We are about the same age. He’s a simple and kind and caring soul…. Someone who I really like to hang out with in Taiping.

Finding ones rhythm in life

January 26, 2022


Q: Thank you George for participating in the biannual fireside chat in The Long Island Book Club. One of the most frequent question is what are benefits of journaling and regularly writing? Do you personally find that it helps you and if so can many of the seniors in the LIBC benefit from it and last but not least is writing difficult?

A: Let me start from the bottom up Alfred. Is writing difficult? No. Anyone can journal and write. But like everything we aspire to do, be it gardening, hiking, cooking or carpentry. I think consistency is key. And this brings into focus the importance of – pace and rhythm and not get too distracted by how well others write or even feel discouraged or intimidated because we don’t seem to be making any significant progress. One needs to be slightly thick skinned and even indifferent to the opinions of others in a positive and polite sort of way and that simply means – you write exclusively for yourself and not for the audience. Or to seek adulation, publicity and chase all those ego traps. Most budding writers commit the mistake of writing for a target audience or readership because they say its valuable feedback. But I feel very strongly that sort of distraction can only take them further away from crafting their own style and truing their own line of thought and most importantly developing their very own pace and rhythm of how to write consistently. At the end of the day. That approach will lead to a dead end. As since it steers one to be someone who is so fundamentally different from who they actually are and probably meant to be – they can only end up very lost and confused and after a while, they just throw in the towel.

Q: Sorry to break in George. You mentioned. I quote, ‘I think one needs to proceed at one’s own pace and rhythm and not get too distracted…’ This thing about pace and rhythm is something that features very prominently in your writing. And also in how you approach work as well. I remember a few years ago. I asked why you didn’t collaborate more frequently with the pool of writers in the Zep Club and you mentioned roughly the same philosophy, could you perhaps expand on this need for pace and rhythm.

A: What one aspires to do well. It’s worthwhile setting aside some time to find out one’s natural pace and to set a happy rhythm – how to do it. This is the only way for any activity to be mentally and physically sustainable in my opinion. Doesn’t matter whether it is studying, working, running your own business, lecturing, writing, golf, cooking, playing a musical instrument, memorizing lines etc. This is the Tao or as you say Alfred the philosophy of how I go about doing things. And this is also how I see harmony and symmetry and structure in nature, activities, things, people and situations. Let me give you an example. In the past, I hiked in a group. But due to Covid restrictions that prohibits group activities where I am. I found myself having to hike alone. At first, I found it very difficult to pin down my natural pace. Now when you go in a group it’s like going on a group tour – it’s easy. As the dynamic of the herd or pack has a pace and rhythm of itself. All you have to do is follow like sheep. May not be the optimal pace or rhythm. But its like buying a tuxedo from M&S it will fill you up in all the right places. Only don’t expect a bespoke Savile Row tailoring. But when one hikes alone. Because there is no herd or pack, one is forced to develop a keen sense of pace and rhythm. Without this. Its like a car running with the pistons out of stroke and that means it can’t synchronise with what the carburettor is supposed to do. The long and short is the car can still run. Only it runs rough and you will probably have to put up with a really jerky and uncomfortable ride. That’s how I see it. And that was what was happening to my solo hikes. I would get really exhausted and it was rough, no matter how put effort I put into my hikes, my progress would be at best patchy. I wasn’t enjoying it. One day when I got caught in a torrential rain and I could make out the vapor of my breathe. I discovered by sheer accident that if I paced how I put one foot in front of another by following the rhythm of how I inhale and exhale. And to do this one has to be very mindful of one’s breathing – doing just this alone and nothing else. Suddenly what was once labored and jerky started to smooth out and soon I found myself cruising. Of course I am simplifying the whole process of self discovery. I had to experiment alot, keep a tight journal and even track my progress on a smart watch to get to really know my strengths and weaknesses and familiarise myself with the many unknowns, constraints and opportunities of the trail etc. My point is this. It was only when I focused on determining the right pace and rhythm for my hikes. That was really the sweet spot, when I began to look forward to my solo hikes. Had less injuries as well and this is a perrenial issue with me, since I was straining less and learning how to shift my weight gently with the help of my rhythm hack. Had no more burn outs days that used to leave me so drained that I need one other day just to recover and most importantly that was really the point when I finally began to enjoy my solo hikes more than ever.

