Recently a very forgettable Minister that I can’t seem to recount her name has been most enthuistic to pin down Lee Hsien Yang & Co by taking the battle for the ‘truth’ to Facebook. All sorts of vile motivations have been insinuated from LKY being so old and senile that he can’t even read and comprehend his own will despite being a top drawer lawyer himself to Hsien Yang being solely motivated to demolish Oxley road because he wants to profit from property development.

But despite this foolish woman’s most vigorous efforts in demonstrating her ESP skills to the general public along with trying her to prove that she’s related to Nostradamus. She is actually committing a great disservice to both Singapore and her boss who she’s obviously trying to defend at all cost.

As on the 3 July 2017 when many of the serious allegations made by both LSY and LWL are raised in Parliament where MPs are supposed to interrogate the PM….many people cannot but sense something is very wrong with this picture.

For instance. How is it possible that the same group of people who once defended the PM so passionately are also expected to do an exhaustive job of asking him pointed inconvenient question to get at the truth? Can they even be reasonably expected to ask hard nosed no nonsense questions – if the PM is actually the person who signs off on their annual performance appraisal?

Please don’t expect anything from WP. That is very optimistic to be unrealistic. In my assessment, they have consistently demonstrated that they are truly the Bohsiah (no noise) party (their motto is silence is golden) when it comes to a much needed voice….so what is the point of even raising these serious allegations in Parliament?

Who is going to put the PM in the hot seat? Is anyone even representating LSY and LWL version of the story? Or is it like the descendants of the sun…we have to get it from the next instalment of Facebook? If not, why not? And how might this absence of representation go about to creating the right conditions for the truth to emerge?

I really don’t understand….I genuinely want to understand…but I don’t!


‘From day one when people ask me what is the best way to settle this matter. I have mentioned time and again that someone of authority and persuasion should step in and advise the Lee’s to settled it privately behind closed doors.

This is very clearly first and foremost a family dispute. I am reminded these people who made these allegations are not pot heads. They have all held important positions of seniority and have all demonstrated a consistent record of sound judgement and by all reasonable accounts, they must be acutely conscious of the gravity of what they accused their older Brother and his wife of committing.

It would appear that everything hinges on the question of to be or not to be i.e the binary decision of whether to demolish or keep the house. But that simplistic account misleads. As in my understanding that is not how family disputes turn nasty – Tolstoy once wrote – ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ By that, he meant to say – there is a certain level of complexity to why some families get along while others are grabbing at each other’s throats – it has to succeed in several key aspects…..but like the story Anna Karenina…it’s terribly complicated and filled with endless dead ends and lucanaes.

My point is what these key aspects of success or failure is will never be apparent to those who are outside the inner circle of the Lee family. Hence all these smarty pants who are quibbling no end about this and that are no different from delusional people who are searching for the truth under the narrow cast of a street lamp. What if that truth is in darkness?

As every family without a single exception irrespective of class, prestige and history has skeletons under the floor boards, secret pains, grudges, gripes, rivalry, betrayal, scandals, shame etc etc that they will never ever share with outsiders…and that is very normal and nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing sinister about hiding certain things from the world just as I am under no obligation to tell you or anyone else how many cock hair I have or whether the diameter of my left gulis are smaller or larger than the one on my right…. whether I sleep in pyjamas or naked or under the moonlight covered from head to toe in Vaseline….it’s none of your business!

But once the family conversation leaches out into the public domain…..then everyone and his dog will have a field day and since they don’t know the nuanced aspects of what precisely succeeded or failed to make that family unit happy or sad….it can at best all turn into only a circus show.

Don’t tell me this great diffusion of effort and energy just comes right down to the will of LKY…it’s much more layered….much more complex and multi dimensional….and only the family members are privy to this sort of information.

Watching all this is so painful and so very sad, as LKY was a truly great man in his own right despite his misgivings. He deserves better. The only mistake he ever made was not to have called me to help him make that old plantation house disappear. Had he called. I would have gladly asked Ramu IV and his elephant troupe to swim across the causeway on a moonless night and all I have to do is go to Bedok hawker centre buy a stack of sugarcane from Ah Keong and put a few in each room and within five minutes Ramu and his demolition team would have torn the place apart! I can almost guarantee the grand old man not even a splinter of wood would be standing.

No house. No dispute. No drama. End of matter.’


June 29, 2017

I like Dobermans. I like them very much. I suspect much of my bias has to do with familiarity rather than function. But after living with them in a plantation for five years. I have reached the conclusion that pure breeds are highly unsuitable for the harsh environment. The perennial damp is a big problem that plays havoc on their well being during the rainy season. During the dry season they’re susceptible to rashes and a multitude of skin related diseases requiring constant treatment.

Crossing a Spitz and a Rotweiller hopefully will produce a more resilient and suitable dog for a plantation setting. By nature the Spitz is a very undiscipline and unruly free spirit that doesn’t take orders at all. The Rotweiller on the otherhand is very similar to a Doberman – it’s a soldier dog.

The Spitz is a selective barker. Unlike the Doberman that barks at anything and everything especially during the night. As it is very sensitive. The Spitz will only bark when it spots an intruder. As for the Rotweiller it doesn’t bark at all. It’s a natural born killer. Barking reveals its location so it tends to veer on the side of caution and stealth.

The Spitz is a very active dog. The Rotweiller is inclined to be sedentary.

The Rotweiller is not afraid to engage an enemy in combat even when it is numerically outnumbered. It will kill! The Spitz has no appetite for war. It’s a natural born coward.

By combining both the good aspects of the Spitz and Rotweiller I am probably going to end up with a very short legged, compact, muscular bodied dog that’s likely to resemble a mini sized bull dog. I don’t know exactly what type of temperament I will end up with. But my goal is to instill the quiet confidence and intelligence of the Rotweiller to erase the capricious temperament of the Spitz that I have always considered undesirable.

As for Doberman’s I will experiment with a rotweiller combination as well – they will be breed for hardiness, speed, obedience and guard duty. As when it comes to combat very few dogs can match the firepower of the Doberman. It’s a pity that they don’t seem to adapt too well to this environment.

Let’s see how they turn out.

Cross breeding is more of an art than science….let’s see how it turns out.

