Today – Published!

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Get Help!

There was a time when I didn’t even know how to dress up for meetings. There was a time when I always said the wrong thing – often offensive and politically-incorrect – and there was a time, especially when I was in my late teens and early twenties, when I didn’t know the rules of etiquette and behaved like a boorish country bumpkin.

I bet I pissed off lots of people before. But I learned. It was embarrassing and very humiliating but I learned.

At times the journey was tough because there wasn’t really anyone out there showing me the way. I had to figure out most things myself. When I was starting out, I did many stupid things but I was also bullied, sabotaged, slandered and wrongly accused; many times, I struggled to find solutions. I soon learned to ask for help.

When I was with a HR consulting firm, I encountered a bad case of victimization that left me traumatized to this day. I am now very sure of who the perpetrators are after some “investigation” with the help of friends in the “right” places, people who owed me favors because they themselves have received my help before. How could I be so sure despite being unable to remember some other details about the episode? The level of norepinephrine and the epinephrine in the brain – each a neurotransmitter released when a person is under duress – encodes memories into the hippocampus. And so the trauma-related experience is locked there, whereas other details kind of become hazy. Point: I don’t forget. I let past events, no matter how painful, serve as lessons for me.

Looking back, I certainly don’t claim to be a great success in life but if I had not eaten humble pie, if I had not converted negative experiences into precious knowledge, if I had not asked for help, had I not swallowed my pride, I would have fallen by the wayside long long ago and ended up becoming just another average Joe.

It’s not a sign of weakness to seek support. Nope, it’s not. It’s an act of humility, of recognizing your own limitations and knowing that one person cannot possibility solve all the problems in his or her life without tapping on the wisdom of others.

There are good people out there who are willing to lend a hand. But you’ve got to ask. If not, you are letting these precious resources go to waste.

A wise man once said it is an act of humility to draw on the wisdom of others. The corollary is that believing you know it all is an act of arrogance.

Humility trumps arrogance everytime!

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Bristling with Fear

I heard a loud shriek from the kitchen.

It was my mum screaming away.

I was a kid then, and in all my childhood years, I have never heard anything like that; up until then, that is.

I almost browned my shorts.

Dad has just come home; quickly plonked a newspaper-wrapped package in the kitchen sink before proceeding to his bedroom to change into home clothes.

Naturally curious, mum opened the package, yelled and almost fainted.

It was a half the hind quarter of a wild boar, it was a huge, black, hairy slab or chunk of some meaty “thing” complete with bristles and hoof, certainly not what she was expecting to see. Yes, what fell into the kitchen sink was an animal part – thick, enormous, obnoxious, a furry hunk, a part of a feral beast! If you think the fella in the picture above is ugly, just imagine the rest of his body!

Anyway, back in those days, wild boar meat was freely available.

My dad and uncles had licenses to own guns and they would hunt.

That was in the 60’s.

New laws came into effect and gun ownership soon became a thing of the past, but one or two places in Singapore still sold wild boar meat. Friends in the F&B business told me that back then, they had their “private” sources of supply. Most wild boar meat, it is believed, was illegally smuggled into Singapore from Malaysia. There were also claims that a small amount of poaching also took place in Singapore itself.

All that is now history as well. It was at least more than ten, maybe 20 years ago when anyone had seen wild boar meat being sold here.

Wild boar meat is not fat, is not gamey, has a great mouth feel and is very tasty. Overseas, in Taiwan, the aborigines there who run eateries have a variety of ways of cooking it – grilled, fried, roasted, barbequed, skewered like satay, etc. Whenever my dad and I visit Taiwan, wild boar meat is a must, in addition to milk fish soup, boiled goose, pig blood soup, mullet roe, and braised minced pork rice. Yes, all the Taiwanese goodies for the traveling gourmand. (Notice I didn’t say “gourmet.”)

The wild boar you see in Singapore today won’t be on your dining table, however.

You are more likely to see swaggering, marauding passels of aggressive, snorting and grunting wild boars at our parks; some have even ventured into train stations and a few have actually attacked and hurt people. Do a search online for videos of wild boar sightings in Singapore and you will freak out! Loads of videos out there.