EP 991092848001 – George Chong / This is an excerpt from LIBC 2021 N.Y /USA 2021 – THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR PUB 2021


Q: You have been writing for over 35 years and I remember coming across many of your entries in Icered during the early nineties. Can you share with us, the secret sauce of how you have been able to keep the unrelenting momentum of creative writing so fresh, young and so captivating for all these years while many of your contemporaries have literally disappeared thru the years?

A: I am an incorrigible amatuer Alfred. Then. Now. And I hope forever. Let me put it this way. Since we have using hiking as a metaphor. Do you remember Alfred, when you and Marjorie hiked regularly every single fall for nearly twenty years to the Appalachia’s. I still remember those breath taking photos that you snapped with a 6 X 4 Hasselblad chemical film camera. Kodakchrome right? Do you remember how exciting it was for both of you then? I think that initial exuberance and feeling of exhilaration when the trail is new and you were both amatuers is something that most hikers can relate too. Unfortunately as time goes by, the fascination with the hike is replaced with familiarity. With more hikes. A dullness creeps in. Till at some point it just becomes staid and boring. But let share with you a secret that most planters have always known for as long as the hills. No trail is ever the same, not even the one that you have tranversed a thousand times! Providing you remind yourself to take it all in with the spirit of the amatuer. That’s really the secret skeleton key that keeps everything peppermint fresh and five chili interesting. For the amatuer everything is new and exciting and the field of possibilities are always wide open. For the professional or Mr Know it all. Because he thinks he already knows everything there is to know about himself, others and the trail – a sort of complacency creeps in – where although he is there on the hike, but he’s actually somewhere else. He sees but he doesnt perceive. As he actually sees the trail thru his past memories and although he hears he registers nothing like a tone deaf person, because his familiarity with his sorrounding subconsciously filters out the varied melodies of the birds and insects without him even been conscious of it. But. When one makes an effort to rekindle the curiousity of the amatuer on the trail. Suddenly even the mundane becomes very interesting, for example, it is now the wet season, so the insects are much more prolific than usual and he will be able to make out the countless sights and sounds on the trail to keep it fresh and interesting and most importantly to look forward to experiencing more of its nuances on his next hike. So much so every hike is like revisit one of those great books with so much depth and breadth, he can really only discover yet another fascinating dimension about either himself or the trail. In the dry season. The winds will shift direction and again the same trail is reincarnated, the finches from the Western Sahara will make their annual migratory odyssey to the tropics and again the sights and sounds of the trail will be transformed into yet another exciting orchestra. The way the light filters thru the forest canopy and how it can change a hundred times a day. What I am recounting to you Alfred is the gist of the spirit of the amatuer – he is always curious and never bored. Similarly when it comes to writing one needs to be able to nourish the very same spirit of the amatuer and where possible chase away the arrogance and know it all attitude of the professional. Because when Mr Know it all is running around your head. Everything becomes boring and uninspiring to such a point its impossible to get excited about anything on the hike. The reason why I am acutely mindful of this is because everytime I allow my guard to fall and slip into that Mr Know it all mode. I suddenly lose interest in wanting to know more about that thing or person. Suddenly there’s no Da Vinci code to pique ones interest. Everyone around me goes to sleep. Suddenly mystery is no longer furiously at work to keep one guessing whether you can pass from the realm of theory to reality with relief and instead of having a meaningful conversation. I am really just going thru the motions of listening with the expectation of confirming what I have already decided and if one is not mindful of this corrosive attitude Alfred. Then everything and everyone who we are familiar with will at some point become boring and very plain. That’s why with some couples, especially those where the excitement evaporated long ago and all interest has ceased to exist, the only way for the wife to resuscitate any excitement or curiosity from her lesser half is to shout out, by the way, a big fat tree just crushed your car Darling! Or. Expect an extra zero in my credit card bill this month Darling. That it seems like the ancient Egyptians say is the only way to raise the living dead. Such drastic and heart attack inducing measures it seems is the only way to revive the amatuer spirit these days. I am kidding of course. My point Alfred is writing is really not so different from how to keep your hikes or for that matter your marriage so exciting all the time that you will always want more of the good stuff again and again. You really have to work hard to remain an amatuer.

