A Place in My Heart

Lost Freight is a charming little coffee place operating out of a shipping container at Kunanyi, Tasmania. (”Kunanyi” is the traditional Palawa kani name for Mount Wellington.)

It is situated on the site of the grand Springs Hotel which was destroyed in the devastating 1967 bushfires of Tasmania.

Megan and Chris Spillane opened the wood-clad container café in 2017.

I enjoyed the coffee there. The youthful exuberant and jovial, friendly staff made me feel very much at home.

I felt cheerful each time I visited. My spirits were lifted each time I was there.

It is one of those places in my heart, a place I would love to visit again and again.

Some places tug at my heartstrings. Lost Freight Cafe is one such place. I’m awash with nostalgia and warm feelings when I think of this café. I’m reminded of good times, of friendship, of not being afraid to be myself in the presence of great friends who won’t judge me, of meaningful conversations about books and the state of the world, of intimate but not awkward moments of silence as soulmates basked in each other’s company, of fellowship, of long drives and scenic landscapes, of delicious home-cooked meals, of warmth, of fireplaces with crackling logs…

Ah, I must go back.

I have to.

A few more times before I die.

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Huh?

So that retarded racist bastard who was a senior lecturer at Ngee Ann Poly has been sacked!

This comes after a video posted in early June of him making racist remarks to an interracial couple in Orchard Road went viral online. This was followed by an Instagram post by NP alumna Nurul Fatimah Iskandar, who alleged that the same bastard made Islamophobic comments in a class in 2017.

In her Instagram post, Nurul Fatimah, now 22 and a student at the National University of Singapore, said she had reported the lecturer’s insensitive comments to NP at the time.

NP said it has been unable to locate any records of her feedback after searching its various feedback channels and checking with Nurul Fatimah on her NP mailbox archives.

“In our conversation with her, she indicated that she could not recall whether she had e-mailed her feedback on the incident or raised it during a post-course focus group discussion (FGD) in 2017,” it added. FGDs are typically held at the end of every semester to seek students’ feedback on courses and lecturers.

“Nonetheless, we are committed to preventing a similar incident from occurring again, and will ensure that students are made aware of the appropriate channels for them to provide feedback in a safe manner,” it said.

“We will also advise our staff on how to manage and report feedback that they may receive outside of these channels, as appropriate.”

So Nurul Fatimah, have or don’t have?! Don’t play play leh. Confirmed and double confirmed or not?

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Today – Where is Mr Umbrage Ng Yat Chung?

Yesterday, a 16-year-old student was arrested for the murder of a 13-year-old and an axe was seized.

Front page headline today.

Today’s Straits Times prominently features an ad for Axe Brand medicated oil, on the same page.

Where is their CEO Mr Umbrage Ng Yat Chung?

Malgorithm?

UPDATE: Axe Brand has since explained in a Facebook post today that the ad placement “was not intentional by [the] company but a very unfortunate coincidence.” It added that the ad was arranged and booked last December with The Straits Times. “Our company is in deep sympathy and grief with the victim’s family,” the brand said in a Facebook post.

Indeed, Axe Oil has nothing to apologize for. The problem lies with insensitive Straits Times editors who should have exercised discretion.

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Apology Rescinded

I’ve known A since we were 13. Today, both 64 now, we are still in touch on a daily basis, mostly on WhatsApp. He checks on me to make sure I’m still alive, that I did not die in my sleep the night before, and I share with him anecdotes I have received, my opinions on news I’ve read, and I pass on to him funny stuff that land in my inbox.

Years ago, when I was in his car, Indian music was playing and I turned to ask him “Why you playing Indian music?” and he looked at me with a surprised look on his face and said “Because I’m Indian lah, don’t you realize?”

The truth is I didn’t. Because we have been friends for years, his being Indian has never consciously occurred to me; his skin color was transparent to me, invisible; we were – and still are – just good friends, two buddies enjoying each other’s company and sharing many common interests. There was never a deliberate effort to “realize” that he is ethnically Indian and me Chinese.

Racism is never something in our family. My parents encouraged us to make friends with everyone. My parents’ “matchmaker” of sorts was Indian (he helped my dad pass messages to my mum when my dad was eyeing her) and I lived and grew up with Indian and Malay neighbors in housing quarters for police officers – my dad was a police officer and back then very few Chinese joined the police force.

So, when a 60-year-old senior Polytechnic lecturer accosted and berated an inter-racial couple in public recently, I was appalled – all that education received by that retard has gone to waste! Apoplectic with rage at such unbelievable and utterly outrageous behavior, I posted on social media to say that the bastard should be sacked! (And he was!)

