Body ink

April 29, 2018

Its Sunday in the plantation…I am just hanging loose with the dogs. I like to drink Sailor Jerry rum. I dont like to drink with people…I much prefer to get drunk all by myself smack in the middle of the jungle. When I get really drunk. I make a big fire and dance around it like a red indian. Fortunately my nearest neighbor is a good five miles away.

I especially like Sailor Jerry rum. Its a brand of liquor that is very closely associated with the tatoo tribe.

Sailor Jerry rum is quirky brand…it has this nooks and crannies culture very much like how one would notice new details on tattooes such as the inside of the paper label will reveal another tatoo girl once the drink is finished.

I dont have a single tatoo on my body…but i am never afraid to go into the tatoo tribe and see the beauty of their culture.

In life it is like that…once you understand how the other half live and what makes them tick…then you realise they cant be so different from you and with that comes respect.

The way I see it…its very hard to say who will win. If you say the people are angry about the 1MDB scandal. That is certainly true in the towns and cities where people are more educated and well travelled…but in the kampung and provinces. No one seems too bothered. As the 1MDB scandal is not something that they can relate to, it is a concept that most don’t understand and they much prefer not too as it is widely perceived to be irrelevant to their well being.

If you say the cost of living is an issue. That is certainly very true in the cities and towns…but again in the kampung and provinces since oil palm politics has largely kept the price of commodities artificially high…most people in the kampungs dont feel the pinch and to put it into the correct perspective. This is predominantly a problem that only seems to affect urbanites.

If you say the youths are not happy with the ruling party. That is indeed true. But most of them seem to be so apathetic about politics that they have not even registered to vote…so I dont see how their displeasure can possibly translate into votes for the opposition.

If you say Mahathir’s message concerning his fears and anxities for where Malaysia is heading under the leadership of Najib resonates with the people…again that is indeed very true. But then you must understand most people are also wary that many of the problems Malaysians are facing today such as institutional corruption, nepotism and erosion of public trust with officialdom arose directly from Mahathir’s corrosive culture of doing things… is entirely true to say Mahathir is widely seen as a salvation figure. In certain states, he is regarded as the very symbol of schism and predation.

If you say Barisan will win hands down because they have an alliance with PAS. That is only true in the rural rice belts of the North in Kedah, Kelantan, terrenganu and possibly the northern district of larut and Matang in the state of Perak….there is no doubt…religion features very strongly as the voting for you factor in the northern states. But this will also translate into liability for the southern states such as negri sembilan and Johor where the population is less concerned about religion.

If you say that the ruling party can use all sorts of dirty tactics to hobble the opposition…that can certainly be done, such as disqualifying political candidates by making a mountain out of technical anthills. Or fudging with the boundaries in such a way where despite 60% of the voters saying, ‘i dont want you!’ The contending party can still legally form a legitimate government….then again all these is only possible to a certain point…beyond that no expectant government can ever deny the will of the people without the danger of creating a police and totalitarian state.

So as you can see…it is very hard to say what will actually happen….as nothing that is depicted on or off line is reliable enough to beacon out the murk.

There is a very misleading article in The Online Citizen concerning why trees in HDB’s are pruned. The primary reason is to ensure safety and the second reason is to keep the symmetry of the tree orderly so that when it grows older, it will blend in better with the prevailing architecture.

When the branches of a tree are not pruned regularly, what will happen is they might snap off, fall down and injure or kill people. By prunning the branches according to the instructions of the aborist, this ensures the tree grows in an orderly symmetry that is both safe and does not bang into buildings.

Maybe the NPB or HDB or both of them should spend more time explaining to the public what they are actually doing. As i can well understand how some people may get traumatised to see their shady trees ending up as botak.

…..because to be able to trust your hands to begin and complete a task to create a special thing…is something that not many people can do….because they do not fully trust their hands.

So you must take pride in that idea.


‘Farming is well known to be a profession that only dim witted folk amble into. I say it is well known because that is usually how it is depicted in our modern stream of consciousness thru the apparatus of mass assimilation in the form of movies, books and even parlance….and there lies the irony. Because when one thinks about it hard and long…it is not that farming, hawking or being a shoe shine is actually an undesirable profession…its just that maybe seven out of ten singaporean think that its far better to be a lawyer, doctor or architect rather than a farmer, hawker or shoe shiner…..that is why I always say, its best not to care too much what others think.