EP 9901838400139 George Chong 2021 / Con’t from LIBC 2021 NYC. USA 

How to wear a waist coat.

January 20, 2022

To me this is maybe the most underrated and overlooked piece of accessory in formal men’s wear. In the tropics it is considered hot, but that misleads as when one goes around in a waistcoat instead of a full suit. It is cool.

For me the greatest achievement of mankind is not the discovery of electricity or even the invention of the internal combustion engine. Or any of those things. It is simply the ability to perpetuate the species and arrest what appears to be inexorable problem that most nations have remained clueless on how best to grapple with….if China can reverse the social trend of low fertility rates. Then it would not only be a social engineering win, but it is conceivable it may also be an ideological victory as well……where for the very first time in history, communism will pose a very serious alternative to the whole idea of democracy,

I dont for one moment believe the question can possibly be paraphrased in terms of whether or ‘can it be done?’ Because those sort of question assume there’s necessarily such a thing as a choice or that failure to some how carve out a middle ground is optional…..the way I see it the leadership in Singapore have been incomprehensibly slow to register the seriousness of the rift between the US and China. And that may well supply an explanation why many still feel its right and even sensible to ask – can Singapore find a happy middle ground between China and the US. But to me. There’s something terribly misleading about such questions because it assumes either the US or China will not compel sovereign States to choose between the two. And if this is the case where might the Middle ground be? I think increasingly we are beginning to see this scenario as a reality and not a theory any longer. The question for me is not whether Singapore can find a happy middle ground between China and the US. Rather it is simply this one question – why didn’t the custodians of power scale the rift between the US and China accurately in a timely manner which would have allowed them to make the necessary adjustments to their foreign policy? In my assessment they should have seen this development at least as far back as April 2015. We can of course say the ASDF saw it coming over the brow of the hill as far back as 2013 when the idea of the TPP was mooted and you can even preview many articles here and elsewhere that clearly highlighted the growing rift between China and US…but this still doesn’t answer the question – why did the custodians of power fail to register this development.

Taiping is steeped in history. And like all old towns, it comes with it’s own unique blend of peculiarities. One of the most interesting rituals that unfolds with astounding regularity every couple of years is the State government of Perak will announce commercializing that one and only sublime eco jewel in the Crown of Taiping… Maxwell Hill. Usually these developments envisage all sorts of outlandish plans ranging from forest scarring cable cars to obscenely megasized jungle destroying Las Vegas style hotels complete with kitsch fibre glass waterfalls with even life sized plaster of Paris Jurassic dinosaurs…and. Every time the state government expresses an intention to develop Maxwell Hill. Those who are most passionate about preserving the ecological virginity of Maxwell Hill will resist these plans tooth and nail. Often insisting that such developments would most certainly destroy the irreplaceable flora and fauna of Maxwell Hill….and. Every time to discourage the commercial aspirations of these fat cat real estate developers. The indispensable services of Moses Pavadei will be engaged like a hired gun by NGO’s and all those who are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to preserve the sanctity of Maxwell Hill…and. Every time. Shortly after Moses has been engaged. These grandiose property development plans are mysteriously shelved. Usually these property developers pack up and disappear so fast like some travelling circus never to be seen again….. leaving one to wonder what’s really behind Moses Pavadeih’s powers of persuasion. There are of course plenty of rumors and gossip in the Taiping grapevine. Everything ranging from mass hypnosis to even allegations of Moses resorting to blackmail and gangsterism to get his way and on every occasion when he’s asked by interested parties as to how he goes about reasoning with such unreasonable folk…all that the curious can ever hope to get out from Moses is an enigmatic smile.

