without a smart phone. With or against them.

I consider this condition a hazard of modern living. As living, if you didn’t know it has the capacity to shape the way we see the world, set our goals and even decide whether you would stir your coffee tomorrow clockwise or the other way round.

I bet you don’t even know which direction you go? I bet you had to imagine yourself stirring an imaginary cuppa just to convince yourself this blog entry is just a crock of shit.

Bet you a million dollar it never even occurred to you – plain ordinary living (not even the type that requires you to jump out of plane or operate heavy machinery) aka eating, breathing, shitting and going through an average day with the brain power that it takes to tie you shoelaces could be that dangerous. That’s understandable. Given that the vast majority of people just wake up, brush their teeth, put on their make up, pretend not to look at girls in short skirts in the MRT – put in a days work, have the occasional boutique blended coffee don’t really realize they are being constantly shaped and formed by the chastening passage of time – hence, most people rarely ever discover that door that has always stood before them. The door if they opened. They would know..this is who I am.”

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Last night I dreamt of running in tall green grass fields as I always do. This time there was sound. I was just running as fast as my legs could take me. I could feel the biting wind against my cheeks. The chilled drops of rain against my eyelids like pricking needles.

I just ran and ran without hardly a care in the world. There’s no end or beginning. There never is…

Just the act of putting one foot in front of the other as fast as I can and the brief sensation of my feet against the ground followed by the momentary flight which always seems to last longer in dreamland.

Gliding through the air like some bird- then suddenly a loud bang – followed by a sheering pain ripping through me and next thing, the world was blue. Not just any blue, but a deep paraffin blue – the one that I once remembered when I put a bottle of blue ink up to the sun. Blue with white curly clouds.

There I layed. Usually a pulsing bluish white light would take me away…but this time… nothing happened…I just layed there staring out into the blue yonder.

Since there was sound, I could make out the rustling of tall reeds. Then I see him standing there before me.

He’s always dressed in a khaki open shirt with a shoulder holstered revolver, flared ridding breeches and knee high mirror polished boots. I always try to look into his face…but I can never quite make him out. As the sun is always behind him…besides it’s so dark, so very dark…who is he? Who can it be? Where did he come from?

Could he be the Chinaman Cocoa Planter of Gabundi Estate? I am never quite sure. At other times it’s a well dressed man with slicked back hair who carries a briefcase. The gangster? Then at other times, it’s the bowman – the hunter who usually looks on with his usual quiet confidence. Then at other times it’s the family man who always appears to me pushing that peculiar triplets pram.

I can never really tell whose standing there looking at me. Never. All I know is, they all seem to come and go, as they please.

I don’t quite know why. Haven’t figured it out. But I am sure, I will one day.

What does this mean? Who am I?”

Think about it! Think creatively, if possible laterally even.

I mean, if I want a better ROI on farming, do I just raise the prices of my palm oil bunches arbitrarily? Of course not. I have to innovate by cutting cost and maximize opportunities (or in my case grow brain cells) to increase my yield on my hectarage.

It’s cut and dried. The facts of life that is. For me at least and probably every farmer on this planet.

So why should it be different for the custodians of power?

After all government like to claim time and again, we should all aspire towards excellence – they even regularly go on broken record mode – that they are the best that money can buy. If that is really true why are they behaving like a banana republic outfit and taking the course of least mental resistance by just resorting to further burdening the beleugered tax payer to fund social programs?

Why can’t they think out of the box and leverage on ever more inventive ways besides no brainer raise taxes just to fund an Medicare insurance program?

I guess what I am trying to ask is – is it reasonable to expect governments to seek out ever more inventive ways besides raising taxes (which incidentally they have paraphrased as premiums, presumably this bullshit word came out from their shoot my foot spin doctors) of funding social programs?

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

After all government is the biggest landlord in town. They can even do a 180 degree turn bring in casino’s, host a noisy F1 event smack in the center of town along with commoditizing airbases and all the underground real estate in Singapore – presumably all this is done in the name generating value for Singapore and Singaporeans – surely if that’s the case, it can’t be that difficult for them to figure out how to turn $1 into $3 or possibly $400 to benefit tax payers without further burdening them.

Think about it.

Surely that’s not too much to ask from an outfit that regularly claims to be the best that money can buy. Or maybe…….

