The Bully and the Big Mouths

“I’m gonna make China evil again!”

Last November, nine Singapore Armed Forces Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles, shipped from Taiwan via Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, were detained by Hong Kong Customs. The Terrexes have been used by our Armed Forces during training in Taiwan.

Singapore has stated that these vehicles are protected by international law.

True, the seized Terrexes may be protected by international law but it takes a lot more to deal with countries who show scant regard for the law and play by their own rules.

Singapore Armed Forces lack adequate training grounds so we signed agreements with several countries for our troops to train overseas. Space constraints at home mean Singapore tank crews are restricted to a maximum firing distance of 800 meters, for example. Anything beyond that and whatever we shoot will hit JB and some say Batam.

During a visit to Singapore in August 1990, the year Singapore officially commenced diplomatic relations with China, then Chinese Premier Li Peng said Beijing would not be “too disturbed” by the Republic’s continued use of military training facilities in Taiwan after the establishment of Sino-Singapore ties.

Li aid: “We sympathize with Singapore’s position and understand its need to build a strong defense force. On this matter, suitable arrangements will be made.”

These “suitable arrangements” included China’s offer to the Singapore army to train on Hainan island.

But apparently, Singapore took Washington’s advice and rejected the offer. Singapore’s decision was based on the fear that the American military equipment we use will be vulnerable to “exposure” on Chinese soil. (Let’s not forget that when US military helicopters crashed during the raid to capture Bin Laden in Pakistan, the Chinese got hold of it to reverse engineer. Don’t ask me how, but that’s what they did. Bastards!)

Although the number of troops training in Taiwan has reduced significantly, the fact of the matter is that our troops are still training there, thus continuing to incur the wrath of China. This despite Singapore’s assurance that we will stop training our troops in Taiwan from 2012.

So in China, “not too disturbed” became “very disturbed”!

But is that the reason why our Terrexes were seized?

Zhang Baohui, a professor of political science at Hong Kong’s Lingnan University, referring to the seizure of the Terrexes, does not think so. He said: “I think the real issue is that China thinks Singapore has turned into a quasi US ally.” The Terrexes passing through Hong Kong provided the pretext China needed to make its point. (Why we allow our military hardware to pass through Hong Kong is a matter of bad judgment and deserves another blog post altogether.)

In recent years, Singapore has strengthened military ties with the US and taken a tough stance on the South China Sea dispute, urging China to abide by an international tribunal that ruled its claims to the waters were unlawful.

We have also been a strong advocate of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, which Beijing spurned.

It is no wonder that China thinks we have become a stooge of the US.

This despite the fact that Singapore continues to uphold the “One China” principle.

In the new world order, our leaders must know how to work quietly with networks behind the scene. Moreover, they must be astute and they must also know how to engage with tyrannical regimes. In other words they must know how to practise diplomacy. Those who forget that it was some Machiavellian Chinese dude who wrote The Art of War do so at their own peril.

One way for Singapore to avoid kena hantamed again and again is for our leaders to be circumspect in what they say in the international arena.

When Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen told parliament that the Terrexes were “protected by sovereign immunity” and “cannot legally be detained or confiscated by other countries” a spokesman for China’s ministry of foreign affairs immediately responded by saying “I hope the relevant parties can be cautious in their remarks and actions.”

If that’s not a threat, tell me what it is. You think the evil empire cares a fuck about our sovereign immunity? It’s even building airstrips in the South China Sea, and encroaching into territories belonging to other countries – one reason why Rodrigo Duterte from the Philippines is now sucking Chinese dicks to protect his own smelly Filipino ass. Moreover if China can tell prospective US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to watch his mouth, it can tell the rest of the world to go fuck themselves too.

I’m not suggesting that our leaders do the same, and start sucking Chinese dicks; no, no way – we must not and cannot become beholden to any superpower but let’s just be careful what we say.

There’s no need to always be among the first to open our big mouths to criticize and condemn other people, as if we ourselves are so bloody perfect. We’ll become a laughing stock and a ready target for bullies, which is exactly what happened.

