In my humble assessment 2022 will be a mother of disruptor year. The reasons are multifarious. Firstly I believe Covid has rewired and even redefined the way many of us see personal and organizational success. So it is in every sense a sort of mental seismic shift – the first change that we will see in 2022 is how software will overtake hardware and this trend is likely to gain momentum for the next 5-10 years.

Software will be king! We are beginning to make up the young shoots of this theory, but from 2022, this trend will begin to gain traction, Grab is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in South East Asia. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties. In the medical field. I am convinced at some point in the not to distant future artificial intelligence will be recruited in the Covid fight. I don’t believe Omicron will be the last iteration of the Corona variant. In all probability a deadlier version will emerge and to combat it, mankind will have to use big data alongside AI as there are limits to conventional methods of reducing infection. So AI will be a very big part of 2022 and beyond.

Autonomous cars will begin to make their appearance in 2022, not in Singapore, but in other major cities in the world like Shanghai, Munich and possibly California. This will be a complete disruptor to the entire automotive industry on a scale that cannot be imagined by most people . What if I said to you. that in 2030. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will instead book a car with your smart phone and that will be your ride. So the idea of car ownership will be obselete. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance. Our kids will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car. In twenty or maybe thirty years most young people will think that Mercedes benz is a name of a fruit cake. Because the idea of autonomous cars will not only change cities, but also redefine the whole idea of ownership along with rescale the idea of space that is currently allocated for cars. In Singapore for example, if we can free up all the parking lots, we will have enough real estate to be a farming superpower! You will be amazed how much produce I can grow in HDB car parks, it will so productive that

From a global demographics perspective. 2022 will be the year when we will see China doing everything it can to ramp up its birthrates. This is because at the current level of the total fertility rates . In 2022, by 2050, the median age is expected to be 51. By 2050 one third of Chinese citizens will be older than 55, making China one of the most silver haired countries in the world

2022 is likely to see a foreign direct investment shift from China to Africa. Part of the reason for this is politics and the West’s growing discomfort with China’s economic ascendancy. Another reason has to do with economics – China is no longer a premium low cost production site. Increasingly the shift to Africa would be the logical choice. As Africa’s labour force is forecast to surpass that of China and India combined. By 2050, the African population is expected to be 2.5 billion, while China’s population will decline to below 1 billion. With these figures in mind, Africa’s young labour force is exactly what China was like in the 1980s and this would be very attractive for countries such as the US and EU who are seeking low cost labor sites.

In 2022 food prices are likely to be significantly higher in NTUC and Seng Siong. One reason for this is because China is in the process of transitioning at turbo speed from a large agrarian economy into the world’s largest importer of AGRI produce. Although the ASDF still relies on satellite photos from Google Maps of port facilities in China to determine holding capacity it seems cereal granaries have been increased significantly since 2018. We do not know whether this is a new food security directive that has been secretly issued by the ministry of agriculture and livestock to hold excess AGRI produce. But given that food inflation has risen to alarming levels within China from 2019-20 and has remained persistently in double digits over much of 2020. Couple to that China’s structural agricultural insufficiency and inefficiencies is being amplified by climate change and trans migration from the countryside to the urban coastal regions and changing sentiment of the West towards China. All this is not only a potential social destabiliser but also national security threat. On the balance of probabilities we believe food prices will remain high thru out 2022 and one of the causal factors is the extraordinary demand for AGRI produce from China. This may be a good time to stock up on luncheon pork.

