(1) Develop a keen interest in the weather. Hopefully when you do that…you will only talk about the weather all the time and very little else.

(2) learn to whistle while walking…this way neither you or anyone else will ever be inclined to talk about serious subjects.

(3) Invest in a Nespresso coffee machine. As the guilt of spending so much $ on a lousy coffee maker will effectively stop you from ever visiting the local kopitiam to chit chat about serious subjects.

(4) Play Pokemon Go. This way hopefully you will develop a obsessive and compulsive habit of only trying to find Pokemon on the go and that guarantees you will never ever have the time or inclination to discuss serious subjects ever again.

(5) Make friends with your local Kalang Guni uncle. This way you will only read old newspapers and this will mean even should you eventually discuss serious subjects…the case is already liao already…so you’re always out of the danger zone as you are completely out of touch with current affairs.

(6) Try to get into the good habit of cultivating an eating disorder. This way it is impossible to ever talk about serious topics as your mouth is always full with fish balls all the time.

(7) Develop a split personality. As contempt of court only applies if you are discussing serious subjects with others and NEVER to imaginary friends.

(8) Cultivate bad breathing techniques whenever conversing with others – that way you will always be a mumbler and since no one can ever understand what you’re trying to convey…it’s impossible to talk about serious subjects.

(9) Take up scuba diving as well…as it’s impossible to conduct a coherent conversation under water.

(10) Sleep with a mosquito coil every night…this is the most reliable way to dumb down your sense of smell to smoke.

Good luck! May the force be with you!

Landsraad

August 18, 2016

It is not possible to petition the Laanstrad or ‘Landsraad’ directly. That is not the correct protocol. As since time immemorial, filling a petition has always been a very convulsed and convoluted process of appeal after appeal first beginning at the lowest level of the Sysselraad.

It will be a very long process involving many layers of secret negotiations beginning first with the spacing and mineral Guilds.

Many of those who once played the game are no longer kids. Many are now industrialist and captains of industry….I have to proceed cautiously using the weirding way to feel my way deftly across this labyrinth of intrigue….if I am to succeed in my mission – not everyone I expect will necessarily share my negative views concerning the TPP…that is unrealistic…some I feel will support it for what they feel to be very valid reasons. That is only to expected.

They have to be won over with diplomacy and logic.

Nonetheless, I remain confident a superior logic will eventually overcome an inferior one.

It has been many many years since the man called Darkness last walked into the game…..many would have read about his many colorful exploits in our Bible….the Book of Ages.

But since nearly 2,000 space years has elapsed since my last appearance in Primus Aldentes Prime…I expect, I would only be a distant figure to most in this long and arduous journey thru this new and exciting virtual realm…nonetheless, I remain very hopeful in this mission.

We will win!

What I do consider ‘quite astonishing’ however is how some ‘leaders’ actually believe it’s even possible and sensible to stop people from thinking and voicing out their valid opinions in this day and age in a timely manner…of course, these half baked leaders will supply all sorts of cockememe reasons for their new legislation….these people should consider doing mankind a great favor by stepping back into a time machine (please make it a one way ticket lah) journey back to the quaint olde days of candles, sail ships, slavery, hand written books and ivory dentures…now if that medieval attitude is not very very astonishing in this day and age…then I really don’t know what is!

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‘Want to stop people from thinking and talking…just say so lah. No need to come up with cock stories of how this may influence people’s decision making process. If that were really true, then everyone from teachers to ministers in Singapore should be bubble warped and put into a sound proof chambers twelve hours a day….what kind of pariah dog logic might that be!’

In my assessment the TPP cannot be stopped…but having said that it is possible to delay it’s passage thru congress. But to accomplish this, millions is required. As many ordinary people are still ignorant about the corrosive effects of the TPP…

This is only possible if I go to Rome and appeal directly to the Laanstrad – only they have the network and unlimited resources to move mountains with the stealthiness of the unseen hand.

The TPP can only be delayed. But that is all that is required …to throw a spanner into the works to delay it is as good as killing it for a couple more years…at least. Meanwhile this widget space will allow the Chinese to firm up their counter solution in the form of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement that would include all ten ASEAN member states as well as Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.

The overlapping memberships – over half of the TPP members would also be in RCEP – would help mitigate any negative effects for China.

I must go to Rome and appeal to the Laanstrad.

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‘Obama will of course try to get the TPP passed in Congress during the quiet sitting this November. But he will fail. As the prevailing sentiment is against him. Besides if Obama pushes too hard, all he would be doing is sabotaging Hillary’s campaign – that’s a calculated risk.

If Hillary wins. The TPP will be approved within the first hundred days of her administration. Naturally it will be adjusted to take stock of the negative sentiments and even repackaged as something completely different, but in essence it will be the TPP. Hillary is not stupid. She understands both the economic and strategic value of having a pivot in Asia to counter both the economic and geo political ascendency of China.