Careless and asinine comments such as those made by our ambassador-at-large Bilahari Kausikan some time ago (“We cannot be China’s mouthpiece, which is fundamentally what they want”) are not helpful.

Big mouths like him will get us into deep shit. If you have our country’s best interests at heart, you would be exercising discernment and wisdom in choosing your words with extreme care and deciding whether to speak or not. It is better to shut the fuck up and be suspected of being a moron than to open your mouth and confirm that you are indeed a moron.

I would have thought that our leaders would be mature and sensible enough in their words and conduct, but I guess I am expecting too much. Just look around, some of the nutcases and clowns we have running our government today really really worry me.

Times like these I wish Lee Kuan Yew and some of the old guard are still alive to set things right. I said “some” because some of those old fogies were equally vacuous, in my humble opinion. As for Kuan Yew, he walked the talk as far as Singapore’s “One China” position is concerned – he stopped his visits to Taiwan when then president Lee Teng-hui’s started pivoting towards the idea of an independent Taiwan.

However, Singaporeans in general are not stupid, most of us are united in our hearts and capable of knowing what is right and what is wrong but for a small little country’s leaders to verbalize our thoughts in public in such a retarded manner is to trigger the start of “megaphone diplomacy,” precisely the very shitstorm we were warned about during last week’s Parliament by Foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan, another kid famous – or should I say “infamous”? – for his big mouth.

Big bullies are always spoiling for a fight but what do we teach our kids when they get bullied in school? We tell them to walk away, that they can always return to fight another day. We tell them not to be provoked into providing the bullies the reactions they are trolling for. We tell them that the bullies of the world will one day crumble under their own buffooness because every dog has its day and one day even the top dog will have to bite the dust and eat shit one day.

Have our leaders been schooled in such things, I wonder.

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The Ultimate “Fuck You!”

All that was left of a hero.

Back in 1967, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev demanded something spectacular from the Soviet space program. He wanted to stage a dramatic midspace rendezvous between two Soviet spaceships. The plan was for two Soviet Space vehicles to launch into space and perform a dramatic orbital docking that would allow cosmonauts to move between ships. The first capsule to be launched would be the Soyuz 1, with cosmonaunt Vladimir Komarov piloting. A second vehicle – Soyuz 2 – would take off, with two additional cosmonauts; the two vehicles would meet, dock, Komarov would crawl from one vehicle to the other, exchanging places with a colleague, and come home in the second ship. Brezhnev made it very clear he wanted this to happen.

Komarov was selected to command the Soyuz 1, with Yuri Gagarin, the first human to journey into outer space – as his backup cosmonaut. Both knew the space capsule was not safe to fly, but everyone in space program was terrified of Brezhnev’s reaction to the mission being delayed or scrubbed. Komarov told friends he knew he would probably die. But he wouldn’t back out because he didn’t want Gagarin to die.

Gagarin suggested that the mission should be postponed. But who would have the balls to tell Brezhnev? Gagarin wrote a 10-page memo and gave it to his best friend in the KGB, Venyamin Russayev, but nobody dared send it up the chain of command.

As the launch date drew near, everyone was more and more pessmistic. There were serious problems – pre-tests flights had been disconcerting, the technicians who had inspected the Soyuz 1 had found 203 structural problems. Gagarin showed up to the launch in full gear and tried to convince the crew to let him pilot the craft instead, but the crew, including Komarov, refused to let him.

In space, problems started at once followed by other glitches as the flight went on. Seeing all these problems, ground control decided to abandon the Soyuz 2 launch and bring Komarov home.

After many excruciating moments of struggling and overcoming technical malfunctions, Komarov successfully re-entered the earth’s atmosphere but as the cabin descended through the atmosphere, the drogue parachute came out but the main parachute remained stubbornly in its container. When the reserve chute was popped out, it tangled in the lane of the drag chute of the main parachute. Soyuz 1 crashed at great speed into the steppe at Orenberg at 7 am, killing Komarov. The cabin exploded on impact and when Soviet Air Force recovery teams arrived all they found was burning metal, the rim of the top of Soyuz being the only hardware they could identify.