The negative perceptions associated with the presence of wild animals in our urban environment results in fear – irrational, unfounded fear. Wild animals, in turn, can misinterpret manifestations of human fear as aggression, and that compounds the problem.

Ours is the age of Anthropocene, a modern era characterized by human-dominated landscapes. At the same time, some wild animals thrive in and adapt to human-dominated or urban landscapes. Clashes are inevitable. These animals in our midst are often considered “inconvenient” and “troublesome” and globally, untold numbers have been culled. Human efforts to kill animals simply because they are considered a nuisance are not justified. And them being tasty is also no excuse. Point is: we encroach into their habitats and we kill them when they are seen? Come on!

Education is required and it must be accompanied by attitudinal and behavior change on our part.

A friend shared with me that when she went for a walk at the nature reserves the other day, she came across a child who told his mother he saw a caterpillar, and the mother’s response? She told her kid to “kill it!”

What hogwash!

When retards don’t know enough about all the beautiful creatures bright and small sharing our world, the first instinct is to eliminate them.

All life is sacred and that includes native wildlife species. We must understand them and protect them; they are also essential to the ecosystem and therefore our own well-being.

Caterpillars become butterflies that pollinate!

People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

We cannot be ham-fisted; we need to go the whole hog to awaken public awareness about the animals amongst us. And we must leave no stone unturned to educate the public on how to coexist with these wild animals.

It is inevitable that animal sightings increase during the pandemic as people desert public spaces.

And as I mentioned earlier, even long before that, people’s encroachment into wild animals’ natural homes have destroyed and reduced the size of those habitats.

Yes, we are squeezing them off the planet!

As a result, wild boars seem to be living cheek by jowl with humans!

Other than heightened awareness and aggressive education, humane techniques that emphasize coexistence are more effective at preventing or reducing conflicts as well as wildlife management costs over the long-term.

Coexistence between humans and wildlife is not only possible but advantageous to everyone and contributes to human as well as animal health and well-being.

Evidence that humane coexistence strategies are effective can be found anywhere. Examples of successful coexistence include: coyotes in North America, gray wolves across the Northern Hemisphere, community-based conservation in Montana, urban black bears in Colorado, jaguars in Mexico, and African lions in Kenya.

Ultimately, coexistence with wildlife is essential for all life, humans and animals alike.

From coyotes and wolves in North America to big cats in North America and Africa, we see that coexistence is not only possible, but also essential to life and livelihoods.

The public here needs to be convinced of that and must support that.

Humans are intruders on natural world. We are latecomers. The fact is that no species has ever had such wholesale control over everything on earth, living or dead, as we now have. That lays upon us, whether we like it or not, an awesome responsibility. In our hands now lies not only our own future, but that of all other living creatures with whom we share the earth. – David Attenborough

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Headless Chicken

The second half of the year has started and with a pre-existing bad back (stenosis of the spinal canal) and now, osteoarthritis of the left hip, I don’t feel like the prancing rooster or cockerel that I’m supposed to be under the Chinese zodiac.

I feel like a dead cock, a sitting duck for bad fortune.

But I have suffered setbacks before: friends playing me out, business partners cheating me of money, vicious assholes slandering me anonymously, relatives rude to me, playing oneupmanship with me, hah, what haven’t I experienced?

I am still standing tall. I will survive.

I may feel like crap, but trust me, I will make it; I may even outlive you.

Just watch me.

In any case, there are other matters more important than the pain I am suffering.

For example, are you aware that there are at least two pogroms, two genocides going on in the world today?

The term “genocide” was coined by Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1944.

Over the years, the meaning of the term has evolved, but Lemkin had a broad understanding of it. “Genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings,” he noted. “It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups.” Such a plan is unfolding now in Myanmar (the Rohingyas) and in Xinjiang (the Uyghurs). As in the cases that inspired Lemkin, genocide today is happening under a shield of state sovereignty.

Entire races are being eliminated and slowly being wiped out, so what’s a bit of back and hip pain?

Perspective is everything, my friend.

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Oh Shuddup Already!