Recently Chinese planners banned effeminate men on TV and directed media producers to promote “revolutionary culture,” broadening a campaign to tighten control over business and society and enforce state defined moral standards. President Xi Jinping has justified these social directive under the super broad aegis of “national rejuvenation,” with tighter Communist Party control of business, education, culture and religion. Companies and the public are under increasing pressure to align with its vision for a more powerful China and healthier society. On the surface these social directives to “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal esthetics,” appear to be attempts to morally police its citizenry. But this simplistic explanation misleads terribly. The real purpose of reviving and normalising masculinity in Chinese society has a strategic dimension. As China cannot possibly prosecute on its go-economic agenda without nurturing a cadre of frontier men. One of the reasons accounting for the wealth or decline of nations has to do with the preparedness of its male citizens to venture beyond its borders to seek new knowledge and opportunities. This is one reason why Singapore remains a mediocre state despite sponsoring so many scholars. Since the brightest are culled to serve the state. They don’t get to explore new lands. They don’t ever develop the mindset of the frontier man. And since there is no infusion of new knowledge from abroad. This can only ultimtely lead to more of the trite sameness that eventually leads to the calcification of new knowledge. Compare and contrast this with nations where its brightest citizenry are encouraged to venture beyond their shores. This may well account for why India despite her chronic brain drain problem is slotted to be one of the most vibrant economies in the next decade. As while it is true that many Indians who venture to silicon Valley will not return back to India. Some will come back home to roost and when they do so. They will start new ventures gleaned from their experiential knowledge abroad. One reason why frontierism (I have had to develop this word) continues to be a morally repugnant idea in the West is because the liberals have successfully annexed the idea to the evil social theory of Adolf Hitler who himself promulgated an equivalent of the frontier person in the form of the Aryan man who was conceived to settle in the Reich Lebensraum. But this is an intellectual aberration. As the kernel of frontierism and the rugged individual is an idea that goes further back to the age of primal man who once migrated overland transversing the ice bridge that now divides the Atlantic from the Pacific. My point is to underscore man’s nature as an explorer and conqueror. Today the West discourages the elemental nature of man by promoting wokenism and gender equality along with its kooky version of the LBGT, by doing so, they have not only emasculated the explorer and conqueror and probably every single historic heroic figure in the West. But they have even sowed the seeds to their own civilizational extinction. China on the other hand is poised to send their frontier men to populate distant corners of the world and they will rule the world!

Dead silent cities. Desolate public squares. Shuttered shops. A pheltora of Soviet era movement restrictions. Hospitals running out of beds. The sick having to lie on makeshift beds in corridors. Non existent economic pulse. The curious sameness of Monday to Sunday when working from home. The invaluable and disproportionate importance of pot noodle to the human species. Leaders confecting all sorts of wild facts along with denying scientific evidence. Xenophobia and run away train nationalism. Polarization of ideologies and philosophies. Countries hoarding vaccines. Every corner in the world. The same litany of Covid related problems are played out with varying degrees of grief.This could well be a dystopian movie but, it is the reality we have all had to deal with the best we can for what seems to me like two miserable lost years. For me. The hardest burden to bear was and still is (where I am presently based Malaysia) the physical separation from my family back home in Singapore…and my personal realization – how some things never get easier despite the benefit of time. But enough of me…this write up is really about WE and the whole idea of solidarity thru strife.

Throughout history, mankind has faced countless calamities along with a few
pandemics that radically altered the course of human history – Covid definitely ranks as one of them. And. The post Covid world will definitely be a very different world from what it used. Though it is still very hard to forecast how and what and to what degree these changes will really be. One redeeming aspect of the Covid experience may well be its uncanny power to clarify and lay bare many of the things that we much prefer not to look at during good times – such as coming to terms with how emotionally fragile and vulnerable we are, when we suddenly find ourselves untethered and alone and isolated. Or how much we need social connections just to stay sane along with our deep yearning for deep and meaningful bonds and most importantly a narrative that soothes our anxieties and palliates our fears and sense of forlorness against this social economic seismic shift. In a sense the Covid experience has demonstrated that although many things have and probably will change, some aspects of the human condition will always remain the same….our yearning for a story that ties up all the loose ends in very much the same way our distant ancestors huddled furtively around a camp fire listening to stories of the shaman beneath the stars that made sense of who we are and gave us the touch of destiny – and how remarkably similar our yearnings and needs are when we suddenly find that the state has failed us. Or how we can really only rely on ourselves and no one else when we suddenly discover how wretched and self serving politicians and institutions actually are when dealing with it comes to dealing with this pandemic. Paradoxically it is precisely this moment of isolation, social detachment, and fears that creates endless opportunities for many of us to make the journey deep inwards to seek answers to many of these compelling questions and my hope is you too will discover that although many things wil change. Many things that all add up to make us decent human beings will reassuring stay the same, the patience to bear hardship stoically. Our connectedness to something nobler and greater beyond ourselves to be able to understand and emphatise – to always give others the benefit of the doubt and not to judge them too harshly even if they have trespassed us. The courage to pick up the broken pieces and say to ourselves, ‘maybe it will be better next time!’ and try again and most importantly never to take anyone or anything for granted again….breathe…its another beautiful day.