King Kong’s children

June 28, 2017

Two nights ago Mabel gave birth to a litter of six pups. From the markings I know King Kong was the father.

When the man turned around and looked at Miss D. She was lost for words. Dumb struck by the sudden realisation how crumbly some things one just believes will never happen….not to her. To others maybe. But never her.

Till this moment in her life. Miss D had always taken faith and comfort in the infallibility of her knowledge that the invisible lines of serendipity and chance could never intercept sufficiently to alter the course of her destiny.

She always believed it only happened to others…but never her. It may come close like the time when everyone told her the friendly neighbourhood postman never appeared any longer as he had retired promptly after the magic numbers he had chosen lined up to eventually win the national lottery. Or the time when one of her friends colleague boarded a doomed plane only to perish suddenly in a mid air crash – but by and large these kinks of chance were distant abstractions to Miss D who only knew them as distant and faraway abberations in time and space that only afflicted others and never her and now one by one, they were all beginning to happen to her.

She wanted to say something…anything… like maybe….I wasn’t really following you. I am just going the same way. But the lingering taste of what had just happened was still in her mouth, and at that moment she understood that she could not deny it – all of a sudden, without the slightest flicker of a doubt, she understood how her own sense of despair must have suddenly become so great, so crushing, so catastrophic, that she had no choice but to seek some means to be liberated from it.

As since nothing would have ever happened if left to it’s own and even if it did, it was solely a random outcome where their lives seem to veer abruptly from one thing to yet another, to rub up against another thing only to be bumped off somewhere else. Nothing really happened.

A person heads in one direction. Another heads in the opposite direction. One turns sharply in mid-course, the other stalls, drifts, starts up again in yet another direction. Nothing ever comes to fruition, and inevitably each comes back to where they once started from only for the whole cycle to begin again.

But that fateful day when the woman stepped off the train and followed the man who didn’t fit in…she had set into motion a chain of events that could only culminate in this outcome of certainty ….as she wanted it make it happen. She no longer wanted to watch it slip right by for it to bounce here and there like some ivory ball on some roulette wheel of fate where they would both chance on each other again like two stray cats turning the same corner only for one of them to give the other that look of OMG! It’s you again! And to walk away again.

After all there had to be a bloody good reason why they kept bumping into each other all the time…Singapore is small, but it’s not that fucking tiny she screamed somewhere in her head.

Above all she had grown weary of existing solely for herself, living vicariously thru the imaged hopes and dreams and lives of fictitious characters that only came thru the imagined realm of sappy novels and late nights crunched over the computer watching Korean serials. She yearned for much more than just a glimmer what it could be, but since it never happened to her…she had to make it happen. So she jumped off the ledge and then, at the very last moment, it all happened….something reached out and caught her in midair. That something is what she knew only to be love. It is the only power that could defy the Newtonian laws of physics and stop one from falling back to earth. It could have been nothing except the power of love.

That was when it came out….’you know we keep bumping into each other all the time. There are some days when I even know I will see you. I just don’t mean I will see you here or there. But I mean I know that if I step into that train…you will be there. That sort of thing. I just think that maybe we should try to discover why that should be….that’s why I followed you. I am sorry I just need to know where this all leads too….this is my card. Please call me.’

Thereafter she promptly walked away only to stop mid way raise a finger to add,

‘I know what you’re thinking, but I want to make it absolutely clear that I don’t go around doing this sort of thing. Infact this is the first time.’

The man smiled and replied, ‘Thank you I find that most reassuring.’

Some people just don’t bloody fit in. They don’t. They might if you just gave them a passing look like the way one looks fleetingly at fire hydrants, bollards and kerbs. But if one really looks. They don’t fit in at all. They may want very much too. But there’s always enough of who they really are to leach out into wider world to remind themselves and others who may care to look longer and deeper that – this must be a sort of man who had cultivated an unusual bent of regarding himself like all other men, to see himself first not an individual. As that would have compelled him to come to terms with the finality of his difference from all other men. Rather as a member belonging to the generic human species, then as merely the cold reality of a life form that occupies this corner of this universe in this planet called earth, that’s part of larger construct called the solar system and beyond and finally to see himself as merely an infinitesimal speck of dust in the larger schema. This was how people who don’t fit in blend themselves right in. They make themselves disappear…with these thoughts simmering Miss D looked on at the man that morning in the carriage that barrelled to the city.

She had chanced on him again. This time on the morning train, just after their chance meeting the night before at Bedok reservoir when Miss D realised just as the world was full of mysterious doors and rifts that curiousity might just as well turn the knob only to walk right through, once one stood in that room…nothing would ever be the same again.

That morning she realised the man who preferred to stand and look out dreamily out the window of the train didn’t fit at all – here he was pretending to be like everyone else except now she realised something about the man who didn’t fit….he had a dervish fetish for birds.

The impression that man who didn’t fit was a delectable notion to Miss D that morning as she chewed on it slowly like an eclair like a satisfied woman who was perfectly prepared to accept that morning as what the moment had to offer.

A man who didn’t fit and knew it and yet still tried despite the magnitude of what singled him out as markedly different was rare because it could only be achieved by someone ready to let go of who he really is to assume the life of someone else…that demands respect thought Miss D as she curled her lips in anticipation. It even inspires awe in the way he tried to come across as everyone as she darted another look his way…yes…right down to the everyone else tie he wore that morning to his black laced everyone else shoes….yet despite his monumental effort to blend right in….he didn’t fit. A lot of other guys may be like that – especially the ones below the line, the cookie cutters. They look forward to nothing better than to put in a hard day’s work to get that promotion, buy a condo, a car, get that girl. It’s not about art, science, theory or even ideas. It’s really only about the nuts and bolts of making it come out right. Life that is. But very rarely does one come across a man who simply wants to fit in like a lego block that finds its place along side other faceless blocks only to click in place with a satisfying ‘thack.’

Somewhere between Kembangan and City Hall. Miss D decided to follow the man who didn’t fit – she was impelled by an almost inexplicable force that transcended even her curiosity. It was a perfectly calm, yet perfectly insane impulse when she alighted and followed the man who had hardly shown an indication that he was aware of anyone following him.