It seems, Moses is so incomparably good at shooing away malevolent and greedy and ill intentioned and wayward folk that his services is regularly sought after by even Planters…and surely that must speak volumes about his impeccable credentials as Planters are perhaps the most pragmatic minded and tight fisted businessmen in the world! In fact when one of my colleagues experienced a spot of trouble concerning thieves stealing his oil palm crop in the dead of night. Within one week of engaging Moses, not only did he put an end to all the thievery that had once plagued my friend’s estate, but he was even able to get the plantation clerk to confess on his own volition that he was working hand in glove with the thieves! On another occasion, when a real estate agent expressed his displeasure at how the seller of a plot of land in Manjung kept changing his mind about selling his land at the last moment. After handing it to Moses, not only did the seller agree to sell his land, but he had even lowered his selling price by a staggering 10%. Such were the persuasive powers of Moses that he would be the man of the hour who all the eco warriors along with the entire hiking and hashing community in Taiping sought when they read in the Star newsprint……CABLE CAR TO BE BUILT IN TAIPING, yet another resort operator it seems was proposing to build yet another monstrous carbuncle on Maxwell Hill. Only on this occasion. This resort developer seemed more headstrong than the others. A team of surveyors had even been despatched and were currently camping on top of Maxwell Hill. And judging by their growing numbers day by day, things had started to move in earnest.

One morning. I received a call from Moses. He wanted to see me urgently at my Jawi estate. At three in the afternnoon. He was shown into my office. I could tell from his edgy demeanor he looked terribly worried. I asked what’s the problem Moses. A strained pause ensued as if his mind was elsewhere. Then it gushed out – George I don’t think. I will be able to shoo off these people who want to build a cable car and hotel on the hill!….not this time George’, a pause followed again. Then as if mustering a morsel of strenght deep within. Moses came to my side and asked in a pleading voice – George can I trust you? I said – most definitely Moses. Then he went on. Do you really want to know how I go about persuading unreasonable people to give up their unreasonable designs. He paused momentarily as if still weighing whether he should keep his trade secret intact. Then as if relenting to some over bearing burden, he let it all out, ‘Its quite simple George. I get a bunch of down and out’s to dress up as WW2 Japanese soldiers and what they do is dust themselves liberally with talcum powder and march up and down in the dead of night jangling chains and making racket. Moses looked at me as if surprised by his own revelation. Then he continued. The following day anyone who hasn’t died of a heart attack after witnessing this is thoroughly convinced they must seen a Japanese ghost army and there and then, they just take right off! It works every single time like a magic charm George. I was dumb struck by what Moses’s just shared with me. It sounded so child like it could all have easily stepped right out from the pages of a Beano comic strip. Yet I marvelled at its effectiveness. Above all. I was impressed by the sheer genius of its simplicity and how it was able to turn one’s mind into the nemesis with the power of superstition. Moses went on. George I don’t think. I can pull it off this time. As the folk who I used to impersonate these ghost troops have been upping their price and if I don’t pay them the sum they’re demanding. They have threatened to expose me. I can’t seem to get anyone I can trust to work with me on this and the last thing I want to do is let down all those nature lovers and hikers and hashers who have placed their hope on me to save their one and only love Maxwell Hill. George, you have alot of plantation workers here. Could you please help me?

I said yes. Not reluctantly, but with the conviction that what I and Moses had to embark on was perhaps the right and only thing to do under the circumstances. We had to move fast. As Moses had got wind. The resort operator had made plans to move heavy machinery to the top of the hill by next week and there were already so many workers camped on the hill. There was even talk of buying over some of the dilapidated rest houses to be converted into dormitories. That same week. Twenty men in my Nibong Tebal had been selected. Drilled in marches. Moses had even got them khaki shirts, baseball caps and other odds and ends from some Japanese factory in Perai that looked close enough to resemble WW2 army uniforms. The plan was to stage it this very coming Saturday itself in the early hours at the top of Maxwell Hill where many of the surveyors had set up camp. I left the execution to Moses.