Many believe this sort of life advise is an endorsement for one to be obnoxious, anti social and arrogant…but it is actually the reverse, it is to be sensitive and to take pride in one’s ability to craft a view that belongs totally to one and not simply go with what others may think about this or that job…..I realized. I dont have to see farming like most people…I have a chouce to see it as a beautiful way of life…and most importantly take exceptional pride in being a farmer …so while people are free to think and say whatever they want to say about how I have choosen to live my life…I dont have to be part of their reality because I have my reality that is far more important and meaningful to me….if more people realized this early on in life. My feel is they would not need to suffer unnecessarily or beat themselves up so often.’

Man told me. I have lived nearly a century and in my whole life I have never come across such a destructive trouble maker as you…what do you want?

I told this old man…give me what I want and I will go away….

Man asked me – what is zen?

I told him, from my understanding of Zen it is like this…when you work, work. When you feel hungry, eat and when you sleep…sleep.

Man then asked, most people already do this. He then laughed and remarked…Zen is so easy.

I corrected him by drawing his attention to the reality most people rarely ever did as he claimed…most people are thinking about how to spend their time during the weekend or where they should have a holiday when they are at work. Most people dont just eat when they are hungry, most of them try very hard to make conversations and impress their colleagues…they are not just focussed on eating…if you dont believe just sit in a food court and watch. Neither do most people just sleep when they are tired. As they are thinking about one hundred things. So their sleep is very shallow and even if they manage eight hours in bed…they still feel tired and only partially rested.

I went to add, Zen only looks simple…but it is very very very complicated and hardly easy.


April 26, 2018

It can work in an endless variety of ways. But at the core of the strategy…it involves unsettling and destabilize one’s confidence and resolve.

The counter response to the strategy of intimidation – disengage, do not be reactive and avoid where possible….better still if you can disappear completely.


‘I no longer believe it is possible to effect social change by appealing to what is right or should be done….I no longer believe in that fairytale any longer.

I used to believe shouting out what is right or wrong was the way….I no longer believe in that any longer…that is a dead idea in my mind.

Besides as a means to effect change…it lacks the robustness of reliability…its too finicky. Requires too much work and even if you can sonehow muster the stamina, verve and charisma and make it all stick together without coming apart like a cookie…its still 50/50 because there are simply too many variables.

What is required is something that the individual can work towards and that it is achievable within a reasonable time line.

I am now inclined to believe the most efficient catalyst for positive social change can really only emerge from right ideas coupled to the machinery of corporations….a corporation if it is big enough to be all pervasive and far reaching to enable it to permeate every layer of society and if possible to stake a flag in every human mind – can infact be many many times bigger than the idea of government….government is an old, parochial and insular idea…it is doubtful that it may even last beyond this century…democracy as a political theory is now a social liability and soon at the rate things are decaying, it will be national threat….the idea of government is shackled to the idea or artificial borders, it is a very small idea…a corporation however is can be supranational to transcontinental, it’s capacity to influence and effect change is more efficiently than just an individual screaming out what is right or wrong standing on a soap box in the public square.

People who are passionate about making society a better, fairer and happier place should dedicate themselves to growing industries and enterprises. They should set aside their childish ways of thumbing their noses at officialdom just to get more likes votes on their facebook account….instead they should roll up their sleeves and dedicate themselves to hard work, risk taking and enterprise…as talk is cheap!

Dr Thum should just go!

April 25, 2018

Based on my understanding of the practical necessities of life, it is never wise to dig up the bones of operation cold store. I do not understand how the law minister could have made such a miscalculation as to go down that no win road…because it was an episode that is filled with so much lacunae and darkened passages, that it is virtually impossible to win based on the metric of right and wrong….that doesnt mean what was carried out in operation cold store was not in the larger scheme of things ‘right’ and even ‘necessary’…it simply means there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’….only perhaps what needs to be done.

When i reflect on my own life…there are certain things I had to do. I had no choice, it was either I do it or I just have to pack my bags and leave with my tail between my legs…but I’ve gone too far to throw it all in and even if it was wrong…I know it was the right thing to do…the only thing maybe that man in position could have done.

So I can understand. I can, that is why I say it is best to let sleeping dogs be.


‘Dr Thum should just go! I don’t mean to say this in a disparaging manner. Please understand I mean well. What I mean to say is that there is a big difference between driving full speed into a concrete wall and renacting the life of a crash dummy and the whole idea of making society better….if its going to be the latter, then it makes far more sense for Dr Thum to make something out of his life first…by this I mean he should dedicate himself to industry and enterprise and the great hope there is thru that platform he may perhaps be in a better position one day to be a positive agent for change.