As Miss D followed him. She was seized by the most sublimely exhilarating thought that this was the first time in their numerous chance encounters when she had decided to do something completely unlike herself. It must seemed like a half a step in front of the real as she put one feet in front of the other, a feet or two just behind the man, and in the thick of the illicit thrill, she felt her skin slowly becoming transparent…and with each step. Soon she wasn’t even occupying space anymore so much as melting into it. What was around her just a moment ago, the purposeful sea of humanity rushing frantically to work had suddenly receded away and all together died out and all that remained was the back of the man and the foot steps of man and woman and that was the moment when the man stopped. Pause. Turned around and at that very moment everything that Miss D ever wondered about how it was to be the man who didn’t fit in the world was answered….all she had to do was only to look into herself in order to see the world thru his eyes.’

Singapore….in Bedok jetty, East Coast park at five in the morning…

The stranger stood motionless all alone on Bedok Jetty dressed in his skin tight jet black bicycle gear – he looked out across the vast infinity of the dark sea that stretched before him with a quiet air of expectancy. There was an unmistakable swagger about the man. In the way he stood, with one leg ever so slightly higher than the other with one hand on his hip – maybe it was just the way he carried himself. There was something pensive in his gaze as he peer out into the darkness like a falcon – or maybe it was the strange electrically charged air that made Miss D’s teeth feel tight and edgy like how she felt when she had first worn braces.

That morning, a strange and almost alien mood pervaded Bedok jetty. And though the curious woman had often visited this place – she couldn’t quite remember it being the way it was that morning. The twenty six year old lawyer found herself suddenly in a very strange place from the one she had always known.

As the very curious woman looked on, she found herself transfixed on the solitary figure, who stood all by himself on the jetty – there was something peculiar about this lone figure – it was as if he was written in an alphabet that she couldn’t quite read. An ancient script. One that doesn’t quite fit with the world. This idea gnawed at her….an alphabet written in a language she could never read or hope to understand. Since Miss D prided herself by being able to see the world clearer than anyone else – and now standing before her was a connundrum she could hardly fathom….it wasn’t entirely true to say he was a stranger to her. They had met. Or shall I say they had chanced on each other in the trains mostly. She remembered his searching eyes, his haunting look of inexpressible yearning in the way they seemed almost to stare out beyond everything and everyone into some other distant land…and now this man stood before her.

Suddenly the man lean forward slightly. As if he had caught sight of something that he had waited for so long to see – Yes, she said to herself….he has seen something…I must see it as well…The curious woman was interested to know what caught the man’s attention – this she believed to be a key that would allow her to open the door called CURIOSITY. She had after all woken up earlier than usual (even sacrificed her beauty sleep, as who bloody ever wakes up at four in the morning!) just for this moment when she knew this strange lonely figure that she was less than 20 feet away from would always come here this time of the year.

He had first appeared three years ago just around this time. And she had first seen him from a distance from the balcony of her new trendy apartment in Bayshore. The man had come every morning for 5 consecutive days. Usually when the monsoon rains came. He would stand for hours. Then. Poof! He was gone. And in the following year like one of those exotic migratory birds that one never seems to see when one wants to see one, suddenly reappears again. Always at this place this time of the year. Always at this hour between light and darkness – this no man’s place – this sliver of time she termed the hour of hesitation.

A hour that Miss D came to understand as a very unusual hour. A hour that perhaps even heightened and sharpened her already tak boleh tahan meter* by a good 9.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. This lone figure silhouetted against a dark azure sky who simply stood for hours and waited…and waited..she remembered asking herself, “what is he waiting for? I must see what he sees. Then I shall understand?”

The curious woman knew the man would appear just around this time of the year again in Bedok Jetty – this time, she had made it a point to ride her bicycle to take a closer look – but that morning nothing prepared the curious woman for what was to happen – for one it was hardly a normal morning – Miss D, began to notice, the leaves stirred around in tight circles like the mistral that once danced in the Sahara in the continent of Africa. This she gathered from cable TV nature documentaries.

Though it was still dark, the sky was filled with an eerie paraffin blue velvety darkness that looked almost like the faint light that shines through old and dark wine bottles. Even the air from the sea that day possessed and almost needle like quality that made breathing painful – Miss D had never experienced Bedok Jetty in this strange twilight of time and space before – so she moved closer to the man. From this distance, she could make out the features of the man who stood less than an arm length away – the man seemed to be peering intently at a column of scudding clouds far off in the horizon making it’s way inland. She looked back at the man again. His eyes began to narrow. His hands began to clench the railing. She looked out once again at that column of clouds and now realized there were tiny glistening dots….birds lit by the moonlight. Birds. They seem to be flying frantically. Desperately. Away from the dark wall of iron clouds blowing inland – flying as fast as their wings can take them. That. Or else….Somewhere between the eight or tenth time when she had snapped back and forth at the man and what he saw – Missy Dotty realized the man was rooting for the birds from being gobbled up by those menacing clouds that looked like a giant steamroller.

Then, seemingly in an instant. When just a while ago it was just another dry dawn – now sheets of rain began to gush down. The heavy, spattering raindrops that even the curious woman realized announced the arrival of the life-giving monsoon. Yet the man who stood in the jetty at day break staring out into the infinity of the sea – wasn’t very concerned about the rains. As he seemed to waiting for something else to happen.

It was at that very moment when the first rays of the rising sun began to finger out and flame the approaching clouds – suddenly thousands of swiflets began to appear from nowhere – the deep purplish orange skies screamed, like an orchestra at a thunderous pitch of C major full blast – the wings of the birds were set ablaze by the morning sun and they all looked like showers of meteors – as they darted through the eerie lit dawn apricot skies by the thousands for just a few seconds and then it was over – silence and nothingness followed.

The man nodded his head knowingly and pursed his lips. He smiled knowingly. Then as if suddenly being aware that he was being watched all the time. He looked at the girl with the Brompton and said,

“Yes…yes… my fine feathered friends have finally made it through this time. They are safe. Here in Singapore, they will be able to rest, hunt and fatten up before they decide to fly elsewhere.”

That morning the 26 year old woman understood – she realized the man who stood before her knew how it was like to be hunted.

That morning Miss Curiousity aka Missy D murmured to herself as she smiled at herself supremely after putting on her make up for work,

“How interesting….a man who knows how its like to be hunted….”

Many years ago in South America after Africa…..

