October 31, 2016
Most men I reckon can’t bear the thought of being perfectly honest with themselves – that may account for why they need to constantly manufacture lies to fashion their version of reality concerning strong women – on one hand man says, I want a strong, intelligent and independent woman who will always inspire me to greater heights…who will push me to places where angels fear to tread – who can stick by me through thick and thin, and be my rock.
Yet in the same breathe they deny womanhood by never once asking themselves – how does woman become strong?
There are certain realities in this world that every sensible man would do well to acquaint himself with – for starters a strong woman doesn’t come around. That’s to say left to vagaries of chance and probability most women can never be truly strong.
A man. A wise one at least needs to know that a truly strong, independent woman does not walk through the world with her heart wide open like City Hall interchange. She has to be like a fortress – not just any fortress, but one with razor sharp barbs, piranhas in the moat and perhaps a couple of man eating dogs to guard the domain of her heart….otherwise how could she possibly understand the art of war that is the skeleton key that opens the door to inner strength. She has to be like ninja skeptical, suspicious and always interrogating and above all on alert….otherwise how can she possibly learn the weirding ways that makes her strong. She even has to be a bit jaded, a little cynical, and a little skeptical because those are the scars of having once fought battles to win….and again if she never once struggled against those odds how could she possibly have gained access to the black arts of power that gives one strength.
She is also going to be the sort that will never let her heart rule her mind either – the sort that may even doubt and question your best intentions because it is only thru the rigor of the discipline of constant vigilance and relying on her gut instincts that will allow to thrive under conditions that would break most women in half….again, if she did never once set foot in no man’s land and walks the length of self doubt to reach the other side with relief….how could she possibly be strong?
Above all a strong woman is not so different from a strong man – she has a past. Her fill of regrets along with darkened corridors that she much prefers to forget and perhaps a secret cigar box that she hides from the world in some corner of her complicated mind only to opens from time to time to wonder – what if?….Maybe….perhaps. Yes a strong woman has her demons and scars as well.
The greatest wisdom that a man can ever say if he ever has the privilege to stand before a strong woman is never I love you…that is like trite rerun of a Korean serial…it’s meaningless.
It is to simply express with your utter silence and respect…I understand. I understand completely because I too have walked the same lonely road.
Do only this and this alone and the key will turn and the door to the strong woman’s heart will open.
‘Know how things come about. You must eradicate the word ‘nice’ from your vocabulary. Burn it. Put it in a beaker of acid. Watch it disintegrate into nothingness….as nice is simply code for you don’t understand a thing for what it or how it came about. Next time when you’re at your desk look at the grains of the wood. Really look at it. Feel the texture of the surface, let your fingers count the rings of time. You will find most of the time, it’s fake…a facsimile. That’s all it is, nothing more and that’s how it really is with most people.
The never seem inclined to go beyond the surface – they’re content to run with appearances and what they think or even believe to be true.
But occasionally. Not very often. One does come across real wood. The sort that tells stories if you know how to read the language of trees – when the rings are close, they speak of lean years. When they’re speckled and stripe it says she was once struck by lightning and after great strife – she managed to survive….it’s a story of how things come about and it’s the same with people.
They don’t just walk over the knoll and appear from nowhere. Everyone has a story. A history. Maybe it’s a good one. Maybe it’s one that’s best forgotten and never mentioned, but nonetheless it’s a story that all adds up to the person before you.
This is what it means to understand things for what they are…this is what it really means to develop depth and nuance of character, it is never about possessing. Rather it is simply appreciating the beauty of how a strong woman came into being.
October 31, 2016
It is certainly one good thing to be a social animal – to be able to respond in ways that makes others comfortable and feel at ease; to always have impeccable timing when to speak and to listen etc etc; to even be liked by all.
But it is all together another thing to invest so much of oneself in the lives and intrigues of others to such a point where one’s being disappears completely. Or worst still becomes so diffused that the whole idea of character becomes so fuzzy that one does not even know what one’s life should be or how one should go about crafting a meaningful life.
Love by all means. Love unconditionally. Love in such a way that you don’t even hold back. Only understand this! Never confuse love with the renunciation of the self to such a point where you cease to completely to exist and that you are really only alive or living when you are with that someone who you love. As when you have convinced yourself you can only be happy, confident and whole with the person who you love – then all you have accomplished is fashioning yourself as the assassin of your being: result: you’ll be disappointed. As that is what invariably happens when so much of WHO you are is predicated on someone else who you hardly have any control over….you only think or believe, you can control….but in reality….you can control nothing, and you might as well come to terms with this terrible reality.
In truth. All you ever really had from the beginning, during and after the end of your life was yourself, and though that sort of reality may suck big time – if you can just come to terms with that. Then maybe. Maybe….perhaps you would invest more on yourself instead of spreading yourself so thinly like the last dollop of peanut butter in a jar on the lives of other people.
‘Most people have a quaint picture in their head when it comes to the frontier man. In the image they conjure somewhere in some sugary corner of their head – he’s the macho man…the man of steel…the man who can tame cantankerous machinery, make do with super glue and duct tape. The sort of man who prefers the company of dogs. A man of few words. The man who stands with one foot on his fence in one corner of his land at the end of the day when the light wanes and watches one season bow out to another only for life to go on as it’s always gone on.
But that depiction is part fantasy and make belief.
Truth is we are all. Without a single exception. Each and everyone frontier men and women in one shape or form. We just don’t realize it because everything in modern living is designed to gut out that reality and replace it with an alternate parallel universe that lulls us all to think and behave otherwise.
