In every meaningful and intelligent conversation concerning food. There will of course be the set pieces of power and politics along with perhaps economies of scale and the outrage of how so few decide how and what the rest of humanity regular consumes ….I imagine there might even be some passionate talk about what we should all rightly eat – but at some point in this hypothetical conversation about food. If we are to remain gainfully intelligent….we would ultimately not have to talk plainly about land and opportunity and yield. At some point we may find ourselves incursing on that other unspeakable domain..then are we not actually talking about Lebensraum in earnest?

Whether they are or not is not for me to say….I have my own private thoughts concerning this subject that I do not have an obligation to make public…only it is something compelling to think further about.

Is it not?

So let us not pretend that it is possible to talk about land, farming, economies of scale, genetically modified food, herbicides and to somehow elide the most important facet of the discussion.

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‘Do I think that on the eve of the Arab spring when Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power it was mere coincidence that the price of wheat flour in the bazaars of Cairo suddenly shot up by 40%?

Do you really think I believe bales of corn flour grown in Nebraska bearing the perfidious faced caption ‘a gift from the American people’ dropped by the WFP in famine stricken Africa moves me to tears?

What about genetically modified crops? Do you really believe I see this as man’s altruistic expression to better his fellow man? How about Cargill going into Africa….has it got anything to do with uplifting the lives and standard of living of most Africans? What about China’s fixation to build railways that even connects the East Coast of Mozambique to the fertile plains of Uganda and Coite de noire might that also have something to do with the whole idea of benefitting mankind? Or coming to think of it…do I really think Olam is just a firm trading cashew nuts and dabbling in futures just to create more value for their shareholders…..In every meditation of the spheres that I have mentioned.

I see not only the bygone age of the machinations of imperialism, subjugating the masses for the sake of the profit of motive, but also the equation of power and politics. Above all I see the struggle for land, space and of course every aspect of what I can only describe as the Clausewitzian definition of the continuation of politics by other means….to put another way, it is lebensraum.

Yes it is fortunate is not that it is just an imaginary conversation. But pray tell, if all other nations choose to play this game and you don’t…then where does it leave you?….There are times when I wished that I did see so many things that I see. As it is usually a cause of profound sadness for me.’

It is very big mistake to force Singapore farmers to adopt high technology to boost productivity. All this will do is increase the price of Singapore farm produce to such a point where it makes far more sense to continue importing farm produce from abroad instead of encouraging local commercial farming.

If the goal is to increase Singapore’s food security imperative – then Farmers should be given every encouragement possible to venture outside Singapore where land and water and labor is not only cheaper but also abundant as well.

They should farm elsewhere and export ONLY to Singapore.

Whatever ‘farming’ land in Singapore should only be university to train a new creed of frontier men.

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‘No matter how you look at it commercial farming of both agri and livestock in Singapore will always be a lousy proposition no matter how you cut and splice it…this has nothing to do with intelligence, work ethic or for that matter how viable one’s business plan may be and everything to do the mathematics of what one is up against when one decides to start a farming enterprise in Singapore.

Bear in mind I am not saying vertical farming, hydroponics and even piped light cannot boost yield – that is not what I am saying. It can. But what is the point of all this great diffusion of energy….surely for something to have an intrinsic value for it to be worth doing – it would also have to be something that produces a gain or at least a competitive advantage. So what if Singaporean farmers build up the skill of arms to farm using space age high tech methods – does it really translate to cheaper produce for the end user in the supermarket? Can they really make a significant dent in the annual deficit of food produce into the island of Singapore?

When one considers that the cost of growing these produce will always be cheaper in neighbouring countries where land, utilities, labor and cost will always be significantly cheaper. Then that sweet point is where all the state’s resources should be wisely focussed instead of trying to reinvent the wheel by pursuing some pie in the sky strategy of leveraging on high tech.

So the way I see it will always be like this – the most capable farmers in Singapore should be given plenty of incentives to move their operations abroad. The role of AVA is to formulate strategies to support that sort of off shore network thru a series of staging post and by streamlining the logistics and approval at source. If possible AVA should do away with this medieval idea of of just being a glorified customs clearance office – they should specify how food should be grown in these off shore farms and even go as far as to relocate some of their operations to oversee food production at source point rather than just being a jaga of the gate in Singapore when it comes to food imports.

Where possible the most capable farmers should be pushed out of their comfort zone…as that is really where they can grow sustainably instead of wasting their time trying to do stupid things like tinkering with pallets of iceberg lettuce so that they can get more day light exposure by moving up and down just to track the sun. Why even need to bother about all that nonsense when they could just as well open up a new green field in those countries where land is cheap and abundant.

Of course when I talk like this everyone calls me Adolf Hitler….of course when I posit this way of how affordable and quality food should and can be brought to the table for the average Singaporean to enjoy some idiot in blogoland will always say, look he’s talking about Lebensraum again!

But it is precisely this big imperialistic mindset that has to be fostered in perhaps the same way the British planter of the imperial age relocated all the way to Malaya to plant rubber so as to keep the factories in Manchester and Birmingham well stocked with raw material or how they did the same for tea, coffee, spices right down to the humble table salt.

Instead we have bureaucrats quibbling over a measly 60 hectares! When all around them. There is land, land and land!

This is insanity!’

The dry season is just around the corner. I can sense it’s gradual approach. Usually this is the time when I will conduct a series of rigorous checks on my car. I usually don’t wait for anything to die on me all of a sudden – as that can often be catasthropic when one is stuck deep in the jungle with major repairs….usually I try to catch the things that will go wrong before they fail on me.

In the dry season the plantation roads are very different from the wet season – filters have a tendency to foul and clog…shock absorbers need to be adjusted for a longer range of travel to accommodate rocky and hard driving conditions and usually I take this opportunity to right the things that would normally need righting along with conducting a range of checks.

Whenever I strip down the wheel assembly I much prefer to work with my own backyard mechanics – they don’t have much skill or for that matter deep knowledge…but since they’re keen to learn from a frontier man and consider me a sort of guru and don’t mind me poking them and scolding from time to time – they actually consider it a privilege to work alongside someone like me…that sort of die die want to learn attitude is something I can work with despite their low skill rating. We seem to have a very happy working relationship…the way it works is like this…they do something that is completely wrong like reinsert the rack and pinion pin the wrong way and I tell them sardonically, you’re all good for nothing. They laugh and proceed to strip it out and do it all over again to step by step instructions….I don’t mind working with people who don’t have the requisite knowledge providing they know their place and have the courtesy to remain humble in my presence.

But I never ever tolerate bullshiters and lazy mechanics who have absolutely no idea what they’re doing and still insist on independence….I always insist on micro managing my mechanics. In my book there is no such thing as I leave it to you…go for lunch and come back and collect the car in three hours…that sort of blasé atttiude doesn’t exist when it comes to something as jugular as my car!

You think what this is crossover project by CHC or some other con job by new creation church ah!

You want my business. You have to accept that I will be supervising everything like a hawk…I don’t even take toilet breaks! I have the right to breathe over your shoulder.

The way I see it – I have a lot of knowledge when it comes to mechanics. I put myself thru university at one time working with John Deere tractors and ABB power turbines as a class 1 city and guilds certified Mechanic in the U.K – so when it comes to machines….I am at the very top of skill food chain.

Even when I send it in to the Toyota workshop where patrons are usually not permitted to wander the work area. I happen to have a special letter from the president of toyota motors that even allows me into the restrictive zones. I like to deal with people who are very serious about improving their products and service. Toyota motors just happens to be one of those outfits. It is especially keen to know first hand what improvements are actually needed in the field to make better cars…they are so enthusiastic whenever I send my car in usually a special team is usually flown in from Japan just to gather many of my inputs.

I would have much preferred to drive a Land Rover. As to be honest I consider actually consiser that to be a better car for the field. But since they told me flatly that I don’t have the right to butt in….so they lost my business.

This bushing for the shock absorber is close to 90% failure. Had it disintegrated in the field – I would probably end up at a bottom of a ravine.

Replaced!

Bracket arm for the shock absorber is completely bent. Must have hit a rock or something real hard. It needs to be reformed with a blow torch back to the right angle and realigned with wheel set.

Done!

I am happy with the work today. She’s good to go!

King Kong will follow me…we will be happy there.

‘Wherever I go…I will be successful. As I have never ever considered autism as a disability or affliction – I declared total war on that idea…I am the clearest manifestation of its destroyer – so I realised from the moment of my youth I had an obligation to be stronger and more determined and hungrier that all other men to just earn the right to lead a ‘normal’ life.