If Trump wins. Despite all his anti TPP rhetoric. He too will eventually approved the passage of the TPP within the first hundred days of his administration. Assuming Trump is stupid. His advisors are not and they will underscore the economic and geo political necessity of the pivot in Asia very forcefully…this is almost 100% in my assessment – as it is a very compelling argument not only economically, geo politically, but most importantly the TPP is able to accomplish militarily what could never be logistically possible in terms of men and materiale by the US and their allies militarily. For them to establish Pax Americana in the Asia Pacific theater they would need another Guam or Subic Bay and at least four additional carriers to what the seventh fleet currently has in it’s inventory and at least five divisions with two in tow as reserves…that’s a military impossibility…not even if Australia and Japan steps in!

So TPP is a very cost competitive wonder weapon to shift the sphere of influence within Asia from currently China to the US with one stroke of the pen….by doing very little except maybe rewriting the rules of the game.

The Japanese are of course very bullish even if it threatens the status quo of their agri sector. As this economic shift makes economic revival that more likely…that at least is what the economist in MITI envision. The TPP will in addition bestow benefits to Vietnam especially by bolstering their textile industry. But besides these few beneficiaries…I don’t see any obvious benefits for the rest of the signatories economically or militarily by shifting chairs closer to the US, except maybe putting China in a steel straight jacket.

Truth is not many signatories have a choice…either they sign up. Or they are cut off from their primary markets!

What is worrisome is the Chinese thus far remain quite clueless how to respond coherently to the TPP….they seem to be at loss as to how to respond, except maybe militarizing the Spratly’s and Paracells.

So it is this aspect of the TPP that will appeal very strongly to whoever becomes the next president of the US…this is the mathematics of statecraft. Anyone who tells you different has a very poor grasp of the machinations of power and politics.’

Caring for Boots & Feet

August 17, 2016

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My work requires me to walk a lot. Usually under the most demanding terrain and under all weather conditions. Hence boot knowledge is jugular.

I’ve noticed many people don’t really know how to care for their boots – this could be one reason why they’re always buying boots and suffer from 1,001 foot injuries…that’s certainly a very expensive proposition as professional work boots can easily set one back by four figures!

So this is my basic guide how to care for boots so that they will last you a lifetime and be kind to your feet.

(1) Always apply ONLY Dubbin on your boots. Dubbin is to moisturize and waterproof the leather. Shoe polish i.e Kiwi should not be confused with Dubbin – the former is primarily used to dress shoes and make them shiny and pretty. Unfortunately shoe polish offers zero protection from rough use and the elements.

Dubbin is purely functional, it is not beautiful as it dulls leather.

Usually I clean my boots thoroughly with soap, water and a brush and dry it in the shade for at least three days before an application of Dubbin.

Personally, I prefer to apply Dubbin with an old toothbrush in slow circular motions to get right down to the crannies of the welts – this is the most vulnerable part of the boot construction. I never brush off the Dubbin and usually just leave it as it is.

During the dry season. I will dub once every two months. In the rainy season every month. On every occasion, I use soap, water and bristle brush to remove previous dubbin coat.

(2) Before the rainy season. I make it a point to varnish all the metal fittings such as the eyelets with clear nail polish – I find this prevents rusting that’s usually responsible for laces breaking unexpectedly, due to burring and sharp edges.

In deep jungle hikes. I will replace my day laces with Rhino laces – these are indestructible military spec laces, but since they tend to be rather stiff, they do interfere with comfort.

(3) At the end of a work day. I never just take off my boots and stuff my socks into them. Very common big mistake. Usually I air my boots under a fan thru the night and loosen the laces so as to enable the leather to breathe…remember leather is just skin…it needs to ventilate.

If they’re wet or even slightly damp.

I never ever wear them the following day – as damp boots stretches the leather out of shape resulting in thinning and eventually tearing or splitting.

The most reliable way to destroy boots.

When my boots are damp. I let them rest and rotate them with a fresh pair. I NEVER wear wet or damp boots….never!

(4) lastly, learn how to adjust your shoelaces to the terrain to avoid blisters, calluses and foot complications such as jungle rot and trench foot – this is frequently the most disregarded skill set in boot school. The general rule of thumb is when walking on uneven and unstable terrain i.e loose gravel – tighten the ankle straps to prevent lateral feet movement. When descending from a steep incline, tighten the laces around the toe box to narrow the vamp to prevent your back heel from sliding forward.

Above all care of your feet to ensure they’re healthy and injury free.

Keep walking!

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How can Trump win?

August 17, 2016

Frequently in life, you don’t need ten bullet points to win hands down – all one needs to really do is to winnow it all down to one killer point or mother of reasons….and that by itself is usually enough to secure a decisive victory.