We all come into this world with a hand of cards dealt by the twin heads of providence and serendipity – some if they’re luckier than others have aces, kings and queens. Others who aren’t so lucky have to settle for a bum hand – maybe they’re born flat footed. Maybe they’re short and stumpy and don’t look too pleasing to the eye. Or like me maybe they’re slightly autistic and have to constantly struggle with the duality of the world that is and what everyone expects them to be. My point is everyone comes into this world with their own set of challenges that ONLY they have the capacity to resolve and when one sees the world in this singularity of purpose – then it becomes very clear what’s worthy and useless.
Just focus on your lot. Don’t bother too much about others and what they may think about you. If they consider you odd. So what? Does that really change or alter anything at all in the larger scheme of things? Tell me…does it?
Hey! I’ve got news for you! Not everyone likes me. Some people think that I am a ruthless businessman who gives no quarter. They spread all sorts of evil rumors concerning me because I keep to myself and do my own thing and never ever stick my nose into other people’s lives or even feel the need to hang around and gossip.
I do my own thing.
But what they don’t know is what I am really doing is tending to orchard of my being – that’s to say I am investing every moment of my live shaping myself to be the best farmer that I can be.
You don’t like me that’s your problem – I am not going to lose sleep over it.
The most important thing to me is never be distracted by the world – the world is full of nonsense that really adds very little to one’s life. That’s how the world is – and that’s the first lesson every frontier man comes to terms with….it really just boils down to him and him alone and no one else but him! Not others. Certainly not the government or for even than man in the pulpit who keeps asking you to give 10% of your salary so that you can get back ten fold…all that is bullshit to the frontier man.
Just focus on bettering your lot. Do that alone and I can almost guarantee you that life will certainly improve by leaps and bounds. As for the rest you could just as well throw it all out of the window. It would hardly make an ounce of difference to the final outcome!
Truth is often stranger than fiction. We are all born with field. A place where we can either let it give all of itself to the wild or tend diligently to produce sweet fruit. Yes truth is often stranger than fiction. As there is really a farmer in all of us deep down….you just have to find him!
October 30, 2016
Do you feel the pressure to keep up with those around you? Or are you the sort of person who has made a commitment to yourself and those who you care deeply for to just live your life by your own standards?
The truth is…only you can answer this question and no one else. Only you know the answer to this question.
But beware….this is not a simple question and whatever answer emerges cannot be simple either. As one must first cultivate and appreciate honesty with the self….sounds easy, but it is easier said than done.
‘When a man or woman is shaky. That is to say when one is insecure about one’s appearance, social standing, intellect or whatever that can be compared under the sun with others…it will definitely show in words, acts and thoughts.
Try as hard as you may to camouflage this lack….but to the perceptive observer it’s as clear as day.
Do not take this personally. I too am insecure about many aspects of my being. This is the way of the world when we neglect to nourish and tend to the important and instead choose to be distracted by the vapid and worthless.
One can observe this even in nature. A tree that has shallow roots shakes only to eventually fall. A dog that is afraid can never stand it’s ground – it will fidget and constantly look for signs of affirmation….but it can never stand and defend it’s ground.
In the same way when a man or woman does not see the wisdom of ever cultivating his or her inner core. He or she can only be shaky.
The tragedy about modern life is it pays scant regard to these vital aspects of life – instead the marketing apparatus is designed only to encourage us all to improve the external to to disregard completely the inner core.
Thousands of books are written every year on what is the best diet that will help you narrow your waist and improve your complexion and defy aging – but very few are written on how not to be shaky all the time and to develop the inner core to remain respectful and loving to the whole idea of who you were always meant to be.
As a consequence the slightest insult will throw us off balance. The merest slight will send us off from our planned trajectory and much of life is spent impersonating a pin ball where we bounce around, up and down only to end up disappearing into a hole.
But a tree that is well rooted is like a person who has very strong and deep core – though it bends and sways with the wind, it can never ever be uprooted. It’s impossible. In the same way when one cultivates the core of belief in the way one wants to live. When one sees the wisdom of investing time and intellect in shaping this idea of how one aspires to manage oneself or and others – then all this talk about comparing oneself with others disappears completely.
It suddenly becomes a useless preoccupation.
Suddenly one has a plan…a bigger agenda fills the mind scape..where they might even be a timeline where we even expect a season for good things to come our way.
I once told a kendo exponent who reckoned he was a very great swordsman that he had neglected his core – as though thru the years as a result of bad teaching and being fixated on just winning. This exponent had accumulated a bag of worthless tricks and trinkets which might have worked quite well with less experienced exponents – but he was really rootless when facing off against someone who had a very strong foundation…a core so strong and deep that even before he could launch an attack, it was annulled at the level of the mind.
This man became so flustered he turned beet root red and challenged me to duel.
To which I replied, are you so blind that you cannot even see how you have just demonstrated how shaky you really are?
To which he lowered his head in shame and remained so silent lost in his own thoughts. After that day he renounced his nonsensical ways and dedicated himself to strengthening his core. Today he is a great swordsman.
Rediscover your core…go deep….and commune with it and above ask yourself – who are you really?
October 27, 2016
The primary component of every successful strategy involves distraction which is to divert attention from vulnerable points. This involves the utilization of noise – the technique of overwhelming an adversary with continuous misinformation and insignificant information.
The primary objective of distraction strategy is compel the enemy to commit men and material into a black hole – to funnel all his available resources to the pursuit of the worthless.
By creating circumstances to captivate and enthrall the adversary into inconsequential matters of no real importance. By keeping them busy, busy, busy, with no time to think and to entangle them in an endless labyrinth of speculation all amounting to shadow play…..one has already succeeded.
October 27, 2016
Not very long ago a man who claimed to offer security services approached me. His proposition seemed benign enough – it goes something like this: I would pay him a monthly fee and in consideration he would ensure that none of my fruits would be stolen.