Ours is a multi-racial society and anti-racism is written into our constitution.

Last I heard the lecturer was also “assisting police in investigations.” I hope that means they had teams “interrogating” him 24 hours a day, seven days a week until he was shitting bricks.

Before this incident, a young Chinese man kicked an old Indian lady on her chest and told her to go back to India. He was arrested.

Any self-styled expert can pontificate on the causes of racism and write long theories about why racism exists.

In my family, it’s simple: my parents thought us never to discriminate against anyone who is different from us, to embrace differences, to practice “diversity” – a word used way too often today without anyone knowing its true meaning.

Laws should be amended to ensure that those who carry out racist acts be punished with greater severity, and the same laws should apply to those who capitalize on certain incidents to rile up the community’s feelings.

Around the Hari Raya period, Sarah Bagharib’s wedding photo was made into a standee at Hari Raya decorations at the Tiong Bahru Orchid public housing estate, without her permission.

The organizer (The People’s Association) apologized and offered to meet her and her husband in person to apologize again.

But in mid-June, the apology was rescinded.

This was because Sarah Bagharib has made claims that this incident perpetuated the “racist culture” and has characterized the incident as “racist.”

PA also noted that Sarah Bagharib has done an Instagram Live interview with Assistant Professor Walid Jumblatt Abdullah, from Nanyang Technological University’s
Public Policy and Global Affairs program.

PA said that in the interview, she insinuated that PA staff and volunteers did not find anything wrong with the standee as they might be “blind to racism.”

“These are accusations we reject,” PA said. “While the error was culturally insensitive, it was certainly not racist. It is not right to raise the allegation of racism, without basis, to stoke emotions and sentiments.”

PA added that the woman had also announced in her recent public posts that she would be meeting PA, and made a public call for anyone to share any messages or suggestions they might have for PA, which she will help to relay to them.

“We find this odd. We do not see why our meeting should be appropriated as a platform for her to funnel the views and comments of persons unrelated to the incident,” said PA.

“All these lead us to believe her purpose in agreeing to meet us has gone far beyond the incident. We therefore see no point in proceeding with the meeting.”

By the way, I asked A what he thought of the incident and he said “How is this incident a racist one?”

I asked an Indian buddy for her views and she told me “Some of us minorities get worked up at the slightest hint of ‘racism’ even when it is imagined.”

I also asked a very good Malay friend his opinion and he replied “Seems she knows little to nothing about anything really; just needed attention, capitalizing to gain points.”

Former MP Amrin Amin shared PA’s statement and wrote: “It’s wrong to use someone’s photo without permission. And of course, wedding does not equal Hari Raya — but that’s not ‘racist’. As we call out racism, we must be careful not to label every error as borne out of racism or ‘racist culture’.”

He added that it is “important to point out shortcomings” without being too quick to “cancel.”

Unfortunately, he referred to someone who disagreed with him as “snowflake” and now he is being flamed by every snowflake in town. Point: often the tenor in which we state our views is a good barometer for the kind of response we will get back.

Former NMP Calvin Cheng said Facebook: “There is racism in Singapore. This is a plainly true statement, because there is racism everywhere,” he wrote.

“The problem is when people jump on the bandwagon and make everything about racism, or claim matters that are not racist, to be racist.”

Someone by the name of Hanafi Ahmad wrote to The Straits Times saying:

“Not every incident that involves a race or culture equates to an incident with malicious intent; it may genuinely be one caused by sheer ignorance.

“As much as cultural ignorance should not be perpetuated, it is just as important that we distinguish it from malicious racist intent.

“Such a practice of being too quick to make allegations of racism is troubling, especially in a country like Singapore.

“It may trivialize real examples of racism that exist in our society that should be looked at.

“It is also divisive, and stokes emotions and sentiments which could hurt our social fabric.”

Agreed!

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Today – 148 Cases!

Vietnamese prostitute allowed in on a technicality?

The option for unmarried partners of Singaporeans or permanent residents to enter the Republic through “familial ties” was removed in March, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said two days ago.

It was through this option that the first known case in a growing cluster linked to KTV lounges, a short-term visit pass holder from Vietnam, was allowed entry into Singapore. (Such visitors cannot engage in any employment, paid or unpaid.)

Her entry to Singapore was applied for by her Singaporean “boyfriend.”

Apparently “familial ties” does not necessarily mean blood relatives.

Don’t the authorities know that “Singaporean boyfriend” means her “pimp”?

Of course not, lots of bright people who run our government were brilliant students who went to top schools like Harvard, Princeton and the Madras, er I mean Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then returned to Singapore to cushy government jobs pushing pencils. They are innocent scholars totally oblivious of what’s happening in the real world, totally unaware that sexual services are blatantly being sold by prostitutes in these premises.

