Friday, June 12, 2009

Rebutal to 潘国驹 - How Singapore can build 25 global brands

新加坡如何建立25个世界级品牌
2009-06-10
潘国驹

6月6日本地英文报章发表了前财政部常任秘书严崇涛先生在庆祝新加坡财政部50周年庆典上的讲话。因为内容很丰富,观点很有见地,我们在这篇文章尝试进一步讨论他提出的一些问题,或许有些意义。在他的演讲中,除了回顾财政部的历史外,着重地讨论了有关外来人材,研究与发展(R&D)以及创立新加坡品牌的问题。

新加坡人有能力
首先,我们先谈如何建立世界级的新加坡品牌。
严崇涛特别举出新加坡航空公司(SIA)为成功的例子并告诉我们,新加坡航空公司从一开始就是由本地人领导、执行以及策划,在没有借助外来人才之下,成功地发展为世界最有名的航空公司,证明新加坡人是有能力创立世界级品牌的。这让我联想到我们过去在引进人才方面,高薪聘请一些外来尤其是西方人担任总裁,可人家心思未必全在这里,一两年后,就潇洒走人。与其这样,不如好好培养土生土长的人才。
严崇涛建议我们应该立志创立25个有世界级品牌的新加坡企业。在这里我们试图谈谈在新加坡创立世界级品牌的优势以及应该考虑的一些事项。

先说新加坡的优势:
一、我们有稳定的政治以及经济的体制,以及有利于经商的环境;
二、具备很高英文水平的人材,这一点很重要,在全球化的大环境下,英文的掌握和操作,占据了很有利的条件;
三、教育制度相当健全,在培育人材方面具有优势;
四、政府有许多政策都在鼓励创立优良品牌,这也是一个有利的先决条件。

创新、专业精神与文化
再来谈谈在新加坡的环境下如何建立世界级品牌的一些建议:
一、首先,无论什么行业的成功,创新与发明会起着举足轻重的作用,没有新的想法和理念是不可能建立品牌的。在亚洲,日本是拥有最多世界级品牌公司的国家,有不少人认为因为日本有强大的工业基础再加上本国的市场及购买力,就可以成功的形成世界级的品牌,其实日本的成功因素主要还是这个民族具有创新与改进的精神,甚至于他们的武士道精神也有某种程度的关联。基于这个精神,目前日本不少大企业一年内就有许多新产品问世,比如Sony(索尼)一年内有几百个新的创新产品,再加上他们严谨的工作态度,慢慢的就有不少世界品牌的公司出现。
二、必需要有专业精神以及一丝不苟的工作态度。新加坡航空公司(SIA)无论是领导层还是普通职员都具备这种工作态度,才会成功登上世界品牌的宝座。
三、21世纪是亚洲的世纪,尤其是中国市场幅员广大,很明显,台湾企业产品在打进中国大陆市场上,比新加坡及其他国家成功,例如食品公司中的旺旺集团就非常成功。
道理很简单,原因是台湾人比较了解中华文化,容易掌握大陆市场。新加坡要在大陆成功发展企业,打出品牌,一定要更进一步了解中华文化及历史,不能只靠新加坡政府的支持!

充实自己 组织联盟
企业界以及年青人必需充实自己,多多读书学习。最近中国国家主席胡锦涛在大力强调,要做合格的管理者,必须大力加强学习,努力用人类社会创造的丰富知识来充实自己。温家宝总理更说:“书籍是人类智慧的结晶。读书决定一个人的修养和境界,关系一个民族的素质和力量,影响一个国家的前途和命运。一个不读书的人、不读书的民族,是没有希望的。”新加坡的企业界,尤其年青人的确需要进修,才能与世界各国竞争。
新加坡是小国,必需组织企业的联盟,才能拼出一个新的里程碑,政府已经积极在推动这一类的商业联盟
要达到严崇涛所讲的新加坡25个具有世界品牌的企业,这是任重道远的,需要我们长期努力。希望若干年后,谈到新加坡,不仅仅是新航、海港、金融,而是有更多值得称道的世界品牌。让我们拭目以待。

作者为南洋理工大学高等研究所所长

I found this article, How Singapore can build 25 global brands, very interesting read it if you are very curious. Here is some of my view on some of his thoughts.
具备很高英文水平的人材,这一点很重要,在全球化的大环境下,英文的掌握和操作,占据了很有利的条件 (Singapore no doubt has great command of written English but the spoken English is one of the worst in the world has English as their 1st language. I can’t stress enough Singaporeans sound very much like retards in all spoken language. Strange enough when you try to speak good English at school in Singapore or among your peers, you will be branded “unsingaporean”. The campaign for speaking good languages has utterly failed due to the lack of concern from Ministry of Education. If I were the minister, I would have force teachers, under 50 years old, in Singapore to go for mandatory language lesson, and brain wash them regarding the fallacy of Singlish being a Singapore pride.

