Be sensitive to parents with autistic children when dealing with Amos Yee

July 2, 2015

This is not too much to ask of the custodians of power. A bit of sensitivity and understanding when dealing with this matter would certainly go a very long way to palliate many of the fears and anxieties of parents who have and may have autistic children.

As from what I am able to see so far – this seems to be sorely lacking so far.

Normally in a civilized and functional society, leaders would step forward and highlight the need to manage this matter delicately so as not to cause undue fear and anxiety to take hold in parents who have and may have autistic children.

But since in Singapore in my humble opinion, the ‘leaders’ have no balls and probably the emotional quotient of a garden gnome. None have stepped forward to say what needs to said in a timely fashion. It seems they know which side of the bread is buttered and prefer to look the other way.

That to me is not only a failure of leadership. It is tantamount to dereliction of duty that forfeits all manner of respect one usually accords to leaders.

If you want to take issue with me, go ahead, I happen to be rich. Besides I live a very spartan existence and for most the time – I don’t even know what to do with my largesse. I guess should it come to that, I can easily sell a few acres with remarkable ease and fight you in court till the end of time. Besides it’s a great opportunity to be able to wear my killer Zegna suit again.

Coming back to Amos Yee. Want to punish. Go ahead. Do what you like. Not that I really care! Only like I said, be considerate, sensitive and mindful of the broader audience of leveraging on the term autism as a means to an end. Do not for example use an atomic bomb to control pest, only to end up creating 1,000 bigger problems that will come back and bite you in the ass. Do not prescribe a cure to solve a problem, just to create a thousand diseases. Do not make yourself justified at the cost of causing fear and anxieties to take hold in others.

In my opinion you, the custodians of power have no right to do this!

As I said, normally such advise is unnecessary for those who so often claim to be accomplished practitioners of statecraft. But in this case I have plenty of reasons to harbor serious doubts along with reasons to say what needs to said, but is not said.

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‘Mother nature is incredibly fair and democratic. Take it from me. I should know best. As I am a farmer. Nature is my office. Granted! May not seem so, if your pao peih happens to be autistic. Not in the beginning or even the middle at least. Seems more like a curse than blessing. But that is only because he or she hasn’t discovered his superpowers yet.

Yes…superpowers. That is at least what we the brotherhood call it. I don’t expect you to understand. How could you….it’s a vampire thing that only vampires can feel deep in the marrow of their bones and be one with….superpowers. Only remember what I said in the beginning – nature is incredibly fair, that’s to say what she takes with one hand, she gives with another.

In the moment of my averagely miserable youth – one image seems to stand out as a symbol that I was different from all other boys. The image of a boy standing bareback with cane stripes on his back during PE as the rest of the boys and even the teacher looked in a circle. They whispered to themselves, ‘he’s naughty that is why he was canned.’ The rest chanted, ‘naughty boy….naughty boy.’ I did not understand. I could not. Maybe the technology was no good then when it came to managing people who were different, maybe they just feared. I don’t know.

In middle school when one of my teachers discovered that I had the unusual habit of talking to trees – she pleaded with me to hide what she described as my affliction from the world. She went on mention, they will lock you up and throw away the key if they knew….she was in love with me which I assumed to be quite normal then. They were all raptured by me in one shape or form. Women, that is. All in all, I received a grand total of 27 marriage proposals all couched in peculiar terms which first required me to grow up. All to which I responded with the earnest promise of future matrimony and felicity provided ‘my dearest’ continued to fuel my voracious fetishizes for farming toys and comics. As since I looked like a cute manga comic character with my huge expressive liquid eyes and button turn up nose. I was able to step into even the most hardened hearts which included bad tempered spinsters, cantankerous women who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and frigid ladies with nervous dispositions who had a tendency to faint under the slightest provocation.

Had it not been for the singularity of the superpower of five chili cuteness, it’s unlikely that I would have made it to my teenage years with my arms and limbs along with unmentionable body parts intact.

As there were really so many incidences brought forth by my ‘afflictions’ that got me into a fix only for one of my many admirers to whisk me away to safety!

My other superpowers included being able to talk to animals, especially dogs who every kid in my neighborhood had a tendency to harbor a morbid fear of. There were many occasions when my four legged friends were the only ones who stood between me and the lynch mob. Again they would whisk me away just in the nick of time. I even once brought down a branch the size of a transformer forearm on my PE teacher who often caned me for no reason – he should have heeded my prophetic warning when I once told him after a canning, I have friends in high places who can fix you!

