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.

Intimidation

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.

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‘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.

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‘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.

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‘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!

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‘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.

https://thearmoury.com/blogs/journal/the-armoury-x-ascot-chang-safari-jacket

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….

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‘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.

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‘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!

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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?

Think!

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.

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‘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.

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‘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.

The end of the road

April 15, 2018

My relationship with some rival landowners has steadily deteriorated within the last two years. There seems to be no end to this expensive and protracted cold war.

The problem can be summed up as follows – they want me to conform to A,B and C. But since A,B and C makes as much sense as eating my boots….I dowan lah.

Cut to the chase. I have reconciled myself with what will have to come to past….within two years. I will be either gunned down, framed under trumped up charges or just end up dead.

That is life….

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‘Back then when I was a kid. The thoughtware on autism was virtually non existent. Not even adults knew much about it. As for kids and their parents, they probably thought it was something like the common flu that could spread just being near to someone who behaved weird all the time. So i was never allowed to eat my lunch in the canteen like other boys. I had to settle for the yard….but one day it got so hot under the blazing sun that I thought maybe my nasi lemak would wash down easier with the help of some grape flavored fanta. So i sat down. Not long thereafter someone beat me up and this would happen for nearly a whole month. Till at some point everyone just left me alone PROVIDING i kept to this one table faraway from the rest. But the problem was this table had no fan and with just 30 cents to go around. I couldn’t drink fanta everyday only on alternats days. So i decided to move to a table underneath a fan and again some of the boys would beat the shit out of me and again this would go right on for a whole month. But eventually everyone left me be….so there is a moral to this story and it is simply this – if you dont take yourself seriously ,then the chances are…no one will take you seriously either and that whole process that I have just describe for lack of a better word will always be dangerous….that is why you have to be very mindful of men who choose to live dangerously.’

Last week i had a frank meeting with a landowner whose plantation was not doing too well. The objective of the meet was for me to conduct a lightning assessment of his plantation management team.

After two days and a bit of being a fly on the wall. I told the board of directors that even if they engaged me as a consultant, it is very unlikely that i would be able to alter the inevitable outcome of the plantations impending doom.

When the patriach asked me whether my disinterest had anything to do with my fees…I said no. When he asked why i felt their plantation was doomed and that nothing could be done to reverse the rot…i made a rather strange request to walk around the grounds with the patriach. Since everyone knows me to be slightly autistic in the plantation world. They obliged me. When i was alone with the old man and he asked why my ten year prognosis of their family business was so dismal….I told him frankly, the problem is you…you only want to hear your version of the truth that has nothing whatsoever to do with the truth…and because of this corrosive culture everyone who works for you is a replica of how you choose to see the world and everything in it.

The old man clenched his fist….hissed…how dare you! I leaned forward and whispered, my words are painful, but always remember i speak only the truth.

When i drove off i could hear the faint cursing of the old man…soon the jungle swallowed it in one gulp.

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‘I think to make the most out of life. Its very important to elect to remain soft, flexible and open….the problem is, its easier said than done. During my replanting in the middle of last year. I was in a heated debate with a couple of planters on how to resolve an issue. Suddenly the surveyors girl who is responsible for making sure everyone has the right blue prints said something…naturally most of the other planters ignored her. For one she is not even in the quorum. As for another she doesnt have the prestige and experience of many of these planters and this is an important point. Because plantations is a very male and macho driven business process. Alot of weightage is given to field experience. So much so, its rare for younger people to ever challenge an experienced planter….its just not done.

But on that occasion I insisted that the rest bear what this young lady had to share. And at the end of it what she recommended was actually put into action….so there you have it. Its something that today I look at with a mix of curiousity and fascination. Because firstly, its unlikely to ever come from me and secondly it works.

I guess what I am trying to say is one has to be incredibly careful not to inadvertently shut out the field of possibilities just because we dont like to hear what others may have to say. Or how they may view their objects of interest to form an opinion….if that is really the case, then we are to blame and not others!

Infact if we should where possible cultivate the counter response of giving respect to what they may have to share and bear out patiently what they have to share. Maybe…just maybe if we do just that, we might be able to see the world slightly differently from the way we have always seen it and that is not such a bad thing…not at all.

After all there are so many truths and they all belong to all of us and not just one man.’

Kung Po Chicken

April 12, 2018

Ling Ngau Tong

April 11, 2018

Many people have commented that I look very young despite my advanced vintage…that I must say is certainly very true. I don’t like to admit it – but it is what it is… One reason is because I much prefer soup to a full rice and meat meal. I usually start the day with a thermos of clear soup. Lunch is usually very light on the rice and meat, but I always make it a point to finish another thermos of soup.

I own two thermos that I fill up with soup every day without fail. I will usually cook my soup using a magic cooker just before I sleep, it is a thermal cooker, when I wake up…like magic, everything is good to go!

The recipe above is good to go! Just add a dried squid to bump up the flavor. If its a rainy day and cold, I usually lace it with a double brandy in the thermos to keep the chills away from my bones.

I happen to know a whole lot about growing coffee to know a scam when I come across one…these days due to the perenial failure of arabica coffee crops. The global conspiracist, the coffee traders and their apparachik co conspirators have been silently trying to brain wash consumers Robusta beans offer greater range of flavor and taste to Arabica beans….they, (the manipulators, who call themselves public relations consultants) accomplish this Byzantine feat by adding all kinds of shit into coffee that subtley alters the elemental flavor of coffee…everything from whipped cream, nuts to green tea….in five to ten years…no one will ever know what real coffee taste like…no one…bullshit lah!

From today onwards. I am going to set aside some land and grow my own fucking coffee!

Anyone who wants to buy from me is more than welcome to drop me a line.