Early that Sunday morning. I was so eager to know the outcome of Moses’s ruse. I tried to call him. But there was always no line. So I called a friend who was a regular Maxwell Hill weekend hiker. She recounted in an elated tone, it’s very unlikely the developer would proceed with plans to build anything now. As there was a scene of complete pandemonium at the foot of the hill. I feigned ignorance and asked her why. She mentioned. It seems many of surveyors hired by the resort operator who had been camping on the hill had been rudely awoken by the jarring sound of marching soldiers last night at round 2.00 am. When they peeked out their tents. They saw the eiree and supernatural sight of a Japanese ghost army. Many are convinced the hill is haunted and they are so petrified that most refuse to either work or stay there again. By late morning news had even begun to filter out from Taiping that everyone who resisted the development of Maxwell Hill were overjoyed and celebrating.

By late afternoon. I finally managed to get thru to Moses. He sounded tired and frustrated. As he recounted in a disappointed tone – the ruse to march in Maxwell Hill would most probably have to postponed to next Saturday. As bus which supposed to ferry them to the base of Maxwell Hill last night had suddenly and unexpectedly broken down on the highway between Bukit Merah and Taiping.

(Maxwell Hill or Bukit Larut is known as the most haunted hill resort in Malaysia. During WW2 many British and Commonwealth POW perished building the serpentine road that leads all the way to the summit of the hill resort)

The Straits Plantation Tales Series 2021 – Story Telling Season IV – George Chong 2021 / EP 99019984001938AE 2021 (This is a free 1st draft editorial copy for limited circulation to EPAY sites only – kindly check with your site administrator in your respective read club to access EP site) Oct 2021.

This is an interview conducted with the resident writer in Dotseng

Q: In April 2021, dubbed the great resignation, more than 5.5 million mellinneals suddenly quit their jobs. Another 4.7 million did so in July. The trend doesnt seem to be slowing down, as 70% of Gen Z workers said they were unhappy with the work-life balance at their current job. With more than 10 million advertised positions, employers are struggling to find workers as businesses open up more. George we all have kids. Many are either finishing their last semester in college and they will soon join the job market. We have received tons of mail from our LIBC readership on this subject. Personally I would like to pick your mind on this subject, tell me, do you see the great resignation as just another petulant reaction by mellinneals who seem to suffer from an entitled mentality and the me, me and me outlook. Or do you see an underlying vein of something for more insidious and disturbing at work here?