I’m glad some retard suddenly wised up and that this “familial ties” nonsense has now been scrapped.

The number of cases of COVID-19 infection arising from contacts with Vietnamese “social hostesses” proliferating our KTVs here have now ballooned to 148.

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Today – 88 Cases!

Have you heard of anyone saying that they go to KTVs for food? Obviously not!

Unless you live in a cave, you, like many people will know that KTVs are mostly sex dens – I have been shown some unbelievable videos of what’s happening inside, videos that will make those on porn sites look like innocent children’s cartoons – yet the government has allowed KTVs to re-open recently.

Why is the government so concerned about the livelihoods of KTV owners?

The government is even helping those establishments convert to F & B outlets.

But these “converted” KTVs continue to operate with zero social distancing being imposed; they continue to carry out activities that have been carried out previously and yes – causing COVID-19 infections!

As of today, the so-called KTV cluster has grown to 88 cases!

88 is a lucky number among the Chinese, being homonyms for “prosper prosper” but not in this case please.

It all started with one “social hostess” from Vietnam.

I chalk it up to another COVID-19 time bomb that have exploded in our faces! I don’t like rubbing dumb government officials’ dumbness in their faces but these are major fuck-ups like (1) last year’s debacle on foreign workers’ dormitories (2) refusing to close our borders, allowing all and sundry in and even allowing those flying in from countries with tens of thousands, no, maybe even hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 cases, er no I mean millions of COVID-19 cases to wander all over the airport, mingling with healthy people and now this: (3) allowing purveyors of the sex trade to thrive, putting the rest of us in jeopardy while the retarded horny dickheads in the country get their penises fellated in KTVs, premises packed to the gills with foreign girls allowed in as tourists to work as prostitutes.

I give credit where credit is due and so far, the government has done an admirable job, with only 36 COVID-19 deaths to date, but this latest fiasco is one that must be immediately addressed and heads must roll.

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Making Your Own Hollow Points?

Hollow point bullets are banned in international warfare under the Hague Convention’s laws of war.

A hollow point bullet has a cavity instead of a tip. When a hollow point strikes a soft target, the pressure it is met with forces the bullet to open, significantly increasing its diameter in the process.

The hollow point’s ability to expand, or “mushroom,” delivers a trifold benefit to its terminal performance: the bullet creates a wider wound channel. This increases blood loss, and provides a greater likelihood of hitting a vital organ.

Of course, you can go on the Internet and learn how to make your own or you could buy a magazine entitled DIY Guns and learn how to do it.

But, what’s the point of having bullets when you don’t have a gun?

Well, the same magazine will teach you how to make your own gun.

And you know what, you could buy this magazine in Singapore for S$24.90! Someone I know found it in Kinokuniya at JEM.

To me this is alarming.

Why?

In June, the Internal Security Department said that the terrorism threat to Singapore remains high as terror groups continue spreading their influence online amid the COVID-19 pandemic and that self-radicalized individuals are now Singapore’s primary threat domestically.

Private gun ownership has been outlawed for decades, and given the likelihood of radicalized individuals getting carried away, why are such publications being sold here?

Concerned friends have notified the media but so far, no interest shown whatsoever.

Maybe it’s only newsworthy when some retard actually makes a gun and his own hollow point bullets and starts shooting someone?

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Hold My Hand As I Go

Archeological digs of the ancient Greek town of Chaeronea unearthed the remains of a military unit known as the Sacred Band.

Comprising 300 warriors from the city of Thebes, it was among the most fearsome fighting forces in Greece, undefeated until it was wiped out at the Battle of Chaeronea, in 338 BC – an engagement during which Philip of Macedon and his son, the future Alexander the Great, crushed a coalition of Greek city states led by Athens and Thebes.

What I find fascinating is that the Band was composed entirely of lovers: precisely a hundred and fifty couples, whose valor, so the Greeks thought, was due to the fact that no man would ever exhibit cowardice or act dishonorably in front of his beloved. In Plato’s Symposium, a dialog about love, there is a remark that an army made up of such lovers would “conquer all mankind.”

Indeed, skeletons excavated in the mass grave reveal that a number of warriors were buried with arms linked, some were holding hands, as the sketch above shows.

I would consider it an honor to die with my wife holding my hand, or better still, to die in my wife’s arms.

My wife is one selfless woman who made sacrifices for me, who stood by me despite my follies, who subjugated her own desires to allow me to attain my aspirations, who suppressed her own ambitions so that mine may be lifted, whose circle of friends have reduced drastically over the years because her overriding focus is always on me and on our children.