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‘If Trump just focusses on the TPP. Trump wins by a landslide! To me it’s as simple as that. As for Hillary she doesn’t have a point that is why her campaign is all about Trump, and her spin doctors are trying very hard to make him appear as a mentally deranged loose canon that cannot be entrusted with power….more reason for Trump to deconstruct himself completely and try to fashion the rest of his campaign as an anti TPP effort. As Trump the man doesn’t seem to be able to sell very well….but someone who is really committed to junk the TPP will!’

Well done Mr Scholling

August 14, 2016

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For a brief moment we can all set aside our differences and share a common belief – to go where no mind dares to go!

I don’t want to spoil it by writing too much nonsense.

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‘The entire brotherhood salutes you…this is not a small thing. It’s never happened to even me…just remember, don’t let it go to your head….remember with power comes responsibility. We expect you to conduct yourself correctly!

Remember always…we don’t know you. And we will appreciate it if you do us all the courtesy of the same….bye bye.’

The short answer is ‘far from it.’ This assessment is not about who is right or wrong…ultimately it boils down to three elements, political infrastructure, chain of command and party discipline. Whether Najib actually stole money is an ikan Merah (red herring) that allegation I have no doubt may very well sway a significant number of voters….but it’s impact is nominal and has probably been factored by the political planners in UMNO. Truth of the matter is votes cast in the cities don’t count for very much in the political score card, it’s doubtful that it can even cause a rift within UMNO.

The reality is BN has been haemorhaging votes in the city as far back as the mid 1990’s…and the rot started during the tail end of Mahathir’s administration just after Anwar’s first imprisonment – since then the BN political machinery has redrawn the electoral lines to enable them to set up a government even should they fail to garner the majority of votes in the cities in Malaysia.

Hence in my opinion, the real decider will be waged in the kampungs, especially the Northern districts of the rice belt starting from Kelantan, Kedah, Terrenganu et all all the way down to Matang, Perak. Same applies to the Southern states of Johor. The cities are toasted….but the same cannot be said about the kampungs.

Firstly, I do not see how Mahathir’s new Bersatu can possibly challenge UMNO. UMNO after all maintains discipline within it’s ranks thru a very ritualized system of ‘habuan’ (kickbacks) – it’s essentially a very complex system involving layer upon layer of beneficiaries that took nearly 60 or more years to evolve.

Bersatu doesn’t have the networking or linkages – they need to start building from scratch, that’s quite hard as they don’t have either a war chest or generous donors who can write them billion dollar cheques….so this idea Bersatu somehow being able to gazump UMNO is quite premature.

The second factor is chain of command – Both BN and UMNO have a highly organized chain of command that allows for fast mobilization, especially in the countrysides. The same cannot be said about Bersatu….all they can really hope for is to trigger a rift within UMNO and hope that many will defect or switch sides. But even if they do that…they still don’t have an effective chain of command. As it is Bersatu is in a very unnatural alliance with DAP, PKR and four other component parties – outwardly they may all appear united, but there is a lot of mistrust and bad blood between them that will make it quite impossible for them to respond as decisively as BN and UMNO.

Finally party discipline – UMNO whips are still able to maintain the monolithic discipline within the ranks. Granted there is certain schism, but this not a political animal that is not riven by plenty of scandals….I have no doubt the majority of UMNO members will hold together as UMNO despite it’s many faults remains the only means for them to benefit from the system – providing the rank and file continue to gain benefit…they will look the other way.

Finally and most worrisome is the malaise of apathy that is so prevalent in Malaysia. While most Malaysians realize the current system is rotten right down to the core…since they don’t believe it’s possible to effect change. Most don’t care.

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As you can all tell, I am not a big fan of that sour old man.

After all during his 22 year shift. He imposed his rule of despotism on Malaysia at the expense of everything sacred under the sun. He literally set up a banana republic dictatorship – to be nothing less than a complete dictator.

Anyone that got in his way…he bulldozed over.

He desecrated the institutions of democratic governance – judiciary, bar council, media, universities along with kicking out capable and honorable men and replaced them with his retinue of lackeys – so as to further his nefarious designs.

He radicalized politics along sectarian, religious and communal lines by dividing the three races so that they would be amenable to his crooked machinery of rule by fear.

He redefined Malay nationalism to a theoretical science to such a ridiculous extent that today most Malaysian youths can’t even string a simple sentence in English without coming across as a joke like him.

Sanctioned state inspired race politics and discrimination at the expense of meritocracy and filled it with parvenus and men who are no better than gangsters.

Raided land and business with unmitigated callousness from hard working folk under the guise of national development and handed it to his useless lackeys for a tuppence, who ran it all to the ground.

He even perverted the course of justice and threw one of his deputy ministers in jail.

Humiliated, silenced and taunted the father of Merdeka who eventually died of a broken heart just because he wanted to control everything and everyone.

Now in the final chapter of whatever that is still left of his tattered legacy….the bitter old man of a 1,000 biles finally realizes all that he has accomplished in his lifetime is to create the very monster that he is utterly powerless to destroy…it has finally come back full circle with a terrible vengeance to cause him sleepless nights in his lifetime.