‘Along the 249 and a half mile dust road between Cuiaba and Santos del Norte in a sliver of land in Brazil where angels fear to tread, there are no fewer than three provincial land registries.

Only the land office in the makeshift township of Guaranta overlooked the Madiera rivers and it was here, the Chinaman decided to register his land claim as he stood in long line of dreary disheveled souls – just two months ago, Guaranta did not exist – it like the many cowboy towns along the meandering Madeira sprung right out of the ground like wild mushrooms just around the period of the Great Amazon land rush – when Brazil’s military dictatorship pursued the infamous land reform policy of ‘integrar para nao entregar’ – a free for all where settlers were given title to the land they worked.

It was just around the end of the harvest season in Guaranta – a period when fleets of pickups, yellow and green John Deere’s tractors hauling cane and soy from the Amazonian interior had ceased rumbling and now they were all splayed out like the drunks and spent prostitutes. Running parallel to the zinc roofed container township on the only boulevard known as Ignacio da Silva. A great Madeira ran fast and deep – on the quay river barges belonging to ADM, Cargill and Bunge laden with golden soy rested indolently like rust colored hippo’s cooling their heels – the sight of these strange rusting behemoths must have reminded the Chinaman of Africa. As he had paused to light a cigarillo and leaned on the railings to watch them before entering the land registry. It struck the man just then that this was first time in his long treacherous 1,600 mile journey starting from Argentina to Brazil southern ports that he had ever paused….he wondered to himself why had he paused – why had he suddenly come to a stop in the way a raging river suddenly loses it’s vigor as it discovers the infinity of the sea – he hadn’t done so till then.

The Chinaman had not paused. Not even when he had heard rumors of a large swathes of new lands opening up in Santarem in a bar down south in Beuno Aries and had decided to travel all the way to brigand infested jungles to stake his claim before a frenzied land grab ensued. Neither did he pause when he came across a band of brigands after driving his stake on a piece of land that overlooked a bend shaped like a shoulder of a woman on the Madeira Rivers – the man only remembered narrowing his eyes at these menacing marauders when they had told him…the land he had staked had already been taken by a rich landowner….he did not even pause when one of the trigger happy grileiros leveled his lupara at him…the Chinaman just blew the man’s head off….and told them…he would be back to put their boss in a coffin…he did not pause as it felt right…just like Africa…this the man reckoned was after all the way politics was conducted deep in the Amazon…or for that matter anywhere else where men carried guns like cowboys – the man did not pause…not even when he came across a wandering priest preaching to Panara Indians deep in the Amazon who suddenly turned to him, read from chapter five of Matthew and asked whether he would like to confess his sins with the words…

‘Bem aventurados os que tem fome e sede de justica, pois servo satisfeitos.’

He did not pause. The Chinaman merely got up and walked away. All the while wondering with each step how long could such a fool in his silly frock would last in grileiros infested lands who roamed a godless sky – maybe a week….maybe a month….he did not pause….only when he was leaning against the railings by the harbor overlooking the Madeira that day did he pause…there was something he needed to do – though it escaped him just then…something important…then suddenly as if remembering. The Chinaman took out a dog eared color postcard which he had always carried in his breast pocket long before he even boarded the sardine tub in the coite de noire which eventually berthed in Santiago….the man looked at it again as he had always done during the hour just before the sun would slip over the mountains in Africa. He knew all the buildings framed against the clean cool peppermint blue skyline by heart and even those which he didn’t quite understand such as the white half lion and fish in the foreground which seemed to be vomiting water – the Chinaman knew it, as a creature which must had eaten something that didn’t agree with it’s – then he tore it up in two and threw it into the dark waters of the Madeira.

It was a picture of a distant dreamy place that he had always wanted to try his luck met the right girl, settle down, forget his past, get an ordinary nine to five job, grow fat and to just lead an ordinary life……now there was only this life.

That was the only time the Chinaman ever paused.

The way this national soap opera is proceeding with one repartee lobbed followed by a return along with a host of calefare politicians chipping in their two cents.

As if they possess some rare and exceptional ESP power to read other people’s intentions including showing off to all of us their rare skills in being able to communicate with the dearly departed on the other side (no wonder they are paid so well)….even if LKY’s house is preserved and turned into tourist attraction.

People will not go there to pay homage to the legacy of LKY. Or for that matter to pay respect to the founding Father of Singapore. Instead they will go to see first hand where it all began….the beginning of the end for the Lee family and perhaps even Singapore….and it all started here where the house of cards came tumbling down.


‘This thing will not die down. No. It will not despite my initial hope that someone of considerable maturity and ability to appreciate it’s impact will step in and do the right thing. By my humble estimation. It will certainly get bigger and perhaps uglier. Simply because both sides don’t want to compromise. Each side believes theirs is the only way, the right way and there exist no other way. To exacerbate matters….now all sorts of funny politicians are chipping in their points of view. So now you have a private matter that seems to be increasingly encrusted with elements of officialdom and all this must be quite mind boggling to people who are not so intelligent like myself – all this can only serve to thicken the fog making it harder for the layman to beacon out the murk not to mention adding petrol to an already raging fire. As it will only sharpen the resentment, mistrust and enmity between these two factions and result in both sides digging their heels deeper for what I can only see as a protracted war of attrition that is likely to bleed the morale of the nation.

But a wise man would ask: if the cost of preserving or demolishing the house threatens to destroy a valuable legacy that can nourish the roots of a nation….then what’s it all for?

What after all do these people expect to immortalise for providence after all this fall out? It can’t possibly be the legacy of LKY…..because that would have to go under the wheel for one party to win and the other to lose…so what might it be and the end of the road?

A big nothing!

If this matter is left to me. I would bundle all these people into a helicopter by order of maybe a secret committee and tell them all we are going to examine an alternative site for LKY’s house from the air. Unbeknown to them all another secret committee more secretive than the first will quietly fly to Pedra Blanca. The light house keeper has been sent on a long world cruise by yet another secret committee. When they all alight. I will kick off a crate of canned sardines and pallet of Kong Ghuan biscuits and tell them all – I will be back in a month. Before anyone can raise their hands in protest. I will fly away….full speed so more.

I am very sure at the end of the month when I return to pick them up, this problem would be happily resolved.’