A: Did you know Alfred. Construction workers in Egypt 4,500 years ago scrawled hieroglyphic graffiti that went something like….if Pharaoh didn’t keep cutting our beer rations, we would be hard at work instead of taking turns scrawling this on his pyramid! My point Alfred is job dissatisfaction is not new. But what is definitely new is when a significant cohort of a generation begins to vote with their slippers to say – we no longer want to participate in the current social economic system any longer and it is conceivable that the Great Resignation may well be that sort of movement. But Alfred this should really prompt to drill deeper and ask – how did we get here? I think not enough people seem to be asking those sort of hard hitting questions. Mellinneals are defined as anyone born after 1984. Baby boomers are anyone born around 1946 or latter. As I see it much of the discourse concerning whether mellinneals are a bunch of spoilt kids suffering from chronic entitlement mentality revolves around these two generations. For starters. They don’t see eye to eye on so many issues that the divide can be defined as irreconcilably acrimonious. That’s one reason why typically baby boomers tend to label mellinneals as entitled, narcissistic and just plain lazy. While mellinneals see baby boomers as slave drivers, insensitive and just plain stupid people with as much empathy as a door stopper. These two generations don’t seem to have anything in common. But I don’t think many baby boomers have really taken the trouble to understand the challenges that mellinneals face. Not from their point of view, at least. Neither have they really looked honestly into the mirror and taken note how lucky they have been or for that matter counted the many blessings that came their way. In my assessment most baby boomers commit the grevious mistake of superimposing their own careers, expectations and aspirations on the present generation and it is this presentist attitude that takes them further away from really understanding why mellinneals are perhaps the most severely squeezed generation in history. The first gigantic road block that stands in the way of mellinneals is economics. Alfred in our generation life was pretty straightforward and sweet, one aspires to graduate with a passable grade, land a steady job, get married to the girl next door, buy a house etc etc. But these days mellinneals don’t nearly have the same economic head wind or for that matter purchasing power or market opportunities that baby boomers regularly take for granted. For example, real wages have stagnated for the last twenty years. While the cost of houses, cars and other big ticket items have been increasing exponentially. So even if you’re graduate mellinneal and you command a high salary, that doesn’t mean your purchasing power is the same as previous generations. Because things are generally alot more expensive now. These days mellinneals don’t nearly get the same bang for their buck that previous generations used to leverage on to accumulate their largesse thru real estate and equity appreciation. For example, in 1980 to buy a car in Singapore required just 35% of the median annual salary. These days it gobbles up the average professionals entire annual income. To complete paying off a housing loan in Singapore it took on average 20 years. These days it can range any where between 30 to 35 years. And we see this sort of kooky economics repeating itself in virtually every sector from real estate, rentals to the cost of starting an enterprise. My point is to underscore that a very significant social economic shift has transpired in the last twenty years that leads me to conclude that its no longer possible to make credible comparisons between the life experience of baby boomers and mellinneals any longer. Alfred, this is the first common ground that we need to agree on before it’s possible to have any meaningful discussion on this subject. I say this, because, too often baby boomers tend to start a conversation with mellinneals with that condescending term of endearment, ‘In my generation…’ Or, ‘When I was a young man…’ and off they go making all sorts of apple and apricot comparisons along with wide sweeping pronouncements. Truth is this, its difficult for mellinneals these days even if they have the right academic credentials to do many of the things previous generations did with comparable ease. So much so, it’s a struggle for mellinneals to stay middle class these days. Because everything has become so expensive and out of reach for them. Baby boomers didn’t have that problem because they could more or less take it as a matter of economic certainty that the moment they signed on the dotted line to buy a house or shop lot, they would automatically get 10% property appreciation every year and although baby boomers earned less because things back then were priced within their reach back then – they had decent leverage on the buck. Mellinneals never had that economic level playing field. Most are just getting by. Most don’t even have anything to show after working for over ten years. To exacerbate matters, the classical compact between employer and employees has disintegrated to a such a point where firms hire and fire with impunity and as a result no sane employee these days even sees the need to be loyal any longer. In effect the tripartite social compact between firms and governments and employee has deteriorated to such a breaking point where there’s no longer any trust and good will and meaningful commitment to chart a new course out of this intractable problem. And this simply means the futurescape for many mellinneals can only be very bleak. That’s why many mellinneals no longer see the point of participating in the modern social economic system any longer. They are not lazy. Real or imagined, many are convinced the great game of life is rigged like a roulette wheel that has a magnetic powered device that is designed to ensure they lose at every turn so as to keep them constantly at subsistence level to remain pliant and manipulable to the nefarious intent of firms and governments in effect reducing them to nothing more than modern day slaves. As a result. Most rather opt out of the great game of life, work minimally only two months in a year, rent instead of buy, live in such a way where everything they own fits into a 20 liter rucksack, resign themselves to never having kids and basically going thru life with a less is more attitude. And who created this problem Alfred? It was us. The perverse irony to your question Alfred is we, the baby boomers are the architects who created this nightmarish dystopian landscape and the travesty is we are content to go around befuddled and ask – whats really behind the great resignation of our age?

This is an excerpt of a recent fire side chat session held in conjunction with LIBC (Long Island Book Club. NYC. USA 2021 – EP 99018485001847AW

The significant take away abt this recipe is the dried blended chili is separated from the blended shallots.

