Thursday, April 27, 2006


it is election time.

seeing my old comrades in the news gives me mixed feelings. it's remarkable to see how far people can diverge from a common point. i have returned to the road most travelled, but they have gone on to real politics.

when we were members of the democr*t*c s*cialist club, we were almost like the youth of the french revolution, davids against the goliath. never mind that we made such little impact. it was an exciting experience mingling with the politicians (and dissidents).

i am going to have to say sorry to SL and co, but i have really quite changed my mind. political freedom and choice? i don't think so.

problem is, i get tired of hearing people complain about the Government. it's always easy to nitpick and point out the 101 faults of the Party. some of the criticism is even, quite valid. but we cannot deny that looking at the whole picture, singapore has been remarkably well run. yet, it has become fashionable to be cynical, to bleat about the lack of freedom, and to mock the establishment. what is new? teenagers do that too.

how do people treat the vote? not by giving it to the most deserving candidate, but often, using it as a protest vote. people want to see opposition in the parliament because ours now is safe and boring. do we prefer to see taiwanese martial arts in the parliament? obviously not, but the vote goes to the opposition anyway, because we are assured of our stability. it's almost like a game. so much for democracy.

this probably comes as a surprise to those who knew me during the heady days of political activism. it looks like idealism has died in me somewhere, sometime. i once thought political freedom is important, now, it seems very much that responsibilty is more so.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

World Peace

i am a busy person, mind you, but in the interest of world peace, i shall have to go and offer my vetting services to the White House.

Reading the report on Hu Jintao's visit to the States makes me really ti xiao jie fei - i don't know whether to laugh or cry.

i cannot believe that the americans cannot even get the official name of china right, and end up insulting the country mortally by calling it the 'republic of china', which is, unfortunately, taiwan. somebody obviously has not done his homework. maybe everyone is just too busy and important to notice a minor detail like that.

or maybe this is a sad reflection of the country's education system.

at any rate, i think there is great promise for a second career for me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Via Dolorosa

being an usher in church makes it very hard to be holy on sunday mornings.

ushers are given instructions to lead the congregation members to sit in the right places, like filling up the front rows first. i never understand why this is such a difficult task to do. early birds like to sit in the back rows. some like to sit near te exits. a few like the reserved seats best. basically, people sit everywhere and anywhere they want, except where they are supposed to. days like that, i wish i had a whip to gently persuade my dear brothers and sisters in christ to do the right thing.

i have only tried to influence an insignificant action, and already find it extraordinarily hard. can we imagine how difficult it is to be God, and to have patience with a perverse and wilful people? and to care not only about the actions but also the heart. one might as well try to control the direction of sand slipping through your fingers.

the hardest part is not trying to control people. it's guiding people with gentleness. if God tames us with whips and blasts of lightning, i should think that obedience wouldn't be very much of a problem. yet, to quote CS Lewis, he does not coerce, he only woos. and the stripes of the whip are on His own back. it is good friday tomorrow. it is time to remember that we are the ones responsible for the broken body on the cross, because of God's love for an undeserving people. that is truly,

Amazing grace.

Monday, April 10, 2006

the Tempest

sometimes there is only a fine line between friend and foe.

Life scattered the cast of the Tempest 1996 around the world, but yesterday, we reunited for a sunday lunch. even the long lost King Alonso made a rare appearance. prospero and prince ferdinand came too. it was quite an occasion, and i liked the food at Imperial Banquet, though the other airy fairy didn't.

and it looks like we have decided that yucky is one of us, after all.

so it struck me that friendship is very strange. we have had a decade of bickering and fights, which involve flying objects - like shoes, pens, fried fish and squashed lemons. i remember scenes of angry fairies yelling at the obnoxious director. but every time yucky returns to singapore, he would call me, and sometimes, he is even rather nice.

he is going to off to HK to work, so, as usual, we tried to browbeat him to pick up the tab, but failed, as usual too. never mind, he said that he would buy us dinner if we go to HK. hahaha, the lawyer is really careless this time. he should know the danger of giving blank cheques. i am going to check out the most expensive restaurants on The Peak. but to be nice, i'll pay for the tram tickets up :P

sometimes there is only a fine line between friend and foe.