One evening this man appeared with five burly men at my gate. I was of course very cordial and suggested that we take a leisurely walk while we discussed the details of what he had to offer in the way of ‘security’ services.
As we walked I asked him rather pointedly – what if I don’t see the need for your protection services. The man turned to his other colleagues laughed and exclaimed casually – ‘then you may have to run the risk of losing fruit….’ He went on to add, ‘you will certainly lose sleep.’ I smiled and suggested we walk below the valley.
It was a very long walk and he rambled on and on. When we reached the cul-de-sac at the end of the road. I turned to this man with an expression of sternness narrowing by eyes and flaring my nostrils and asked of him in a whispering rush.
‘I need assurances that you are an expert in providing security services. Can I have proof please?’
The man looked back as if to consult his colleagues. But for some curious reason they were all not there. They had all disappeared. He reached frantically for his mobile phone only to realize there was no reception. After all we were in a deep valley smack in the middle of nowhere. There’s no reception. It could well have been a place that was so desolate that even if a man screamed his lungs out, it would all amount to a drop in the infinity of the ocean.
That was when I put my arm around this man who was already sweating and breathing very heavily – and suggested, maybe I should be the one to offer you protection.
‘Never let the cat out the bag during the first act. Try to see it from the point of a view of a stand up comedian – where he always starts by leading the audience down a garden path and slowly builds up the sense of anticipation and just when the pressure is at it’s highest – he throws out the punch line.
It’s the same with strategy always engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirm and reaffirm that settles them into a predictable pattern of behavior.
This is jugular.
Absolutely nothing other than what they’re accustomed to expect should occupy their minds while you prepare for the extraordinary moment — which they cannot possibly anticipate. Nor respond coherently. This is how one engineers pandemonium.
I once broke the back of a land consortium specifically set up to prevent me from buying land at a fair price. These landowners created a clearing house where they could virtually jack up the price of land thereby making it impossible for me to further extend my land holdings.
One day I hatched an elaborate plan to convince everyone that I had fallen on hard times. I put up an oversized for sale sign outside my plantation. Went around with toggling a bottle of Johnny Walker filled with Jia Jia Liang teh and pretended to be a drunkard in public. Even started bellowing out vulgar Hokkien folk songs in the middle of the night to convince everyone that I was a washout.
This was vital to convince the evil consortium that even if I harbored any imperialistic designs to gobble up more land – it was impossible. Result: they let their guard down. Just a while. And that very moment when their backs were turned, I rushed up their skirt Pearl harbored them.
Thereafter I disappeared and switched off my phone for months on end.
Recently, a fractured group who once formed this consortium asked me, ‘is there any way for us to co exist and strive for a win-win relationship.’ I pretended to cry and murmured, that was all I ever wanted…peace….I lying thru my teeth of course.
This is the highest acme of war the uncanny ability to surprise. Eventually the consortium got so fed up. They formally proposed a ‘peace’ plan which required me to first consult them in future land acquisitions.
Naturally I agreed to all their draconian terms. One month after that I tore up the agreement and Pearl harbored them one more time.
Business is war!
Research and study this well.
October 26, 2016
At times. Yes…certainly sometimes when one is deep in the grove of litany of utter desolation. An overwhelming pressure can bear down. It’s a slow imperceptible sensation like changing hands when carrying a bag only because the other feels uncomfortable – but this feeling is far more insidious. As it never truly leaves you….it’s always there in the background. Secret unseen at the very corner of your eye….just beyond your reach of consciousness. Yet it’s there, like the atmosphere….dust and all things that only seem invisible. Slowly. At some point, one feels almost like a solitary drop on ink in a beaker of clear water – one tries to keep it all together. To remain as one used to be. But all time, one is giving in the essence of oneself to a much more unseen force, as an individual, a human being, as someone who stirs his coffee anti clockwise or prefers to take off his watch at the end of the day…this self that is existence is slowly being lanced and unravelling…till like that drop of ink…it disappears completely. That if you didn’t know is what desolation can do to man. Any man even one who constantly takes faith in his sagacity and strength of character. The surrounding space that is the geography of desolation is so vast – it reminds one of the Russian steppes that seems to go on and on for eternity till everything becomes the very existence once can possibly fathom, know and believe to be the known world. And at some point in this unceasing grind it becomes increasingly difficult to keep a balanced grip on one’s own being. The mind tries to take a full sweep of what’s past and ahead, but it can never wrap it’s head to fill the entire landscape. One just thinks. One can do it. But it’s impossible as desolation by that point is infinity and when that point is breached – one can only be so diffuse in the process that something that once held character firmly down loses the ability remained fastened. Suddenly it breaks loose from it’s moorings. Suddenly it can no longer be suppressed as it barrels up from the depths of darkness. Bubbling to the surface like something once submerged for centuries.
The only remnant of sanity is the sun and the shadows that would rise from the east every morning, and make it’s slow languorous arch across the steely sky only to slink below distant hills to the west.
As crumbly and fragile as it seems. This is the connection one has to time, space and the not so confident version of the self in this planet called desolation.
There is nothing else. And in the very movement when the sun disappears completely over the horizon and a bluish eerie light baths everything with a faint opalescence glow that is when man truly how fragile and vulnerable he really is.
Only fools and children speak lightly and casually about desolation in the way boys who have never seen the terror of war speak of it with excitement….those who know this country called desolation.
The know the sobbing of the rustle of the leaves. The constant patter of rain from the eaves. The loneliness of clouds as they proceed along the skies. They know.’
October 25, 2016
Truth may sound stranger than fiction – what if I told you all. Each and everyone of us have the power to weave either a good or bad spell?
Words believe it or not have power. When you say something, whether you intentionally charge it with intent, or whether you say it casually, the truth is that once it leaves your mouth, the words you utter takes on a trajectory of it’s own.