I belong to a rare variety of men who can wake up on the crack of dawn and work with my hands till sun down…seven days a week for 365 days a year. I don’t need holidays like ‘normal’ people. I can do the same thing again and again without ever grumbling or tirring. I have great a great wealth of knowledge in my head concerning all things relating to nature – I can take a clump of dirt roll it in between my index finger and thumb and bring it to my nostrils and in a while great possibilities will open up before me when all other men see only barren land. I live a simple life free of illusions and affectations and I am a prudent investor who believes in saving and not spending unnecessarily….so don’t worry about me.

I will prevail…we will win!’

I was very happy to read a scheme for Police K-9 dogs, where K-9 dog handlers who reside in HDB flats can adopt their retired sniffer dogs. I think this pilot expansion of “Project ADORE” by MND is a very good start as it is very natural for dog handlers to bond with their four legged work buddies – the relationship between man and dog is first and foremost based on love, respect and mutual trust….both man and dog can only be happiest together.

Many of these working dogs have given their best years in loyal service of Singapore to protect, interdict threats and keep evil from our shores.

They don’t have many years left…that is the natural cycle of dogs when they grow old. They tend to require more love, attention and care as when a dog grows old they are not unlike humans who age. They will begin to lose their vigor, acuity and health. Often this shift can frighten them resulting in anxiety. But since their handlers are around. In those moments at least these canines can take comfort in having a familiar friend around and it’s much better than dying feeling scared and lonely all the time in some cold concrete kennel.

I am sure all of those who have handled dogs in a professional capacity will have very little trouble agreeing with me – this is not something we all like to ever see. Use, throw and forget – it’s poisonous for professionalism and esprit de corps.

I am very grateful for the government of Singapore to have the rare spark of wisdom and imagination in experimenting to open this new sanctuary for senior citizen canines – it is not easy I can imagine to roll out this project in HDB’s. As the tendency is to always to veer to the status quo.

By embarking on this route it will certainly instill character, discipline and deep knowledge in the art of dog handling thereby nourishing professionalism in a K-9 force – my hope is as more senior citizen large breeds such as Rotweillers, Alsatians and Doberman feature in the mix eventually, this will hopefully eradicate many of the misconceptions, prejudices and negative perception concerning large breeds by educating the general public on what I have always known concerning dogs – they are truly man’s Best Friend.

They deserve the right to be treated with respect and dignity and love in their twilight years.

The gentleman’s name is the Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Khalid Abu Bakar he is the IGP of Malaysia. From what I’ve heard from my circle of powerful friends in KL he is a very reasonable and level headed man who has a deep appreciation, respect and remains a very humble servant of the rule of law.

I know there are many many evil rumors about the IGP in the internet, but I don’t think many can be believed without first questioning their motive along with who is actually responsible for generating all these lies.

In Malaysia it is very easy for evil people to use lies to bring down a good man. So easy. It happens all the time. All that needs to be done is to mix some facts with lies and that is really all it needs to bring down a good man.

When I next visit the capital, Kuala Lumpur. I will make it a point to call on this gentleman in Bukit Aman on a matter of utmost importance to the country.

I will speak very plainly and inform the IGP, ‘Tuan ada samseng kachau saya di Kampung’ – (Sir, there are some low lives hassling me in the village) I will go on tell the IGP. Given the severity of the matter, I have no choice but to reconsider my long term plans to stay and take Malaysian agriculture into the 21st century as since I am constantly living under a cloud of fear. I may have to seriously consider taking up an offer from the Ukrainian ministry of agriculture and livestock to migrate there and instead grow cereal crops….which incidentally is true they have made such an offer.

When the IGP hears this he will be very concerned as in Malaysia nothing is more important than agriculture and since there are very few men who actually have special knowledge in this specific area at the level of the field – I am sure the gentleman will do everything within his powers to alleviate my concerns along with palliate my fears and even do his level best to convince me to stay on in Malaysia and continue my important work for the sake of Rakyat, King and country.

I will tell the IGP a two bit gangster who reckons he is some Al Capone of the Kampung where I turn the wheel of life and his co-conspirators are planning to frame me on trump up charges and I have reasonable cause to believe they mean to make me disappear forever.

There is every reason to believe plans are actually afoot even at the very moment of this blog entry that this can happen at any moment.

It is no secret here that I bow to no man especially a bunch of cheap gangsters or any of his lackeys.

I never bow to threats. I will not!

This is why these evil people are out of destroy me with crooked means. As they have tried on numerous attempts to cheat me on land deals and on virtually every single occasion I have not only exposed them but also openly ridicule them along with out manuvering them to further my business interest.

If they have any pride and guli’s as a man they should try to out do me in business.

That I can only imagine is why they can’t bear to see me being successful as given time they know I will grow bigger and bigger in these parts.

In cowboy towns where I am – this is how politics and power is conducted. Whenever someone from outside comes in and they rise too fast this is their way to keep them in their place…thru crooked means.

When I sit down for a chat with this gentlemen I will tell him very frankly who these people are, what their motivation is, along with how they mean to carry out their designs and who I suspect is involved.

Given the strategic nature of my expertise and field of knowledge in plantations I have every reason to believe my case will be expedited.

I will also make it a point to meet up with the Malaysian anti corruption agency depending on how the meeting transpires with the IGP.

I will go directly to the very TOP. If need be I will even go directly to the office of the prime minister of Malaysia. As that is the only effective way to deal work chronic corruption and abuses in Malaysia.

I am very confident my problem will be solved and I can return to my important work of taking agriculture in Malaysia to the twenty first century and beyond. Nothing must be allowed to stop progress.

Like I said my friends. I have only heard good things about this man from my circle of friends…I remain very hopeful.

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‘In the next two months I have plans to experiment with a new genus of oil palm that I have spent seven years developing that I plan to grow on a new twenty acre plot of land. If this variety of crop proves successful – it will have the capacity of doubling palm oil out put in Malaysia. In one stroke Malaysia will again be the largest producer of oil palm. I have kept this plans secret. Only a few people know about the existence of this project….nothing can stop this. It is too important.’

Lawrence Wong recently mentioned the few and precious plots of land gazetted for farming in Singapore will be tendered out with longer 20-year leases instead of the previously mooted 10-year blocks.

By adopting this lazy boy policy of leaving it entirely to the competitive bidding process where price is the final determinant rather than what actually needs to be crafted to create conditions that will alleviate Singapore’s dependence on global production to fulfil Singapore’s food security imperative – all he and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) will ever do is attract businessmen who are likely to use cheap imported labor to farm high yielding crops which can probably realise a good return on investment – that model I don’t doubt may very well make business sense, but it is hardly a coherent strategy to implement a sustainable food security blue print.

For that imperative to be meet Singapore need to train more farmers.

For Singapore to develop farming core competencies that is able to add value to the imperative of food security – it is a matter of strategic precondition to invest in people by further opening up more avenues for our brightest minds to undertake a paradigm shift to hopefully see farming as a credible means of actualizing their life goals.

Many young people in Singapore genuinely want to be fish or crop farmers but they don’t know how to acquire either the skill sets or confidence to do so as it is very much a closed industry cloaked in considerable mystery….steps should be undertaken to break open the unhealthy monopolies of knowledge in this sector like any other sector to make it accessible for the masses.

Hence the criteria for awarding land concession to farm should be based solely on how many farmers can the firm train within a given period of time that fufills the needs of the country’s food security imperative and not simply based on what they are willing to pay for the concession.

Furthermore by doubling the ten year leases all Lawrence Wong is likely to do is entrench the corrosive attitude where Singapore is likely to have the most parochial, insular, laziest and most unimaginative farmers in the whole wide world….in short it is a recipe for disaster.

This is a very instructive lesson in statecraft when a sheep is tasked to do a foxes job….he will sell the shop for five cents.

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‘The way I see it is very cold and calculating – let me speak plainly on this subject if a government is willing to spend X dollars on purchasing a leopard tank and Y dollars to train personnel and Z to amortize its cost to zero thru a given period of time – then it could be said it has reconciled itself to certain immovable realities with the intent to further its security and strategic imperatives.

Then why isn’t it doing the same for food security in land scare Singapore by creating conducive conditions where more young people can gain core skills in farming?