As it is, thumbing his nose at officialdom is simply infanticide and very childish…I see nothing good coming out of this! I dont see anything good from government either, because all he’s doing is making them look stupid. Neither do I see anything good for Dr Thum either.

You know I once heard a story being recounted by an old planter in Burma. This chap used to own hundred of thousands of hectares of padi fields and from time to time the generals would visit him in the provinces. During those visits some of those generals can be quite callous and indifferent to the suffering of the common folk. On one occasion a general suggested consripting all the males above sixteen years of age in a farming hamlet to construct a tunnel. When the old planter heard this, he invited the general and his staff to dine with him. During dinner when he held a bowl of rice, it must have slipped out of his hands and smashed on the floor…the old planter looked at the strewn rice on the floor and muttered, tell me have any of you been thru the horror of famine?

That was when the general relented and mentioned that maybe it was not such a good idea to conscript all the young men in that village just to construct a miserable tunnel.

I think this story is lost to most people because it leverages heavily on symbolism and metaphors…and I distinctively recall even when it was recounted to me for the very first time. I too was very perplexed by this story….it was only much latter that I realized what the old planter had meant to say to the general – would you like me to engineer a famine of biblical proportions?

You see that was the very moment when I experienced a rare epiphany…that all this standing on a soap box and shouting at the top of your voice that this is right and that is wrong, that it should be this way and not that way…all that doesnt add to a hill of toenails….its worthless. These acts cannot bring about meaningful change….not the sort that the man who has the financial reserves to corner all the wheat futures and to raise the price of bread by ten cents….now that man can bring about meaningful change.’

Planter’s club

April 24, 2018

Late tomorrow. Sometime in the late evening. I hope to upload a Youtube video of my speech in the Planter’s Club.

The short and sharp answer goes like this – no one knows for sure who will win. Not even the so called ‘experts’ or political pundits really know for certain. Neither can their recounts and accounts be treated as reliable either. Fact is there is so much noise and counter noise at every conceivable level of understanding, from grass root level right to the level of the movers and shakers that it is very hard to impossible to say what is right or wrong, truth or lies, worthy or for that matter useless….its simply very hard to beacon out the murk!

That is my honest assessment…anyone who tells you different is simply delusional.


‘What I am about to share with u will change the way you see yourself in relation to the known world…as you know it.

You only think that you have the freedom to read whatever you want to read in the internet!

Because the very moment you type a sentence into any commercial search engine, then what will actually happen is that your entire surfing history will be streamed thru an alogarithm that will crunch what it believes you like to read… to do this the calculus will determine in one fraction of a second…how much time do you spend here or there…right down to what was your last online purchase…to perhaps even common ten words that your facebook buddies regularly use in the last two weeks….and when your search results come out…although it may very well appear as if what is served is indeed what you pointed out in the menu…in the tragedy is what you actually have is merely an illusion that you have the prerogative to choose freely….you see that is the paradox of our digital age. The more online choice and freedom we seem to have…the less of it there actually is. Now you know why I dont have a facebook account…I’ve never had one and I dont ever want one. It doesnt really matter to me how virtual friends I have turned away by not having one or for that matter how poorer my life would be for the decision not to participate….that is just my final position and the clearest testament of how i see the whole issue of man’s relationship with technology.’

Last evening was the monthly planter’s meet. I turned up on time immaculately attired in my safari jacket complete with cravat. When the floor was opened…everyone expected me to make a scene. Instead I seemed more preoccupied with chowing down my peppermint flavored caramel crunch. I did not rub anyone the wrong way and took leave earlier than usual at nine.

I plan to be in my best behavior for a least a year….after that I will make my move!


‘My needs as a business men are incredibly simple and basic. I only ask for a few things – common decency, good faith and the belief that the field will always be level.

But if for any reason I am not given these things…then i will at first ask politely why have I been denied my elemental rights that you all seem to enjoy?If for any reason no answer emerges and things dont change…then I will raise my voice and if nothing happens thereafter.

Then I will take these things….the how is no longer important…I will not ask…I will not even be polite or courteous over the matter. I will simply take these things.

So please dont blame me if i happen to come across as an unreasonable person. I want to be very clear…it is not I who goes out to this world to deliberately find trouble….No! Nothing can be further from the truth.

In truth…I am a victim. I am not to blame. My business rivals are to blame because they have create the very conditions that compel me to behave unreasonably….all they had to do was to give me the same considerations as they have always enjoyed. Had they done just that and that alone. I would have cooperated in every capacity and would have absolutely no trouble as coming across as a reasonable person.’

