Atomic Curry Pasta

February 27, 2022

The better question would be HOW much the West is willing to pay? Because what has not been factored in is the cost of supporting Ukraine. There is a cost and it comes at the exorbitant price of higher food and energy. It’s even conceivable the Ukrainian crisis will derail EU’s economic recovery after Covid. As for higher energy cost this likely throw a spanner into the works for Germany and France who are already addicted to cheap Russian gas to power industrial growth. As for sanctions against Russia, it is already one of the most sanctioned countries in the world after Syria and North Korea, so more sanctions would hardly make a difference. Finally who benefits from all this? China, she will get discounted gas along with all the wheat she needs… summary what does the West get?

You go figure that one out….

Why Russia needs the Ukraine

February 27, 2022

Von Clausewitz once prophetically wrote that war is simply the continuation of Politik by other means

Personally. This deserves a sort of celebration day in its own right. We have commemorative days for everything from birthdays to even save the whales day…. So I just came up with happy no more Covid blues day….I hereby declare it to be on the 23 Feb for no other special reason other than the fact that I feel less restricted in my movement on this particular day…… Enjoy it while it last. Meanwhile keep your mask handy.

Russian Big Stick

February 21, 2022

For many years it was considered by Western defense analyst as an oddball that didn’t really fit into the post Berlin Wall security needs of the Russians….. But there’s no better interceptor that the Russians can wish for in the coming Ukrainian conflict, paired with the highly secretive Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missile, its poised to be a game changer. The West literally have nothing equaling this deadly combination….. Fate it seems favors the flat footed this time round.

Many continue to insist China will not get involved in the Ukrainian crisis……. These commentators do not seem to understand that war is essentially about mathematical realities, specifically allocation of men and material to a specific goal and very little else. When one sees war in this context, then nothing is impossible including the rhetorical insistence – China will NEVER get involved militarily.

Listen very carefully abt what she said abt Gorbachev not being naive….. Listen carefully!

On Jan 13th, the diplomat (geo political rag) churned out its unabridged version of 10 reasons why China would rather not get involved in the Ukrainian impasse. I disagreed….. Today China has officially sided with Russia. For some inexplicable reason, military analyst cannot seem to get an accurate handle into their war calculations that China doesn’t need to commit itself militarily to the Ukrainian conflict to acquire the agency of command and control over what may or may not happen in the Ukraine….. All it needs to do is to buy up all of Russia’s oil and gas which the EU has threatened to boycott under the US inspired aegis to impose sanctions on the Russians. As it is. The biggest losers from any sanctions are going to be the EU, notably Germany. As without cheap gas and oil, they cant sustain economic and industrial growth….. So China is already tilting the balance of power in a very subtle. What the West doesn’t realise is its conceivable they have pushed China to a point where it doesn’t pay for them to play ball with the West any longer.

In my assessment, war is inevitable. In diplomacy, there’s such a thing as a point of no return. My feel is both the US and the EUs militant refusal to concede to Russian security concerns can really only amplify the prospects of war…….if it breaks out, it will be around early May when the ground hardens sufficiently for armor to roll in.

At some point in the game, spies will have to be sent there….. Cold War Era spies. As only they can blend right in.

The Calculation of War

February 19, 2022

If war breaks out in the Ukraine. One week after that, war will also certainly break out in the Straits of Taiwan…….. Its 100%. The Archilles Heel of the US Navy is that they seriously lack a fighter interceptor…… They would have to resurrect this mythical fighter from the dead. Most of the engineers who once worked on this plane are long dead and gone. Even the blueprints for the F14 do not exist any longer……… But there is one man who has it all in his head, every screw and nut right down to the last rivet.

Deadlift / Smith Machine

February 15, 2022

Chicken Curry

February 9, 2022

The Return of the Great Watermelon Scion – Captain Henry See.


The sinking of the Royal Navy’s prized capital battleships HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse took place on 10 December 1941 in the South China Sea off the east coast of Malaya. During their mission. Both battleships received radio messages ordering them to divert away from their planned route and to head for a new course setting 62 nautical miles off the coast of Kuantan, Pahang. When the battlecruisers arrived at the designated area. They were promptly spotted by a submarine and later ambushed and sunk by Japanese bombers. Till today, no one really knows who or where the radio messages were broadcasted from which the Admiralty continues to deny which resulted in the two ill fated battlecruiser altering from their planned course. This is a story of the man who was responsible for sending the fatal message.