This what I believe. The free market works for the overall well being of mankind when it comes to some things like manufacturing T shirts. But I don’t believe the free market works all the time. Because the profit motive features as the main goal of the free market. In some cases it produces dehumanising results. We see this very frequently like how seniors are forced to work in stressful workplaces designed by time and motion experts to squeeze every single ounce out of them. Instead of designing the job around an elderly workers mental and physical limitations. To me it makes no sense to give a nubile twenty year old a comfy job as a librarian and it makes even less sense to put a senior as a counter staff in a fast food outlet. By the same logic. I believe certain jobs in Singapore such a gardening, farming and the general tending to plants should be reserved or at least prioritised for only special needs folk. This is because special needs workers perform best outdoors. Many of them are also natural born farmers. They’re honest and hard working. They’re gentle and generous (providing you are respectful, because if not, people like me can even murder you and get away with it!). This is the reason why the profit motive needs to be tempered with a nobler vision, it cannot be automatically applied across the labor market! One day when I have made enough money. I will make it all happen…..I have a dream!

Living with Autism

January 4, 2022

When you’re autistic you don’t know you’re autistic. Neither do you realise that everyone thinks you are odd either. You don’t know all these things because although you are there. You’re actually somewhere else. But what many normal people don’t realise is there’s a third zone. That is to say the place between where you are physically and where you are mentally and it is in this third zone that I had to really struggle to get out from in the moment of my youth. Its like being trapped in petroleum jelly that’s all I seem to remember. But I have a few tricks up my sleeves. You see I can do alot of things that normal people can’t. I can for example memorise reams of words or numbers with remarkable ease. I can perform lightning fast calculations. I can just look at the fuselage of an aircraft and tell you how many rivets there are along with list the various sizes. I don’t really know how I can do all these remarkable things except to say it has always been a part of life. So this has allowed me to assemble a prosthetic human that I regularly pass off as my public self. This prosthetic is no ordinary creation, it is so intricate and well thought out that should you spend some time with this prosthetic version of ‘me.’ You would have no trouble inviting me over to your home for dinner to meet the family. As I said it is a state of the art complete human prosthetic that is capable of mimicking every possible range of human expression from empathy to creativity and it is flawless. At the end of the day when I unplug and extricate all of myself from this humanoid self that I have engineered and realise that I am alone and I do say this without the slightest measure of regret or bitterness or even the resentment. If there’s any feeling that accompanies this revelation it is simply understanding for what it is and no more. Because I realise no matter how hard I try to be part of your world. I will always be a permanent resident in the third zone. Now you understand the terrible truth. I am an outsider. This is where I really hail from and belong.

Yes it is true that I live a very simple and frugal life. But it has nothing to do with the minimalist movement. Infact. I don’t think much about those folk as they try too darn hard to get rid of everything and just live with 47 things. That’s OK for them. I guess. As for me I actually see value to have more of certain things. For example I cook and I like to have alot of pots and pans. Some of my pots are so big that you could even cook a doberman, others are just big enough to fry one egg, but they are all very specialised and each cannot do what the others do. I guess if you really need to pigeon hole me. I am wabi-sabi person. You can Google that term up. But what it really just means is someone or something that accepts imperfection as part and parcel of life. I think thats really an allegory of life itself. The world isn’t perfect, and some days are what I call bitch days. My point is you can either accept that for what it really is and learn to come to terms with it the best you can like you do with a persistent rash that just sticks to you like chewing gum. Or you can decide the rules aren’t fair and they shouldn’t apply to you, and you can ignore them and just do whatever you like and go on a self destructive path. But there is a third way of seeing the world. That I think is what the wabi- sabi life is all about, its not something you could buy a book and read about because it was a thoughtware I had to develop to live in a plantation. In a nutshell the wabi-sabi life is all about embracing imperfection it is not about being happy or sad. It’s not about staring out into the darkness at 2.am and wondering why was I born autistic and not like the vast majority of humans, its really about accepting imperfection and just doing it. Even if you find it difficult to accept in the beginning. Even if it doesn’t sit well with your sensibilities and irritates you. Especially if it doesn’t make you happy. Sometimes when you learn to just get on with life that gives you the courage to bear the rest of the burdens of life. My point is it isn’t about chasing perfection. The whole point about the wabi sabi life is just doing it anyway….getting on with life that is.