教育制度相当健全,在培育人材方面具有优势 (I think when we talk about good education system, it’s very subjective).
• In Singapore getting just a good grade is the key to success in one’s education, ignoring the set of personal, social, sometimes professional skills.
• Students in Singapore were trained to memorize answer in a standard way, much like how a robot is not suppose to think by to just obey what is been told.
• The choices of subjects are very limited.

政府有许多政策都在鼓励创立优良品牌
• for this I have one examples to quote; Creative. How many people outside Singapore actually know that Creative Technology or Creative Labs, Inc. is a Singapore company?
• We all know what happened to the support or the lack thereof from EDB that drove Mr. Sim to seek the silicon valley for help.

在亚洲,日本是拥有最多世界级品牌公司的国家,有不少人认为因为日本有强大的工业基础再加上本国的市场及购买力,就可以成功的形成世界级的品牌,其实日本的成功因素主要还是这个民族具有创新与改进的精神,甚至于他们的武士道精神也有某种程度的关联。基于这个精神,目前日本不少大企业一年内就有许多新产品问世,比如Sony(索尼)一年内有几百个新的创新产品,再加上他们严谨的工作态度,慢慢的就有不少世界品牌的公司出现。
• At this point, I would like to ask if the author of this article has any Korean or Japanese friends? If he has, then I would like to know if he has step foot into their homes?
• Well, I have, and I have noticed that they only use product that are produced by their individuals’ countries. Almost all my Korean and Japanese friends will take the trouble to locate stores or stalls that exclusively products of their country brands when they live outside their own country despite the premium they have to pay.
• I find that Singaporeans tends to question their own products and ideas, hence, to convince the EDB and corporate that an unraveled supreme new product is being introduce in front of them for funding is like pulling teeth.

必需要有专业精神以及一丝不苟的工作态度。新加坡航空公司(SIA)无论是领导层还是普通职员都具备这种工作态度,才会成功登上世界品牌的宝座
• Again, I was wondering if SIA is part of Temasek? If the answer is yes, the author has just lost his credibility.
• Creative will be an international brand quicker if it’s owned by Temasek Holdings.

温家宝总理更说:“书籍是人类智慧的结晶。读书决定一个人的修养和境界,关系一个民族的素质和力量,影响一个国家的前途和命运。一个不读书的人、不读书的民族,是没有希望的。”新加坡的企业界,尤其年青人的确
需要进修,才能与世界各国竞争
• This is a good quote but you have to use it and suggest to people that this quote works only when you have a freer system. You think that China is more conservative and less liberal then Singapore? Let me tell you, you are dead wrong.
• I work in as a Exec. Producer, writer, show host in China and we can get away with more topic then Singapore MDA.
I would like the author to live in some different countries before the express his point of view to us. This author is disingenuous and misleading, the entire article sounds for like a propaganda piece then and objective article.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

East Asia Diabolic

For those who are interested in East Asian Dialogue Series ~ Organised by East Asian Institute, Singapore which was held in Shangari La hotel on Wednesday, 27 May 2009; Here are some of the reason why I think that Wu JianMin, a professor and the former president of China Foreign Affairs University, Beijing, and the honorary president of the International Bureau of Exhibitions. He previously served as China’s ambassador to France; to the United Nations’ Office in Geneva and to other international organisations in Switzerland, is really an idiot. I’m going to rebut his points in English but I’m not going translate the text into English.

中国外交学院教授吴建民: 东亚应该由亚细安领导
中国外交学院教授、前驻法大使吴建民认为,中国和日本不应再浪费时间争论东亚领导权的问题,中国领导人从邓小平起,三十几年来不断强调不称霸,是一种承诺而不是宣传。他认为东亚应由亚细安领导,这样中日双方都会满意,亚细安本身也不会陷入必须选边站的困境。
• The Sino-Japan distrust wasn’t built up yesterday; it was centuries of war, insecurity and inferiority complex from Japan.
• Sino-Japan distrust stamps from the 3 big invasions within 150 years span.
1. -The eight alliance invasion, boxer rebellion,
2. -The WWI
3. -The WWII
• Let’s think of ways to resolve this matter of distrust. E.g. Stop condoling Japanses leaders visiting Yasukuni Shrine, and the true reflection of their history books, as oppose to justifying the war as a protecting China from Russian and other foreign invasions.
• Ask would they want China to get involve and “help” them the way they “helped” us while they are threatened by North Korea?
• The way I see it is not an eye for an eye by listing examples of like the one given above.