I hope he finds resolution….I am glad that I am not him.

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‘Be very careful how you treat others. As it will always come back. If you want to win or succeed…that’s perfectly natural. Only fight fairly or compete with the spirit of the sportsman – don’t dabble in trickery and deceit and arm twisting. That way even if you win, the other side will take his hat off and say, ‘I did my best, but he was a better man.’ Be a gentleman. Because once you open that box…then you can’t blame the other side for throwing out the rule book and when that pivot point is breached…anything and everything goes. If you want to be metaphysical and call it poetic justice or Karma, that you can. But for me, I much rather keep it simple and call it the law of cause and effect.’

People who are really confident are usually very quiet….And that is only natural.

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‘Confidence is not something that you will yourself into and wear like make up or a suit – it doesn’t come from reading a self improvement paperback one hour a day on the MRT. Neither does it come from DIY hypnosis, where you stand before a mirror every morning only to repeat ten times in a mono robotic tone – I am a very confident person.

All that is phoney confidence.

Real confidence can only come when one gains deep knowledge about how fragile and delicate one is and how the rest of humanity is the same, that is why they need to play, ‘I am larger than life’ games endlessly…and it is this understanding of the human condition that leads to an inner awakening – that it’s pointless to play these childish games any longer.

I find this be very true in my case. As when I was younger. I had a tendency to talk a lot about my accomplishments…and when I reflect back that may have something to do with the fact that I was very much a nobody with very little to show for….except for maybe a couple of imaginary friends running around my head cheering me on all the time.

I am not saying for one moment I am someone exceptional today…not at all.

My life is very uneventful. There are many things that I want to do.

Only I much prefer keep very quite and listen to others these days. Rather than talk all the time about myself like I used too….that is the most noticeable change in my character – it could well be because I no longer feel the need to prove anything to anyone.

It’s very strange….it’s as though the focus on the interaction itself has nothing whatsoever to do with me.

I’ve somehow disappeared…I don’t even know how I became such a quiet man. I don’t. But it doesn’t bother me…no.

It’s just the way it was always meant to be.

How curious.’

When a man constantly looks outwards for approval…validation…respect from strangers and people who he hardly knows.

Then it probably means there is nothing worth looking inwards….deep inside his being.

This is the ONLY logical deduction there is…all others follow ONLY after this and this alone.

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‘There is a deep urge in ALL men to diffuse his energy on worthless pursuits…that is because society programs man to be a social animal…wonder no more why you rarely ever see people dining alone. As society labels them freaks…that is also the reason why no body ever ask you to go talk to yourself…again that’s freaky – man always looks outwards…as he’s mentally conditioned to look externally and not internally.

He is always a busy body, sticking his nose into affairs that don’t concern him. Always digging up scandals on others so as to make himself feel righteous…always trying to put down others so as to seek liberation from the reality of his apparent shortcomings…to gossip no end about others so as to manufacture his version of the truth to make an otherwise miserable existence that much more bearable.

This is the sad story of man the social animal.

At the crux of his motivation – mans craves to be special….he yearns to be exceptional…to even stand out from the crowd.

But the ultimate paradox is he doesn’t even realize to improve his lot – all he needs to do is to look inwards instead of searching for answers to many of his questions out there.

Recently a group of people asked me why do I seem so aloof, detached and distant these days…why don’t I make more effort to socialize…to be more friendly (which is code for you’re very sombong or proud these days)….of course I told them all a white lie..I am so busy these days. So terribly preoccupied with work and eking out a living. I went on to add just before I disappeared yet again…I wish I could spend more time with all of you.

In truth, I am sick and tired of mixing around people who seem to do very little else except trade gossip along with speculating endlessly about the lives of others all day….truth is, these are all wasteful pursuits that don’t add any value to my life. Neither do they have the power to make one special.

If you happen to feel special or superior just mixing around with people who like nothing better than to indulge in worthless pursuits all day – it just means, you have successfully managed to fool yourself by manufacturing and believing your own version of reality that bears absolutely no resemblance to the truth.

Faced with that horrible proposition…I rather be alone….and that is the truth…the superior mind is never afraid to go his own way…to put it another way, his default position is always to look inwards.’

No! Please don’t misunderstand me…as when I say – I don’t trust myself! It is not a sign of weakness. Not at all…it is, what it is…nothing more or less…just reality….the way I see it at least.

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‘Your mind, my mind, their mind will always interfere and color your thoughts. That’s only natural as the mind is a creation of society.

Yes it will interfere…always…all the time that is what happens when there is a policeman…priest…leader….parent running in your head 24/7 – it is impossible to be yourself.

I don’t for one moment deny it is certainly your mind…only it is not ALWAYS in your service…neither can it be counted to make wise decisions…not all the time.

Don’t believe me. Let’s conduct a simple thought experiment…SEX…Aha you felt something nipping at you just then….did you shift uneasily….SEX…There you felt it pinch at you again!