I told this sad person…why dont you give my pariah dog a one hour blow job first. Then I went on to add…why should I…after all. he and his side kick did it all to themselves…they shot themselves in the foot in the quorum of public opinion…they had the quorum…they had the opportunity…but they fucked it up royally…if they missed the mark, what does it have to do with me?

I didn’t cross examine anyone for six hours!

I didn’t regard LkY as a god and believed wholeheartedly he was incapable of any wrong….

I didn’t piss off the online community with my callousnes and higher than art thou high and mighty attitude.

I didn’t corset any of the respondents to ONLY yes and no replies simply because I confused a fact finding mission with showing everyone what a good litigator I could have been!

So what does their failure to connect with the public have to do with me!

Coming to think of it what does their apparent lack have to do with me…maybe Edwin Tong should sue me?

Surely you cannot pin their lack on me?

Always remember I am just a simple farmer who tells it the way I see it. If you want to hear the good news then go and read the ST….i never asked you to come to me.

Last week I expressed a clear intention to a land broker that I wanted to buy a plot of land for agricultural purposes….I went on to add. The only problem I have is with the price…is there scope for negotiations. When the owner approached me to negotiate…I told him that I am no longer interested in the land. That same afternoon I expressed to a group of fund managers during a formal lunch that it is my considered opinion that the plantations sector would be in the doldrums for some time and for better returns its best to plonk one’s money elsewhere. After that i meet up with an erudite group of landowners for drinks and told them all the opposite….


‘Strategic engagement and disengagement is a term that refers to deploying a blow hot and cold tactic. The goal is not only o confuse and disorientate the enemy with disinformation, but it is also designed to create opportunities to undermine one’s enemy.

This strategy was used successfully to undermine the TPP. (To be cont).

Psychological warfare

April 23, 2018

This morning I was cross examined by a bunch of third rate pirates. Their strategy seems to be very transparent….to force words down my mouth so that ‘on record’ they can reference presumably to some documentary evidence on some future date to suggest I agreed and disagreed to this and that…at the end of the meeting when one of them expressed utmost surprise that I had not agreed to a single statement they had made and there was no such thing approaching consensus…this person asked in a demanding and exasperated tone – why did you say Yes and even nod your head approvingly at what we have said…I merely told this person.

What I did was merely rely on a social communication cue that signifies that i hear you…I must emphasize under the strongest terms in no way does this constitute express or implied agreement or consensus to any of your recorded comments…for one to say, I hear you is very different from saying that I agree with you.

I wanted this to be included into the minutes of the meeting.

Before I left a printed transcript was handed to me.


‘Constructive ambiguity is a term generally credited to Henry Kissinger, said to be the foremost exponent on negotiating strategy. Constructive ambiguity refers to the deliberate use of ambiguous language on a sensitive issue in order to advance some political purpose. Constructive ambiguity is often disparaged as beating around the proverbial bush. However i personally disagree with this view, only because unlike fudging around, it deploys the psychological component of lulling one’s opponent into a false sense of security. Hence CA can disguise ones inability to resolve a contentious issue on which the parties remain far apart and to do so in a manner that enables the user to leverage on a psychological advantage.’

At the elevent hour. I have managed to secure last minute concessions from a small group of rival landowners who have been enamored by my numerous approaches for peace in our time….this group has managed to persuade the others, that providing I limit my operations within a designated zone and keep them regularly informed concerning my imperial tendencies to snatch more land…in return they are willing to offer me detente.

Of course i did not look a gift horse in the mouth…I took detente!

For the time being this will prevent the rest of the rival landowners from ganging up and killing me…I am already numerically out flanked by a ratio of 70/1. In terms of resources, I am out gunned by 1/800…the only bargaining chip i have to play with is my reputation…I am known as the battleship Bismarck…I have this remarkable reputation of being able to take on larger foes and leave them bloodied. Many a time I have gone into the ring under such terms and despite the bleak prospects I have always managed to pull a rabbit out of hat to save my own skin while leaving the opposition on the floor for the count.

But let us be realistic reputations only have so much mileage…beyond a certain point they become a joke!

For the time being I will accept the terms….i will keep a low profile for the rest of this year. Once I feel comfortable. I will start to kick up a fuss about how the field is tilted against me along with gripe about how i have been discriminated no end…blah blah blah. It is a story most of my enemies already know by heart.