Her life is never a “me” thing, hers is a life dedicated to making sure that other members of the family realize their fullest potential.

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Get Rich Quick

Unless your wealthy parents have died and have left you with enough money to last you the rest of your life, the only way to get money is to work. So, yes, people work and get paid for their labor. Money earned enables them to be self-sufficient. Worry about getting rich later.

The problem is many people not only want money, they want to be rich, very fucking rich and to be very fucking rich very fucking fast.

They don’t want to live in a HDB, they want to be in a condo; they are not happy flying on budget airlines, they want to fly Singapore Airlines and when they get to taste business class, they dream of owning a private jet.

In the meantime, these retards sit on their fat asses drinking coffee at Starbucks – sometimes at their parents’ expense – and surfing the web.

If you have friends who are like that, forward them this article. Tell them that castles in the air are fine, just don’t try to move into them. This article was written in September last year by Tan Ooi Boon, Invest Editor of Sunday Times:

Can someone teach you to become rich instantly?

Say “no” to people who claim they can help you make money easily

Although I am the Sunday Times Invest editor, I do not possess any secrets, skills or advice that I can impart to help you make money easily and quickly.

But what I do have is a very particular set of skills, to use that famous quote from actor Liam Neeson in the movie Taken.

Skills that I have picked up over three decades of learning and writing news reports on numerous people who have squandered their lives, either by committing crimes or by losing their fortunes through acts of foolishness.

Skills that I can impart to you so you can start planning to avoid being short of money in your retirement. More importantly, I hope you can learn to say “no” to people who use all kinds of creative tactics to make you part with your money so they can enrich themselves.

Indeed, you would do well if you start to follow the most important rule of all – be very wary when people tell you they can help you to become rich or make money quickly without the need for hard work.

Ask yourself this question – if such people know the secrets of becoming rich, shouldn’t they just retire and enjoy their wealth in some paradise-like resort?

So why are they spending good money advertising in various social media channels to help you make money too? These folks certainly do not do so out of the goodness of their hearts.

The answer must be that they need you to give them your money by either investing with them or paying thousands of dollars to attend courses so that they can become rich, at your expense.

There has been a proliferation of online ads preying on fear and insecurity amid a downturn that has caused tens of thousands of people to lose their jobs and affected the income of many others.

Yes, it is getting harder to make a living, but you should resist the temptation of easy-money methods that can land you in a bigger mess. Here are some of the ruses tricksters use to separate you from your hard-earned cash.

BECOME A LANDLORD WHO ALWAYS MAKES MONEY

Ask yourself this question – if such people know the secrets of becoming rich, shouldn’t they just retire and enjoy their wealth in some paradise-like resort? So why are they spending good money advertising in various social media channels to help you make money too?

Knowing that Singaporeans are drawn to real estate, it seems like sound advice to tell people to buy property and collect rent that can help meet their expenses.

This is a solution offered in online ads asking people to sign up for classes to learn how to do this.

While property has always been a good investment for those who can afford it in good times, we are now going through the worst global recession in recent times.

A few months ago, the Government even enacted laws to grant business tenants rental waivers of up to four months to help save them from financial ruin.

So if you are buying a property with the sole intention of leasing it to make money, you face a big risk of getting a lot less rent or even none at all in this market.

What about the profit from the property if the value goes up? In good times, maybe.

But never assume there will always be ready buyers, especially in a recession. As property is a big investment, you can end up seriously in debt if you cannot keep up with the mortgage payments.

Bear in mind that more than 34,000 property owners have already asked their banks for mortgage payment deferments as they have problems with cash flow.

What about putting your money in a general pool of similar investors so that the risk is lessened? Before you think of hitting the jackpot, ask how you will get your investment back if things go wrong.

Don’t end up being one of those victims whose only recourse is to call The Sunday Times when your investment disappears, along with the people who were supposedly helping you get rich.

INVESTMENTS THAT CAN’T GO WRONG DUE TO GOOD TRACK RECORDS

Be wary of over-zealous folks when they show you statistics to “prove” that their investment funds are doing well even in this recession.

This is usually done by looking at all the returns over the past 10 years. The numbers in the earlier part of the decade were good given the buoyant economy, so the fund still shows a decent yield even when the poor returns amid the recession are factored in.

But what you need to know is that the good returns apply only to those who invested in the early years; the Johnny-come-latelies will be out of pocket.

If you put in the money now, 2020 becomes your Year One and the profitability of your investment will depend on its performance in subsequent years.

If this recession runs deeper and longer, you will certainly not see your investment flourishing.