Somewhere along the endless serpentine laterite road between Davao city and Zamboanga in the Mindanao – during the evenings when men would sit along the long bench under the wan and hiss of cordite lamps to get high on Barangay hooch fermented from coconut and yam. On the last call when everyone is high as a kite and the only satellite TV in the village is switch off – and men have all but run dry of topics to keep the conversation rolling on…someone may ask, ‘do you all remember Padil?’ And all the men would smile knowingly and fall so very silent….the legend of Padil like all legends in the timeless labyrinth of the shanty towns of Barangays comprised of one part truth and usually two parts make belief…he’s real name wasn’t really Padil. They all just called him that, as he looked so much like that much beloved bad boy action hero actor Robin Padilla. Others believed he might have been a third generation mestizo as he often mangled his Tagalog with Spanish sobriquets terms – a habit common to the landowning gentry of the Ayala’s, Osmenas and Arjuno’s. Others believed he had once worked for the CIA as a spy responsible for reporting on the secret construction of the largest covert military airstrip in the Mindanao in General Santos funded by bluefin a USAID front – then of course, all knew of the story when Padil had spotted an abandoned vine riven villa once build by a Spaniard Chopra merchant somewhere along the Cotabato mountain route to the West on Saragani on a hill – they said, he had stood there and looked at that ruined for so long like a man reminded of happier times in his past life in Africa and so Padil decided to stay and grow bananas right there.

The landowning gentry especially the ladies of the Wednesday club in the Marina Bay regarded Padil with a mix of fascination and endearment whenever he visited metro Manila – they were equally enamored by his impeccable manners along with his rumored illicit association with Gringo Honasan and the ease at which he was able to walk freely in and out of Abu Sayaff territory untouched…like an angel dancing on fiery clouds of death..they all whispered as they look on – but to the old men, the European Spanish power brokers who prided themselves with their purity of will in the same manner they kept their lineage entirely Spanish since Magellan landed on the shores of Cebu…the one’s who bank rolled noisy senators and pulled all the strings in Malacanang unseen by all, who were always content to play bridge and sip extremadura in the Rizal room sectioned off from the rest of the erudite crowd below – despite their collective suspicion for Padil. They found him useful and continued to give him land concessions…as Padil despite his youth and cavalier attitude, whenever he didn’t drink to much seemed to posses an uncanny ability to appreciate their reality of how power and politics could only be perpetuated by maintaining the tenuous relationship of mutual coexistence between the Christians and the Muslims thru the lost art of La Convivencia…..if anything good would ever come out from that God forsaken place where there was no semblance of law and order…that black heathen splotch…the old men all referred too as el terra diablo.

In the Barangay’s that dotted the edges of Padil’s banana estate – the kids knew his legs and pricks of his hairline moustache. He wore only mirror polished ankle high boots with flared ridding jodhpurs. As for the men, they looked on curiously with fascination at his habit of sporting a shouldered holstered revolver. As it was general knowledge, Padil the nocturnal marauder in a lawless land where only the law of the gun rule supreme – was renowned for his disdain of firearms and much preferred that other elegant weapon of antiquity, the Moros feared which they referred to as the whispering death – the bow. On one occasion, legend has it Padil single handedly picked off ten brigands on a moonless night who ambushed a bus of nuns. Or was it twenty or maybe thirty depending on how many bottles of San Miguel had been uncapped during the recount of the story. For effect Padil left cards on each man he killed. They all said, he once saw it being done in a movie and so like the movie star that he was…he did the same for la effect for the ladies – they giggled all the time behind closed shutters while their mothers looked on pensively bitting their prayer beads, as it was widely rumored – only a man who is in league with the devil himself was not afraid of the Moros and that Padil could steal a woman’s soul with just one fleeting look. For most of the time, when the sun dipped below the ochre colored barren mountains. Padil installed himself on a rocking chair and nursed a Montecristo till nine and retired before ten. On the first Monday of every month, he wore a pristine creme suit complete with black and white spectator shoes and a creme Montecristi and visited the only bordello in Davao city which also doubled as the Sanfirono club for the rest of the week – Padil sat all by himself usually in the verandah overlooking the square as he played solitaire all by himself sipping neat whisky thru the night….he never ever seemed interested in what was on offer, except maybe to look up from time to time with a curious mix of having being so near yet so far from experiencing the prophetic whenever the madam of the parlor brought in a new girl only to return to his game of cards like a man searching fervently for something once lost….as if the only thing he ever wanted out of the evening laid somewhere in that other far and distant mythical realm that could only be discovered in the infinite randomness of the universe of cards – where chance and serendipity danced and all that Padil could do was to search….search….and search for her, for Padil the man who would usually sit all by himself from evening till the break of dawn, it seemed the only woman he was ever interested in was to find his mythical queen of hearts in a game called solitaire…but it always ended the same….no matter hard he searched…Padil could never find her…..’

The infinite man

June 24, 2017

Within a life of a man….there can be so many lives once lived. As there are so many men in this one man. So many who have come…died only to be reincarnated again into the form of yet another life lived by yet another man.

It is this indelible aspect of man that makes him such a complex being – as nothing really appears to be what it seems.

Whenever we engage someone even fleetingly….we might take comfort in the idea what we see is actually what really is. But when we know this secret of secrets of all men….only then will we begin to see the other men within this one man who stands before us.


‘I told this young lady. You are most welcome to see how I go about my business….I hid nothing from her. I opened all my doors….everything was right before her….to do as she pleases. In the fields she saw the way I worked alongside the farmhands. I told her, I am like Levin. Her eyes sparkled with understanding as she exclaimed, Tolstoy….Anna Karenina. From time to time, we would speak. I noticed she was reading the Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Neruda. She could tell, I knew his work intimately when I told her, the great poet wrote only in green ink, which was his personal symbol for desire and hope. She asked me why he the great poet who believed so much in hope never ever once used that word. I told her the story of Tentativa del hombre infinite and explained to her as in the novel El habitante y su esperanza, hope need not be expressed….not at all, it merely is….One day when the sun was like a disc of fire, she saw the farmhands chewing on sugarcane…I told her to only chew on the narrow sections…it’s sweetest there….she asked, is it true…the rumours… that I once fought in the Ascension wars in Nicaragua…I merely told her I don’t remember that man who once stood on a rock promontory with a rifle slung on his back….I only remember the aching beauty of the Cordillera de Los Morbeilles set against the crimson sunset….I told her, I counted only six…though everyone said there were eight..she undertood…as that was what Neruda’s infinite man had once exclaimed just before a duel in the Ascuncion chapel in Leon. She wondered whether it was true that the Chinaman sugarcane planter once did same for the hand of a third generation Matizto’s landowner’s daughter in Managua….I told her it was hard to tell as even the fairytale presages the period before I met my wife and settled down in Singapore.