This has been broadcasted to all EPC and free and Indie Channels. This entry does not have a EP code – 2021 /THE DAY AFTER COVID 2021

To me. He was highly misunderstood. Sure…he kept decapitated heads of his political rivals in his freezer with his ice cream. But aside from that he was a man who had alot of practical wisdom. Drink responsibly this New Year!

The Chinese may at first come across as draconian and even a tad overeactive by putting an end to after school tuition. But when one reviews the rationale behind this wide sweeping decision. It makes alot of sense. As it can only add to the quality of life of most Chinese families. The reasons why after school tuition is a bane to most families are numerous, firstly many Chinese families are literally morally blackmailed to send their kids for tuition because they feel if they dont, their kids will not get good grades and as a consequence lose out in the great rat race of life. As a result a big chunk of the household income is allocated to tuition. To further warp matters, teachers in China these days no longer educate as much as outsource the entire education process to tuition centers. In fact tuition centers in China regularly recruit teachers from the best schools and they have in fact gazumped the role of schools! You have to ask yourself whether the same thing has happened in the Singapore education system. I have no comment because I don’t want that shorty Ah Tong to ask me twenty questions of what I meant by taking education to the grave in Singapore? Besides I am allergic to short men. Its nothing personal. Its my autism. Pritam and Silvia can handle all that because they have ESP to read Miss Khan’s inner thoughts, but not me. If I am subjected to that sort of public grilling I will bang my head on the table again and again and make a right spectacle of myself. Dowan lah! (I don’t want to go down that road!) But I digress. Back again! In one stroke, the social planners in China have destroyed the education paradigm by surgically removing the profit motive from schooling and by doing so they may have even brilliantly averted a demographic atomic bomb. Because by reducing the cost of child rearing by demotinizing education. This can only encourage more Chinese couples to have babies. Unlike Singapore where the government of the day remains terminally clueless on how to bump up the fledging TFR (Total Fertility Rate) and has more or less adopted a Laissez Faire bochap (criminally indifferent) policy to this intractable social problem and have instead resorted to zero imagination migration to replace the diminishing population. The Chinese planners have instead gone where no mind dares to go! By identifying one of the primary stressors that discourages new couples from having more babies and in doing so they have not only democratized the whole idea of education by keeping it cheap and affordable just like how good and responsible governments are supposed to regulate price of necessaries such as rice and basic necessities, but most importantly this policy will hopefully allow kids to be simply kids and reclaim back the valedictorian idea that parenting should be an edifying instead of a hellish experience. There are many things that Singapore planners can learn from China. LKY used to say China learnt alot from Singapore. Maybe in the era of Mini Lee, Singapore should learn from China.

This is a move to appease of LBGT Community within our readership, but I realise many of you may still harbor the suspicion that I am anti homosexual, but I can assure you we are doing our best to move with the times……so make sure you all have the KY gel handy, because the bum buddies r here!

I know that I treat my readership like shit….but I just want to say to all of you that I appreciate all the good times you have all made the effort to make me feel at home. Above all I appreciate the warmth and camaraderie and what I can only term as love all of you have given me despite my many petulant tantrums…..have a great new year and this goes out to you from the very bottom of my heart. Thank You! Thank You for making a decision to give me a place called a home 🙂

This may be one big boring lecture to some….but not me.Because many of the lessons here can be superimposed on businesses and even relationships to give us an insight as to why and how things go wrong. In this sense history is a great teacher because it allows us to better ourselves by learning from the mistakes of others.