Be extremely careful of the narrative you have in your head and the narrative you tell to others, because that narrative becomes your reality, your interface with the world.
You have the power to write the story by any way you want. You have all the creative license to string events into a narrative where you cast yourself as the misunderstood victim, or you could cast yourself as the hero on a personal journey to transcend obstacles and to use these obstacles as opportunities to evolve into a better version of yourself.
Our words have power. This power is inherent in all of us. We just need to learn to harness this power.
‘During my average miserably university days. I can recall distinctly one incident that transpired between me and what I can only describe as an insecure mathematics lecturer who had a penchant of finding fault with me. Could be I always made it a point to be late. Or maybe it was simply my habit of dozing off during his lectures. This chap had a habit of calling me an idiot publicly. One day when he splayed out an unnecessarily lengthy equation on the black board. I yawned quite loudly. He took offense and singled me out for a direct attack and publicly challenged me to come forward and share with the entire class how I could best resolve the equation – to which I obliged with great delight by reducing his wind bag account that took a whole black board and a bit more into an elegant equation that could have fitted into a postage stamp.
The entire class was spell bounded. You could even hear a pin drop. Not that I cared.
I promptly rub it off much to the consternation of all – and wrote it all out on a piece of paper. Thereafter I crumpled it up and threw it into the dustbin.
Later on when the class emptied out, I stayed on. I knew he would return like a rat and rummage thru the dustbin. I knew. I even relished it. You could even say I derived a perverse pleasure of watching him do so. And he did. After that day he never called me an idiot again.
Never! Some people it seems need to be educated. Or maybe I should say one should always learn how to break evil spells.’
October 22, 2016
We must never be afraid to embrace change. Today I meet up with six enterprise owners who will start mining operations in Africa.
This will add on to the network we already have in Africa.
These are brave men with a bold vision for a better tomorrow.
Gentlemen…all our ships must sail in the same direction.
We will win!
‘We have no time to hate and grumble….there is really too much to do! Time is not on our side. Besides the Singapore blogosphere has been doing that for the last fifteen years! Tell me please what do they really have to show for the great expenditure of time, energy and mental investment – did it even manage to shift anything by one millimeter? So to me this great diffusion of energy is severely misplaced. At best it’s akin to reinforcing failure and at it’s very worst it is simply a grand delusion complimented by a Byzantine waste of energy, intellectual capital and commitment which could otherwise have yielded much more had it been intelligent directed to materialize real benefits to better our lot.
Many years ago. I made a very lonely decision to pull the plug out of the intelligent Singaporean – it was a unilateral decision that seemed incomprehensible to many including some of my closest associates – for many years I was criticized, ostracized and even labelled as recalcitrant.
I remember those years as the years no one wanted to speak or be associated with me. As I considered cowardly responsible for throwing in the towel to what many believed to be the good fight.
Those were very lonely and desolate years for me. Quiet years where I kept mostly to myself and tried the best I could to maintain a dignified silence – as I was convinced the only reliable way to better lives is for one to set aside worthless pursuits and to devote oneself wholeheartedly to worthy enterprises which could at least materialize tangible dividends.
As I genuinely wanted to improve lives – that is as to say I want to be able to make sure all of you never have to bear the humiliation of being told one day by your employers, ‘you’re no longer cost effective to keep any longer. You’re a liability’ only to be turned out into the streets. I want to be able to make sure you can send your kids to university without ever having to bear the humiliation of depending on handouts and charity. I wanted you all to lead purpose driven lives to aspire to be men of consequence and influence. Unlike me.
Many of you were young. You all could not have possibly understood the complexity of what laid ahead of your lives – but I never had any illusions that life as we all knew it would get increasingly complicated and uncertain. Never. This reality weight very heavily on my conscience and I spent many sleepless nights trying to find a way out of what I considered nothing less than impending doom.
Many years have past – and many of you have started families and you now the things that you did not know before.
If there is any redemption to all this – it is that many who once derided me so openly are beginning to warm up to me again.
That gladdens me. As you must believe me when I say this – I’ve always had all your well being in mind all along.
It would have meant very little to me if it had been otherwise.’
October 21, 2016
Today I went down to town to stock up on provisions and order a new set of sunglasses. Usually when I visit the optician. The proprietor an elderly gentleman attends to me. But on this occasion his assistant told me he was outstation – so she attended to me instead.
She is a charming girl. At bit on the chubby side, very giggly and enthusiastic and eager to please. What I find quite confusing about this girl is whenever I ask her to show me the range of lenses – she would bent so low behind the counter that I can literally see her tits dangling. I was wondering to myself. Surely she understands what’s happening here. After all I am seated on the other side of the counter directly before her and it’s quite plain that I will only see what I see – but it happens all the time in a way that suggest she is completely oblivious what she’s revealing to me. When she flashes me the I absolutely dunno what you can see look while asking me again – do you want to see more?
Maybe I should look away. Or pretend to be distracted. But I really don’t know what is happening. I don’t. I never really quite know with women…and that is really the source of the misunderstanding – that is why I keep a respectful distance with them. As I’ve got myself into a lot of trouble in the past. As in the past some women have come up to me and promised me a good time – only for me to yelp out whoopee – but when I appeared with my favorite dinosaur imprinted melamine plate and asked them expectantly, are you going to cook some home cook food for me….as I have been surviving only on cardboard flavored military rations. They all seem to look down casted as if I’ve missed the plot. On another occasion. I SMSed a girl who asked me whether I liked her – yes, I think about you all the time. That was my answer. She appeared in my plantation with her father and three burly brothers and demanded I marry her. I told her all I really wanted was some of her delicious Bak Chang. They left as confused as me. On another occasion I used to pack dinner during the afternoon in a warung where the girl would bill me only $1.50 cents no matter how much I ladled. This eventually erupted into a kampung scandal where other patrons complained that they were paying much more than me. Only to be told one day I needed to repay back the favor. When the girl appeared at my gate one day I asked one of my farmhands to show her a place where she could dig a hole. As I thought all she wanted was an opportunity to work and supplement her income. She stormed off crying. I no longer go there any longer – I don’t know what is happening. I am always so confused.