On the fifth day when I told her how the swiftlets would fly ever so higher and in tighter circles as they instinctively knew it was time for the wind to shift the other way and they were preparing for their long marathon flight across the straits… she asked about the man who once wore flared ridding breeches, mirror polished knee high boots and always sported a shouldered holstered revolver…the Chinaman Cocoa planter…I told her, he must have been enamoured with Idi Amin, she laughed and mentioned…Uganda..I shouted ‘Uluru!’ She asked what is that, I merely mentioned that’s what the Matabili tribesmen would shout out when they spotted a tiger in the brushes….she said explain…. I looked her in the eye this time and told her… I counted only six…though everyone said there was eight….it was what Neruda’s main protoganist had mentioned just before he was betrayed in Santiago. She undertstood and looked down and shame swept across her face.

On the sixth day when I told her the Mai’a in Southern Sudan believe two cardamoms went put into hot tea could stop time dead in it’s tracks and the mythical door of secrets would swing open – it all spilled out…the beans…the girl told me slowly, she was actually sent by my enemies to find out about my plans…..there was no interest free grant…it was all an elaborate lie designed to entice me…And at the end of it all, she merely expressed in a tone of abject resignation… I counted only six….though everyone said there was eight…after she finished, she looked up me and realized then and there…. I knew it all along…it was the face of Neruda’s infinite man.’


June 23, 2017

Actually as a farmer who lives all by himself deep in a desolate plantation and never ever goes out at night. I certainly don’t mind certain organs and body parts coming my way. Since there is very little else to do every evening except sew, paint shoes and make moonshine from potatoes
….I really could do with some organs to spice up my life. I am especially fond of the domed shaped organs with the cherry topping.

I also like other organs as well….but I shan’t elaborate too much as I am sure others do too….and I want to be considerate and not cause mass fainting spells.

I just don’t want the evil organs to come my way…should they do so, it is only fair to inform the puppet masters of these unmentionable organs that many powerful and influential corporate and political leaders thru out the world regularly read my blog religiously….Putin for instance is a regular reader of my blog (it is widely known to many of my regular readers I have been extended a red carpet invitation to farm commercially in the Ukraine) so is the premier of China who happens to be a farmer himself along with ten to fifteen world leaders along with many business personalities of impeccable international standing.

The reason why they continue to read my material is because I write it as I see it….honestly….without any form of embellishment and they all enjoy my unique perspective as an autistic person of seeing things, people and events.

Should the organs of the state make my life hellish – I will complain to all these people. Don’t worry it is well known to everyone in the internet as well that I am the biggest cry baby in the world….so should the organs that I don’t like come my way…I will make so much noise and when I do so a lot of powerful personalities will demand to know ‘why are you harassing the poor farmer?’ And that will be the end of these losers.

You have been forewarned. I write whatever I want!….as I see it….if you don’t like it. No need to threaten me. Just do what makes you happy and we will take it from there.

I have a right as a farmer to call a spade a spade!


‘Why do so many captains of industry and world leaders read my blog? Very simple. I always seem to get it right….not all the time. I admit. But enough I believe to be a reliable, steady and dependable and even engaging fire chat companion.

I told them all the TPP is going to run out of petrol and konk out before it reaches the finishing line. This was when all the corporatist were uncorking champagne and breaking out the caviar….and it happened exactly the way I called it. It died!

I told them all that China is going to get mad if she’s pushed to one corner on the SCS like a wounded animal….and she blew her lid so high that it’s now in orbit somewhere in outer space. Again it was spot on! And this was when everyone still believed in the idea that Pax Americana would rule the Pacific.

Long before that I told them all the global balance power would shift impercibly from West to East and that this trend would inexorable and nothing could ever stop. And this was when America and EU looked so self assured and the future seemed so certain that it would have been foolhardy to assume that tomorrow could ever be so different from today….and again I was proven right.

I even told them all that globalisation as an economic theory is seriously flawed as it has a mechanism of self destruction…and I even predicted that once the tipping point between yearning and the inability to fulfill that desire was reached…..a day of reckoning would certainly come and everything that we have come to regard as the only way to reliably make progress in trade and commerce will experience a historical reversal….and this was at a time when everyone spoke as if globalisation and the free market was some Super duper religion that could do no wrong…and again I was proven right again with Brexit and most recently the nomination of Trump as president of the US.

I did all this so many times that finally the really clever people just tuned in – because to them the truth will always command a very high value in a world that is riven with curve balls and the only thing that is certain is more uncertainty.’

The Super duper committee should be formed and tasked with deciding what to do with LKY’s house only AFTER mini Lee has stepped down from the office of the PM of Singapore.

So long as mini Lee continues to remain in power while the committee is operative….the question that must be asked is whether it is possible for the committee members to discharge their duties without undue influence and without fear or favor?

That I will leave to you….the perceptive reader to answer. I have no comment….what I will say is this…this cannot be business as usual any longer.

After all given that this most ugly family spat has spilled over into the public domain – the onus on the government must be correspondingly higher so as to take stock of the prevailing sentiment to ensure whatever decision is reached on LKY’s house has to be derived independently, free from undue influence and most crucially serves the greater interest of Singaporeans and not just to further the interest of one man who may have an agenda.


‘The allegations levelled against the PM and his wife are so serious as to include perverting the course of law, misusing the state apparatus in such a manner where it is tantamount to criminal intimidation to outright abuse of power etc etc etc….then the government of the day cannot just come across as embodying the form of being independent without buying into the content rigorously – that is to say the government would do well to take stock of prevailing sentiments and make every effort to assure the public, stakeholders and institutions that the decision making process concerning LKY’s house is free from any undue influence by the office of the PM and other person or persons.