As Komarov was headed to his doom, US listening posts in Turkey heard him crying in rage, “cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship”. He told ground control officials he knew he was about to die. The Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin called on a video phone to tell him he was a hero. Komarov’s wife was also on the call to talk about what to say to their children. Kosygin was crying. When the capsule began its fatal descent the American intelligence “picked up [Komarov’s] cries of rage as he plunged to his death.” Some translators heard him say, “Heat is rising in the capsule.” He also used the word “killed” — presumably to describe what the engineers had done to him.

Komarov was honored with a state funeral in Moscow, and his ashes were interred in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis at Red Square.

But why an open casket service? Komarov demanded it personally because he wanted to send a message to the government officials who had caused his death. He knew the capsule was unsafe and that he would very likely die, he knew he would not be returning alive so he made the demand before launching. His final “revenge” was forcing his superiors to look at what they had done.

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Those Who Think They Know Best Know Nothing

If they were my kids, I would slap them back into their mother’s womb.

Anger at the Chinese authorities, and disillusionment with traditional pro-democracy parties helped propel several new faces to victory in Hong Kong’s legislative council elections last September.

Amongst them were Sixtus Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching, from a pro-independence party set up after the Umbrella Protests, as well as Nathan Law, Lau Siu-lai and Edward Yiu, who were all active in the protests. (The Umbrella Protests refer to the month-long “Occupy Central” event, during which protestors used umbrellas to shield themselves from pepper spray fired by the police, and yes, if you’re on the lookout for weird names, check out Hong Kong – I once had a Hong Kong secretary named Labia Kan.)

All newly-elected legislators made a mockery of their oath-taking. Some deliberately mispronounced “China” while others intentionally broke up sentences with long pauses. During their oath-taking time, Leung and Yau unfurled a banner that read “Hong Kong is not China” and even mispronounced “People’s Republic of China” as “people’s re-fucking of Chee-na.” I’m still trying to pick my jaw off the floor after seeing such uncivilized behavior from the two young upstarts on TV. Yup, totally grossed out.

Not surprisingly, the Beijing government intervened directly with a legal ruling to disqualify the two legislators, who seemed to think that the Legislative Council is a kindergarten.

Writing this I am reminded of a Kim Philby and what he once said.

Harold Adrian Russell “Kim” Philby was a high-ranking member of British intelligence who worked as a double agent before defecting to the Soviet Union in 1963.

He said “To betray you must first belong.”

I am not claiming that Leung and Yau are treason-committing betrayers of any ilk – though they certainly betrayed the trust of those stupid enough to vote them in – but by behaving in a such a shitty manner resulting in their being denied their rightful places in the legislature, they have kissed goodbye any opportunity of effecting change.

Today they are as good as any Hongkonger, and as powerless and helpless.

Let this be a lesson for those whose behavior – or should I say misbehavior – cause them to become outsiders: those who walk away, those who quit in rage, those who turn their faces against odds and adversities. Unless they possess an iron will to soldier on with an indomitable spirit, and the right attitude, they won’t be able to change a thing. They’ll only end up as a laughing stock. Indeed, how you respond to setbacks shows your true character.

Walking away – or sabotaging yourself resulting in your removal, as in the case of the two retards in Hong Kong, Leung and Yau – achieves nothing.

Being outside, no one can change what’s inside.

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Happy New Year!

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A Christmas Gift

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Sins of our Fathers

Picture shows vandalized statue of then president Park Chung-hee of South Korea. Some retard pissed off with his daughter, current president Park Geun-hye, poured red paint on the old man’s statue.

It is said that the sins of our fathers can return to haunt us.

However, the screw-ups of our children apparently can make us look bad too.

Yes, winkles are hereditary – you get it from your kids.

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Entertain Clowns and We Become Part of a Circus

Doppelganger.

Doppelganger.

The Transport Ministry has no shortage of clowns.