You see there is a conspiracy against you….and it’s all in your mind – that is because society has implanted so many things in that mind that you believe you have complete control over including the idea that you can trust yourself as you have full control over your thought processes.

That is why people who are brainwashed. Never ever believe they are brainwashed. As a necessary aspect of brainwashing requires the victim to FIRST believe his or her thoughts can only come from having full control over one’s mind.

That is why the very moment a man says – I trust myself completely and absolutely…I know, he doesn’t even know anything about himself let alone understand the breadth of that word – trust.

How can he?

As that means he will never see the need to ALWAYS interrogate his thought processes and even perceive the need to put his conclusions under the rigor of closer scrutiny…..to review….compare and contrast…winnow truth from propaganda….to leverage on the power of his intellect….only a person who doesn’t full trust his mind would ever understand the need for such precautionary measures….as he knows the mind is programmed by society and though this it sits on his shoulders and belongs to him, it is not ALWAYS in his service….not all the time, at least.

Like I said, it is, what it is….nothing more or less.’

When we are not mindful – the mind will go round and round like a cat chasing it’s own tail. That is the nature of the mind. We will relive the bad experiences of the past and feel the pain that comes from missed opportunities and regrets and by doing so…. we sabotage the present and future.

As I mention…this is the very nature of the mind when one is not mindful – it can only go round and round like a vicious cycle…repeating…reliving the past and coloring our days with sadness.

But when one is mindful – one becomes a witness to this merry go round without judgement, consideration or any other thoughts.

As a witness one is simply acutely mindful of how the mind is chasing it’s own tail like a deranged cat AGAIN.

To be mindful…is not nothing….it is a very big deal…nothing short of the skeleton key that will empower one to open the door to freedom….without the power that comes from awareness one can never hope to exert complete control over the mind, one can only be swept of away by the momentum of the gyre and go round and round.

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‘Living in the wild all alone is hardly a simple thing. It’s not like the movies. You only think you can wing it – but once you’re smack in the depths of wild. You will be overwhelmed….as the jungle has a creepy way of whirling itself beneath your skin only to canal into your brain and consume it like some hungry fanged creature.

I’ve seen many level headed men lose their minds in this way….that is what will happen when we are not mindful of how our mind can turn against us. As our past is hardly a benign thing – no it’s not..at times it’s like trampoline that will propel you into the present and future. This is how relationships are destroyed….a man or woman may be with his or her soulmate but some painful memory is played out like a cassette or DVD again and again and this destroys the moment and if this persist…..the relationship is doomed.

To break away from the past is not easy…you are not stupid or weak willed if the past has a habit of creeping up on you only to shout out booh!

That just means you are totally human…learn to accept this aspect of who you are without beating up yourself! Learn to see it for what it is without a defensive nature that comes from urgency to judge….it is you, me and everyone else.

As this happens to even the very best of us. The hurtful past comes often to me and everyone else and those who claim they are not to some degree haunted by the past are simply lying to others and themselves.

Only because of my special circumstances. I have to be acutely mindful of how the mind has a tendency of going round and round….when it’s not checked.

Mindfulness. To be fully conscious that the broken record has started playing somewhere in my head again and by the mere act of just being mindful – suddenly the past assumes the right scale and perspective in relation to the present and future.

This way the past can never overwhelm you…it’s not possible as the gravity of the present and future will keep you centered and alert.

When we are not mindful of how the mind has a tendency to go round and round – that is when we begin to die a little day by day till we end up living only in the past.

But when we are mindful…suddenly we come to a state of awareness and this enables us to bury the past and move on.’

When one becomes successful. It is very natural for some people to find fault with you…what is the motivation for their actions…is not a pertinent question. Not to me at least…you might as well go and plough the sea. As your guess is as good as mine and it’s really horses for courses. But find fault and nitpick at you these jealous people will do!

When you are caught in that kind of corrosive situation…just learn to disappear gracefully…poof!

You are gone!

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‘You really want to know the truth? Are you ready? Here it comes – No one will be happy when you succeed!

I am so sorry to be the bringer of bad news. I know everyone tells you..they SHOULD be. But in truth most people just can’t get a handle on their childish impulses and the success of others usually brings out the very worst in them.

You don’t have to do anything like rub them the wrong way…you could just be sitting in one corner sucking your thumb and minding your own business or impersonating a lamp post. Yet these jealous people will still target you…this is all that you need to understand….jealous people are very driven as they are fueled by none other than high octane hate, hate and hate!

The only people who will be genuinely happy for you when you succeed…. are those who have always loved and cared for you.

Whenever you come across jealous people. NEVER engage them…never. As either way it’s a lose lose proposition and the best you can ever hope to accomplish should you be foolish enough to get entangled with them is to just manage the loses in the such a way where you don’t lose too big….even then set the right expectation. You will come out bruised.