He was a property developer’s son, she was a two-bit “movie star” and they got married (his second), had a baby, etc; nothing out of the ordinary, right?

What was extraordinary was the way they continue to milk it, parading everything on social media – from their courtship to their engagement to their wedding to the wife’s writhing in her hospital bed trying to give birth – shamelessly trying super hard to get noticed. Pity that kid! What narcissistic parents!

And there’s that ugly broad in her fifties who still dresses like a teenager and bragging about all the parties she got herself invited to. What a social media whore. Repulsive! Showreel of her faux, plastic life huh?

Nothing wrong being a socialite, but if all you do in life is party after party, then you come across as crass, cheap and tasteless, totally devoid of any tinge of class, especially when you are not even an A-lister.

It’s amazing how much attention people crave.

Didn’t their parents give them any attention when they were kids?

“Showreels” of their lives are everywhere. Ad nauseum.

What happened to the concept of privacy?

Blame it all on dopamine?

Wannabe social media influencers? Who are they trying to influence? Retards like them?

Influence them to do what? To more retarded than them?

My nausea meter shoots through the roof whenever I see some of those puke-inducing posts.

The world is being outsmarted and humbled by something 1/10,000th of the diameter of the period (or full stop) at the end of this sentence, and yet these idiots are preening themselves and frolicking all over social media.

Seriously?!

Nuff said.

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Apu Neh Neh

Voice actor Hank Azaria, who had portrayed Indian convenience store owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on The Simpsons since 1990, has apologized for participating in “structural racism.”

The Emmy winner announced in February that he would no longer be playing Apu.

American actors seek accent training so that they can appear in British films; British actors get accent training so as to be able to act in American movies.

Actors when portraying the roles they have been picked to act adopt the accent of the characters they portray.

So why is Azaria so worked up?

Come on, it’s just voice acting and he’s providing the voice of an Indian cartoon character, not even a real person. It’s the most tenuous connection to reality.

Well, he claimed that there was a documentary about Apu and after it was released, he got “cancelled.”

Ah, the insidious cancel culture.

This whole thing is retarded.

And Hank Azaria is a spineless amoeba with no balls.

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Moth’s Day

This past weekend was abuzz with chatter about how an obnoxious three-star paper general (who seems to believe that he is head of the armed forces of the entire southern hemisphere) yelling at a reporter and berating her for asking a legit question at a press conference. (He made “umbrage” the most-search word in Singapore recently.) The fat lump of a retard, Kim Jong-un twin, has clearly forgotten that he once ran our national shipping company to the ground. (The French bought it and turned it around.) Yes, in Singapore, if you do well in school, you’re likely to get a scholarship and then secure jobs in fine places – this shithead joined the army and rose to the rank of a general – and perhaps even get courted by the ruling party to enter politics where a minimum two-million-dollar annual salary is guaranteed. These entitled-feeling elites with smooth hands and zero real experience are then moved into numerous boards and other sinecures once they retire, hence his disastrous stints at the Neptune Orient Lines and now, Singapore Press Holdings. They strut around like little Kishore Mahbubanis with God complexes, oblivious to how ridiculously stupid they look in public’s eye and how much they are loathed. Word is that these anus lickers and asswipes are the pets and lapdogs of “powerful people at the top” and that’s why they remain “untouched” and unpunished and continue to fuck up big time with impunity. How many of our corporations and organizations are helmed by such eunuchs? You do the math.

Of course, this past weekend was also abuzz with stuff related to Mother’s Day.

I always think of Mother’s Day as Moth’s Day.

Years ago, there was a moment when I found myself struggling with something. I don’t remember the details now but I was probably having a hard time dealing with a work-related challenge.

That was not long after my mum’s passing.

My heart was heavy and I was troubled.

Then, suddenly, gently, a little moth appeared. Make of this what you will, but somehow, something told me it was my mum sending me a message of encouragement. It has been 28 years since I have lost my mum; I am not the superstitious kind, but to this day, whenever I feel down or need a dose of motivation, or a mental boost, or some comforting, a little moth would appear. I can’t really explain it and it is a bit uncanny but it reinforces the idea that my mother’s love has never left me, that she always know when to lift my spirits.