Maybe what I have just written doesn’t quite hit home. Let me try one more time….if you conduct a cursory examination of the agri scene in Singapore. One thing will really only stand out…everyone in AVA knows this, even the jaga in the guardhouse and the tea auntie in AVA office in Jurong knows this…the only person who doesn’t seem to know this is Lawrence Wong that is why he increased the land concession from ten to twenty years – the agri industry in Singapore is all populated by the SAME people who have always been there and they are basically doing the SAME thing albeit with very minor improvements. I call this the media corpes dead wood syndrome (MCDW) – as the phenomenon is not dissimilar to how every year the Singapore arts council will only ever give money to the SAME catchet of prehistoric actors and actresses who are also the SAME people who incidentally churn out the SAME shit that they even have the gall to past off to their terminally bored audience as the arts…..it’s the same shit, different day phenomenon.

You want to know why this classic textbook case of reinforcing failure occurs – it’s because hardly any impetus for new blood to revivify the industry is features in the blue print. Result: some thing akin to an old boy’s mutual appreciation club becomes entrenched in the scene, where the same people who all do the same thing continue to feature and since they all have only a vested interest to perpetuate the status quo ante…they obstruct others from coming into the industry.

I am not exaggerating this how the agri sector really is in Singapore. It is basically filled with the same people who have been doing the same thing who will even proudly tell you and I if you ask them – how long have you been doing this?

Oh it all started with my great great great great Grandfather who first started this so many years ago when Parameswara first saw a lion roaming around here….that’s to say there is new blood coming into the industry and that is the reason why these MCDW’s all need to move out of Singapore and make space for the new order.

I know what I have to say may well come across as counter intuitive but my logic is these SAME people who have always been doing the SAME thing in Singapore should by all logical accounts no longer be here….they should have by now acquired so much core competence in their respective field of farming to expand beyond our shores to Dubai, Indonesia or any other country where the cost of food production is dramatically lower than in Singapore….that is what every food security blue print MUST incorporate as an indelible feature to be sustainable…that is actually how all agri firms grow WITHOUT a single exception….Cargill, ADM and United Foods contrary to popular myth don’t ever grow their cereals and corn in Nebraska or the wheat belt in the USA…they used too, but once they acquire critical mass in these skill of arms – they like their kinsmen in the auto or electronics industry or any other business that has reached a growth maturity cycle in their business, all without exception spread their wings abroad to discover lower cost centers and economies of scale – today only ten percent of all cereals consumed by Americans are grown in the US, they rest are grown in green field sites in Africa, South America and even in the Ukraine where the cost of food production per hectare is dramatically lower than what it can ever hope to be in the US. And this is the ONLY reason why America is able to feed herself the rest of the world – because it has a business ecology where are big boys are forced to move out thereby making room for new blood to come into the farming industry, to renew the industry by revivify it with new and innovative knowledge that can only come from a healthy inflow and outflow of human capital.

But in Singapore it seems that both AVA and Lawrence Wong really only wants to baby no end the SAME useless people who are all doing the SAME useless thing and since no one in AVA ever has the imagination to light a fire under their comfy seat – why are you still here breeding frogs for congee porridge in Geylang for the last three generations? Why aren’t you in Xiamen where the cost is just one tenth? Haven’t you learnt anything in the last three generations how to expand your business abroad? What the fuck is wrong with you? Hey we need this parcel of land to train the next cohort of frog breeders when are you going to grow a brain and move out and make way for new blood? Why are you still relying on government handouts after three bloody generations of doing the same thing? Aren’t you ashamed? Or why are you doing stupid things here like building vertical farming kits to grow bock Choy in Singapore when you should be in Dubai or Israel and don’t even have to bother with that sort of shit as FDI farming projects there enjoy subsidised rates of electricity that will allow you to grow on accelerated lamps at night as well? What the hell is going on man?

As a consequence no new blood can ever revivify the agri sector in Singapore as it’s literally in a fossilized state of stasis….Singapore should never be a place for any business to farm in perpetuity. We don’t nearly have enough land to entertain that sort of entitlement business model – it should ideally just be like an aircraft carrier where one learns the ropes and when the time comes they take right off or crash into the sea whichever and they move out and make room for new blood to come in to do the same – the focus should be on throughput in producing a critical mass of competent Farmers – this in my opinion is the only way to built sustainable core competencies in farming……as it is what does Lawrence Wong do? He rewards ineptitude and a total of failure of imagination by actually capitulating this useless people by extending their land concession by 20 years!

Watching all this unfold is truly unbelievable where I am sitting. I cannot believe this travesty of logic is actually happening and not a single parliamentarian has actually stood up and asked, ‘hey why are you reinforcing failure by awarding this same useless people ten extra years!’

This is my understanding of the CHC case….however I could be wrong, so do feel free to correct me.

First trial. Most of the judges got it right on the sentencing part? Am I right?

Second trial. They got it wrong? By reducing the sentence by discounting it across the board by 50% on technical grounds…so were they right or wrong on the sentencing?

Now there is going to be third apex trial to decide once and for all on the ‘right’ sentencing again?

To me there has to be something very wrong with this picture. As an issue once decided should not be raised again….to be allowed it to be raised the second time is bad enough, but for the third time some thing is definitely very very wrong. As even if the judges get it righter than right this third time, they have to be wrong in so many ways.

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You should get both – that is to say do your degree….then get a skill.

After all why should you put your trust in ‘leaders’ who don’t seem to be asking their own children to do what they tell other people’s children to do?

Think!

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‘Get a degree. Because if they say a degree does not confer you a competitive advantage these days. Then that’s the minimum baseline.

Don’t listen to all these funny leaders…because if you have a degree even if it happens to be from a tin pot university…it’s still nonetheless a degree….whether it has any instrinsic value is NOT for the custodians of power to determine. They are not God. That’s entirely a matter of perception for the market to determine…besides once you have a degree. It’s yours for life and no one can ever take it away from you.

Is a degree useless now in Singapore? Maybe…perhaps…could be….who really knows?

But a degree is still a degree and what makes you think you will have the luxury to work all your life in Singapore?

Maybe you have to work elsewhere and should you be forced to do that, then maybe you should go further to ask if a degree is so evacuated of all intrinsic value then why do both the immigration services and employers of EVERY single government in the world including North Korea regularly ask for your highest academic qualifications? Why don’t they ask you instead the name of your goldfish or what is the highest level you managed to get into in the world of Warcraft?

So please don’t talk rubbish to me!

Now if you want to know how important a degree is in life – then go and ask Alvin Tan. He had a bite at a degree, but since his philosophy in life is you only live once….he decided to throw it all away and now he’s degreeless…so go and ask him how easy is it to navigate thru the complexity of working life in the US without a degree. Go and ask whether employers give two hoots whether he used to be an ASEAN scholar in a top university in Asia…Does Alvin Tan know about the law enough to talk convincingly about deeper aspects of jurisprudence? Yes….but talk is really all he can really do….again he has no degree….so he can’t monetise on that area as a subject matter expert…it’s like a Ferrari with no engine.

So the moral of the story is go and get a degree FIRST….see that mile stone of your life to its logical end and be done with it – to me it’s a bit like NS. Whether it is useful or not is not the point. What’s important is you do it. Then you don’t ever have to do it again.

What is important is a degree is a benchmark of competence.

But even should you say everyone these days is a degree holder and it has lost its value then it’s like saying everyone has legs and you better have a pair yourself then – that’s how I see it really. Otherwise be prepared in life to justify why everyone seems to have a degree in life….except maybe YOU!

Besides if you skip or decide to short cut that milestone of your life experience then it will be very difficult for you to revisit it again – I am not saying it cannot be done….but it will come at a very disruptive cost. So finish it off when the cost and pain factor is still relatively Low.

Only after you have a degree then talk about whether you want to be a cobbler or someone who puts together stain glass windows to get by in life.’

Ritchie

May 8, 2017

Ritchie wasn’t just there when I started all this. He was always there with me thru thick and thin….from the very beginning he was always there. Truth is ritchie wasn’t just a dog. He was actually a human pretending to be a dog….it’s raining now. I went to his grave just then and dug out all his bones with my hands. I can’t help it…I miss my friend. I told him that he was callous to just leave me in the way he did….I will bring Ritchie back from the dead again. Death will have no dominion over him….if need be I will go to that dreaded other side and drag him out by the collar.

I can’t help it I miss my dear and loyal friend…why does the world have to always take away everyone I love and care for…why can’t it just leave us alone.

Why?

I had to go to the island of Penang to meet up with a group of heritage building designers who are all dying to see me….it seems they all consider me a great visionary for whatever reasons I have absolutely no idea….that it always seems is the story of my life. Whenever people see me they are usually very excitable, enthusiastic and over the rainbow…why that should be has and will I suspect always be one of the enduring mysteries of my life….I really have no idea what the fuss is all about….but that is really how it is.

