Soccer Hooliganism In KL

The Lee–Lin rivalry is between two legendary badminton players, Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Lin Dan of China. The rivalry is considered to be one of, if not, the greatest rivalry in badminton history. They have played a total of 38 times.

Below is the letter supposedly written by China’s Lin Dan to Lee Chong Wei after he lost the game in the semi finals. We take it as genuine.

“The 37th time I meet you opposite the net, it’s already gone a whole round since our first. Truthfully, when I slipped and lost to you, I had no regrets. You are my greatest rival, I am willing to lose to you, without regrets. When I hugged you, I really felt as if the past ten years with you, had been but a dream. I will take your jersey to my future child and tell him: ‘There is an uncle known as Lee Chong Wei, your dad’s greatest rival, and also best friend.’ To meet you in my best years is my luck. Good luck in the finals.”

Some claim that the letter is faked. But the fact remains that they are still friends even though they were bitter rivals (competitors) in badminton. Thru the game, they met each other. Also thru the game they gained respect of each other. A lasting friendship is forged even though they represented their own respective countries, were arch rivals fighting savagely for glory and honour.

That is what true sportsmanship is all about. Did they humiliate or jeer at each other? They set good examples for their supporters and fans.

Sadly, it is not the case in the recent football match between Singapore and Malaysia held in KL. The soccer fans were chanting anti Singapore slogans calling Singapore dogs etc… Such soccer hooliganism which is quite common in Europe & UK leading to riots, vandalism and loss of lives & property.

It’s supposed to be part of SEA games promoting understanding and friendship across different countries with different cultures. So much time, effort, money and resources allocated to organise these games destroyed by a small number of hooligans! What should we do to them? That Fatty from North Korea would have gladly shot them and finish them off. We don’t need such hooligans to exist in this world already full of challenges and problems.

Out of this murky episode, one silver lining appears. My Malay friends such as Che Mat, Norman and many others expressed indignation and condemned those soccer hooligans chanting anti Singapore slogans when they forwarded me the viral video clip.

My Malay friends identify themselves as Singaporeans first and stood up against them. Their sense of loyalty and identity lies with Singapore even though they are senior citizens whom have close kinship ties across the other side. But reasons and fair play made them speak up against those shit head soccer hooligans.

Yes, we are a multi-racial society and we belong to Singapore. Singapore also belongs to all of us irrespective of race, language or religion when we stand up against such uncivilised barbaric behaviour akin to savages and animals when they chanted “Singapore dogs” and humiliated a close neighbour coming over only for a friendly soccer game.

We may have lost the game but we stood tall in character, honour and dignity. We did not behave like animals even though they taunted us and called us dogs. Even though they won the game but they have lost much more. In the eyes of the world and the sporting community, they are the real losers!

Click here to read about the news.

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7th Month Hungry Ghosts Celebrations

In Sep 1982, when I was a student I wrote an article on the 7th month Hungry Ghost Festival. That was more than 35 years ago. Click this link to read. Till today, the same Festival is still observed by the Chinese community. In fact, it is being practised by all the Chinese community not only in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan but also throughout South East Asia.

Yesterday, on the 22 Aug 17(Tue) was the start of the 7th lunar month which ushers in the month-long Hungry Ghost Festival. At the stroke of midnight on 22 Aug, as if by some unseen telepathic signals, burning of incense, candles and food offerings sprouted simultaneously all over the HDB heartlands and shop houses. The air is filled with déjà vu burning smell. The month long celebrations will climax on the 15th day with another big bang on the last day of the month.

Images from SCMP

There are many Chinese customs and rituals withering or facing extinction as our modern society marches on towards more sophistication. Surprisingly, this particular phenomenon appears more widespread and entrenched in the Chinese psyche after more than 35 yrs when I first wrote about it. I don’t think it will face extinction in the near future.

It would be most interesting to examine and study why this superstitious custom continue to survive and attract followers?