Why should we? If you are new to the internet. You should do some research on us…as a rule of thumb. We align ourselves with NO political party in Singapore. We simply call it as we see it, under our own terms. Besides it is a five chili dumb proposition to support WP. As historically they have Never ever shown any allegiance or even inclination to support those who may support them in blogosphere (don’t believe me, print for verbatim what I just wrote and phrase it as a written question to Pritam Singh), so why should we be so dumb as to support them automatically? The way I see it, the benchmark should ALWAYS be only the quality and rationale of the decision making process, if it produces good for people and country, irrespective of political stripe, we will support it, if not. We will demolish it! We don’t give a shit about your political lineage! That is a matter of profound indifference to us.

I hope this clarifies everything! I don’t want to be asked stupid questions again. Thank You!

I think this hardly requires any elaboration. There is alot of scarring. I am not only referring to the purely economic dimension of businesses having to weather the ravages of covid for the last two years. But there’s also the psychological dimension of scarring as well that doesn’t seem to get much publicity from the nation destroying press and the worlds most useless opposition party political outfit. The economic aspect is relatively easy to heal, but the psychological aspect of starting and failing and having to start again is not something that can recover within just one year. Coupled to all these. From where I am squatting. I see 2022 as a very tumultuous year. To me the Covid scrouge is far from settled. Because we can really only be safe if everyone in the world gets vaccinated. But with the corrosive practice of vaccine hoarding, there will be more mutations. Politically, things are very uncertain. No one knows for sure how far Biden is going to go antagonising China and even less are certain how she’s likely to respond. Ecologically, I believe we are at the pivot point of climate change. Before climate change was just a distant abstraction to many. But from 2022, we will definitely see a sharpening of how it creates endless disruptions. Travel? I think that will be a very slow recovery that will stretch out beyond 2022 possibly even into the second quarter of 23. So it’s going to be a year of anxiety for many. I know it’s difficult to appreciate this sentiment because outwardly everyone seem to be coming out of their shells after a two year hiatus. But I feel all that isn’t sustainable. Because when the masses begin to digest the facts. There will be a sort of intellectual settling….. Water will find its level eventually. My point is Covid has left a very different world behind where some set pieces we think will always be there will never return again and some new things that we never expected to see in our lifetimes will suddenly seem full frontal.

To me the logic is very straight forward. No one wants to go to the Ukraine because everyone believes war is imminent. But that is also a very compelling reason why you should go. Because if you go when no one in their right mind wants to go and those who already there are packing up their bags that means you will get a very good thing at the lowest possible price. As this is the best time to negotiate the most favorable terms for your land concession. I bet the ministry of agriculture and livestock will even throw in a free ticket and waive all the usual Covid protocols if you assure the, that you’re a serious candidate. The important thing is when you go abroad, your mind can only open and broaden and this in the long term will enable you to discover endless possibilities…even if others see none.

Don’t mope around and keep complaining that Covid has destroyed all your hopes and dreams…..frontier men don’t ever do that, they just pick up their rucksack and go! If you don’t take ownership of your future. Then someone in TV will! So go!

Doesn’t matter to me whether you have a PhD or just a diploma from a technical college. Doesn’t even matter whether you are just an ISD officer, policeman, bus captain, line manager or someone who just graduated from university……if you want to earn maybe ten or twenty times more than a ministar. You need to look into this area of fake meat. It is a goldmine. Doesn’t even matter if we are just talking baby steps fake meat like fake fish balls that doesn’t use an ounce of fish produce or something high tech like fake sirloin steak……this is one area that will boom. You need to go into it now! Before it gets infested with regulations that will only increase the entry cost.Now it unregulated. You could even put your old army boots into a blender and spice it with Maggi make a burger and give it to your neighbor to eat and see whether he turns into a suitcase or it’s OK. So the trick is to go in BEFORE the regulators come into the business model. In the past, one could say that the reason why no one produces steak or salmon is because there is no arable land in Singapore. Now what is your excuse?