It is always very difficult for me to venture into the cityscape without my dogs….I always feel vulnerable and naked without the protection of my four legged friends. But as soon as I arrived at site I did manage to make friends with a couple of stray dogs who followed and even guarded over me….that comforted me a lot.

After sitting for a two hour presentation I had lunch with these designers. It is very difficult for me to be so close to people. I don’t feel comfortable at all….as I usually dine alone – fortunately I am in a position in life where before anyone even who comes in contact with me. He or she is first briefed on do’s and don’t’s – I don’t shake hands not even casually…instead I greet others like a red indian by raising my hand with a friendly ‘how’.

I have a morbid fear of being touched. I cringe quite visibly whenever I am touched. I need to wash my hands immediately whenever that happens with a bristle brush for at least a full hour. All electronic electronic devices must be switch off or handed over to the front desk for safe keeping….as I don’t want the NSA, CIA and Mossad to track me. The restaurant must be evacuated of all patrons and I even bring along my own cutlery and cook on tow.

Fortunately no one thinks I am weird and even if they do – they have the social intelligence to keep it to themselves…..this incidentally is the power of money – it can alter not only behavoiral norms in others but it also has the capacity to shift perception to such an extent where I am even normal and all others who don’t do what I choose to do….abnormal – cut to the chase, it was a very productive day. I was able to hammer out many many issues along with motivate the whole team….I will show you all my project once it is finished.

I was supposed to stay the night in a hotel. But since I missed my dogs terribly. I declined a presidential suite. I drove back instead. When I arrived at about five. I found a very dead monitor lizard in the yard…judging from how everything had been turned upside down….it was a right mess.

I can only assume it must have been a violent fight to the death – King Kong was standing proudly next to the kill….it is hard to say who claimed the score as dogs are don’t talk a lot….monitor lizards are predators. They like nothing better than to sneak into bird houses and eat eggs…I am very happy my dogs protected my lands when I was away for the day…..I can always rely on my dogs.

I am happy to be back to the warm embrace of nature again. Nothing gives me more joy than to be close to her bosom.

Recently mini Lee got into a lot of trouble with netizens for suggesting Singaporeans should steal other people’s lunch i.e their jobs.

To be very frank I do not see anything inaccurate or morally wrong with that sort of use of language…as it very prosaic and accurate because at one level of intelligence one can perhaps say in politically correct language individuals are engaged in competition for jobs….but if you strip away all the niceties. They are actually stealing opportunities from you.

You can quibble till the cows all die who moved your cheese….but it’s gone as someone else ate it….so that’s stealing.

Secondly it is not morally questionable to use the term stealing….as business is not a form of war….it is clearest expression of war.

Without clarity of will there can be no such thing as power and even less of will to power.

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‘When one is autistic. The world can be a very cruel place. As not all, but some people especially the evil ones will always mistake my caring, gentle and giving nature as stupidity* and some will even take a bite out of me….

They will cheat you and after that, they even have the gall to look you straight in the eyes and laugh at you.

That was what someone who loved me very much as a child once cupped my face and brought it to hers told me…she said, you have to learn to hit back whenever that happens. Not just hit. But hit so hard that person spins like a top so that everyone stops and watches him go round and round for days and nights…and if you can learn to do just that, then people will eventually know their place and leave you alone….that’s the only way for you to lead a normal life….to be able to take care of yourself without burdening others.

This woman made me promise to do that – so that is what I’ve been doing all my life. If a bully takes my money in school. I will ask him back politely for it the following day. If he beats me up. I will go back again the next day. He beats me up again. I will go back again and again and again…..and by maybe the tenth time maybe I will bring along the entire nation of Rotweillers, Alsatians and Dobermans to demand my money back. By that time the bully would be begging me on bended knees to take the money he once took from me with compound interest.

I think that was the best life advise anyone ever gave me. Some of the best advice I notice are just one liners – they don’t ever need to take up ten A4 pages of reasonings – less is more….thank you auntie Bee Keng…I love you.’

* I am going to share with you all a very scary story. As a salaried man back in Singapore I worked in a factory in Boon Lay. I knew every single pipeline in that facility all 127.38 miles of it, right down to the fractional minutae of every single nut and screw. Absolutely nothing escaped me. I just saw it once in a master schematic for maybe ten minutes and after that…Bang!

It was right there in my head. I could see it all in three dimensions…I could even rotate it and look at every single detail in marvellous completion. If I drank two cups of coffee really fast I could even reduce it all to one elegant equation….not that anyone there could ever understand…that’s why some people thought I was crazy.

There’s no rocket science to a factory – it’s just understanding how the head bone is connected to the neck bone and that is connected to the back bone and so on and so forth. Pretty dumb stuff.

Every morning on the first shift when the issues were brought up for discussion. Everyone would go thru a ritual – it would begin like this, a problem will be raised. The manager would take a swipe of anti gastric potion and pop two Panadol. Everyone would ask round after round of questions, theorize, postulate, guess, speculate where the problem was….then after that, they would all look at me and usually I would tell the mechanics to go to section 6, look at this and that and 10 out of 10…the problem would be fixed.

One day a group of people got jealous and Bo Kum Buan – they started to find fault with me in the cafetaria. One of them said I like to show off and even told me not to talk too much.

Thereafter I decided to keep silent.

I did not say a word for a whole week. Not even when I was asked. Not long after that everything just degenerated into a Mother of a mess and soon everyone was so stressed some even suffered nervous breakdowns, others decided to take emergency leave or fake MC’s because the workplace became a hellish pressure cooker where everyone was running around like headless chickens.

All the while I was twiddling my thumb and just keeping quiet.

After that management pleaded with me to end my silent treatment and even gave me a fifty percent pay rise, a written apology from those fucks who tried to bully me (they all received warning letters from HR), an undertaking to delete all the CCTV footage of me sleeping under my desk during work and the management even gave me a special pass to eat as much as I can in Safra buffet for the next six months…then I started talking again….but I also started to get quite fat as well.

I have very fond memories of working in Singapore. It was a truly wonderful place and I miss Singapore very much…I have not been back home for nearly seven years.’

Nailing a problem

May 6, 2017

Electricity is always a perennial issue whenever one stays deep in a plantation. I am so accustomed to blackouts that I can even get by on just batteries. Recently my birdhouse which also doubles as my safehouse was hit by a lightning strike. The pretty much fried up everything. I lost two amplifiers and would have lost much more had I not used a surge protector on some of my equipment such as fridges and electric hob.

Since the lightning strike the circuit breaker has been tripping every time it rains. Even distant thunder will set it off – I got the electrician in and he was so baffled that he didn’t know what to do.

I spent many days trying to isolate the fault. But to no avail….one day while kitted out with head lamp to seek out the problem. I decided to take a closer look at the amplifiers of the birdhouse. I must have spent a whole hour just sitting down and studying blue, red and green wires with my eyes…then it occured to me the tripping may have been due to a faulty amplifier.

Switch out one of the amplifiers and when it rained just now I watched it closely…..no sign of tripping any more. I think I may have nailed the problem after all. I am hopeful.

Fingers crossed.

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‘There is a saying common to tradesmen – if really want to know something then just do it! Maybe I am slow…perhaps even slightly stupid. But I tend to just sit right down and look at the thing. It’s not unusual for me to look at it for hours on end.

Many people mistake this attitude as just wasting time….but experience informs me when I look at a problem long and hard usually it speaks to me. By this I mean I begin to glean details and insights that I would not normally pick it if I had just rushed in to get the job done.

I was once invited to an art gallery for an opening. Since I am allergic to crowds – I went there when everyone had, had their fill and gone back home….it was just around midnight when only the remnants of the crowd along with caterers relaxing quite openly in the foyer featured when I wandered from one iteration to another.

One particular picture caught my eye, it was a very large painting of what seemed at first to be a jungle scene. There were no animals in this scene….not even a single one. So it seemed.?..it seemed to just depict plants and trees….then when the artist approached me and asked for my opinion. I mentioned the monkey in the picture was a very nice personal touch….she looked quite shocked as she brushed her throat nervously.

Yes…she looked very shocked.

To which I went to add…you wanted to put part of yourself in there without anyone knowing…that’s your way of immortalizing your creation to put something there that no one could ever see except perhaps you, not even some fat guy who has more cash than he ever bothered to ever count who would eventually buy this masterpiece and hang it in his toilet would ever make that monkey out….that’s your lasting act of defiance. Your way of thumbing your nose at the world. Your method of exerting ownership over this creation that will eventually leave you.

She looked quite naked before me and after a pause the artist blurted….please don’t tell anyone.