————————————————————-

“Farmers are very simple people, who see the world in very simple terms.

Look, if I pay a worker $2.50 an hour I don’t expect him to ever beat the intellectual curve.

But if I am paying him the highest salary in the world. Then as a business man I think it’s unrealistic or unreasonable for me to expect him to deliver nothing short of the gold standard.

But if all this good for nothing outfit can do is plumb for the road of least cerebral resistance every time the hit a resource scarcity dead end – then you can’t blame me for regarding him as just someone whose full of hot air and probably shit as well.

As a businessman, this is how I see the whole idea of value.

Life can’t be that simple – where every time there is a constrain. All that netake to be done is take, take and take, not to people who use their brains at least. If you are the brain dead sort who give closed door speeches in the school of Rajaratnam that you can’t even reveal to anyone whose your audience without incriminating yourself along with throwing doubt on your intent – then you’ll probably never understand what I am trying to say. In which case bye bye see you and please move on to another excellent blog.

But if you’re the sort who thinks and takes pride in the whole idea of cerebral fitness – then surely you would realize that governments are the ones who have the highest aperture of opportunity to generate revenue besides just relying on lazy boy raise taxes or GST every time they want to fund a social initiative.

Why should we even allow governments to get lazy, unimaginative and so third worldist that we don’t even bother asking any longer – what we would normally ask of any outfit that has to regularly deliver excellence along customer satisfaction EVEN under conditions of resource scarcity.

Why can’t they just find the imagination to prosper along with creating value in the way savvy investors have come to expect and even demand when they plonk their hard earned money to buy Fortune 500 firms – it’s not as if governments don’t have the means, opportunity and lattitude or means generate revenue besides no brainer taxation – after all, what is the whole idea of privatization premised on, if not benefit the electorate? Its after all their indelible right – as what was once state owned was probably funded by tax payers, so why should it all go into some abtraction of a financial blackhole called reserves when that opportunity is sold off or handed over to an operator?

If you want to put up an advertising sign, build a condo, who do you rent it from? What about GIC, they aren’t exactly investing loose change. Coming to think of it when large parcels of state owned and in certain cases private land in the form of free hold and cemeteries are nationalized and incidentally peddled off to private developers, why isn’t there any discernible benefits to taxpayers – I could be wrong, if I am pleases tell me where I took the wrong turn. Then again that’s just how it always seems in by considered opinion – they way I see it, these are the real nitty gritty salients that we would do well to discuss exhaustively.

As it is no one from either the nation destroying press or the ranks of the ruling party seems particularly interested to moot these alternative means of generating revenue needed to fund social programs – yet we are all somehow supposed to believe there is an on going public consultation process to discuss this matter exhaustively. To me this is simply disingenuous.

Above all against the bleak economic climate where salaries seem to be stagnating and in certain cases even regressing against the relentless cost of living where Singapore is now the sixth most expensive city to live, work and play. Surely there must be a smarter way to crack this nut besides burdening the jaded taxpayer further….that is just how I see it. Plain and simple.”

To break out. You’ll need a couple of things. A plan is always good for all seasons. But more important than this is the right man to get the job done. You want someone who doesn’t fumble and fuck it all up on the word go – someone who can always come through for you no matter what the odds. Trust me, if you want to make it big in the business world. You need him on your side.

Let me share with you one of the greatest lies ever perpetuated in this world – it is none other than the idea – we are all born to be the man that we are. Nothing can be further from the truth – as there is already so men in a man. All we have to do is to summon the right man deep in us to get job done.

That is all it takes to find him deep in us – and to tell him,
“go get me my bone!”

————————————————————-

Somewhere along the porous Northern Uganda and Sudanese border in August many years ago….

“The Chinaman Cocoa planter of Gabundi estate stood on a promontory overlooking the dusty northern plains beneath a clear steely white hot sky – it was August and he was waiting for the Harmatan, the dreaded red ochre dust winds the sailors in the Coite de Noir called the blood rains to sweep through the Northern plains of Uganda this time of the year.