Fiasco after fiasco emerges from it and its affiliated organizations.

Some big mouth shot off the term “car-lite” and a slew of initiatives suddenly seemed to materialize overnight. This is very typical of brain-dead civil servants and ball-lickers. Big boss spouts some crap and every mother’s son rushes to push out initiatives, never mind if the people and infrastructure are ready for the accompanying changes. It’s as if they are all bowing down saying, “Yes, boss, the answer is ‘yes’ and now what is the question?” One of the latest initiatives cooked up by these bollocky wankshots to support the notion of “car-lite” includes allowing cyclists and users of personal mobility devices such as e-scooters to share footpaths with pedestrians, which is a frigging retarded recommendation, as evidenced by the number of accidents and deaths this has already caused.

And don’t get me started on the SMRT.

And now something even more ridiculous. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to make this up, even after drowning a bottle of Maotai all by myself.

The LTA is now allowing commuters to haul their foldable bicycles and PMDs onto buses and trains all day as part of a six-month trial. The move is said to encourage more people to use public transport and to adopt mobility “for the first and last mile of their daily public transport commute.”

Our buses and trains are already packed to the gills, allowing such moronic move is totally impractical. Moreover, what’s wrong with good old-fashioned walking? Do note that the last National Health Survey (in 2010) found that 11% of Singaporean adults aged between 18 and 69 were obese.

Before LTA dreamed up such a hare-brained scheme, did it consult with members of the public as to the scheme’s practicability or even with other statutory boards like the Health Promotion Board to determine if it makes sense health-wise? I can’t speak for the HPB but I’m sure it will certainly believe that walking is a lot safer and better than cruising along on PMDs, after all it was the HPB who launched the National Steps Challenge and even issued free step trackers to people.

It is embarrassing to see that the right hand doesn’t seem to know what the left hand is doing.

But then what else is new?

All I know is that if you’re looking for a clown for your kids’ year-end party, you’re unlikely to find any.

They’re all working full-time in the Transport Ministry.

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Eat Lah! Won’t Die!

On November 8th I was drawn to the headline “Kick your char kway teow habit” in MIND BODY section of The Straits Times.

It was written by a Lester Wong who mentioned the dish twice without any explanation as to the “harmfulness” of the dish.

Char kway teow is a humble dish of noodles fried with soy sauce, pork oil, egg, a few slices of Chinese sausages, bean sprouts and topped off with some cockles.

Yes, char kway teow may be oily, but it is somewhat of a national dish with its genesis as an energy-giving means of sustenance to impoverished denizens of a then-developing nation. It has carbohydrates, the pork oil and accompanying tiny bits of lard give it flavor and provide energy, the cockles have high protein content, the egg provides nutrients, the bean sprouts provide some Vitamin C and for a finishing touch of simple “luxury” a couple of slices of Chinese sausage are added. Kudos to the genius who “invented” that dish!

Singaporeans abroad, when asked what local dish they miss most almost always replied “char kway teow.”

For that writer to just mention the dish twice without any reliable clarification as to the “harmfulness” of it puzzles me. Not only that, it insults the intelligence of Singaporeans who have since realized that there are healthy versions of char kway teow fried using vegetable oil and that there are far more “lethal” local dishes than char kway teow. I mean if you think char kway teo is deadly, try laksa! Moreover, no one eats that dish every day; most perceive it as an occasional indulgence, a guilty pleasure if you will. Just as many wealthy people pay top dollars to indulge in the humble Teochew moey or porridge eaten by the coolies of olden days, char kway teow serves to bring us fond memories of those early difficult days of our nationhood.

So please, let’s not demonize and denigrate a dish that has helped build a nation.

What a country! First they came for our smokes, and now they’re after our char away teow!

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Someone’s Dying? Quick, Film It!

Our heroes from Singapore!

Our heroes from Singapore!

Sometime last week, in Iceland to see the aurora borealis, four Singaporeans saw a car turning turtle and rushed to rescue the woman trapped inside.