Yes….I understand. I understand completely.’

When we ask ourselves how is it possible to migrate from the comfort zone to a new and exciting beginning where things can take root and grow….it is never a direct and linear process.

As all the parts that will play a key role in determining where we will finally end devoting our lives too will always be serendipitous, haphazard and even slightly accidental…

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‘I guess when people say as they so often do….I wish I can go to some place where no one knows me and I can simply do what I really want to do. What they actually mean to say is – they genuinely yearn for a new beginning…to start all over again….to perhaps not make the same mistakes they once made….to have an opportunity to do it all over again and this time to do it righter than right.

Every man I reckon at some point in his life yearns for a new beginning…to be able to press the Ctrl, Alt and delete keys simultaneously only for everything to blink into oblivion momentarily followed by the reassuring hum when you know deep down soon it will all reappear again afresh…on a new page.

This new page is what I like to call X marks the spot. Frequently it isn’t just a place on a map – often it comprises of fragments of images, smells and sensations in our memories…the smell of electrified nitrogen like breathing in needles just before a thunderstorm…the sobs of old creaking wood as the wanton wind blows rattling loose window panes…..the smell of freshly brewed coffee just before the day breaks….that’s really the equivalent of the GPS coordinates that makes up the whole story of where X marks the spot.

It’s very hard to pin down and most people sadly don’t ever discover that mythical place….or for matter their calling…they just don’t I am afraid. I know they should. But they don’t. Not even the valecdictorian who managed to make the hair at the back of your neck stand during graduation day with his or her wax lyrical speech of a brighter than bright and exciting futurescape found it either…he or she is probably a temp in some warehouse stacking boxes like building a life size lego set or maybe he’s an uber driver now….like I said most people never ever find that happy sliver between yearning and desire where everything just comes together perfectly.

But what did you really expect? It’s not easy to discover that place where X marks the spot….it’s not as if you have a skull and bones map. No it’s not like that at all.

Most of the the time the process to find that place has no defining beginning or end point…it’s like taking a walk for the very first time in a city that you’ve never been before. You always start your journey with a map, it’s marked with red circles – that’s where you want to be before lunch….in the beginning you walk the planned route. Then something in a quaint shop window draws you long enough to stop walking. Long enough to perhaps be distracted by maybe a girl in a really short skirt…you follow her for a while. Then realising the man who eventually links up with her must be her boy friend and he’s heavy built like a boxer with no neck…you decide to stick to your planned route. Only this time you’re in a different part of the city that you can’t seem to make out in the map….you decide to take a coffee break. In a short while you resume your walk thru labyrinths passages that are so narrow in some places you can even touch both walls with your fingers. Soon it opens up to an expansive sun drenched courtyard only to repeat itself again. By now you’re just walking hardly even trying to make sense of where you might be in the greater scheme of things. From time to time to stop and stare….a crooked spire…the way the light catches the angular sides of a building transforming it into a tongue of light in the preamble….moist cobbles stones followed by gravel then concrete to bitumen and back to cobble stones again and then you see something….not just anything, but something that you always seen and known about in your mind’s eye – something that is so familiar yet estranged at the same time…you don’t quite know it then. But slowly it dawns on you that this is the place where X marks the spot….you stop and soon the realisation hits you that you’re lost in a part of town that you don’t know whether it’s in the north, east, south or west….but it’s ok. As you want to stay and simply be next to this new discovery that has come into your life.

That’s really how I read the story of X marks the spot.’

It’s not easy to remain calm and collected when all things around one seem to be up in the air…not at all. I understand. I understand completely. And at times it may even come across as condescending when a smarty pants starts telling you in a sure fire tone such as myself what you should and should not do…..again I understand. I understand completely.

Let’s see. You’re jobless. You have sent out enough CV’s to sink a battleship and you’re at your wits end as the bills seem to be mounting and there doesn’t seem to any respite….it’s as if you’re really submerged deep….so deep that you can feel the pressure from all sides digging in and the last thing you want to do is to hear platitudes….I undersrand. I understand completely.

Only I want you to know I’ve been there…I know that territory very well. Not just casually there…but THERE…so there…smack right in the center of there land, like a fly caught in spiders web…so tightly peltracked at four corners that it’s not even possible to move…so I know first hand, how it’s like to out in the cold….and I do apologise to so many for some of my previous post on this subject – where I may have come across as insensitive, insulting and even lacking in empathy….there are no buts…I apologise unconditionally and it shall never happen again.

Forgive me because I’ve forgotten….you see it was so many years ago and it is very easy to forget and to begin believing in the mythology one creates about how it all began and not how impossibly difficult it was back then…it was only when I played back the video in the last post and listened to myself that it all rushed back to me like a storm of memories….and I remembered how it actually was back then and how it must be for you now.

Truth was back then even I found it very difficult to believe what I had to share – most of the time I was scared. Insecure and perhaps even clueless…but I couldn’t show it. I couldn’t. Because I knew so many of us back then who had begun this were also scared. Insecure and perhaps just as clueless as I. But I could never show it.

So somewhere in this motley group of scady cats I fashioned my own version of reality that required me to suppress my real feeble self – I began to draw more and more strength from the mythos of man called Darkness….Darkness always knows what to do. Darkness is always supremely confident and only he has the strength and charisma to lead.

When I did this…I noticed fear within all of us began to dissipate almost magically. For the very first time, we could do the impossible…frequently overcoming great odds with so very little very much in the way we once conquered the warring tribes in the game with Darkness leading the way.

By that time the others began to feed nourishment from the fictitious character called Darkness that I had embodied to such a degree that had I pulled the plug everything would have just turned black…it had to continue…there was no choice, not when it worked so well…it had to go on.

But it was never like that for me privately. I remember very cold nights lying wide awake thru the night and into break of dawn not ever knowing for sure whether I had done the right thing…there was always the lingering shadow of fear…always being deeply insecure about my lack of experience in farming. I remember lonely walks in moonlit gravel roads where very often I was racked by endless worries that often consumed me like a whale. I even remembered wanting to give it all up at one point because the pressure was so unbearable.

But Darkness would always appear in those moments of my greatest weakness
…he would always sneer at my feeble nature. And whenever he appeared I would always steel myself and suck it all in like a child who was ashamed that he wet his sheets…Darkness has zero tolerance for weakness, so I pulled up my socks and went right on never once complaining.

I kept it all to myself never once allowing anyone to know the truth of the duality that had taken hold in my life. Not even when things eventually began to smoothen out quite nicely.

But what is important is I remember now how it really was back then. It’s all coming back…..

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‘I don’t really know whether there’s a reliable way to be calm. I really don’t. Especially one when is confronted with what seems at first intractable. I say ‘at first,’ only because that’s how it is from personal experience – at first it comes at you from all directions…it tears at you…you try to keep what’s still left of you, but since it always seems bigger and more powerful than you….you just feel wasted.

‘At first,’ it’s always like that…..it doesn’t get easier with the repeating. No…it doesn’t. Because the ‘at first’ moment always seems to last an eternity – you want to speak to someone but since you want to keep what’s still whole and not entirely ravaged yet whole and intact…you manage a weak smile and trudge on by the best you can. You tell yourself that’s your way of dealing with it ‘at first.’ You even convince yourself that if you stay on long enough in that pain ridden ‘at first’ zone…it might even spit you out to the side. But it just goes right on like one of those horror stories where you read about wide doved eye travellers who take on a humongous swath of geography that so awfully big that it defies both scale and comprehension….like the eternity of the Russian steppes or maybe the snowy expanse of the arctic….it just seems to stretch right out before you and the cruelest part is when you believe it might just turn out to be the end…there’s always more of the same ahead. The at first moment seems to be the only human experience known to mankind in my opinion capable of transcending the dictionary meaning of the word litany….it’s relentless….a constant pressure….and it’s always there. At some point you say to yourself….hey a new word really needs to be wordsmithed to give this domain actual meaning. Litany doesn’t even come remotely close…litany is when you have to mow the lawn on a Sunday and fight the urge not to kick back and cool your heels over a good book and perhaps cap it off with an afternoon nap…litany is when you’re just making your way back home like the day, week, month and year before and all you’re doing is using as much processing power as it takes to tie your shoelaces because you’re too bored or exhausted to think about how to get out of this rut….but this at first moment is none of those things. No it’s not. It just seems to always have more of what you can possibly summon deep within you to see it right to the end…it’s hardly something that you can use determination, will power or sagacity or even hope to blunt and take enough of the sharp edges off so that you can continue walking thru it. No all those things are no bloody fucking good when you’re in the at first zone. They are all powerless. Besides you’re so worn right to the bone and sinew it’s not as if you have anything else besides the odd fuck you! to throw at it. It’s hard to say whether that’s a remnant of your defiance or maybe…it’s like an incantation against an evil spell. At that point you want to just stop. You tell yourself somewhere in the indescrible gnawing sensation in at first land…I’ll stop for just a while. But since you know only too well if you just let up. Even so much as a bit….you will never get up and continue putting one feet in front of another. So you laugh out loud like some stark raving mad man the sort where he’s always depicted in movies and books sporting a shaggy beard..the sort where you know that only Caucasians can grow such a beard, but you have to make do with just long hair like Amos used to sport and just as soon as that thought flits thru your head into oblivion or absurdistan….which ever presents itself first…you laugh out loud one more time….as you continue walking that no man’s land called ‘at first.’