That’s because people who are jealous are very often caught up in the vicious cycle of their own mental dynamics that involves their own painful past that they have great trouble dealing with. So they have to take out their frustrations on others to make life that much more bearable for themselves….it’s nothing personal….if it’s not you at the receiving end of their flame throwers. It could just as well be anyone else…take your pick!

In short experience informs me quite reliably what makes up the composition of their mental dynamics and how it works is very complicated to unravel….you might as well go a develop a space ship to travel to Mars…that how complex it is with jealous people…they’re a right mess….so just learn to disappear.

There are many forms of disappearing. The first is to simply not be there…this may not always be possible, then disappear in such a way where you are still there, but not really there….but actually somewhere else..that’s to say the body is there, but the mind is in another place.

Never go head to head with jealous people as they are capable of doing everything and anything….if you don’t take this advice. In no time you too will be sucked into their hellish world of irrational hate, hate and hate…burn baby burn that you too will end up behaving exactly like that – that is how destructive jealous people can be.

Instead always remain compassionate and strive ONLY to control your response and the thoughts flitting thru your mind – soon you will realize. They are in a form of hell….when one takes this attitude, one will never get angry with jealous people.

Because the self is no longer there…it has evaporated into the atmosphere…atomized even…it’s disappeared completely.’

Love

August 9, 2016

Love to most people (I imagine) usually involves a kind of appropriation….of another or something.

Usually love involves some form of monopolization, possessiveness and expectation the person who you love will always be there for you…exclusivity – but there is an understated flaw to this logic.

As the very moment one tries to possess a living being, you have killed it as certainly as plucking a flower that picks your fancy in the wild.

To me love cannot be about possession and obsession…as it’s simply an act of appreciation.

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‘Its very natural for man to covet and possess and even aspire to own both things and people. After all to some degree unbeknown to all of us – it’s conceivable we have all been socially conditioned by the material world to only see this as the only worthwhile transaction in life.

Anything less than ownership in the strict sense means we don’t have a right to enjoy it.

But there is something very fundamentally wrong with this outlook – just the other day while working in the field. I said to myself what a glorious day…for the very first time in weeks, the temperature was not super hot. There was even a cooling breeze from the east that made work joyous…the birds were all out and the gentle swaying and rustle of the palms was so serene.

It was a joy to work with my hands on such a beautiful day.

But the very second when I murmured to myself, ‘if only all days can be like today’ ‘I wish the day will never end’ or ‘if only I had the power to stop time and freeze this moment in eternity.’

Suddenly sadness crept into my being like a thief. Suddenly that which was just a moment a source of profound joy was transformed into something ugly and painful.

Do you all see how when one is clingy to a thing or I imagine to even a person…the magic spell of the moment is broken.

There is much to be learnt from this in life….never dwell on the past or the distant future. There is only the present and it is new…pristine and pure.

Breathe and enjoy….as it will past.’

Will Trump Win?

August 8, 2016

Of late Mr Trump has made a couple of incomprehensibly stupid moves that has resulted in self inflicted damage to himself and the entire Republican outfit. However I am very sure he will be able to recover. Even if he cannot recover the Republican machinery will make every effort to make it possible for Mr Trump to recover. This is the nature of partisan styled politics. After all it’s still early days and from now till November it’s really the equivalent of from here to eternity in power and politics.

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‘Will America and the rest of the world be destroyed after Trump wins? Normally we needn’t ask such a question, but these are not normal times. These are super duper extraordinary times. Last week, Obama announced “(Trump) is unfit to serve as President” he added Trump was “woefully unprepared”. To cap it off Obama laid it thick and furious “He doesn’t have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding to occupy the most powerful position in the world.”

Never before have I ever heard such a stinging report card from a president to describe another contender.

But to be fair. Obama along many people do have good reasons to come to their conclusion.

Are they accurate?

First of all I don’t think Mr Trump is a fool. He may be a loose canon. But he is definitely not a fool. As a fool cannot possibly be a billionaire! That is not possible.

So he has a history of cutting the right moves or coming down on the right side as the Americans would say – I happen to be one of the few who believe Mr Trump is just inexperienced and possibly overwhelmed by the new found position he suddenly finds himself in. That shouldn’t come as a surprise as he’s basically a businessman not a politician. That may be why I am willing to cut him some slack.

This election is historical. Never before has the electorate being confronted with two starkly different choices – Hillary represents continuity and the perpetuation of the status quo along with everything that is wrong with politics and power in America.

Trump comes in with a new insight as to how the country should be ordered. Though it’s doubtful he will be able to deliver on his promises. As there are really so many realities that need staying the course rather than hatching ideas – I am not saying the old way of doing things is better than whatever Trump math propose if he were ever elected as President. It’s just that I don’t believe Mr Trump appreciates the nuances of power and politics along with how little power he has to effect a slew of radical changes.

If I had to plumb. I would say Trump could very well win albeit by the slimmest of margins – the only reason why I say this is because he comes across as authentic and the opposite of a well rehearsed politician in the form of Hillary.