吴建民昨天下午在东亚研究所于香格里拉酒店举办的“中日如何促进区域和平与和谐”讲座上说:“中日不应竞争领导权,东亚应该由谁领导?亚细安。不论日本或中国领导,另外两方都会担心,亚细安领导,我们(中日)都会满意。”
• ASEAN has and will never have the capacity to lead East Asia. These ASEAN countries has never shown any significant achievement of any sort influence the world in the entire human history, or at least I can’t think of anything top of my head accept their spices and rubber with Indonesia and Malaysia, after the collapse of Brazil rubber empire, respectively .
• In terms of social economics, ASEAN their culture can’t event co-influence each other let alone a dynamic area such as East Asia Area, which includes Greater China, Japan and Korea.

他认为,亚细安加三的东亚区域应该是开放性的,所以他很乐见美国国务卿希拉莉不久前向亚细安释放善意,表示会认真考虑签署《东南亚友好合作条约》。
他认为中日之间应该学习欧洲的法国和德国,化解仇恨,只有和平才能促进发展,繁荣也需要合作。
• Franco-German relations can be patched up much faster because France didn’t go through much of what Sino-Japan relations has gone through; And trust me, if they have, they would have “enjoy” the suspicious sentiment with each other.
• Hence, sighting Franco-Gereman relations is down right not any scholars will pick as an example for the resolution.
• Frankly, knowing the two relations dynamics, Sino-Japan and Franco-German, in term of their history is essential before essential to the diplomacy between these countries, otherwise the effect is just the opposite.

吴建民肯定日本在二战后建立了一套发展的模式,为后来的亚细安、中国和印度提供有用的参考,而在这一崛起的趋势中,日本、印度、亚细安和中国都有着共同的命运,应该为共同的发展做更多事。
• The miracle has proven that it is possible for any nations to emulate, but please note that if all nations have had the help from the U.S. like Japan after WWII, they would have been easier to achieve the Japanese Post-War Economic Miracle.
• Peaceful raising and world in harmony is the only way to go for any countries. But only when the western press research their piece before they publish and be responsible for their word of action.

他建议东亚在三大领域合作:经济上,建立亚洲金融市场,留住亚洲国家的钱,最终可能出现亚洲货币;基建方面,亚洲国家有许多基础建设有待开发,中日可以合作投资;能源方面,他形容现在是新工业革命时代,推动力是人口和环境变化,庞大的亚洲人口要改善生活,现有的生活方式源自西方,不能永续,中日可以合作研发能源,如果成功就可以推动到其他国家。
吴建民同意讲座主持人、李光耀公共政策学院主席王赓武教授的看法,对近来一些学者所提的G2(中美峰会)概念不表赞同。王赓武认为G2概念是把日本排除在外,会对日本造成巨大的困难,迫使日本选边站,而中日间的矛盾对东亚是不利的。
• Below is a great Article, I think is one of the best article that has been published for ages. They need to hire him to talk then these few imbucils to have a dialogue with.

巧“克力”外交
2009-05-28)
何茂春(北京)

o 1929年资本主义危机,改变了世界格局,最终形成了美苏争雄的战后体制。2008年金融危机,也可能改变世界格局,改变中国的角色。当前危机是中国外交由“韬光养晦”迈向“有所作为”的转折点。
o 中国硬实力、软实力、巧实力远不足称超级大国,当以巧“克力”外交为内修政治、振兴经济创造和谐国际环境。巧“克力”外交就是聚内力、合近力、借远力以对应压力和遏制。“克力”目的不是与谁作对,而是在可见的未来增加与高水平的对手互利共赢的砝码,成为世界重要一极。