Don’t ever stop…just keep walking. I am not going to say ‘trust me you will reach there’ or ‘you need to find strength deep in yourself.’ Plenty have told you so and it was probably meaningless then as it is now.

If you limit your search for opportunities only in Singapore….then you are likely to impersonate one of too many fishes in a pond that is drying out fast…where every fish frantically fighting for very little food.

But if you widen your job search beyond Singapore to include the whole wide world….don’t be surprised should you find rich hunting grounds.

This is very easy to say…..but it is not easy to do.

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‘At some point when you do everything humanly possible to make things better and right and they remain stubbornly either the same or get worse. Then you had better ask yourself the theoretical question, might it be possible the old formula of success is obsolete?

The way I see it – many set pieces that used to produce success no longer holds true in Singapore…Orchard road is no longer a bustling die die must walk stretch of road..it is very slowly and surely dying. Neither is port services the jewel in the crown of the economy that can reliably guarantee Singapore’s trading primacy regionally forever…already there are very disruptive agendas at work that will eat away at this tried and tested formula….the way we work along with relationship between firms and workers is also going thru unprecedented changes…so is the entire business process and how firms go about producing value.

All these things are there for you to see firsthand for yourself….some of you may have even experienced first hand the brunt of the chastening process of change.

And even if all this is only partially true….as time goes by, all these discruptive changes can only continue to be heightened and sharpened…if that is so…then how is it possible for one to sensibly hold on to the time honoured assumptions about work, life and play….how can all these set pieces that used to feature so reliably remain the same?…that is the paradox of our – we are living in a churning sea of unprecedented change yet we still cling everything to be like the way it used to be. But at the same time some of us seem to be in denial that everything around us is changing….and very often these changes will bring great disruption to our lives.

Hence at some point of considering all the options to improve ones lot in an environment of acute scarcity. We would do well to confront the only logical option – that is to go abroad to work.

But to talk about such a paradigm shift automatically compells us to ask that other inconvenient question – whether we are mentally, physically and spiritually prepared to migrate from the comfort zone to the discomfort as well – and very often we refuse to even consider this option because we fear it so much that most of the time we fashion all sorts of delightful excuses just to stay in the comfort zone.

Is moving from the comfort to discomfort zone easy? Well I would answer that with a rhetorical – why should that transition be easy. It was definitely not easy for me as I pulled it off when I was already vintaged good and I don’t imagine it was easy either for so many who acted on my advise to go out there back then seven years ago…..but since the selection process during those early days was so structured to maximise on success…many who went did not see any other option….we all had to confront our fears the best we could in our respective ways and usually it was done privately and put into action of our plans in a very haphazard way to actively create a better tomorrow with very little in the way of prior experience or intelligence….the only thing we really had was our combined experience gained from playing the game.

But what is pertinent for your learning outcome in this sharing is despite the lack of a clear plan – we migrated to the discomfort zone and soon that domain that used to provoke so much fear and trepidation became some semblance of the place called home….for most of us at least.

Having said all that, what is important to understand is this will always never be easy to pull off…if it were that easy it would just be called the comfort zone revisited or V.2 and not the discomfort zone – so everything about it will always be some what heart wrenching, painful and even slightly intimidating in the very beginning.

To just share with any of you who may be considering this pathway – for me I dealt with my bundle of nerves by simply sitting quietly beside this juggernaut of a thing with bold letters that spelled F-E-A-R….yes to just sit before it quietly like an ant….not even with the intent to seek oneness with it…to just sit next to it stupidly even and simply look at it day in and out….not really judging or even trying to make it bigger than what it actually is already…but to simply be so close to it that you can feel it radiating its death rays…feeling every hemisphere of the pain that goes thru you right down to the depths of the marrow of your bones…to do it all again and again…day in and out.

And the funny thing is when one does just that. And that alone….at some point of reckoning everything will just assume a sensible form and scale that it is….and it will cease to be something scary.

The lesson here is it is only thru deep understanding of a thing for what it is and not others say it is, that enables us to deconstruct fear.*

What I’ve just described is how people actually get stronger…they face the sum of all their fears…set aside the many excuses real and imagine why they refuse to look at it squarely and if they do that long enough. At some point one can punch a hole right thru it and hopefully go to the other side.

But it begins by looking at it squarely head on and not finding excuses to run away from it.

That which once provoked fear can only get smaller only to eventually disappear into something quite undersrandable…because only in the act of doing what one puts off from doing can things actually get better. Only in the doing and not just talking will it acquire the agency of power to be real and not remain just the bravado of talk only. And you can even say only in doing can we past from the realm of theory to reality in materialising a better tomorrow.’

* The brotherhood is not real as in realer than life real….if anything it’s just a motley bunch of gamers who used to play a D&D game that I developed by kicking a ball down a hill and thereafter it just snowballed and got bigger and heavier till it gathered so much momentum that it became unstoppable….that’s the long and short of it.

But just because something has a hobbyist feel about it like toy trains or just a bunch of guys getting together during the weekend to talk about ham radio doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the potential to transform itself into something life changing somewhere along the line by acquiring the agency of reality and even power….it very well can. And in this case it did. As not only was the game engaging at so many levels but to excel in it one simply had to be really good at managing oneself and others..and in this respect it certainly played a very big role in shaping the right attitude to do what we once did. I am sure there is a lesson here…somewhere.

When those who are fortunate to come to wealth do not spare a thought for those who may not be as fortunate as themselves…..then it can be said they lack virtue.

Having said that…it is one thing to point out the obvious and yet an altogether different thing for one to ask what might be the prescriptive cure for this problem.

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‘One of the greatest travesties to have befallen gentle society is when the art of duelling was done away with. To my understanding it is not merely a coincidence that the demise of duelling occured just around the period when social graces began to fritter away at an alarming speed to what we are left with today.

It would seem very odd to me and most people I imagine that while in the past when a gentleman’s honor was soiled, society could always be counted to hold out the promise of redemption for the aggrieved to challenge the insulter to a duel as a reliable means to seek restitution…but these days. In the so called civilised modern age – the gentlemen it seems is reduced to having to make do as best he can with a mobile phone camera to prosecute on what I can only describe as a third rate measure of ‘demand for satisfaction.’

In lieu of the aggrieved party having no reliable means other than a mobile phone to seek restitution for social transgression of a brutish and feral nature…parliamentarians in Singapore would do well to seriously table a motion to consider resurrecting the gentle art of duelling in the name of the common good…apart from freeing the courts and Lawyers from having to frequently hear spurious claims….not to mention allowing the police to focus on criminal activities besides being deluged by civil disobedience cases, it would also allow the National Parks Board to diversify into the lucrative field of al fresco el naturale funeral services cum organic fertilizer business. Both of which I am sure would add considerably to increasing the aperture of job opportunities for natives.

But I digress. Back to the point – in my considered opinion the revival of duelling in Singapore would go a very long way to reliably improve manners and character, not to mention revivifying the level of civility, decorum along with incentivizing social offenders to aggress in a timely fashion with impeccable manners.

They will never ever teach you this in Wharton or Harvard….they will teach you all other manner of things that is likely to have nominal or very low impact in your life. But this…which I consider the most cardinal and important arcanum….they will never ever teach you…the real trajedy is they should…they must….and if they don’t…this should at least prompt you to ask – how can my education ever be complete?

But like I said, the problem is they don’t teach you these important things….what a tragedy.

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‘I worked many jobs to put myself thru university. I worked as a garbage collector…in a funeral parlour…as a morgue attendant..as a cook in a Cantonese restaurant.etc etc.