We in the West, have always been told by the custodians of power the collapse of the USSR was the best thing since the invention of democracy. But maybe we have got it all wrong after. Because at the rate at which seemingly ‘free’ countries and continents are turning inwards and becoming more insular and more right wing and intolerant of diversity and minorities along with being less incline to care about other nations or even anything that is outside their borders…….maybe the solution to all our woes can only be something that closely resembles the former USSR.

They do not need your sympathy or even the few trinkets of coins you may have in your pocket…..what they need most of all is just YOUR understanding and the right to a place called home……the opposite of love is not hate, it is simply not wanting to get involved that is all it is. When I grow older in life. I am beginning to realise (maybe I am slow) that the goal is not about bubble wrapping myself with folk who I just want to be with all the time who can make me happy. The real goal is to come to terms with the people, things and situation most people rather not get involved with. Because that’s really the pivot point when we can make the biggest difference to the quality of life of those who may not have our good fortune. So if you are a policeman or an ISD or just a supermarket manager, cashier, shop attendant, mall security guard or just an ordinary Joe like me turning the wheel of life to get by set aside some time in this season of giving and learn a bit about autism and what it means to raise an autistic kid. This way when you see a situation involving anyone who suffers from an autistic melt down. At least you know what is going on and you have the knowledge to respond professionally….otherwise you will just talk, think and act like another ignorant bochap (indifferent) fuck….Always keep this in your mind! Everyone who visits this site is the best they can be in life! So I want you to get that promotion, the public service merit cert with a $500 Seng Siong voucher, that employee of the year award, that family trip to Batam because you aced it!…when you have knowledge. Deep knowledge about autism. You can only become very real!

These days I just don’t have time for fake people. I really dont…I just walk right out of the door! Stiil want to be shiki miki? Then fuck off. You and your type are not welcome here! Hey I am kidding! Don’t take me seriously. I am autistic.

Everything Washed Away

December 27, 2021

What the jungle giveth, she will also taketh……the waters came in a flash and washed away all my precious wood. I have lost everything. But it could have been far worse. I could have lost men. The reaper could have told me….Hello, your ticket is up, time to follow me! As it is, I made it into a plastic boat. Besides I have been thru far worse …..I will just pick up all the broken pieces and start all over again. If I can do it before. I can do it all again. Now I understand why my life is riddled with so many hardships…it is to prepare my mind, body and spirit for exactly this kinda of shit!

Take my advice! Next time bad things happen to you, take it as an opportunity to train yourself. Say to yourself – at least I am fortunate enough to get an opportunity to train realistically. Never feel that you have been singled out by providence or that you have been put on this planet to nourish human suffering or that it has some claptrap to do with your bad karma in your previous life….all that is a pile of shit. Just look at the sum of your fears straight on and don’t blink and above all learn to laugh at it all!

The Poetry of War

December 26, 2021

The realization is beginning to dawn on me. The more I deal with the French perfumers. At some point in what may seem like a mutually beneficial relationship. They will turn against me…their trusted purveyor.. in the very same way they once betrayed everyone who supplied them produce. I say this without any undertones of malice or mischief, but the profit motive is simply irresistible for them not to cut me off….you see it is very simple. At the time of writing this it is technically impossible to replicate exotic wood oils. The Hemispheres of smells are simply too complex and mysterious and nuanced for them to be replicated artificially, but it will foolhardy to assume with the exponential improvement in technology and computing power just as flavors of either oranges and bananas or any other fruit can be produced by men in white coats in a lab to successfully fool our senses…..a time will come when the French will eventually crack the code. The best defense is to attack. To paraphrase I have to be the first to produce the fake wood scent and it has to be as close as possible to the real thing. If it’s even out by a fraction of a percent, it’s no good and to further bulletproof my strategy. I have to turn the tables on the French by using their complex judicial system that they use to good effect to terrorise and monopolise their trade. It is not enough for me just be able to produce the fake stuff. I also need to by own all the intellectual property for the fake stuff as well and have a army of lawyers to protect my interest……now you understand why many of my business counterparts say I suffer from chronic paranoia.