Thereafter i will take more land under the aegis of self determination and the overwhelming need to protect my economic interest….this I will do eventually.

But for the time being since so many of the other landowners are eyeing me suspiciously…I will keep my nose clean and move quietly into this designated zone that has been prepared for me. When I am in this glass prison….I will be a very good, obedient and polite boy. I know how to pretend to do all this very well. I will lull them all into a false sense of confidence and security and when they feel they have ‘control’ over me…at that very moment…I will turn around and strike them like a cobra!

All warfare is based on deception!


Because at the end of the day…you can certainly win all the battles…but that is very different from winning the war…they are not nearly the same thing. Let me put it this way…what if multinationals who hire people dont nearly believe in your world view of how you see the entire issue of fake news?

What if they even disagree with what is between your head to such an extent where their board of directors all give you the thumbs down and some of them even mind showing you their crack hole?


Now do you understand why and how you are simply a very small and insignificant component in the scheme of things…comimg to think of it…Singapore is so very small that it is even dispensable economically to the digital economy.

Let me cut to the bone. When people who manage corporations do not believe in your worldview. They will not create jobs to hire Singaporeans….let me put it this way, so that you will understand the mathematics of necessity very clearly. They will not invest in Singapore….so as you can see what you consider right is actually worthless….please dont get angry with me….I am merely a messenger.


‘They could have brought people together…they could even have created such a thing known as common ground. But instead they came across as divisive, insecure and immature…in other words they behaved exactly like children juggling hand grenades….and what you must understand is many people are watching all this….and some of them are not just simple farmers picking off ticks from a dog in the evening like moir. I want to be very clear so that we both understand there is actually such a thing as a free economy of consensus and perhaps even discuss if we have more time how equilibrium of thoughts and states of mind can have a real world impact. Some of them might even own and perhaps even manage substantial stock holdings in tech firms that have the power to set the instructional and directional aspects of where the entire industry is going..some of them might even harbor such a thing as the valecdorian belief that they can make a better world for people and planet…and what you must understand is when these people do not agree with some of the views expressed or take issue with how the entire review was undertaken. Then they will cut you off….understand this clearly because you will never get such candor from the strait times…that is to say, you win all the battles…but you still manage to do the impossible…you lose the war!’

Dinner in the field

April 22, 2018

Each and everyone of us…you,me..they…we all wear a mask like we wear clothes whenever we go out before the world. That is because from a very young age we have been scripted to believe this is the way we should be..if we do not want to experience undue complications in life….this is how we would do well to respond…IF we want to be well received, respected and nourished by others. This and that is what we must strive for…IF we want others to look up to us.

All these requirements impose upon us the obligation to wear a mask….but there comes a point in a man and woman’s life, when he and she needs to remove it…without removing the mask. There is no possible way to gainfully make progress.


‘Most men and women know themselves. Or that is at least what they tell everyone when the subject turns to how well do you know yourself? But for me I have always experienced a deep dissonance between who I really am and what the world wants me to be…that is to say there has always been the idea of duality within the concept of oneness that is me. I am very conscious of this world that is actually the one that I know and that other world that I have to function and live in to gainfully pay the bills etc etc.

But to really know this world that is mine and the world that I have to make peace with…I really need to create a third world. Please bear with me…the idea of the space that lies between this two worlds…yes even there, there is a world.

But to find it one must first renounce everything from this world and that other world to journey into that other realm.

This is why when people look at the way I live my life and they realize that live all alone in the wild. At first they are quite surprised…they often ask. Arent you afraid to live in the wilderness all by yourself? I for my part always feel a keen sense of irony whenever I hear this…as somewhere at the back of my head. I can’t help but wonder why these same people who ask me these sort of questions dont seem to fear that they have to live with people all the time…so much so that they are always sorrounded by people, that the idea of being alone is completely alien.’

I know this sounds very controversial….but I believe it to be 110% true. One day I will return back to Singapore after selling off all my lands. I will negotiate with AVA, LTA and the NPB to long lease land that I believe to be suitable for agricultural and livestock.

I will create a world within a world for autistic folk….where we can work, live, play and eventually die with dignity and felicity…I will create a world where autistic parents and caregivers can give me their children with an open heart and died in peace…if for any reason they feel tortured and stressed, we will take their child in and I will raise him or her as one of my own.

I will run this place as a profitable plantation, we will focus on organic produce and given my remarkable business acumen I have no doubt that I will give the chemical supermarketers such as NTUC, Seng Siong, Giant et al a decent run for the buck…we will all be very happy as we are one happy family.