If you visit Taiping, after having taken in the wonderful sights and sounds of the Lake Gardens. Any local worth his salt would most enthusiastically recommend a day trip to Maxwell Hill, a former British Hill Station created in the 1880s by the assistant resident of Perak, William Edward Maxwell. Two kilometers up the headache inducing windy road by Land Rover, there’s a spot known to locals affectionately as “See Kuah Hui,” which literally translates from the Hokkien vernacular to mean Watermelon Orchard. This would seem particularly odd to even the casual observer as no watermelons are cultivated there. Neither do any of the locals not even those well advanced in their years have any living recollection of ever wandering around watermelon orchard in that vicinity either. Even botanist, horticulturalist and soil experts seem equally befuddled by the suggestion of a watermelon orchard in Maxwell Hill. As since the soil at that elevation is a mixture of alluvial and clay, it’s hardly conduces it agriculturally suitable for the cultivation of watermelon. The enduring mystery of watermelon orchard in Maxwell Hill relates to a summer chalet which was once built in the year 1916 at the higher elevation just after hut No.3 by the rubber baron and comprador See Kuah Lee who was a nominee of Dunlop Malaya who was also a business associate of the Carnegie of the Orient Foo Foo Choon. Since Mr. See Kuah Lee was affectionately known as See Kuah Kiah – Watermelon Kid by his closest associates and this nickname alluded to his humble beginnings before he came to his immense wealth in the world of vulcanised rubber. Hence his summer retreat in Maxwell Hill was christened simply ‘See Kuah Hui’ – Watermelon Orchard. In the high brow exclusive and highly secretive Planters and Miners Club in Mayfair, London, where membership is exclusively allocated on the basis of pedigree and lineage which still serves kippers for breakfast every Friday for the last 219 years. An unusual oil painting of the rubber grower comprador See Chuan Lee with a boy sitting on his lap attired as a sailor hangs in the wood paneled corridors of the Straits Settlement section just before the Ridley Reading Room.

It was this same boy in that oil painting. Attired in a sailors tunic who many years later in October 1939 suddenly and unexpectedly appeared in front of the white picket gates of Watermelon chalet. This time sporting a newly minted uniform of a captain in the Signal Corps of the Penang and Province Wellesley Volunteer Corps. That day, the eighty three year old Hainanese butler of Watermelon Chalet instantly recognize the scion despite an absence of nearly ten years. He would be heard recounting to the rest of the servants in the household in whispered tones that same evening, the young man even had the unmistakable swagger of watermelon senior who had long since passed away from an affliction of Malaria just around the time when See junior otherwise known as Henry See had been packed off to study in England at the young and tender age of fifteen at Eaton. The scion it seemed had broken off his studies at Cambridge upon hearing that war between the Japanese empire and the Commonwealth was imminent and he had promptly returned home in the teary eyed and trembling words of the old butler to discharge his honourable duty to King and Country. Fifteen minutes drive to the highest elevation of Maxwell Hill two state of the art 600 KW Marconi transmitters stood tall. The most powerful of their kind ever conceived at that period. As most transmitters even those that militaries used at the time were only 25-150 KW. These were the very wonder weapons of the British Empire.  They were so powerful. They regularly relayed coded messages all way from the admiralty in Whitehall to every battle group including the merchant navy across the vast expanse of the Pacific. The improved transmitters named Aspidistra were so powerful. They even had the clandestine ability to jam enemy transmissions and this would be the one wonder weapon in Malaya that Churchill remained convinced could blunt the prospects of any untoward Japanese military aspirations in the region. It was in this secret facility in Maxwell Hill that Henry See reported to six days a week. On Sundays. Henry See would often be seen enjoying cocktails at the bar in New Club Taiping where his return was celebrated and feted by all, especially those who hailed from the nouveau riche plantation barons and the revered Guild of tin mining families along with the up and coming bourgeoisie stretching the length of Manjung to Larut. Many who had caught wind of the return of Henry See flocked to pay their respects or were so taken in by his intrigues. They simply clammered to see him. Henry See was indeed the Great Gastby of Taiping…and most importantly he did not disappoint. Many were impressed and surprised that despite a hiatus of nearly ten years away from his home town. Henry could still rattle off with admirable ease past incidences which many had long since forgotten. Such as the humorous incident when a rampaging elephant had escaped from Taiping Zoo only to cause a ruckus in the esplanade. Or the rib tickling scandal that made many of the young ladies blush where the chaplain in St George’s Institution was caught with his pants down while cavorting with a few young ladies. The last occasion anyone ever saw Henry See was on the 8th December 1941. It was a regular Sunday and as usual Henry See was at the New Club holding court. At around mid day, regular radio broadcast was interrupted by a news flash. The Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor! This was soon followed by late evening of a far more disconcerting report that the Japanese had mounted an amphibious landing in Kota Bahru. In the days that followed columns of Japanese troops on bicycles rode through Pondok Tanjung, Kamunting and into Taiping. The two Marconi transmission towers at Maxwell Hill was destroyed in a Japanese dive bombing raid. It was presumed Henry See was killed in action along with others who had bravely volunteered to defend the transmission facility and they were later buried at the British memorial cemetery along Waterfalls Road at the foot of Maxwell Hill. The matter would have ended there quite happily had it not been resurrected 76 years later when I was received a letter from the Planters and Miners Guild Club in Mayfair, London. I had expected it to be a letter of demand from their solicitors as I had been notoriously derelict about the whole business of paying my membership dues. It seems the Secretary of the Club was informing me that Prince Charles and Camilla would be visiting Taiping at the beginning of November 2017 and since my registered address at the time was in Trong Perak. In accordance with Club protocol. I was duly asked whether I would like to recommend anyone who had been overlooked for the Queen’s honor list. Naturally I recommended Henry See aka Watermelon Jr. I reckoned since it was well known to all that he perished gallantly defending the transmission tower in Maxwell Hill. The least the visiting royal couple could do when they were visiting Taiping was to conferHenry See a belated MBE or OBE. A few weeks after. During a business trip to London. I received a stern call from the disciplinary board of the Planters Club at Mayfair. I reckoned it may have something to do with my outstanding dues and duly wrote them a cheque. Shortly thereafter, I was yet again summoned to attend the disciplinary board and this was most upsetting as the secretary was quite insistent that this was a matter of utmost delicacy and he would much prefer not to discuss the matter over the phone and instead I was instructed to make myself duly avaliable at the earliest convenience to attend disciplinary proceedings at the premises of the club. The following day I made my way to the Planters at Mayfair, where upon entering the elegant Edwardian building. A seventy six year old gentleman attired in an impeccable morning tailcoat whose grave demeanor seemed more suited to the role of an undertaker greeted me and curtly asked for me to follow him in the tone reminiscent of a schoolmaster who had been charged to dispense six of the best to a wayward child. I was ushered to the Connaught Smoking room which was located at the upper most level of the club which was also the conservatory known as the Straits Settlement mini Crystal Palace as it had a collection of tropicalised flora. As soon as I entered three gentleman stood up from their rattan chairs. Two of which I recognised. The first was a sixty five year old Scot’s man who I had worked along side with in transplanting a new genus of coconuts in my Nibong Tebal, Jawi Plantation. He was Dr Brian McNaghten who was the former managing director of Scarborough Estate in Negeri Sembilan just before it was sold lock and stock to Guthrie Holdings. The other was my dear friend Dr. Negroponte who was a retired UN representative under the auspices of Food and Agriculture Organization FAO to Uganda and Mozambique who was my liaison with the UN and responsible for granting state approval to sell off my land concessions in Africa to the US food conglomerate Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM) in 1999. The third man was accompanied by a younger assistant who appeared to be taking notes like a policeman and seated just behind to his side. He did not introduce himself. Instead the Club secretary introduced him as an ‘interested party’ who was most keen to ask me a few questions concerning Mr. Henry See. After a brief exchange of pleasentaries. We got down to business. I was asked by this man who went by the name of Mr Smith – my reasons for recommending Henry See for the Queen’s honor list during the planned visit of Prince Charles and Camilla to Taiping. After furnishing the details. I was told by Mr Smith who was now joined by the club secretary who was handed a sepia colored manila file by the younger man. The Secretary proceed to recount the following. That while the Club records showed there was indeed a member by the name of Henry See. He subsequently died of wounds sustained in a train crash in Surrey in February 1931. He went on to add in a sardonic tone while lowering his eye glasses, ‘Dr Chong, to the best of our knowledge. We don’t have any records of Henry See serving as a Captain in the Malaya Volunteers Corps.’ I asked in a protesting tone, how can that be, Henry See died when the Japanese invaded Malaya in December 1941, now you are telling me he passed on in 1931 and he never even enlisted….so who was the Henry See now buried at the foot of Maxwell Hill in Taiping? Thereafter Dr McNaghten leaned forward as if some what irritated by the whole affair and boomed, ‘George they want to bloody know whether you’re pulling a prank with Henry See to embarrass the Palace when they visit Taiping?’ To which I said, no. That was when the Club secretary flashed a look of mutual understanding to all only to hand me the old sepia colored folder marked Ministry of Defence – ‘George perhaps you should read this to know who really was the man who you know as Henry See in Taiping.’