All I really want is a pair of sunglasses…why is it always so complicated. I don’t understand. I really don’t.
October 21, 2016
October is usually the wettest month in the whole calendar year – historically where I turn the wheel of life, it averages at least 22 decent rainy days – but the rainfall we have been getting for October so far is less than 10% of the historical median average. Today is the 21st. It has really only rained three days for the whole of October so far. There are only ten days left to the end of Oct and it’s very unlikely we will be able to close the deficit.
This month I am afraid is totalled.
After Oct the rains will begin to recede till completely tapering off by January and it will be dry again till maybe mid March.
There after the rainy season will begin again somewhere around mid March to late May.
That means from now till mid March 2017. It’s like to be dry and hot.
Without rain it’s no good. I cannot work my magic. I may have to suck it in and roll with the punches it seems.
October 20, 2016
In the moment of my youth everyone believed I was an idiot. As I didn’t talk at all and on those rare moments when I did manage to blurt out something. No one could ever understand me.
Around the age of 11. I started to get fixated on the alphabet ‘I’. I found it a dignified alphabet. So unlike the others. And especially liked the sensation of my muscles whenever I wrote the letter ‘I’. Whenever I saw my favorite alphabet. I would underline all the ‘I’s in a book and in the newspapers, magazines or anything that I could get my hands on. And whenever I came across the alphabet ‘I’ on street signs or in the public – I would stop and look at it side ways and at times do headstands to see how it looks like upside down.
I still do this till this day.
Later on when ‘I’ introduced me to his other alphabet friends. I learnt to read and write. I only began writing a full sentence at around age thirteen.
I am very thankful to my childhood friend, ‘I’
October 20, 2016
October 18, 2016
Many of my regular readers have been asking what happened to Kee Kee?
Well you can see for yourself. Kee Kee has grown up to be a strong, responsible and beautiful dog. When he was only two weeks for some unknown reason – Kee Kee’s mother rejected him. As he is very different from the other Doberman dogs in the litter – Kee Kee was born with a tanned coat unlike his brothers and sisters who all have a jet black coat. So his mommy tried to kill him. Fortunately I segregated him in time.
Doberman’s do this sometimes – Mother Nature can be so cruel when one is different. I had to be Kee Kee’s surrogate mother during his childhood. He was not loved and ill treated by the other dogs, but my love it seemed was all he really needed to grow up to be the best he can be.
In the posted video you can see Kee Kee performing a security protocol sweep as my car proceeds proceeds very slowly along the plantation road that leads to my safe house.
This is a highly advanced work detail that requires tremendous discipline and self confidence from the dog. As firstly he is separated from the master and secondly he must be courageous and work independently. To perform this work detail. The dog is enabled at full combat mode. In the event he discovers any intruder that is hiding behind the trees or tall brushes to prepare for an ambush. Kee Kee must be able to neutralize him. There is no talking. Straight off the mark. He must be able to bring him down and go for the throat.
This is one of the advanced techniques the Israeli Defense Force K-9 Oketz unit regularly deploy for close protection – it is the gold standard of interdicting threats before they occur.
Since many people are jealous of my success. I have plenty of enemies. I spend many hours training Kee Kee. We both take continuous training very seriously.
He seems to like this work detail very much as once we arrive at the gate of the safe house – usually I reward him with a big juicy bone.
The video shows Kee Kee conducting a sweep in a figure eight motion – constantly moving forward and doubling back behind the car to perform 360 degree checks.
Today Kee Kee is three years old. He is no longer a child dog. In dog years, Kee Kee has finally come of age.
All it takes is love to bring out the best in people and animals. Not any sort of love….definitely not talk, talk and talk love. But real love, the sort even when you close your eyes you know it will never ever run away and leave you….and when you open your eyes again, it will always be there.
Many people can only talk about love. But they cannot love as well as I do.
Kee Kee the once troubled puppy knows this only too well.
October 18, 2016
Long before Singapore Airlines, United Airways, Cathay Pacific. There was the era of flying boats. Imperial Airways during the period of Empire was the stuff of legends and folklore. They flew everywhere including Singapore and Penang right into the heart of Darkness…Africa. And every respectable planter family of that era knew the Imperial Airways route by heart.
The flying boat then was like the space travel today. People would travel for days just a mere glimpse of this mechanical flamingo. It was a period where for the first time white Lancashire Linen, Worcester fine bone China and Baccarat cut crystal graced fine dinning in the air for the very first time.
A bygone age when men were real and women will realer.
October 18, 2016
Q: What is the sum of your fears when it comes to the South China Seas?
A: It is conceivable that the happy days are well and truly over for China. Consider this virtually all the low hanging fruits have already been plucked. By this I mean China can no longer rely on those drivers that once fueled it’s spectacular economic growth such as cost competitive greenfield site, lax environmental protection laws and cheap and plentiful labor – the cost structures that once conferred China competitive advantage is fast diminishing.
For the China to reliably fuel their economic growth from this point onwards. They have to figure out a way to migrate up the value chain – which will leverage directly on fifth generation Chinese leadership. And this brings us to the topic of my greatest fears.