It would seem one way to respond intelligently to these allegations would be rebut them robustly…but I don’t see how this can nearly be enough to sufficiently blunt these allegations simply because to do so would simply make the problem bigger instead of reducing it size and impact by both parties escalating the impasse in public.

As a simple minded austistic farmer who is probably sun stroke since I have been out in the field since seven – the crux of the issue is not whether the PM actually influenced the outcome of the decision of the committee that is tasked to decide on the final outcome of what will eventually be the fate of LKY’s house.

Rather the real issue is whether as a stakeholder in the property who concurrently occupies the office of the PM – does such a person have the capacity to exert a sphere of influence over the affairs of the committee formed under his official purview?* Even if that possibility is remote. That would really be untenable….since no man can be a judge of his own case…neither should only one side of the story be heard only while the other languishes in obscurity….there is something very wrong with the picture….it is not straight. Rather to me at least the picture frame sits very crooked on the wall of public opinion and that is really my point.’

* Let us assume for argument sake Count Dracula is appointed as the CEO of the national blood bank in Singapore. Let us even assume that the Count subsequently appoints a committee comprising of subordinates who report to him who he regularly appraises their annual performance to conduct a feasibility study on whether it might be good idea for the Count to hold the dual role of CFO as well to the blood bank…now the Count can of course put up his hands and say, ‘hey I am not involved….can’t you see this is a panel where I don’t have any involvement in.’

Then again since we all know what sort of beverage the Count likes to consume. We also know happen to know – the reason why he’s called the Count is because he has a very strange way of counting…that’s to say he’s accounting method remains suspect and dubious as even when he’s in the red, it all seems to come up rosy blue….so how wise would it be to allow the Count to form such a committee?

Bear in mind. I never said the Count is sinking his fangs into blood at the National blood bank. But the very fact that by assuming the dual role of the CFO he is able to be a judge of his own case by itself disqualifies the merit of case and renders it spurious…that is all I am saying.

Surveying for replanting

June 22, 2017

Surveying is time consuming and tedious….it involves a lot of trekking. There is a wide area to cover. Since the equipment is very pricey to rent. I need to wrap it all up in one working day. I have work to do now….I will be back.

This morning I had a meeting with my surveyors. One of them told me since the weather had taken a turn for the worst….it’s impossible to keep to the schedule. I turned to this fellow and thanked him for his assesment…thereafter I told him politely to leave the conference room.

Thereafter I asked the rest – anyone else want to tell me it cannot be done?

After a lot of teeth sucking sessions, looking down and what I can only describe as a very uncomfortable pause….I proceeded to suggest we deal with the early arrival of the rains by digging trenches instead and burying all the chipped material….additional land surveys will have to be conducted to carry out this sudden and unexpected shift in strategy – as the planting configuration will have to be radically altered to accommodate these new trenches.

We will start work first thing tomorrow at seven….I ended the meeting with the words…gentlemen failure is not an option…thereafter I thanked them all and took my leave.

After that I went for another meeting with the earth works contractors….they told me the same thing and I responded in a similar manner.

Work will continue…..failure is not option…we will win!


‘When one is born into autism. The world will stick a badge on one’s lapel that says, ‘I am a weirdo.’ Understand this clearly! The world will do this! Why is not important…neither is whether it is right to do so….only understanding that the world will do this is and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it!

That is why when one is autistic – one has to be more determined than ‘normal’ people to seek out one’s calling in life. Normal people have more options since they are very versatile. They can given time adapt to even grow fond of a job that they once loath…but not autistic folk. We tend to be more rigid and set in our ways…for instance I like to see things being lined up neatly…it comforts me to see neat rows of trees….it’s a source of happiness…so being a planter is very satisfying and deeply edifying to my nature…my point is being able to find one’s niche is really the point of equalization.

There is no point in following the way of the world – they will give me a mop and ask me to clean toilets….or have me work assembling vibration toys that bring happiness to spinsters in cold lonely nights…that is the way of the world.

One has to go the other way….

Above all one must wear this badge that the world has pinned on one with pride….it must serve as a reminder that life will always be unfair and there is no such thing as a level playing. Not for you. For others maybe …but never you!

And the only way you will ever get to kick a ball on a level playing field is if you own the stadium and everyone else on the pitch!

If you do not take my advice – you will always be despised, humiliated and always disrespected in this world… it is worthless to rely on the forebearance, goodwill and sagacity of others to treat you well when one is autistic. If one is lucky, one may of course come across such good souls from time to time….but unfortunately there are not enough of these good natured people to make a profound difference to your life to better it…..and it really boils down to you…that is all there is to it…what I have shared is certainly not pleasant to read…this I completely take responsibility for. Only understand this! What I have shared is the solemn truth… now you know the score if you’re born into autism….failure is not an option.

Life is cruel!’

Small world

June 20, 2017

‘When you know deep down. You’re different from everyone else….then it’s very easy to see the difference in others as a very engaging and beautiful thing.’

Woke up this morning only to find all the birds going berserk and flying around wildly…..that is usually not a good sign.

I know birds very well….they don’t just decide to wake up one morning and behave like crazies….some people who I rather prefer not to mention do that, but not birds…something has definitely spooked them. My friends, the birds are not stupid. They’ve been around in this planet for a very long time predating even mankind. All birds were once two legged dinosaurs like the fearsome T. Rex…they didn’t go extinct as much become smaller till finally they assumed the final shape and form of what we call in our age birds.

Birds all have a keen sense of primal instincts. They can sense rain days before it comes and nothing ever escapes them…they can even pick up microscopic barometric alterations that modern instruments can never register. I once raised a baby eagle who could fit into my breast pocket and took around wherever I went. Her name is Boonyi. Eventually Boonyi grew up to be so large that she scared all the chickens in the Kampung. One day I blindfolded Boonyi and drove her five hundred miles up to the Thai border to release her in the wild….two days later Boonyi was perching at my gate with a smug look that said – you can’t get rid of me that easily stupid!

That’s how smart birds are. They have prehistoric senses that we humans can never even imagine.

Something is definitely headed this way….maybe the secret committee has issued an executive order to quietly dispose of the house….maybe another secret secret committee in the Singapore airforce has unanimously decided to airdrop LKY’s stripped down house in my plantation….as every time when the birds behave in this perculiar manner where they fly around in tight figure eights and cry out in two stanzas…something bad always happens. They know. They always know days before the shit hits the fan…they know it so well only they can see what will happen and they can even sense it all deep down in the narrow of their bones….something evil is headed this way.