This Hungry Ghosts Festival – simply said refers to the opening of hell gate for one month allowing all the ghosts full liberty to roam the human world of existence. After the one month period, all the ghosts will have to return to hell before the gate is shut for another year. Any wandering ghost refusing to report back to hell shall be deemed as “AWOL”. Severe punishment is meted out when AWOL ghost is caught by the hell guardians. Link

Back to the earlier question why this festival is still celebrated by Chinese community all over the world, and even in Thailand, Vietnam or Japanese society with traces of Chinese roots? As Asians, they just follow the superstitious folklore with no questions asked. No need scientific proof for verification. They know that life is impermanent and one day they will join the dead. It is this belief in eternity with a glimmer of hope in the afterlife.

Everyday, there are millions of births and deaths amongst humanity. They believe in the perpetual life cycle of death and rebirth. When there is birth, there must be death as this is the natural order of things in all life forms. The deaths sojourn in hell undergoing purgatory to redeem themselves before seeking nirvana or continue with perpetual reincarnation.

In the meantime, those hungry ghosts holidaying on earth need to be appeased for the sake of peace. The living do not want those hungry ghosts to wreak havoc on their business or safety especially certain hazardous jobs such as construction sites, shipyards or even training camps. When I was first enlisted for my BMT in Tekong camp, I witnessed an army captain in uniform offering prayers at the obstacles course during the 7th lunar month. Such is the widespread practice entrenched in the Chinese psyche.

Pictures from Raymond who was at Bedok Central Getai yesterday evening

Businesses not doing well with budget cuts elsewhere will nevertheless spend lavishly on this occasion. Those that did well will definitely throw more money on the occasion by setting up elaborate rituals engaging Toast priests, Getai performance , dinner feasts etc to boast their spending power in an “upmanship” show to rivals. That’s how the commercial game is played.

Inadvertently, it created an industry of joss & incense accessories from paper replica iPhones, houses, cars, ingots etc to be burnt as offerings. The tentage contractors and mobile kitchen catering to nightly feasts with noisy auction will have a field day. What about those so-called 7th month singers? Some of them from media corps and some unknown freelancers also making their rounds making hay with the ghosts! As such, 7th month is boom boom time generating lots of economic activities in the otherwise ghastly economy.

I’ve briefly sketched out the economic and spiritual aspects of the 7th month hungry festival to justify it’s stubborn existence thru the years. In our multi-racial society, even the other races are aware of such practice.

Usually, it coincides with the haze issue from neighbouring country. They burn their vast forests for their ghosts whilst we burn paper incense contributing to the haze problem. But surprisingly it doesn’t happen this year round. Hopefully, they will not clash in the future or we will all get suffocated.

Let’s live and let live in peace – ghosts or no ghosts!

Click here to read related article.

Click here to another interesting article. Man with 3rd eye able to see ghosts?

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Miracles do happen

“I slept on benches everyday, borrowed 20Rs/- from friend to travel to film city”
-Sharukh khan

“I failed in 8th standard”

“During my secondary school, I was dropped from school basketball team”

“I was rejected for the job in ALL INDIA RADIO becoz of my heavy voice”

“I used to work in petrol pump”

“I was rejected in the interview of PILOT”

“I didn’t even complete my university education”
-Bill Gates

“I was a dyslexic kid”

“I was raped at the age of 9”
-Oprah Winfrey

“I used to serve tea at a shop to support my football training”
-Lionel Messi

“I used to sleep on the floor in friends’rooms,returning Coke bottles for food and getting weekly free meals at a local temple”
-Steve Jobs

“My teachers used to call me a failure”
-Tony Blair

“I was in prison for 27 years”
-Late President Nelson Mandela

and here comes the “THALIVA”

“At the age of 30, I was a bus conductor”

Friends, there are many such people who struggled…

Life is not about what you couldn’t do so far,

it’s about what you can still do.

Wait and don’t ever give up..

Miracles happen every day….!

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Taoist Oracle aka Kau Cim (求签)

Beginning of the Lunar New Year, the women folks went to a Taoist temple to seek blessings for the family from the gods. It’s a yearly ritual commonly practised by some Chinese. Usually I would just follow my mother to the temple to please her. Just go through the motion and “wayang” only. I don’t really believe in the mumbo jumbo of Taoist stuff.