He had been in Africa long enough to know that when the magpies dipped their wings and zig zagged across the tall elephant grass this time of the year – this presaged the coming of the evil winds – a wind considered so evil that a mad sultan once declared war on it and marched out to met it with an army complete with war elephants. With these stray thoughts that often floated in his mind in the oppressing afternoon heat – he popped another Mentos into his restless mouth – he liked the new Tutti Fruti flavor instead of the bland peppermint blend that came by special delivery from Kampala every week – to his side his tall Matali tribesman suddenly tensed and pointed frantically to a ridge line shaped like a woman’s breast across the wavering horizon, something had caught his eye.

The Chinaman raised his field glasses and trained his eyes on the distant thin ochre line along the horizon – a knowing smile tore across his tanned features and he nodded – his tall bodyguard took out a brass mirror from a skinned duffel bag and waved it towards a row of bushes. It glinted momentarily like a gold disc as it caught the harsh rays of the sun and this made the column of restless Africans stir as they suddenly stood up besides their camouflaged ivory laden trucks – soon the sounds of engines roared to life and this was followed by a gradual rumbling as the wall of red dust began to churn and boil transforming everything maroon as it closed in from the north – the China man wrapped his shemagh around his face tight and got into his rickety land rover, his men did the same.

Soon they were off churning a storm of white dust – engines roaring as they raced through the infinity of the African plains towards the approaching wall of red that the man knew only too well would mask him from the all seeing eye of the French Foreign legion who patrolled the border – this was his fifth run across the plains – the dreaded 147 mile stretch that would take him from Northern Uganda all the way right up to Sudan.

Somewhere up north along the stretch where the Gambezi runs no faster than a creek – a knot of Arabic ivory merchants sipped cardamon laced tea in a field camp with samsonite briefcases handcuffed to their wrist – lingering around them, Adollo horse mounted mercenaries armed with AK-47’s looked on expectantly chewing K’du leaf – they knew when the Harmattan came, all they could do was wait and bear the passing of every moment that cut like a knife – to wait for the arrival of the precious contraband – ivory.

One of them a short pudgy Jordanian who wore his Keffiyeh crooked like the Emirate movie star Hassan Al Khaled clucked his tongue and turned to his partner,

“what’s the Chinaman’s secret? He seems to get through all the time without ever being caught by the French Foreign legion. How does he do it?”

———————————————————–

2004 Jerusalem / Hyatt Hotel / Winter.

The man had the unusual habit of waking up earlier than usual. 4.30 am. He darted a look at his wife, she was still sound asleep. The day before he had worked out carefully his jogging route. 20 minutes hard and another 10 light would take him right into the heart of Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem, he reckoned – he knew the four quarters of the ancient, walled Old City of Jerusalem by heart – knew it so well, as he had studied them through the net – even jogged through it in the virtual a hundred or so times – he even knew exactly where his old Jordanian millionaire friend, the Jordanian who Interpol was looking for, the one who always wore his Keffiyeh crooked like the Emirate movie star, Hassan Al Khaled lived.

Knew it as that morning when he jogged through the ancient cobblestone streets – he was slipped a map last evening by a Russian prostitute. Her look gave her away. It was a look the man knew well – desperation. In a secret cornet somewhere in 31 hectares of the northeastern sector of the Old City when the man slowed to a crawl of a slow walk – his friend was waiting for him.

They drank raki and chewed melons as the sun rose. They spoke and laughed about old times – somewhere between his second glass of cardamon laced tea – the Jordanian turned to the man and asked,

“Shahidi, they say you have become a Christian, married a good girl, settled down and got yourself a 9 to 5 job. They even say, you now have three sons. Tell me, one friend to another. A man to man. Will you ever go back to running ivory?”

The man simply smiled and replied,

“You must be talking to the wrong man. Who is this man Kamel?”

————————————————————

Six years ago somewhere in a HDB flat top in Sengkang. Singapore.

Dotty: “What do you mean…You’re a farmer? Look at me and stop chewing on those sweets. I said look at me! Are you telling me, you want to be a farmer.”

Man: “I want to go to place where I can farm. I can’t farm here. Land is too expensive. I want to go faraway from this place that keeps chewing me up day after day. I want to go back to farming. That’s really who I am Dotty. I am like a fish out of water here. A boat on land. I am not this man that you see. I am that other man who earns his keep by tilling the land.”

Dotty: “What do you mean that’s really who you are? You’ve been at it for 10 years. It will get better. Stay the course.”

Man: “If I stay here. I’ll die Dotty.”