I must make preparations to store water and charge my emergency batteries.

Many people have written to me to ask what brand of boots I wear. Usually I tell them – it’s pointless to get a pair of expensive boots IF you don’t know how to care for them to extend their life. Decent work boots will always be very expensive – there is no way to negotiate around the economics that goes into crafting safe and comfortable work boots. That is why it’s jugular to learn the field craft on how to take care of your investment.

Boot and feet craft is a lost skill. As these days men rarely ever need to go out to the field.

Here are the following rules:

(1) Never buy a pair of boots online. That is a very bad idea. As every boot manufacturer uses their own unique last and sizes will ALWAYS vary from vamp width to length – size 8,9 or 10 from my experience is never spot on. Even slight variations will result in blisters and lousy fit that will do you in when you’re in the field. So get it right the first time! Go for a physical fit. Wear a pair of thick socks that you normally wear in a field. Never switch brand. Stick to ONLY one specific type of sock and use that as the fit standard for the whole life of that boot. A field boot should fit snugly with no lateral or front and rear feet movement without crunching your toes. It will not be comfortable in the beginning. As ALL seriously well constructed boots require breaking in. This whole propaganda of a comfortable boot on the first wear is all metrosexual half man marketing spin. In the lost art of manliness there is no such boot…it doesn’t exist. ALL serious boots require breaking in. Hence pay close attention to the fit. If the fit is no good. No matter how much you admire the brand. It’s no good. As the fit is everything!

(2) Always powder your feet before wearing your socks and putting on your boots. This is the cardinal rule of fieldcraft. No need to be fancy like medicated, peppermint etc etc. Normal talcum powder is good to go. Make sure you get the powder between your toes so that they stay dry and to avoid rubbing that will result in blisters and callouses.

(3) Never wear a wet or damp boot. You should have at least 3 pair of boots in the field. The golden rule goes like this. You can wear the same boot every other day providing they don’t ever get wet. Once they’re wet even a bit – they should be left to air dry for a day or two. Nothing destroys boots faster than wearing them when they’re damp or wet. As wearing them will stress the leather resulting in either splitting or cracking. Fastest and surest way to destroy boots and end up with cancer of the wallet.

(4) Never remove mud from your shoes. Dry mud is actually your best friend. As what it does is help dry out your boots by drawing moisture from the inside out. This is old desert trick. There is no real urgency to brush off the caked mud and moisturise your boots every time it gets muddy. Boots are like land rovers. They’re supposed to get dirty and even unsightly. You should really only brush off the mud in the beginning of the dry or wet season and give them a thorough treatment. IF done right one treatment is good to go for the whole season – no need to bother about leather nourishing treatment every time it gets muddy. That is secondary to function, durability and longevity.

(5) Separate your boots into dry and wet boots. This is absolutely crucial if you’re serious about foot care and comfort. Understand this – not all boots are weatherproof. Some boots take on water. That’s not a bad thing. You just need to learn not to wear them during the rainy season. Boots that take on water are excellent in the dry season. As they breathe and keep your feet dry and cool when it’s hot. Hence weatherproofing is not always a desirable thing. Wet boots on the other hand don’t breathe that well or at all – they may keep water out. But they also trap heat and moisture and can be very uncomfortable during the dry season. So it’s really a trade off. Get to know your boots and use them according to terrain and weather conditions.

(6) Whenever possible buy only boots that can be recrafted – this means if the threads wear out – and it will in no time at all, if you’re in the field all day like me! You can take it to a cobbler to put on a new sole instead of throwing away that boot along with getting cancer of the wallet. Be very specific about what type of sole you want to put on. I use only Vibram soles. Nothing else. They’re mil spec. Be mindful about entrusting your cobbler – I find this can be challenging as there are generally so many useless cobblers who really don’t take much pride in their craft these days. Get to know a no nonsense cobbler who loves his job and that will go a very long way to extend the life of your boot.

Do all this and there is absolutely no reason why your boots should not last a life time. Never get into the bad habit of buying boots all the time – no girls will want to go out with you as you will always be broke! – the only way to do it is as follows: buy a super expensive no nonsense mil spec full steer hide boot, learn to take care of it like an aircraft, be highly disciplined on (1) to (6) and your boot will keep your feet strong and healthy.

A sizeable rain system is headed our way from the west in Indonesia. It may or may not hit today. As the winds are only blowing at 3 knots from a westerly direction. But things can change at a blink. The workers are pensive…they are just standing around.

I need to give orders…..

I may have to form a not so secret committee to decide on whether to undertake a strategic retreat and cancel or to push on. Since some of the committee members have to be monkeys – there is obviously a conflict interest. As since they are particularly fond of palm fruit….naturally they much prefer the trees to be felled. The magpies I am not so sure will agree with the monkeys. They like to build their nest high up on palm trees…they much prefer the trees stay upright….there are really more important things to tackle besides their petty politicking.

While we are on the subject of committees and who should be and not be in them. I may need to form yet another secret committee to look into what I should eat in the field today and the day after for lunch. It seems the sea was way to rough yesterday….so none of the fishermen ventured out. I like to eat fish. But then again I don’t mind mutton either….I can’t decide. So I will leave it to the secret committee to sort it out.

Yesterday when I returned back to the plantation house. Sammy the snake was blocking the gate like a giant log. I nearly crashed into Sammy. I had to park my car outside last night. As Sammy didn’t want to budge and he’s way to heavy to just pick up and throw to one side like when he used to be a baby snake.

I am very happy to see Sammy again. I have not seen him for over two long years. Sammy is a phyton, what species I am not exactly sure….I raised him from a baby in a tub when his mother abandoned him. But since he grew too large and frightened my workers and tried to murder my dogs a few times. I had to let him go and find a home in the lower section of my lands. Sammy has grown into a monster snake….but he still recognises me. He stuck his tongue out when he saw me. That in snake lingo means Hi! Long time no see or something like that….. The heavy rains yesterday must have either scared or disorientated Sammy….pythons always return home when they sense something amiss – the freaky weather has certainly spooked them. Again I may decide to form yet another secret committee to look into the prospects of whether Sammy should stay or return back to the swamp.