In univerisuty on those rare occasions when boys and girls get together for socials….usually it’s not uncommon for me to get a lot of attention from the girls. Because I am always very well dressed in a dark suit. But unfortunately it never ever last for very long – eventually girl will get around to asking whether I work and study. I reply yes. She figures it must be quite a glamorous job since I am always wearing a dark suit. Then when I tell her I work in a funeral parlour. There after there’s always a pause….there always is…till today I don’t know why that should be so. Anyway after that there is always two outcomes. First they puke on the cat and I never see them again. Second they manage a weak smile ask where’s the toilet is, I give them directions and like the first outcome….I never see them again.

And this would be a reoccurring theme thru out my whole life as a student in the UK.

It was a terribly confusing period for me….and for many years I used to think it had something to do with my selection of Eau de Cologne….it couldn’t be the way I dressed…couldn’t be my work either as funeral services is a serious city and guilds trade that is highly respected…so I thought.

Besides I wasn’t robbing, extorting money or leading a criminal life. I was simply putting myself to good use by dedicating all of myself to honest labor which I actually derived a lot of pride from….I was terribly confused why no one wanted to go out with me.

I mean I had plenty of reasons to be proud of my work…I was after all on a mission to get myself educated. To the best of my knowledge I never had a single customer complaint (Okay lah….to be fair not that they could…but you know what I mean).

The job paid well. I had plenty of time to study when no one died. It was a peaceful place to work and to cap it off. I was even given free board and lodgings above the parlour and unlike most jobs where the boss is always breathing down one’s neck. The funeral trade is really quite free and easy and so relaxed and whenever I felt like taking a nap – the proprietor didn’t even mind that I dozed off like he himself so often did in one those super deluxe silk lined caskets. I mean you just need to be very careful about not moving too much like turning over, waking up abruptly or stretching out your arms whenever patrons were wandering around the shop, but since no one ever came in – that was never a problem.

I gathered many years later most people suffer from a misplaced perception about some jobs. They tend to buy into the belief some jobs are good just because everyone says it’s good and others are bad just for the same reason that no one ever wants them.

It’s very arbitrarily process. Hardly contemplative, frequently concluded without even bothering to drill deeper into what the trade offers in the way of satisfaction and personal growth and worse of all since they spend so much of their time running away or avoiding these ‘lousy’ jobs that for some reason everyone considers lousy but for some strange and inexplicable no one actually elaborates why they’re lousy….they never get to see the good side of those jobs – like maybe being a garbage collector which incidentally just happens to be one of the most lucrative jobs in the UK. Because the British have the unusual habit of throwing out literally treasures. They would for instance roll out things like a fully functional TV or a washing machine, sofa, bicycle etc etc to the front of the drive way that I never seem to have any problem reselling for a decent price to supplement by study fund. Or working as a technician in a nuclear plant where it’s not unusual to get paid eight hours of labor while one is really only expected to work four hours and no more because of the stringent safety regulations that require you to go for regular test to make sure you’re not growing another head.

I guess what I am trying to say is don’t ever get too hung up on what people say or think about some jobs that most people consider taboo…undesirable…dirty….lowly or even creepy. Above all don’t take it personally when they don’t give you the respect you believe you deserve just because they look down on your trade.

Truth is. There’s nothing actually wrong with your trade, not even if you happen to be cleaning toilets (that I have even done as well) – it just means these people have made the awful mistake to cut off an entire hemisphere of work experience out from their life and worst of all they will never ever get to know what lies behind it all and that incomprehensible attitude can never be the path to wisdom….never.

Because when you’re choosy about your job – you’re just cutting off rich opportunities of life experiences that will open up new fields of possibilities to where you will eventually end up.

You know why because life is hardly linear…it’s not like one of those well planned space missions where you’ve conceived the future and all you’re doing is ticking off a check list as everything just unfolds the way you imagined it…No. it’s never like that. Nine out of ten it’s one part serendipity and two parts when opportunity intercepts luck…you could just be on a train trying to work thru a cross word puzzle, suddenly you overhear two guys in suits talking about how the metals exchange is doing brisk business in African gold…you know a bit about mining, as you’ve got a excavator license and have even worked in a junk yard. You know a bit about how to tame cantankerous machines as well…as you’ve have worked as a mechanic…so with all that experience cut into the inside of your belt – that gives you the confidence and aptitude to try your luck as a gold miner somewhere in Africa….and what I have just described is how ninety nine percent of people find their calling in life.

The key that opens the door is not your degree or even who your parents happen to know…it’s your breadth of experience, to be very specific, it’s your experiential knowledge – that’s the skeleton key that opens the door to oppeotunity.

And what I have just described to you is none other than a treasure map that most people who are choosy about jobs will never know about…nope they have no idea where X marks the spot….not even when they are standing right on it..you know why?

Because from the word go, they have already painted themselves in one miserable corner – this cannot do, that also cannot, must be like this or that, have to be this or that way or cannot again, must modify this or that, must some more die die have this and that etc etc etc – this is how one goes about increasing ones chances of failure to the level of surefire certainty. The irony is most of what they insist to be perfect and ideal work conditions is just the stuff of pure imagination….nonsense…some nebulous blob that they can’t even string into one understandable sentence that they probably cobbled from a mish mash of third hand information from casual conversations with myopic people such as themselves who probably only ever temp in air con Starbucks, from stereotypical images derived from movies, magazines and sound bites to create some semblance of knowledge to derive at a rough understanding of what’s right..perfect and ideal….but what’s important for you to know to enhance your learning outcome from this sharing is – they don’t really know what’s even good, bad or ugly…infact the scary part is they have cut so much of life out from the equation of success…the only place they’re headed is the dodo hall of fame. Let alone figure out how it may all come right back one day to either haunt them or pay out big dividends later on in life…that’s the prevailing attitude that you have to declare war against..total and complete annilahation…to terminate with extreme prejudice even.

What’s important is when you’re young…you should experience as much of life as you can….there are no absolutes…no lexicons…no good, average or bad even….just the act of accumulating as much life experience as you can possibly get like one those ace Pilots that chalks up kill flags.

As everything that you have once done and experienced will all come back one day to serve you……nothing is ever wasted in life. Absolutely nothing.

You may not know it then when you’re working on a Friday on the third shift in some factory when all your friends are out partying and having good time.

But even when I look back on my own averagely miserable life….I wish someone could tell me back then, all this in the moment of my youth….nothing is ever wasted…it will all come right back full circle one day.

Today I can weld, shape metal with a hammer, climb technically like Spider-Man and work confidently hanging from the end of a rope, overhaul an engine, build a bridge, mix mortar and plaster, leather craft, train guard dogs that no one in their right mind dares to even go near and much much more….I can take a look at a project and say to myself…I’ve done that before…gone thru that and it can’t be so different from this or that, that I once saw from A to Z…so I am good to go and one day my hope is that you will be able to do all these things with uncommon pride and a deep sense of confidence as well.

Above all you will cultivate a deep spirited sense of respect for those who work with their hands….you will never disrespect the tradesman or the institution he represents because that was once your brotherhood in the moment of your youth…your fraternity…your hunting ground where you learnt the black arts of how to succeed and you were right there in the thick of it all….it’s not just theory like it is for some people when they speak about the travails of the working man….you’ve lived it from the inside out and you know it so well that, that spirit has permeated the very essence of your soul to be who you are and what you stand for…as a frontier man.

I just wished when I was young like some of you – someone older and wiser such as myself would have shared with me all that I am sharing with you all today…experience as much as you can…as nothing is ever wasted and it will all come back full circle to serve you well one day. If I knew all the things I know today. I wouldn’t have felt so sad back then….but there was no such thing as an internet back then. Today it exist that is why it is my solemn duty to share this all with the new generation in our midst…do not take my words and throw it into the wind…keep it well..as it will keep you.’

That is why I have to mope around the house…play computer games 24 hours a day….live in a room where clothes go to die….munch of pot noddles and wait for something worthwhile to fall out of the sky and fall on my lap!

You can pull the wool over the eyes of your mama and papa with your self pity tales….you can even fool the president of Singapore….but you cannot fool me!

You know why you cannot fool me with such defeatist talk….it is very simple. I put myself thru university with my bare hands holding down two shift jobs day in and day out…..so I am so sorry. I cannot and will not accept that as an excuse.

Now as you all know….I have taken a vow to renounce my evil ways….this is very well documented and even widely discussed in the internet. So I really don’t want to regress back to my previous evil ways…..and I hope that some of you will do your part to encourage me in this path of rigtheneous that I have dedicated myself too.

I really don’t want to go back to Singapore….but I will IF I have too to deal with this problem….all I can say is this, you do yourself and the institution you belong too no credit to indulge in defeatist talk.