Dotty: “No you wouldn’t. You’re just making all this up in your head to work yourself up again to fly off somewhere. To runaway. It’s those bloody sweets. Give them to me. You’re not going to die, if you stay here. If you die it’s because you’re a Mentos addict.”

Man: “I will die Dotty. I will… I need to find land and farm.”

Dotty: “Go then and be a humpback farmer. See whether I care. I knew you were trouble the first day I laid eyes on you. I knew it deep in my bones….my mother warned me about men like you. I should have listened to her. But no…. Truth is you’re just irresponsible. You’re just incapable of putting others before yourself. Its always about you, you and only you. I told myself….maybe…what’s the point now. Just go…go lah! I dowan. I dowan alredi. No! Stay. Stay for me. Stay.”

If you find yourself screwed in every corner and no matter how hard you seem put your shoulder to the wheel of life and life is still a grind. I don’t think it’s your fault. As shit happens. I even believe you have every right to stand up straight in the public square and shout out, “life is not fair!”

But at some point even you have to realize blogging about how life should be instead of what it is, can never really transform your lot to make tomorrow a better place for you and your loved ones – people who keep insisting blogging can somehow change the world for the better, if you notice are still powerless and poor, so maybe you should go figure out how they’re going to change the world – if they can’t even afford a combo meal in Long John Silver.

The way I see it – only making a firm commitment to change your own life can make tomorrow a better place – for not only yourself, but others as well.

That’s really just another way of saying, if you are born poor, it’s NEVER your fault. As I said, shit happens. But if you die poor, then you have accept responsibility for doing absolutely fuck all except sitting down day in and day out doing very little else except complaining. It’s your fault. It has to be.

So use your mentality – how far do you think you’re going go by trying to change the world to make your lot better by complaining day in and out? Even those who claim time and again that’s somehow possible can never seem to quite explain what conditions must be obtained BEFORE that’s possible. The way I see it, you might as well go and plough the sea.

But if you commit yourself to the FIRST step – to get out of the shit hole you are in – then I think you might just be able to break out from the vicious cycle where you find your lot getting smaller and smaller with each passing day. Sure it’s not easy, that’s why it’s called a break out and not a get out of jail card – could even break you in half and leave with smashed like glass and make you wish you didn’t set yourself on the road to change your life for the better.

Then again, that may be the ONLY way it takes to make a better tomorrow for yourself and those who really matter to you. When you see it that way, it’s hardly a matter of choice is it.

I can’t tell how this will end. All I can share with you is how it might begin – an indestructible idea to break out is planted somewhere in the fertile plains of your mind – that idea just grows and gnaws at you like a nail sticking out of your head – you can do nothing except think about it day and night. Even if you don’t want to think about it, you find yourself turning to it, till it colors every hour, minute and second of your days.

To break out – could be starting your own enterprise, deciding to try your luck elsewhere or even doing something so different from what you have been doing all this time.

But one thing is for sure, once you decide to commit yourself to this path of no return – you will NEVER be the same man again. As you are not just complaining now. You have made the commitment to change your life!

The wheel of life has begun to turn. God it’s finally fucking turning!

———————————————————

“Bad governments are not so different from bad parents. We can ask no end – why were we born into this crummy world? Why is life so bloody hard? Why is my karma so crummy? Why can’t they love and care for me like other parents? Why do I have to do everything for myself unlike the rich kid down the road? Why? Why?

We can all choose be bitter, wallow in anger and even be consumed by hatred, revenge and the urge to square the accounts of this bent world – but at some point after drying our tears and stomping till our feet hurts…we are all not so different from that sad little kid who has the misfortunate of being born into a lousy family where no one seems to love or care for him – he’s all alone from the word ‘go’ in life – a flotsam thrown in the infinity of the sea – one day this sad and lonely boy decides to fill his water bottle, pack his little bag and break his piggy bank and head right out into the wide yonder of the world.

He’s nursed this plan in his head for years like a prisoner secretly planning to break out.

There are no good byes. No one cares. He just picks up one morning and….

There he stands before this long windy road. At first he hesitates. Looks back. Fear seizes him. He steadies himself with a peppermint flavored Mentos. That seems to do the trick. He tells himself, he needs to be brave and he so wants to see lions, giraffes and hippos in Africa. That’s all he thinks about. Then he takes a small step forward and another and soon he’s on his way, turning his little wheel of life – the rest is really just mere commentary. Grist to the mill. Will the world chew him up and spit him out like a seed? Who knows. Who can tell? Will he make it or fall? Again who really knows.