Think twice and do more checks before you invest in businesses that are premised on the hope of making it big – for instance, there are a huge number of investors in overseas stock markets punting on companies that are working on coronavirus vaccines. As it is, no one knows which firm will deliver an antidote for the disease, so the risk of stock prices plummeting for those that fail is very real.

E-COMMERCE IS THE NEW WIN FOR THOSE WORKING AT HOME

There are many online ads touting courses that will turn you into a master in making lots of money without even leaving your home.

The idea sounds simple enough – source a product being sold online and you make it as if it is yours by creating your own e-store on popular websites such as Amazon. For instance, you can find a cheap and good product that costs $2 from online stores in China, but put that same product on Amazon for $20.

The trainers claim that despite the huge mark-up, they are making thousands of sales – and tens of thousand dollars in the process.

If it is so easy to make money this way, there wouldn’t be so many jobless people here – they would have become rich e-commerce traders.

Ask yourself this: Would you buy something online without first checking the prices of similar items elsewhere? If you do this, what makes you think your intended customers won’t find out that your price has been hugely inflated?

Finally, even if you think this is worth a try, you should check for free videos or tips on how you can set up an e-store yourself. Turn the tables on these so-called trainers – why pay for their exorbitant course fees when you can learn for free?

BE THE “AUTHOR” OF THE NEXT BEST-SELLING E-BOOK

Of all the schemes to help people make money, this is the most deplorable. Such courses claim that they can turn you into “authors” of best-selling e-books on Amazon Kindle even if you can’t write.

This is what they teach – first identify some of the best-selling self-help or health-related books on Kindle, then copy the ideas and content and create your own book by changing the way it is written.

As one trainer claims, the author owns only the copyright of how the book is written but he has no monopoly on the ideas in it, which can be copied.

While such trainers may be expert in pirating works of others, they are certainly no lawyers – those who do this can still be sued if the genuine authors can show similarities in the copied versions.

More importantly, would you buy books from unknown writers who can’t write?

Yes, there are probably people who end up making money even if they dabble in all these dubious practices. But always remember this wise saying – you may be able to fool some people some of the time, but you won’t be able to fool all the people all the time.

Wait till I get hold of that charlatan who told me to invest in Ethereum.

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Excuses, Excuses

Recently, yet another woman gained notoriety by insisting on not wearing a mask in public. She became known as “The Badge Woman” because she questioned the authority of the safe distance ambassador who told her to mask up by asking if the ambassador had a badge. She was arrested.

Experts, self-declared experts and non-experts all voiced their opinions and got their moments of fame. Social media heated up with clutter. Everyone had something to say. Even those clowns dominating LinkedIn.

I bet she is going to plead that she is suffering from depression or some mental illness.

Depression can be incapacitating and sufferers do struggle with getting on with their lives.

But the fact of the matter is that most mental illness – including depression – can be managed via a variety of methods.

The thing is, there seems to be more and more idiots with no mental illness claiming to have untreated mental conditions.

These offenders with no mental health issues can easily “engage” (in other words “buy”) the services of “expert witnesses” to testify in court in their favor.

This way, they hide behind “mental illness” as excuses for committing their crimes. More and more criminals seem to be doing so. They and their lawyers and their “expert” witnesses blame depression or some other mental conditions for their criminal behavior. They seem to think the courts will be more lenient with them.

When they do this, they hurt those who are really afflicted with depression because now everyone will think that those suffering from depression are just using it as an excuse for bad behavior. (Think of the boy who cried wolf.) Come on, not everyone who is depressed ends up committing crimes!

Genuine sufferers of mental illness – and I suspect the woman is one of them as she has caused trouble in public numerous times before – should seek treatment. You don’t want to wait until things get out of hand and you end up doing something that get you arrested. Remember, in Singapore, we have something called the MTO.

That’s Mandatory Treatment Order and is targeted at offenders who commit criminal acts as a result of suffering from mental/psychiatric conditions.

State-appointed psychiatrists and other mental health professionals will verify if these offenders indeed have a mental illness.

Instead of serving jail time, eligible and suitable offenders of an MTO will be directed to undergo psychiatric treatment – including hospitalization – at a psychiatric institution for up to 36 months.

And even before an MTO is imposed, a person can be apprehended under Section 7 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act.

He or she can be remanded in a government mental hospital while investigations are being carried out by the authorities to determine if he or she has a mental disorder. This is what happened to “The Badge Woman.”

Would you rather seek treatment early, and get better, or would you rather do nothing and wait till you get incarcerated by the state in a government mental asylum?

If you think being in a mental asylum is better than being in jail, you probably haven’t seen One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

A mental disorder is not a free pass. – Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamed Faizal Mohamed Abdul Kadir

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