Authenticity sells. It even commands a premium in a climate of terminal askance, uncertainty and fear.

That I imagine could be one reason why the Democrats seem to be very determined to label Mr Trump as a nut case….the irony is their methods don’t differ a lot from what Mr Trump has been doing all along – give a dog a bad name blah blah blah.

Will it work?

Well I think it will. As character assasination is a very effective crowbar….but then again if Trump just remains focussed on getting his message across instead diffusing his energy on petty issues all the time – he will certainly win.’

It all pivots on the question of what is the price of crude oil per barrel from now to the next GE.

That in my opinion is the key determinant.

If the price of oil is stays below the average median of USD$40 from now till the next GE. I think it will be uphill for BN.

Under those constraints if BN is to win the key constituencies in the mainland. They have to seriously consider an alliance with PAS…otherwise their chances of garnering the votes in the Northern districts especially along the rice belt would be very shaky.

As that is where the opposition will most likely place their heavy guns and contest very fiercely.

As for the cities, it’s a foregone conclusion, BN will lose spectacularly. But this hardly matters as the number of votes is not reflective of the number of seats. This is the way politics is conducted in Malaysia and Singapore. This I am certain has already been factored into the calculations of the BN planners.

However if the price of oil is able to maintain a median average of USD$80 per barrel – it’s very unlikely the new opposition party will ever be able to make significant head way…their attempts to gain ground will be blunted.

BN will win by a landslide.

Everything hinges on the price of oil.

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‘UMNO and BN in the towns and cities is an invisible party….the average towner probably doesn’t even know who their MP is. Neither does he care and this is not unusual. Not at all.

But in the kampung, UMNO is very well organized along sectarian, religious and communal lines. This should not come as a surprise. As since Merdeka (independence) it has had nearly 70 years to perfect it’s super complicated ritualized way of maintaining discipline along with engineering consent…this especially so in the kampung (rural) districts. There is layer after layer of command and control structures and it’s very hierarchical from the YB (Yang Berhormat: MP) to the Penghulu (village headman), Imam (cleric) right down to the grassroots common villager.

Say what you want to say, but from what I have been able to make out the system is first class and virtually unbreakable.

In the kampung people are very simple minded…they can be manipulated very easily – that is why when Najib says his money is a donation….very few people understand this statement is directed at predominantly village folk. That is his target audience. In opinion Najib has gambled right.

To understand this one needs to understand history. Najib is the son of Razak. The second PM of Malaysia. Razak was a great visionary. He is regarded as the benefactor of the planter till this day. It’s not uncommon even today to visit plantations only for one to find a framed picture of Razak (you come to my plantation, you will also see a framed picture of Razak beside the pic of the Agung)…that is how well regarded he is by the planters. The father of modern commercial farming in Malaysia. Added to that Planters are very strange folk. They live by their own social code that starkly differs from orang Kota (city dwellers). In the rural district, when the son is in trouble….they will still support him as the memory of the father runs deep in their psyche. They never forget. Their attitude is, ‘biar lah!’ (It matters not). So the son can do no wrong. As the father was considered a peka gentleman and that by itself exacts loyalty.

People in the cities don’t understand this concept, but in the rural districts – they have deeply etched memories, that is why they slap their foreheads with a sense of incredulity…but in the kampung this is quite normal.

Kampung folk generally don’t care very much about 1MDB to them it’s a very distant concept that cannot be imagined – first they don’t know what it is…or even how many zero’s make up a billion and even if they do, they can’t possibly see what it all has to do with their way of life or even how it might affect them.

It is what it is!

At one level, it’s not inaccurate to say kampung folk are by nature ignorant…and that is at least truth to some degree otherwise what can possibly account for their bovine response to 1 MDB.

Besides most kampung folk have only known UMNO all their life – even PAS along with their appendages such as Al Arqam is quite a new concept….and since kampung folk still venerate the idea of the monarchy. It’s likely that religion, ritualistic tribal practices, kinship along with tradition will still play a preponderant role in moderating the final count of votes.

Personally I do not see how an opposition party can ever unseat UMNO in the kampung (rural district) especially the farming belt in Perak and Northern Johor, Kedah and Terengganu….I believe the status quo will continue despite Dr Mahathir being a fire brand in the new opposition camp…I do not believe the opposition has either the resources or networks to break thru the kampung ritualized way of power and politics.

I rate their chances to be minimal to zero.

That is reality.’

Just

August 7, 2016

A few sights that made me press the pause button and JUST watch during my last visit to the city.

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‘I think it’s very sad when I realize it’s no longer possible for me to live in a place like Singapore….I seem to have developed a chronic allergy to virtually everything in the city.

For one it’s way too noisy and the lights are just too bright…I am not used having so many people around me…soon my senses become overloaded and I begin to malfunction.

Whenever I feel disorientated by the many sights and sounds in the city…I sit down.