The little moth that came visiting this past weekend also inspired me with some insights about the detestable fat ex-army asshole who bankrupted two of our national institutions.

But what mum said will remain a secret with me, a secret I will take to my grave.

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Audacity and Stupidity

Indian song write Joseph Mendoza claimed that he composed We Can Achieve in 1983, three years before the creation of Count on Me, Singapore.

The lyrics of both songs are identical except for the substitution of the word “Singapore” with “India” and “Mother India” in We Can Achieve.

In its initial statement on the matter posted on Facebook in mid-March, MCCY (the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth) said it was aware of “unauthorized versions” of the song and that it was “investigating the matter for potential copyright infringements.”

But the statement was later edited to remove the mention of the investigation, and We Can Achieve was described as a “remixed version” of Count on Me, Singapore.

I find this totally preposterous!

MCCY also said “sometimes, imitation is the best form of flattery!”

MCCY seemed quite happy for two songs with identical lyrics – safe for a couple of words – to co-exist side by side. MCCY seemed to overlook the fact that the Singapore Government holds the copyright to the music and lyrics of Count on Me, Singapore, which was composed by Canadian Hugh Harrison and arranged by Singapore jazz musician Jeremy Monteiro for National Day celebrations in 1986.

Then, in another statement in March, MCCY came out to acknowledge the “striking similarity in tune and lyrics” between the two songs, and said that “whilst Count on Me, Singapore is one of our most beloved national songs, we are also happy that it seems to have been well appreciated in India.”

I find this position totally bewildering. Are we afraid of Modi (picture above) or what?

Yet a couple of days later, MCCY announced that Mendoza has now changed his stance and has “unconditionally and irrevocably” withdrawn any claims to the song. MCCY also revealed that Mendoza has “apologized for the confusion” and that MCCY accepts Mendoza’s apology “and will treat the matter as closed.”

I’m all for being magnanimous and forgiving but this is not a case of someone coming in through our backdoor to steal one of our chickens; this is a serious legal violation but MCCY, throughout this episode seems to be badly disorganized and has given the impression that Singapore is just a pushover. If there’s any confusion throughout this entire episode, it’s caused by MCCY’s words and actions!

For a simple matter of copyright infringement, MCCY has bungled so badly. I seriously doubt if MCCY is capable of accomplishing anything great for our country.

This especially, when the highly-paid minister in charge of MCCY is the same joker who was Kong Hee’s lawyer at one time. Don’t know who is Kong Hee? Well, you must have been hibernating under a rock.

In early April, he (the minister, not Kong Hee) told Parliament that not suing the Indian copycat was a more efficient move, compared to going to court and getting “caught up in protracted legal action, which could potentially take a fairly long period of time.”

Yes, minister.

Whatever you say, sir, you know best!

I don’t make your kind of money to understand your logic.

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WTF!

In 2016, Barack Obama marked the “birthday of one of America’s revered wordsmiths who used his incredible talent to instill in his most impressionable readers universal values we all hold dear.”

Obama said “He made children see that reading is fun, and in the process, he emphasized respect for all; pushed us to accept ourselves for who we are; challenged preconceived notions and encouraged trying new things; and by example, taught us that we are limited by nothing but the range of our aspirations and the vibrancy of our imaginations.”

He was referring to Theodor Seuss Geisel who wrote prolifically for children using the pseudonym “Dr Seuss.”

But this year, on the author’s birthday last month, Dr Seuss Enterprises said it decided to stop publishing six of his books “due to their racist and insensitive portrayal of people of color.” Basically the organization was referring to racial and ethnic stereotypes in some of the author’s books.

The six books are: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer.

Never mind the fact that Forbes has listed Dr Seuss as the second highest-paid dead celebrity of 2020, in part thanks to multimillion-dollar film and TV deals but mostly because of sales of his books. He wrote more than 60 books, selling 7 million copies. His honors include two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, the Inkpot Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street has been criticized for including “a Chinese man with sticks” who has two lines for eyes and can be seen holding chopsticks and a bowl. (The book was published in 1937, so context is important here.)