About Lies

December 25, 2021

There are many types of lies, just as there are many types of poisons. Some are slow acting and conspire with time to kill quietly. Others are fast acting like a bite of a cobra. But the most dangerous lies are those that rob you of the fullness of life. Last week a friend asked me to have lunch with his son. The young man it seems has been listless since his business folded up because of the pandemic and the parents are anxious that he should get back on the saddle again. During lunch. The young man mentioned that his friends think that it was a bad idea to start a business…..he asked me what I thought. I told him. You best delete all your ‘friends’ contact. Because with friends like that you certainly don’t need enemies.

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2021

I don’t believe it’s possible to ride on this giant oil palm wave for long. At the time of this blog entry. The price of oil palm has skyrocketed to unheard heights. Even a modest oil palm smallholder is today comparatively well off. While other sectors such as retail, housing and manufacturing has been languishing because of Covid. Those in the oil palm business have all been experiencing a historical tail wind that most can only know as the happy times…but I don’t have a good feeling about all this euphoria….my gut instinct tells it wiil come to an end soon and it would most likely be a catastrophy in the making. As I do not believe the crop has a long term sustainable geo economic outlook. Both the US and EU have started boycotting oil palm produce. They are of course motivated by their respective farmers Union. Soon all these will begin to bite hard. Maybe its a good time to cash out……but where do I go? What do I grow next? I am thinking about going to the Ukraine to grow vetiver for the perfumery industry. Or maybe roses for their essence. Currently land is dead cheap over there. As the specter of an all out Russian invasion looms large. But the nest time to sign on the dotted line is when war breaks out. Contrary to what most analyst think. I don’t believe the Russians will just walk over the Ukrainians. If a war breaks out it will be a long drawn out affair. Thats the best time to go in! I can speak passable Russian, tame cantankerous machinery, hunt and live a simple unpretentious life. Besides it doesn’t get too cold there during winter and if I wear an Ushanka with the flaps turned down. I would certainly pass off as a Soviet mongol that most Russians will happily ignore. Don’t even mind if the Russians built a couple of Intercontinental ballastic missile silos on my concession farming lands providing its well camouflaged and doesn’t spoil the scenery…let’s see where it all goes.

The man who has chosen to love and yet bear the burden of responsibility is a man whose cursed to be torn in half. Often such a man is like a shark infested island…who no one can ever hope to truly understand. Even fewer can fathom why he does the things he does. Regrettably most choose to misunderstand him…..but that is only because they don’t have either the experience or imagination to put themselves in his shoes to come any where close to such a thing called the common ground of understanding. Many years ago, I used to know a tobacconist who had a little elegant shop in Tyger Valley, next to the sprawling Golf club in Pretoria South Africa. He was well advanced in his years. But despite his age. He was a very avid photographer and we would often travel the lenght and breadth of Africa taking pictures. He stayed with me so often that he even had his own room in my plantation. Few understood him. Even fewer knew him as well as I did. He was a man with a lingering sadness in his eyes when he spoke about Preston in Lancashire….. as he always never had an opportunity to go back home for Christmas. Something or rather would always throw a spanner into the works to keep Bill in Africa. Many years later, long after he had passed on. His son paid me a visit and presented me an expensive Hasselblad camera. He said his dad wanted me to have it. Later that evening after dinner and polishing off half a bottle of the finest single malt the young man mentioned he resented his father as he was a cold and distant figure who was never at home. I told the young man not to judge Bill too harshly. He asked why not and I told him that his father worked for Mi 6 and he must have been posted there and to exacerbate matters power and politics was terribly complicated in those cold war days. As two great superpowers like the forces of light and darkness were always in perpetual conflict……the stakes were simply too bloody high…. sacrifices had to be made…… In the name of King and Country. I went on to add, it may all seem silly now, but it was dead serious then. The son went on to ask – how did I know of these things….. I never elaborated. I only went on to add that I had known this for as long as can I remember his father and I have told no one about it and that he should never allow the vicious rumors and gossips in the Golf Club in Tyger Valley to get the better of his father’s memories. Because those people didn’t really know his father like I did. They all just projected their fears and all their misapprehensions on him and he just became some caricature of that classic irresponsible father figure……… I didnt elaborate further….some secrets should be taken to the grave. What’s important to me was the son came face to face with the truth as I saw it. I hope in the backdrop of the long drawn out Covid pandemic whatever challenges that you and your family had to endure and left you somewhat befuddled and confused and none the wiser, it will all come full circle for you this Christmas. This goes out to all those lonely misunderstood souls wherever you might be……I hope a kindred soul gives you the gift of understanding and love this Christmas!