China in the past has largely been helmed by a cadre of Soviet era technocrats. The era is fast giving way to fifth generation leaders who are very different from the previous crop of leaders. For one most of them were educated in the West. These are the Isroku Yamamoto generation – who have always harbored a deep mistrust of being able to power the Chinese with Communist precepts which they rightly perceive to be an unnatural alliance between capitalism and Marxism or Maoism, which ever way you want to see it.
This is also incidentally the generation that once witnessed the unthinkable or to put it plainly across in communist parlance – the end of the known world – when the Berlin Wall was brought down in the 80’s.
I don’t think many people can really appreciate how traumatic that event was when in probably the same people who have never experienced war or racial riots usually talk about those episodes with detachment that can only come from terminal ignorance. But such a precipitous event, the overnight collapse of the Soviet Union viewed thru the eyes of an impressionable Chinese undergraduate studying in the UK in the 80’s. Will in my opinion continue till this day to exert a preponderant influence on the thinking processes of fifth generation Chinese leaders.
I remembered one scene when all these Communist Chinese students were all gathered in the halls of residence kitchen watching the events unfold live on TV. There was this moment when Mikhail Gorbachev was addressing the entire Politburo. He was talking about how the Soviet Union will never die…how it will continue to grow from strength to strength despite the many setbacks with the Solidarity movement headed by Leck Walinski in Poland. Suddenly Boris Yeltsin stood up and walked to the podium grabbed the mike from Gorbachev and told him, it’s finished! Suddenly all the verve drained out of Gorbachev, he reminded me of a school boy who had been told his mother had died.
I speak fluent Russian and that was what I understood it to be – it’s finished. There was no translation. No sub titles. The commentator rambled on and on about something else.
They all turned to me with a pleading look to ask. What is happening – and I told them, it’s finished.
Some students began to shout and curse. Others began to wail quite openly in despair. One of them even stood on the table and hit his head with a wooden spoon. But the serious men amongst them grit their teeth as if they were lost in some uncharted dimension of time and space.
I saw all this in my lifetime. Later on, (to be continued, I need to supervise some work in the field then return back to the safe house).
October 18, 2016
When I wake up. I drink a tall glass of water. After that I take a swig of coconut oil directly from the bottle. I don’t have breakfast. As I only eat once a day. After that I drink two cups of strong black sugar and milk free coffee.
In the afternoon when everyone is having lunch. I never lunch or snack. I take another swig straight from the bottle. I find this keeps me alert and provides me with all the energy I need for a whole working day.
When I finished with work. I cook a very big meal during the evening. Enough maybe to feed 4 or 5 people. And maybe spend a full hour eating it slowly till I can no longer move.
Before I sleep. I take another swig from the bottle. This time I don’t down it – but swish it in my mouth for 20 minutes. After that I brush my teeth and hit the sack.
In the morning after a cold shower. I use coconut oil on my face and rub it around my waist as I usually wear a heavy belt. I find this prevents rashing. I also use coconut oil between my toes before I slip on my socks to prevent skin burns. As I walk a lot.
Once a week I rub at least four table spoons of coconut oil into my scalp vigorously and just let it seep in to prevent fungal infection and to prevent ending up bald like a bowling ball.
I also rub coconut oil on my dogs to keep their fur shiny and to keep the ticks away and heal minor cuts. I add coconut oil into their food all the time.
October 17, 2016
October 16, 2016
Q: Why is the US and their allies so determined to contain Chinese expansionism in the South China Seas (SCS)
A: The US has always been the top dog in the Pacific. Many people say it goes right back to the time of Nixon. But it really goes further all the way back to the late 1800’s to the American Spanish war when the latter was defeated and the treaty of Paris ceded the Philippines to the US as a colony.
For the better part of 140 years the question of who has been the prime mover and shaker in the Pacific has been largely a no brainer – it’s always been the US. The only credible challenge to US primacy in the Pacific occurred in 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Even then the strategic balance of power shifted back to the US after the Japanese combined fleet was hammered in Midway, a year after the attack. So US hegemony and primacy has never really ever diminished in the Pacific at all. A dominant US presence in the Pacific especially the Philippine archipelago right down to Guam has always been synonymous with idea of peace and security in Asia that is the foundation of Asian pacific economic growth.
But with China stepping aggressively into the SCS and militarizing the atolls – suddenly the set piece status quo ante is thrown out of sync. Suddenly China seems to be challenging US primacy along with Pax Americana. Suddenly the ideal conditions that makes possible asian economic growth is becoming less confident and certain.
That’s the gist in a nutshell.
Q: What does China hope to gain from militarizing the SCS. Some people have speculated the prime motivation is the vast natural resources embedded in the SCS that is needed to fuel economic growth in China.
A: Do vast quantities of oil and rich fisheries reserves exist between the area of the Spratly’s and Paracells. Yes…probably. Then again given the wide availability of less contentious options for China to meet it’s long term resource and food security needs – I don’t really see how it can possibly make sense just to move into that neighborhood for those two reasons alone. There are really more minuses than plus points.
However if you look at it from a military strategic standpoint – then it probably makes plenty of sense to occupy and militarize the SCS in perhaps the same way we might probably ask: why did the Japanese in 1941 do such a stupid thing like declare war on the US? After all their (Japanese) motivation was a purely resource conundrum brought about by US oil embargo that if you think about it should hardly require getting involved with the US. When Nazi Germany invaded Poland and rolled back the carpet all the way to Dunkirk – the US position was still, this is not our baby man…we are going to sit this one out. The Japanese could just as well invade British Malaya and Dutch indies and possibly project as far as the Indian continent to get as much oil, Bauxite, tin, rubber and wasabi they needed without having to antagonize the US.
Logically that it is how it seems – but if you look at the map of South East Asia then it becomes all to apparent, the problem will always be the Philippines because it’s right smack in the middle between Japan and the mineral rich south. To put it another way the Philippines archipelago which was an American colony at the time was like a knife at the throat of Imperial Japan.