Now get off your chair..stop picking the skin on your big toe and go to work.

Thank you…I’ve be back again.

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‘In life you have the elemental right to choose whether you want to live by your own conception of reality or the reality of the unthinking masses….should you decide on the latter. Then it is my duty to inform you that you are buying into a great lie that will only serve to disable you and render you useless…..as the way of the world is to always look to others to improve their lot! That to the best of my knowledge is the entrenched psychology of the masses….it is always predicated on placing faith on a higher authority to improve their lot and history has proven robust in this respect to inform us that in practically every single occasion that aspiration or Crie de couer has proven to be misplaced on practically every single occasion in the course of two thousand years of mankind,s history.

Truth is only YOU can improve your lot! As for governments or the Aga Khan foundation and the Mickey Mouse club along with the idea of the creator…all they can do is hold out the distant promise of a better tomorrow…they can only offer the uselessness of hope at best and at worst a fait accompli that things will only get better. That at least is the way I have always seen it. In the final analysis, they’re good for nothing then as they are good for nothing today and probably good for nothing in the future as well…..so you better wake up! And start asking yourself questions like what are you really left with to gainfully improve your lot?

Yourself!

That is really where it begins and end in my understanding of the known world.

Yourself!

That is why it is so jugular to keep to the discipline of the frontier man…the rugged individual…the ‘can do’ man who will always reliably prevail no matter what the odds.

If you throw out the rest of the nonsense and lies that world holds out and just invest in ONLY this idea of the rugged individual….I can almost guarantee 100% you will begin to see your lot improving!

Only understand this the world hates the rugged individual. He is a despicable man in our grotesquely politically correct age of gender blurring and endless compromises. He is often depicted as a militant…a fascist…a hard and implacable man.

Only understand this! This category of men know only too well that should they allow the cancer of defeatism to take hold even so much as one parts per billion in their belief. Then all is lost…the line will fray…discipline will go to the dogs and all will be lost. In times like this be very careful of what you choose to think or for that matter speak about when things don’t go your way.

As it’s hardly a trivial matter….as when you seek out the company of those who grumble no end and do very little to dedicate all their waking hours to bettering their lot….then it could be said that will be your brotherhood…they will be your tribe…and by default you buy into their credo and fly their flag of defeat.

As what you’re doing is forming a worldview of how the world should and must and can only be expected to work – that is to say you have inadvertently entered into an agreement to live your life according to those kooky terms….i.e your lot can only improve IF someone, somewhere high above you sets into motion some grand plan to improve your lot….to put it another way you have relinquished all the power vested in you to better your lot to this so called higher authority that you don’t even know anything about except maybe to see him in TV from time to time talking about things that you hardly even care to know more about…that is to say you have acquiescence your well being to others who hardly give two flying fucks as to whether you live or die…..and this is what the unthinking masses do all the time….that is why they are always languishing in poverty….always struggling to make ends meet….always complaining like children….always wasting valuable time…always procrastinating on what needs to be done today…always blaming everyone instead of taking responsibility and this can only be the outcome when you have allied yourself with the brotherhood of the defeated.

But the frontier man rejects this pipe dream or fantasy does he not? He considers it a travesty of reasoning as when did he ever give his well being to some other force or authority?

Why should the frontier man do something as stupid as put his trust and well being in someone who he just saw on TV?

Why would the frontier man even do that given that the trek record of governments consistently disappoints?

As I said…it’s far better to believe governments are good for nothing then as they’re good for nothing now as they’re probably good for nothing in the foreseeable future when it comes to uplifting lives.

Hence that crutch mentality of relegating power to others over one’s well being will always be very stupid to the frontier man. He is after all a proud man…who wants to take all the credit when his lot improves…and that is not a thing to be discouraged as it is in perfect alignment with his beliefs, ethos and philosophy as to how the world should rightfully work…..truth is the power to improve ones lot has always been in the palm of ones hands….it’s been that way since the moment of recorded history.

And that is the only reality that one should gainfully believe in to make meaningful progress in ones life. All other conceptions are false gods….they are merely illusions….time sucking sand traps that the serious men of this world will always have very little patience for….and rightly so.

As in reality….it really just comes down to you and no one else to improve your lot.

This is the first lesson the frontier imparts to all men who choose to live our way of life…..you could even say it is written in stone.

This is reality…..nothing in this world can be accomplished without iron discipline!

Do you know what’s really strange. Everyone these days talks about building trust with people who you hardly want to know if you really had a choice….they even talk endlessly about building trust with dogs, the planet and ten other things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the business of improving your and my lot.

But do you notice no one ever talks about building trust with the most important person that has the highest impact on their lives – themselves.

Now don’t you think that is very very odd?

The way I see it. The only reliable way to build trust with yourself is to cultivate the art of being alone.

When one approaches the study of being alone, the first thing you will notice is there’s no one to blame for the things that go wrong in your life. As since everything is really in your hands….you have no choice but to take responsibility for everything that eventually comes or doesn’t come your way….it all begins and ends right there…YOU!

In the beginning you kick yourself plenty for the things that belly up…if only you were smarter…if only you were cleverer…if only your parents didn’t drop you on your head as a baby…but after getting thru all that emotional baggage and clarifying what you really have to deal with along with what’s really expected to make your life better…it really just comes down to YOU and no one else – and one day should the Mother of shits hit the fan – you would learn how to be kind to yourself….you even learn not to beat yourself up all the time or to wallow in self pity….above all one of the most valuable lessons you learn being alone is how to laugh at yourself….no. You’re not going stark raving mad….you’re finally come to terms with what you can and cannot do to make things right.

And that’s the first lesson you learn when you begin the journey to build trust with yourself.

How to first accept yourself warts and all for who you really are and not what the world insist you should be.

To know this is to be an awakened being….not to know this is to still be asleep dreaming.

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‘When you are comfortable being alone. The first thing that you will notice is the vast majority of people will begin to think that you are a weirdo.

But I want you to understand this! You are not weird. Far from it. The real weirdo’s are those who think you’re weird because you don’t seem too bothered by loneliness.

Learn to forgive them. As like cripples who have no choice but to get by the best they can with crutches. They too are compelled to manufacture their own lies concerning as a means to deal with their inadequacies in not being able to confront loneliness….don’t take it personally…if they don’t. The center in their known world will just cave right in and they’ll be overwhelmed by the terror of the truth.

That’s why I say forgive them…as once you understand the psychology of the masses it’s very easy to forgive…..

In truth most people are terrified by loneliness…it is akin to suffering….an unbearable state of being like being pit roasted or immersing oneself in an acid bath – a dark place where they can only fear like spiders and snakes. That’s the way most people deal with something they are unable to face or even imagine….so forgive them.

Where possible hide your super power to be alone. Where possible even pretend to be clingy and try your best to project the image of a social person – it’s very easy all you have to do is play Soduku on your smart phone and everyone will think you’re exactly like them…..everyone will believe you belong to the cult of perpetual connectivity….but never ever let them know that you can function 100% alone.

Because if you ever allow them to know this about you….they will all gang up and kill you!

That if you must really know is how insecure the world really is about their fears and phobias and people who are perfectly comfortable being alone.

Because when they look at you…they see someone that they can never ever be…it’s just too fucking scary…they will start hyperventilating and soon they will get angry with you soon they will get their ‘normal’…’functional’…’team orientated buddies’…’rah rah brigade’ to kill you….because you’re not like them…coming to think of it, you don’t even need them or anything they have to sell and that very notion by itself can only piss off the world in so many ways.

That’s why you need to work hard and get that Honda jet to enable you to fly high and far from those zombies…you need to work your way up and get one of those S600 Mercedes so two inch bullet proof glass so that if they decide to take pot shots at you…it’s just an occupational hazard….there is no possible way for you to seek oneness with the world once you have cultivated
The art of being alone.

It’s like vampirism or just waking up one day and realising you belong to the X man mutant community….you’re a square peg in a world with only round holes.

Because the world has no hold on you…all its tentacles have no dominion over you….you are above all that…you don’t need their childish validation. Or for that matter their affirmation for you to continue to live your life under your own terms….all that is just highly optional once you learn how to be alone.

Knowing this provides you with valuable insights as to how the world can only see you…remember….forgive them and never take it personally…you should cultivate the habit of wearing sunglasses even at night…better still superglue it to your ears…you must hide this sign of vampirism…it will show in your eyes…that you have finally learnt to how to be comfortable alone…you must never ever let others know this about it. Or they will turn against you like wild dogs and tear you to tiny pieces.

So whenever you go into the dream world that is the world – hide your superpowers.’