If I Ran the Zoo depicts two men, described as being from Africa, wearing grass skirts and carrying exotic-looking animals.

According to a study published in the journal Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, the book If I Ran the Zoo also points to “another example of Orientalism and White supremacy.”

The study said: “The three Asian characters who are not wearing conical hats are carrying a white male on their heads in If I Ran the Zoo. The white male is not only on top of, and being carried by, these Asian characters, but he is also holding a gun, illustrating dominance.”

The study was also critical of the text beneath the Asian characters that describes them as “helpers who all wear their eyes at a slant” from “countries no one can spell.”

Dr Seuss Enterprises (Seuss died of cancer in 1991) said the books “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” The company believes in “research” that has shown that children as young as three can form racial biases, and those biases become fixed by age seven.

To me it’s a case of political correctness gone out of control. Cancel culture gone nuts.

Books from the past shouldn’t be banned just because today’s standards deem them inappropriate. Allowing them to continue to be available endows the world with yet another teaching tool, that people were perhaps not so enlightened in the past and that modern thinking is probably more proper, that social attitudes evolve.

Simply banning them deprives future generations of that lesson. It’s sweeping shit under the carpet. It’s a retarded move.

And if indeed kids start to form racial biases from age three, then it is our job to educate them. Such “objectional” books can even be published accompanied with a disclaimer or a warning.

I hold the same view regarding statues. I’ve said enough about statues here. Read this too.

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – Dr Seuss

Labeled a racist.

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Bao Toh King in Action?

“Bao toh” is Hokkien for “to wrap a knife.” The term has come to meant “to sabo” (as in “sabotage”) or “to betray.” In other words, “to snitch.” One theory put forth is that when gangsters prepare for a fight, they would wrap a knife in paper to avoid attention.

As Russell Peters’ dad used to say “Somebody’s gonna get hurt!”

People have been asking if ours is fast becoming a nation of bao toh kings because every time a group meets, contravening the government’s “no more than eight in one gathering” rule, the authorities would know and those caught will be taken to task. Foreigners, expats have been asked to leave the country and never allowed back. It’s good that the government takes such a firm stand. The virus is not a joke and people’s lives are at stake. (Our death toll so far from COVID-19 is about 30 and is a very low number.) There are cameras everywhere but were those who were caught victims of snitches who kept knives under wraps and brandished them to sabotage people when the opportunities arose?

The following letter written by a Suresh Menon and published in The Straits Times last month, made me wonder if the writer, who appears to relish being a full-time complainer, is a bao toh king. I am thankful he is not my neighbor, otherwise, if he smells a whiff of my fart, he’ll probably report me to the Gestapo. Please knock yourself out enjoying this missive by a chronic complainer complaining about how difficult it is to complain:

Submitting feedback: Sorry, no selfie of me being chased by dogs

The public portals through which members of the public can report offences leave a lot to be desired.

The National Environment Agency’s (NEA) website, which I have used several times to report littering and smoky vehicles, is poorly suited for this purpose.

My latest report involved a smoker who threw her cigarette butt out of a car window. NEA’s website requires a video or image no larger than 3MB to be submitted. In many instances, an image is insufficient as it does not tell the full story, but how is one to get a video under 3MB in size?

As for the Traffic Police, raising an issue will lead to further correspondence by e-mail, and video evidence to be submitted in some instances via Google Drive.

Users submitting feedback on the Traffic Police website can check a box indicating that they are willing to testify in court. For submissions to NEA, however, I have been asked to submit a separate witness statement. When I asked an NEA investigating officer if NEA could follow the Traffic Police’s example, he said it was a good idea, but nothing has changed since then.

In one instance that was not at all amusing, I was chased by a pack of five dogs while cycling near Lorong Halus. But to complete my report to the NEA, I had to submit photo evidence. Was I supposed to take a selfie while I was being chased and was cycling frantically for my life? I had to cancel my submission as I had no image to load.

Both the Traffic Police and NEA need to relook their portal submission requirements as well as do away with the need for numerous e-mails and phone calls just to close an issue. The current process of submitting reports is a totally frustrating and time-consuming experience that requires determination to see through.

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