So any talk of a war against Malaya and the Dutch Indies would automatically have to include declaring war with the US.
And this is exactly what the Chinese are doing by occupying and militarizing the SCS. They are threatening all the ASEAN countries who are allied to the US – obliquely telling them, ‘I am now the Tai Koh (Top dog) here! Part of their strategy is to illicit American military response – they are recreating the same hard points like how the Philippines once presented itself as a knife at Japan’s throat – only this time since it’s smack right in the middle of all the sea lanes it’s nothing short of a chopper pointed directly at US carrier doctrine along with their vast network of listening post and naval bases stretching all the way from the Philippines archipelago to Singapore, Guam and Japan.
All of these have to transverse the SCS.
Now what you need to understand is in war games the outcome is not simply a binary i.e one or zero. Yes or no. Lose or win. To go to war or stand down. There exist a multitude of other scenarios within the aegis of the Clausewitzan realm of possibilities expressed in terms of war is simply a continuation of politics by other means – where its even possible for an adversary to create a clear and present threat to force the other side to concede terms under the threat of war. Or luring him into protracted attrition thereby weakening him economically.
This is how balance of power is exacted in realpolitik. It leverages specifically on the threat of war. By denial of utility to secure concessions – in very much the same manner no sane landowner will ever dam the river upstream during the dry season to hold valuable water – only because I too have invested in a series of water locks on my land as well – if he does that. Then during the rainy season I will shut my locks tight as a drum and his lands will be inundated with water and he would need to go around in a U boat.
But consider this – what if I didn’t once enter into a sort of arms race to build water locks on the river on my side of the land. Then how can I possibly penalize him should he decide to trap water on his side during the dry season.
That I shall leave to you to juxtapose on what’s happening in the SCS.
By occupying and militarizing the SCS China is basically doing the same thing to the US. She doesn’t have carriers, so instead she creates a network of hardened shells to not only blunt that threat, but also to allow her to project. Or at least create the illusion of being able to project her sphere of influence to threaten US primacy.
The capacity to create illusion is what war is really all about. As it’s predicated on deception – for example, during the rainy season. I am a sitting duck. As all the millers know the roads to the mills to the East are treacherous and impassible during the rainy season – so they give me a lousy take it or leave price during this time of the year. To increase my bargaining power lorries covered with tarpaulin ply thru the East route. Of course everyone assumes they are full with fruit. Why would they think otherwise? Who in their right mind transports air? But in fact they’re all empty – then when the rumor spreads like wild fire and everyone believes it’s no longer impossible to transport fruit to the East during the wet season – only then do I enter into price negotiations with the millers. Of course it cannot be sustained, not mechanically or even economically or for that matter administratively simply because the supply lines are stressed and I may even have to suffer a short term loss to stage this mega wayang. But in cummulative nett terms because everyone is convinced without a shadow of doubt – fruit can be transported across the East route – my bargaining power increases and in the long term whatever loses I suffer is only a very small drop against bigger profits I stand reap.
So this is an illustration of how all warfare is based essentially on deception. Both sides are engaged in this game of brinkmanship where some threats are real while others are just decoys.
This is a digression. But you know even Yamamoto didn’t strike Pearl Harbor to get embroiled in a war of attrition. He was perhaps one of the few IJN senior officers who spent time at Harvard and he used to travel around the Midwest. But most importantly he understood the science behind waging war that involves macro level calculations of how many tons of steel can a nation convert under a given set of conditions – so even he had absolutely no illusions Japan would eventually lose a long and protracted war with the US. Had carriers been there in Pearl Harbor that fateful Sunday when torpedo planes broke thru the morning clouds – the Americans would have probably sued for peace or an armistices and if not that may settle for detente and revoked the oil embargo. So this is an illustration of the stratagem how China is attempting to challenge US primacy.
This is a game of high stakes poker with a cerebral dimension. So forget all this nonsense of asking will China and the US go to war etc. All that is just enlisted men canteen talk.
It’s telling America very plainly I want to be treated not just as an equal but as a first amongst equals – it’s a very bold strategy. Deliberately confrontational and designed to elicit a response from the adversary – only because one cannot speak the language of Primus inter pares without the inclusion of imperialism along with power – bear in mind, this is the language of Caesar.
From my understanding there are only four possible outcomes with the last being hybrid comprising of elements of the second and third. But I shall come to that latter.
Q: Why aren’t the Chinese responding in equal zeal to build more aircraft carriers to counter balance the US navy?
A: The skill of arms needed for carrier based operations are really very high and specialized – hard to replicate not only for the Chinese. Even the Indians and many Militaries find it difficult and expensive to maintain decent rates of operations in blue waters for their carriers. They’re always sitting in their dry docks. As since none of the previous Soviet bloc countries not even Russia really placed emphasis on carrier doctrine in their strategic planning. That means China doesn’t really have anyone to teach them the ropes – it’s doubtful she will be able to gain the requisite skill of arms in carrier operations. Having said that. There is a a lot of mythology that are attached to aircraft carriers. That they are space age high tech platforms, invincible and can sail virtually everywhere to bring pressure to bear at will. Just like perhaps capital battleships before them. I can well understand the faith that military planners ascribe to carriers – I really can. But predicating so much on carrier doctrine also means one is putting all the chips on only one number or all the eggs in one basket – you know in 1941, the IJN had probably the best carrier fleet and well trained air crew in the world. It’s doubtful that without these wonder weapons in their inventory the Japanese would even consider war. And you could even argue one of the worst things the IJN ever did to seal their demise was when they successful launched the Pearl Harbor raid. After that they became so big headed that they even went out looking for a rumble with the US with four of their best carriers. All four got wiped out at midway. After that it was downhill for them. I think it’s theoretically conceivable carriers may already be obsolete as far back as ten or fifteen years ago. You may have to spend time trawling Jane’s to find out what’s out there to deal a death blow to carriers.