This is dedicated to the sweet memory of ‘Bill’ T. Donohue……a fine gentleman who was the most generous soul ever who shared his finest cigars with me and taught me how to shoot pictures.

The Mercenary

December 21, 2021

I met a man today. He mentioned, he once worked in the Congo for a mining firm. I said nothing. Then he spoke about Chad…..and again I said nothing and just looked out impassively at the greyness of another muggy day. After that he asked me whether I had been to Mozambique….I said. I can’t remember. All I know is no one goes to the Congo, unless they have too. At the end of the meeting. He asked me to vouch for him. I said to him sure. You may ask why….Well let’s put it this way. I believe everyone deserves the right to walk away from their past. You might also ask why two strangers who once worked in Africa don’t seem very enthusiastic about wanting to talk about their experiences in the dark continent…Well that’s easy, it’s because each knows only too well, whatever the other has to say about their past is probably a pack of lies. What remains important is the unsaid….the little details. For instance. The stranger tied his shoelaces with a sherpa knot. Only a legionnaire would see a need to do that…. A habit common to those who walk along the ridges of sand dunes in the Sahara and who are aware scorpions like to crawl into loose fitting boots to seek shelter from the scorching sun. He has a habit of placing his glass exactly two inches directly in front of his plate that may seem strange, but it isnt in the Legio Patria Nostra because the Kepi blanc is placed to the left and the FAMAS semi automatic goes to right. After finishing his meal. He puts the knife into grove of the fork. Another Legionnaire’s trick to prevent cutlery from rattling in his rucksack. The minute bezel of his divers watch is set at six. That’s because military time is divided into half hours to make up 48 sections of time in a 24 hour day…..and so on and so forth. My point here is to share with you. The perceptive reader. There are many things that I know about this stranger….but I choose instead to keep it all to myself and not tell a single soul. You may ask why again….. Like I said – every man deserves the right to walk away from their past.

The Apostles of Jahbulon

December 21, 2021

They are a fraternity within a fraternity. A secret within a secret. They are so secretive even those within the fraternity do not know of their existence. That is because the Apostles have thru the centuries perfected the art of invisibility. The arcanum of how to be present yet nowhere at the same time. To discover them, one needs to look deeper into the benign….as nothing is what it seems…within the folds of rituals, ceremonies and even the very symbolism and allegories….the Apostles have left just enough breadcrumbs for one to discover them….they want to be discovered. I can sense them calling out to me…….the act of discovering them is the initiation itself… many of them are there? What is their mission?

I must find out.

Mickey Rourke

December 21, 2021

Neither time nor the plastic surgeons scalpel has been kind to Mickey Rourke. Once hailed as the Marlon Brando and possibly James Deen of Sunset Boulevard…. He was literally the only game in tinsel Town. But drugs and drink and a lousy attitude eventually robbed him of the Legendary actor he could very well have been. Today Rourke is sad and poor and struggling to find film roles and he’s still dreaming about going at least 10 rounds with Muhammad Ali.
Three things makes a man very attractive depth….depth…..and depth. It’s like dropping a pebble into a dark well and it goes right on as if there’s no bottom…..and that by itself creates alot of intrigue……and is not unusual in men who have depth.