In adulthood due in part to my extraordinary paramour of nature. I limited my search to only occupations that dealt with natural products. I worked in a cocoa factory. I was described by my superiors in polite terms as a worker with ‘uncanny abilities which to the best of their knowledge was incomparable, valuable and strategic…’ As by just holding a couple of loose beans to my nose. I could tell how it was likely to machine to the point of even highlighting what would go wrong along with how best to deal with the problem. The management both feared and venerated me as they regarded my knowledge as the upper reaches of arcanum which they could only dream of aspiring to if the had ten lifetimes. For those who dared to challenge me. I would either bully or humiliate them publicly into submission. I was ruthless. As since I had the superpower of photographic memory – I could rattle off reams of incomprehensible mind boggling data to illustrate their lack before their line managers which usually provoked the same response on every occasion, ‘are you by any chance interested in his job?’ To which I would vacillate and respond with a cryptic grin and skip away. Hence they all left me alone. I was considered highly flammable and in every sense dangerous. An unknown quantity. An aberration that needed to be tolerated within the system. Besides my bosses seem to accept or at least do a good job of pretending to accept many of my quirks which involved regarding Monday as an extension of Sunday and not even bothering to turn up for work to reading newspapers in meetings. In my other job where I worked in a tobacco plant. There again my extraordinary powers proved useful as well. As by just rubbing my thumb and index finger to feel the texture of a tobacco leaf – I would literally speak to me and I could even predict the expected yield for the whole production month based on such a cursory assessment to an accuracy of plus / minus two percentile points. To the best of my knowledge I remain till this date on record, the only worker in the history of these multinational firms who has the ignominious record of being able to walk right out of a meeting or being caught napping underneath my table on numerous occasion without ever been censured so much as once with either a warning letter or the threat of dismissal. Did I mention…most of my bosses were women.

Whenever people would try to control me or hammer me into shape. As HR termed it prosaically ‘as necessary for the common good,’ which to best of my knowledge is just corporate parlance for dabbling in a spot of witch hunting. Usually I would simply clamp up like a oyster and preoccupy myself with ever more inventive ways to sleep on the job. While the whole plant would soon be beset by so many high blood pressure inducing problems that someone of authority and stature in the organization would have to beg me to speak again usually with lashings of bribes that involved off days and training courses that allowed me the opportunity to see the world free and easy. To the best of my knowledge that was my understanding of détente and strategic balance of power.

And finally when I got bored of imitating the glorious life of the proverbial hamster that runs on a wheel that goes nowhere in Singapore. I decided to turn the wheel of life as a businessman and enterprise owner in the guise of a farmer. Again I have no equal. As I am in every practical definition of the word – the best farmer in the world! These days, I work only under my own terms, strictly for pleasure.

The funny thing is these days. No one ever thinks I am weird any longer. Which I can only respond to with upmost curiosity and tinge of regret I might add as that’s bloody weird! Could well be my temperament that has often been described as, ‘quietly dispossessed like the silence in the eye of a storm.’ Or perhaps my prediclition to remain ambivalent whenever everyone gets excited. Or maybe it is merely the sanctifying power of money. How ironic!

Truth is, they all just think, I know best since he’s the one with an unbroken record as the highest yielding farmer in the region. Not even if I ask of others to do the weirdest things in the world do others baulk at me any longer these days, which is somewhat regrettable as I so do miss terribly the feeling of estrangement – like recently during a formal field presentation when I asked the speaker to rearrange his presentation backwards! The rest of the planters simply looked quizzically at each other and after a while of murmuring some the rest of the planters said, ‘yes, do it backwards….it makes more sense that way! He’s right! While I thought to myself, ‘that’s so peculiar and weird man!’

Maybe I’ve managed to successfully create my own world within the confined of this corseted and parochial world against all odds to enable me to fashion my version of reality. That is certainly conceivable. Or maybe like I said earlier it’s vampire thing….it is, I reckon. A understanding of sorts.

But one thing is clear as day and you should always remember is….nature is incredibly fair…she is…as what she takes with one hand, she tends to give with another….and if you happen to be different like me….you just need to learn to accept and make the best of it……believe and above all have faith!’

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