A boy who no one understands. A boy no one loves or cares for….just walking out into the world before daybreak…as he walks, he looks up and remembers the gentle sway of the trees and chirping birds. He tells himself,

“You are my only friends.”

As he grows up, these images will be etched in his head like the mountains.

This is really how I have always seen it….the rest like I said is mere commentary.”

Another day in the city

October 3, 2013

When I am in the city standing outside the hotel in my bush jacket. It is not unusual for city folk to drive right up to me and hand me their car keys.

Today it happened again – as I was standing outside the hotel driveway. A fat man drove right up, looked me straight in the eye and pointed to his Lamborghini as he rushed into the hotel. Yesterday it was a Maserati. The day before a Mercedes Barbaus. I got in drove off for my appointments. City folk are so very kind and considerate.

A day in the city

October 3, 2013

I am in the city for business. While sitting in a cafe. A young lady came up to me and asked, “you are a planter from the countryside are you not?” I smiled and answered, “Correct, it must be my bush jacket that gave me away?” The young lady replied, “No sir, it is the way, you look at trees and birds…you have love in your eyes.”

I blushed. She sees through me.

One reasons why Singapore has the world’s most corrosive work culture where unhappy workers feel the need regularly stay back after five – may have something to do with foolish leaders who work so inefficiently and who have absolutely no idea of what the goal in life should be that even their wife’s have to ask them to resign so that they return home to sleep.

Stupid people will always do stupid things thinking that they are clever – this is the Tao of stupid people.

These leaders think they’re macho, determined and selfless – but in truth, all they are doing is showing the whole wide world how shambolicalically indiscipline, sloppy and woefully unimaginative they are by missing the whole point of what it takes to be a good leader. To say they have missed the plot has to be an understatement – as it is patently clear to those who invested considerable thought in the matter their actions speaks of the direct opposite of what it demands of the role of a leader. In short, I consider them useless hollow men.

As by failing to adequately prioritize the things which should be important in life in the right order – all they are really doing is sowing the seeds of misery for a whole generation of workers – thus guaranteeing that Singapore will never be a place where the average worker can ever aspire to greater heights.

How can this possibly happen when work becomes a chore? A place which is the direct of edifying.

In short they are the worst possible role models of leadership and should never be emulated under any circumstances unless of course the imperative is to build a nation of anemic, sad and tired workers on an industrial scale.

Stupid people will always do stupid things.

————————————————————-

“To lead men is not an easy thing. It is a heavy responsibility. And I think, every leader will reach a point in his life when it suddenly hits him like a thunderbolt that he simply cannot just lead recklessly and it pays to be mindful of how you choose to lead along with why – and if possible to regularly audit one’s thoughts so that they remain free from harmful and negative thoughts.

As your men will always look up to you – it’s is only natural for them to do so. To even take to your ways – the way you work, live, play and even see the world. All this they will take to it like fish to water.

That is why I always try to set some quiet time everyday to reflect deeply on the philosophy of life. Many people think it is a waste of time, but that is only because they do not know what I know.

They have never walked into a beer hall in Germany or France and seen first hand how everyone freezes and conversations quieten down till you can even hear a pin fall. As the man they all venerate called Darkness, vanquisher of the planets strolls through their ranks. The man who led then all to victory.

They don’t know how it is just before dawn when men line up as they do after a field breakfast and prepare to do battle with the jungle as the leader walks through the ranks – they have never felt electricity go through their veins and come out through their ass – when men go about the business of cobbling whatever courage they still have to face another grinding day and how the only thing that separates them from carrying on or breaking down is just the leader – but I know all these things.

I am no longer young. I know of them in the way an old sailor knows the sea.

I never planned for it to turn out the way it did – not then or now. It’s scary isn’t it how the way we think, see the world and even mull over can some how take to the air like seeds and find themselves in the fertile plains of hearts and minds – it has to be scary, when one considers how by just breathing alone, one can even change the way others see the world along with transform their lives – so I must think about these things…think deeply and move so carefully. Step by step. Stopping from time to time when I am not sure. So very carefully….. They don’t know. They don’t. They just follow and copy. How foolish they are…like children.”