While I applaud this brave and heroic act, I wondered why one of the four Singaporeans had to film the rescue and posted it on Facebook.

If the person had not spent time filming the effort – the clip was a minute and 34 seconds long – wouldn’t an extra pair of hands be really helpful in the rescue? An accident with an overturned car is definitely a life-and-death situation and surely a person’s first instinct is to assist, not whipping up a camera to record the event.

I read that a numb-skull somewhere has explained that three persons in a rescue is more than sufficient and filming the episode will – among other uses – serve as a recording in case of lawsuits, and in the case of deaths, allow family members a final glimpse of any casualties.

What the fuck?!

I have never heard of anything more ridiculous than that.

When you see a fellow human being in distress, you put everything aside and rush to help. You would want that if you are the victim, wouldn’t you, even if you are a numb-skull. And don’t give me that crap about “citizen journalism” – that’s just a fancy term used by resource-strapped newspapers to make use of nosy readers’ pictures and videos.

In this day of the omnipresent smartphone, let’s be mindful of our actions. Not only do we run the risk of intruding into people’s privacy, we can unwittingly become unhelpful and callous bystanders if all we care about is to quickly capture the misfortune of others just so that we can post them on our Facebook pages. As a matter of principle, I refuse to look at pictures of accidents that people send to me via WhatsApp or email. There are a few retards I know who take great delight in sharing with me gory pictures of accident victims, videos of beheadings, etc and I refuse to look at them not because I don’t have the balls to, but because I think the dead deserve some dignity and the busybodies of the world have no business recording such shit.

Some people need to grow up.

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Don’t You Gain a Wife and Lose Everything Else

They waited till all their friends have died.

They waited till all their friends have died.

I normally avoid attending Chinese wedding banquets. They are long-drawn affairs and expensive both for the hosts and the guests (because our ang pows cannot be too small – the money inside should at least help the wedding couple pay for the table; if the restaurant charges 1200 bucks per table, then your ang pow should contain at least 120 bucks) and nowadays the food quality just isn’t there anymore, plus the prospect of having a two-hour, ten-course dinner with nine other retarded strangers scare the shit out of me. However, there is such a thing called how to zuo ren and one simply has to do some things one detests. If everyone does whatever he or she likes, then there is no social harmony in society.

Long story short, I attended three weddings recently, three weddings I just couldn’t “escape” from and they followed the usual format of cocktails before they let you into the banquet hall, then the mandatory viewing of a corny video detailing the couple’s childhood (who the fuck cares?!) which also showed how they gloriously lived in sin (meaning, out of wedlock; call me old-fashioned) by going on vacations everywhere together, and just before you drop dead from hunger, the couple would then sashay in amidst some loud stupid music and a cloud of mist emitted by some smoke-emitting gizmo, food is then served (finally!) the couple goes on stage to cut a huge plastic wedding cake (whatever the fuck for?!) and pours champagne into champagne flutes or glasses arranged in a pyramid – a completely meaningless and wasteful gesture as no one gets to drink any of that bubbly – then the couple leaves and returns after a change of clothes (is this a frigging fashion show or what?!) blah, blah, blah, you know the drill…

One wedding banquet I went to was at a top-end hotel at the Marina area and there were 45 tables occupied by lots of friends and relatives, business associates of the wedding couple’s parents, etc. I bet it cost a frigging bomb! It was the Ritz Carlton, no less!

I couldn’t help but wonder how many of those friends at the wedding would still be friends one year later.

I wonder because I have known of a few people who, after acquiring a wife, cut off all ties completely with their friends, even friends they’ve known for decades.

One dude not only stopped all ties with all his friends, he changed his barber, his tailor and even his dentist.

Why?

Because his wife didn’t like them.

What?!

If you have a wife like that, I tell you, you are FUCKED!!!

Don’t ever enter into a marriage where you’ll be pussy-whipped.

Let not your wife dictate who your friends should be. She doesn’t have to like them but she cannot demand that you stop being friends with your friends.

Very soon, she’ll be telling you to kill your mother.

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