This was what I gathered from my reading of the declassified Ministry of Defence file. Following the defeat of the empire of Japan in 1945. A team was despatched by the admiralty to investigate how two prized battlecruisers had been lured into an ambush by the Japanese forces. Subsequent investigations revealed that the ‘Kido Butai’ Mobile Strike Force of the Imperial Japanese Navy had parachuted spies into Malaya as early as 1935 to facilitate the planned invasion of Malaya in December 1941. The officer who assumed the identity of Henry See was Major Toru Konomi of the IXX Taufan special espionage unit. Major Konomi had been educated in Harrow, England. His father Jushiro Konomi was the charges de affair for the Imperial Japanese Embassy in Paris during the 1920 and the young Konomi received a European education in Vienna and Brussels. Major Konomi successfully infiltrated the Malaya Volunteer Corps as a signaller and he was instrumental in sending the fatal message at 1045 hr on the 10th December 1941 to the battlecruiser HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse that resulted in the abrupt change course from its planned route only to be subsequently ambushed by Japanese torpedo bombers. On the 4th June 1942, Major Konomi who served as a staff planning officer was killed in action in the battle of Midway when the flagship carrier Hiryu was sunk by American dive bombers.

Straits Plantation Tales – George Chong 2021 – EP 9900192465899AK. (This is a free pilot draft copy – please note grammatic and spelling mistakes may feature)

Dragon dancing in the mist

February 6, 2022