Usually women who have never seen before would approach me gingerly and ask in a concern tone whether I am OK…maybe they sense my sadness. Or could it be they are drawn by some residue of the wild that I broadcast inadvertently like X ray? I don’t know…it’s very hard to say…as the city is such an alien place to me these days.

Usually I just sit quietly like a stone. I don’t ever need to do anything except maybe breathe in and out and after a while I get up and resume my walk again.’

Is one then necessarily subversive? Let me put it another way, if you believe it is right to raise the price of medicine beyond the reach of most people in the third world….And should I believe otherwise i.e medicine is an elemental a priori right for all and every effort should be made to keep the price as reasonable and low as possible including reining in the profit motive…….then might I also be subversive just because I don’t share your worldview of how medicine should be priced and who should be able to have access to them.

If that is subversive…then how about should I prefer ice kacang to two scoops of ice cream…might that also be subversive?

What about should I much prefer to walk instead of taking the bus or a taxi like you….might that also be subversive as well?

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‘I once told a man, please don’t use your bag of dirty tricks on me. He asked me why not….I replied because you haven’t seen what’s in a bag yet.

I think he finally got my point.’

We spend the best years of our lives preparing ourselves by studying math, science, history, geography etc etc and thereafter we spend more time striving to get our degree – yet what is very curious (to me at least) is we rarely see ever see need to set aside some quiet time to study how to love and be loved…or even how to manage relationships so that we get the best out of it instead of destroying us…. or even going deeper into our core to get to know ourselves better.

To me this whole idea of preparing oneself for the world is woefully out of balance…as 99.9% of it is merely focussed on the developing and mastering the life tools – yes, life tools like fractions and being able to pay out the right dollar bills as well as being able to audit the returns are certainly important. Only how one goes about prioritizing the list of importance seems very disproportionate to me…that so much time and energy should only be directed towards WHAT we need to develop to satisfy others…so that we can fall into their slots of what is organizational and personal success…acceptable…normal…correct etc etc. We seem to do so much for others and so very little for ourselves.

Please don’t get me wrong…I am not for one moment saying math, science or physics is not important – indeed they are all valuable life tools that we all need to enable us to manage ourselves and others effectively….only there has to be a sense of scale and the right perspective as to how we see the bigger picture.

For example striving to understand for corners of the self is not as straight forward as striving to master a subject like math where there’s an easy and direct connection between cause and effect. When it comes to understanding a subject like ‘who am I?’

There are no tried and tested pathways – there is no such thing as even a syllabus…it’s the opposite of straight forward linear learning. Many insights concerning who we are can only be gleaned by spending more time immersing ourselves in ourselves, till the searcher journeys right down to the core of his being.

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‘When you are a stranger to yourself. It simply means you don’t know who you are or even why you were born into this timeline….not knowing may seem benign and even downright harmless, but if I am asked why so many people, not only in Singapore but the whole wide world continue to suffer unnecessarily…it really comes down to ignorance of the self.

When one is a stranger to oneself – the self is like a building constructed on soft sand…the foundations will always be shaky and unstable…and this is how it is when a man or woman does not know himself or herself.

He or she can only be shaky. It is very easy to unsettle such people…all that needs to be done is to push their buttons and they will jump like a demented Jack in the box….they are always shaky…when a woman sees another woman who is more beautiful than her…she will begin to shake. Same applies to a man…he will begin bristling like a porcupine and he will even turn beet root and given more time, he will be like a hand grenade with it’s pin working loose.

That is because not knowing anything about the most important person in the planet – yourself!

Is the root of all insecurities, fears, anxieties and deep seated feelings of inferiority.

When a man knows himself completely. Suddenly he comes into the bigger picture of life…suddenly that which was once considered important becomes trivial as it assumes the right scale and perspective – the self disappears completely… and the ego assumes the right scale in relation to this man’s higher purpose….it’s very difficult to shake such a man.

You can even throw him in prison. He will not shake.

That is why I have always considered this a form of superpower.

Such a man is so confident about himself that he can hold his own amongst kings and princes dressed like a beggar…even should you slight, insult or try to put him down, it’s like a mosquito bitting an elephant – no effect!

But where does this quiet confidence come from?

Where?

Deep within the self. As mastering self knowledge is not like striving to understand mathematics or geography – it requires the man to go inwards…deep…deeper into his very core. Above all it’s not a process of learning. Rather it requires unlearning the ways of world…always discarding the useless..worthless and vapid along with setting aside illusions till one can only be at one with the truth.

This is what it means when others say, he is very comfortable in his own skin…it’s not that the man doesn’t give a damn…No! It simply means, he knows who he is and he doesn’t need your validation to remain happy and to live a purpose driven life.

Strive always to get to know yourself better – when you do just this alone….you will find many things in this world that used to disturb and irritate you will disappear completely. As you have begun the most important journey in life – the epic journey to close the circle.’