But on that particular occasion – the last Lunar New Year, I was quite impressed with the oracle aka as Kau Cim (求签) or picking a fortune stick. The details on the procedural practice could be found on this link. I’m not going into the details.

The following 4 lines of beautifully written verse are the main predications of the oracle.


When I copy and paste on google for the English translation, the following incoherent rubbish came out.

“Was proud of lost
Today is in danger
If connected with your entry
Another example is dead wood in the raw branches.”

After analysing the 4 lines of verses, I formed my own interpretation as per my destiny.

“When I got the job I was happy and proud but it turned out to be unsuccessful (failure ).
Presently there is a crisis (danger) but still not totally gone case.
If, only if I chanced to meet a savior – 贵人, he’ll lead me out of the predicament
just like the deadwood of the tree branch suddenly sprouting shoots or leaves (giving new hope and lease of life).’

My HK friend’s husband interpreted in another way.

“In the past when you were proud of your achievements, in contrary, it turns out to be a lost in your life!
Today when in confrontation of a crisis, in fact it’s a blessing in disguise.
You can expect a white warrior to come to your rescue,
And every situation in your life, which appeared deadly previously, will come alive!”

Based on the above oracle result, there are 3 sets of interpretations. I think the last one set is the best. I was impressed by this piece of oracle only because it exhibited an uncanny semblance on my destiny. I’m still wondering if I’ve become a believer from a non believer as far as this oracle forecast is concerned.

Read related article here. Link

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Real library vs virtual library?

Some time ago, 3 months to be exact, I had some spare time in my hands pending work deployment. Not only I had lots of time to read some of the best written novels, I was also able to re-organise my own library. It’s not that big. Only 3 book cases stuffed to the brim with all kinds of books. There is another bookcase inside my bedroom also filled with books. It reminds me of Sultana at Peace Centre. Link 

Over the years, my small library keeps adding up making my collection bigger and bigger. If I did not give away some of the books to friends after reading them, it would have been worst – inundated with books all over the place just like Lohcifer’s place when he sent me pictures of his tons of books. Most of the books were given by my good friend Lohcifer though. Link He got rid of his books thru me! It goes like this – he’d pass me those books he finished reading. I’d read them and then pass them on to Datuk Freddie. Link I wouldn’t want them back. I’d tell him to pass them to his friends or keep them. He’s got a big office to keep those books. I don’t have that luxury.

In my personal library, I keep those rare books which are out of print, first edition books, personally autographed or signed by authors themselves amongst others. The rest I had to discard.

I’m referring to those obsolete books such as Palm OS and Windows CE textbooks which are huge and occupy precious space. Both belong to a bygone era and they are dead now. Thick bulky dictionaries are also deadwood need to be discarded. Who uses a hardcover dictionary nowadays when you could easily goggle for any difficult, rare, unusual word? I was born in the pre-internet and smartphone era where hard copy books were highly treasured. Not anymore. Times have changed indeed.

When my friend Eunice commented that why maintain a library when we could have books in digital format? If you want to read any book, just download it from the net? Save space. Can always bring your digital books anywhere on your smartphone. Like I say, I belong to that generation where hard copy books are treasured. Until today, I just can’t get used to reading books on my smartphone or that little kindle. It just doesn’t kindle my reading interest lah!

Having a few quality collection of books in your cosy home not only add as embellishments to your living room decor but also a talking point for your book lover visitors. How could your ebook collection on your smartphone achieve these twin objectives?

Reading defines the man. It’s a measure of his intellect. Let’s hear from a great English writer…

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

The problem is that the internet generation is so immersed with everything virtual. From virtual library, ebooks to virtual friends, virtual chats, virtual lovers and relationships especially those online gamers. Taking a cab or ordering fast food using apps on their smartphones etc instead of walking out of the house to hail a cab at kerbside or to the eatery to buy their food!

My short note on library clearly illustrates the wide divide in terms of lifestyle and outlook in life between them and us. Obviously, people of my generation are of the dinosaur era about to go extinct or getting irrelevant in this new brave world?

Click here to read library essentials.

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