Q: What does the word ‘containment’ really mean – and how does the US and their allies accomplish this?
A: The goal of US policy is to use military power to preserve the old order based on US primacy i.e Pax Americana, even if that leads to escalating strategic rivalry with China which undermines regional peace and stability. And that is why I think US military strategic planning in the SCS can be accurately termed as – containment.
But where it because less clear and fuzzy is when we consider the economic front – this is where we go back to what I said earlier – war is simply the continuation of politics by other means and used in this specific context – business is war.
Many people theorize economic integration will make conflict less likely as China will become more integrated with the global political economy. But what they don’t tell you is if you play this scenario to it’s logical end, a tipping point will come where Chinese views become the controlling interest. Beyond that point, the degree of China’s influence increases and moves to dominate former reliable U.S. partners. The US by that point becomes irrelevant.
And this is not what will happen in five or ten years. That tipping point in my opinion has already been breached as far back as maybe three years ago. If you look around many countries in ASEAN seem to be two minded when it comes to seeing China as a threat. It is really quite an interesting contradiction where on one hand China is perdition but also salvation – sure they’re all still on the TPP bandwagon or at least most of them are doing a good job at pretending to buy tickets. But many ASEAN countries are at the same time buying into China’s counter response of the TPP as well by tacitly agreeing to sign the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and even more countries are endorsing the counter balance to the US proxy bank, the IMF – China’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The US naturally opposes both FTAAP, as well as AIIB, but notice if you will APEC, says more the merrier. Even US allies like Australia and South Korea have already signed major free trade deals with China, their largest trading partner. As for Malaysia, China recently bailed out 1MDB and she is the main buyer for oil palm. Even the Philippines now has shifted to China. Indonesia is also very much in the China club although from time to time she also likes to shoot on Chinese fishing trawlers. Even skittish Vietnam is warming up to China because the latter has a dam to regulate water to the Mekong.
So what you have now is a very perculiar form of schizoperhnia where the military strategic planning and the economic policies of many countries at the periphery of the SCS seems to be divergent from one track mind US foreign policy towards China.
That’s why I say many countries are two minded about China. As there is no harmonization of economic policies.
This is where the TPP comes in as the proverbial missing piece that completes the jigsaw puzzle. As what it attempts to do is dovetail all these divergent or schizoperhnic interest by further integrating the U.S. and Asian economies thereby blunting China’s economic sphere of influence. In this respect, as far as the economic front is concerned, containment is not the right word to use. A better term is restoring balance of power.
This will be especially jugular for Singapore. As she stands to be the primary beneficiary of the TPP. To put it another way it pays out naught for the status quo ante to change in China’s favor.
October 15, 2016
Q: You seem to take a lot of interest in world affairs and politics – is there any particular reason that accounts for your motivation?
A: I don’t think it’s possible to trust the mainstream press any longer. You take the case of GOP between Hillary versus Trump and the first thing that hits you is how evacuated of content the reportage is – I don’t see this as an indictment of journalistic standards per se. Rather it’s a function of how even news these days has to be spliced down into baby nano bites to accommodate the twitter generation readership who simply don’t have the patience to bear out deep reading any longer.
For me what happens around the world will always be very important at a strategic level. Because it will give me time to react. I make it a point to get regular briefings from as diverse a source as possible every week to enable me to compare, contrast and winnow truth from propaganda. Then I make an informed guess as to what is likely to pan out in the future.
Q: How do you spend your free time besides work?
A: I update my blog regularly with musings – it’s not really done specifically to garner readership in mind. I don’t much care about that aspect. It’s more to do with selfish me and how it gives me an opportunity to interact with my thought processes on a continuous basis. I find that keeping a blog can be incredibly edifying and revealing. As I am often surprised by some of the things I end up thinking and writing myself.
Besides updating my blog. I like to cook as well.
Q: You don’t spend a lot of time socializing do you?
A: Well. I live smack in the middle of a plantation. So I am a bit like Will Smith in that movie I am Legend – where I have to finish all my chores and get back before the sun goes down to lock down – that means I rarely ever go out during the evenings. Except maybe when I am in the city.
Q: You often write about your discomfort whenever you visit the city. Can you elaborate further.
A: When one stays all alone in a desolate place and the only thing that appears from time to time to jolt you out of the litany of reverie…to remind…perhaps…maybe…you are not the last person on the face of this planet is a distant vapor trail of a jet high above – then you’re probably suffering from an acute case of Hysteria Siberiana.
It’s a disease where people just go stark raving mad because of prolonged exposure to isolation.
I seem to have a naturally immunity against isolation – maybe NASA should take a sample of my blood and study it to improve their chances of making it all the way to Mars.
But when I am suddenly in the city – it’s just a massive sensory overload. I am accustomed to only seeing the world in a perpetual backdrop of green. Green is the color that comforts me most. Whenever I am in the city everything assaults me – I move very carefully as I am not accustomed to seeing so many things all at once.
Usually I just sit down and rarely ever move. At other times I ring the doorbell of houses with lush gardens and I tell the mistress of the house I need to sit down – it’s a life or death situation. Most people look at me strangely at first. But they know I am genuine and harmless and usually they accommodate my strange request and even serve me tea and biscuits. As I seem to be dressed in very old clothes from another era – so there is always this quality where the mistress of the house is always wondering whether I might have stepped right out of a time machine or something.
But generally people are very nice to me in the city.
October 15, 2016
I really don’t see how he can save the day any longer…it’s finished for Mr Trump.