o 中美可以“G2”但不是现在
o 来结盟,或有共敌之压,或有共利之驱,或有地理之便,或有心理之牵,或有血缘、情缘和业缘之需,或有理想、价值、追求之同。中美现阶段没有任何提高到“G2”的必要性和可行性。
o 外交为纵横之学。纵者,与强者结盟;横者,与弱者连衡。纵横本为各国内政所定,学界置喙无实质意义。但窃为中美计,笔者以为“中美G2”目前于两国不利;窃为天下计,“中美G2”于世界各国更不利。
o 中美G2对美国不利。美国两百多年的成长史表明:美国是在不断与高手竞争和向高手学习中加快发展和进步的。美国成功的一个最大秘诀,就是上苍在不同时期给美国安排了高水平的对手。
o 70年代美国联华抗苏,结果苏联解体了,冷战结束了,美国各种内部危机就开始孕育了:国智大降,政改停滞,科技放慢,金融胡为,反恐失策,国信下降。何故?没有像样的竞争对手平衡和监督美国是也!笔者妄猜,美国今天如果有一个实力强大的对手,或能加快走出危机。可惜中国、俄国还不够强大,其他经济体又不是美国对手。倘若今天中美联手,美国对手更少更弱,也就会更加懈怠,衰败之势将无可挽回矣!
o 中美G2对中国不利。和美国一样,中国的进步也需要够“当量”的对手。明中期以后,列强环伺,华夏渐弱,藩属尽失,本土不保。但中国在抵抗强敌中师敌之长技而自强不息。仅过去三十年,如果不是强邻强敌如林,中国就没有危机感,就不会改革开放。如今,改革尚未成功,内不可放弃决心,外不可没有压力,观此,美国如果衰败,也不利于中国社会进步,实中国之真不幸也!
o 另外,侥幸恃强凌弱的心态对中国也是有害的。当年秦国与楚国争霸,秦国巧设外交迷局,倡议建立“秦楚G2”,楚国图眼前利益,骂盟友齐国并与之绝交,结果为秦所害。今日国际形势当然不可与战国时比。中美不结盟,但可以和平竞争。中国近期当与美国和谐竞争、向美国学习,彼此促进。将来遇上人类公敌或地外侵害,两国才可以促成全世界范围的诸集团结成大同世界的“G200”,共御人类新敌。
o 中美G2对世界不利。首先是对科学技术的不利。科学技术史表明,激烈竞争对人类是残酷的但也有利于科技进步。第二不利于世界和平。“中美G2”势必倚强凌弱,造成世界利益分配不公平,权力失衡,并且引发全球针对中美的冲突、恐怖和抗争。第三不利于世界经济健康发展。几年内中美将成为世界上排名第一、第二的经济体。两强如果结盟联手瓜分和浪费世界市场和资源,多么自私和无耻!

o 巧“克力”外交大有作为
o 危机下的中国巧“克力”外交的具体调整就是 “六个有所作为”:
o 第一作为:全力护卫中华经济圈。金融危机让中华经济圈迅速形成命运共同体。两岸四地 “中华大市场”的条件基本成熟。两岸四地的共同市场,可以吸纳其他周边国家成为观察员。
o 第二作为:谦虚复兴大东亚汉语文化圈。危机让汉语文化圈文化凝聚力增强,东亚文明价值观加快复兴,危机的发展也可能加快中日韩三国经济合作,中日韩三国自贸区一旦启动谈判会迅速吸引中国周边地区的加入。这是东方价值观的大本营,有两千年的合作基础。一旦成势,不啻为东方幸事,也为人类之大幸。但中国不可以帝制时代那样傲慢态度对待周边。
o 第三作为:强化上海合作组织的政治和经济职能。国际政治复杂多变,结盟往往要付出巨大代价,但结盟与否往往没有选择,强国如此,弱国更是如此。中国可以军事和政治上不结盟,但近期如果非要结盟不可,排除美国,和谁结?欧盟地理远,日本心理远,巴西够不着,印度养达赖,小国无价值,弱国无必要……矮中选长,还是俄罗斯。广义的“中俄G2”,就是加强“上海合作组织”。金融危机对俄国、中亚打击匪浅,加强上合组织内部全面合作,水到渠成。
o 第四作为:扩大东盟成员的安全和政治合作。东盟(亚细安)十国处在西太平洋要冲,北连中日,西接印度,南邻澳新,中国与东盟合作是高水平的南南合作,“10+1”加强合作不仅有利于西太平洋地区早日走出危机,且有利于印度洋—太平洋和平。为确保马六甲通道的安全和缅甸通道的安全,中国有必要加强南海建设和印度洋地区合作。东盟十国与中国分亲、近、对三类,外交有很大作为。
o 第五作为:稳步深入走进非洲和拉美,促进与欧美的平等合作。非洲为欧洲后院,拉美为美国后院,中国在别人后院的投资、合作,在没有足够力量护商的情况下,当量力而行。对外援助应紧密配合投资。两岸外交休兵后,还可以探讨共同开发发展中国家市场。在能源、资源、高新技术出口等敏感性问题上,促使欧美与我和谐、平等竞争在发展中国家的机遇。
o 第六作为:在共同战胜金融危机期间,力争与西方解决下列问题或至少不让这些问题恶化:取消对台军售;停止支持中国的分裂势力;取消对华技术出口限制和取消对华武器禁运;取消对中国海外投资的歧视并且在法律上保障中国资本安全;给予中国企业平等的“市场经济地位”;停止对华人华侨的歧视。在国际组织,不仅应当增加中国话语权,还要按贡献比例扩大安排中国职员在国际组织就业。
o 简言之中国的挑战不少,机遇也多多。中国要成为受人尊敬的一流大国,就要靠道德、靠实力、靠智慧、靠决心。自鸦片战争160年以来,中国输了一场又一场战争,签订了一个又一个不平等条约,丧失土地以百万平方公里计,丧失生命以千万计,而最大的损失,是丧失了一次又一次利用变局深化改革开放的宝贵机遇。此次机遇回归,中国不可再失。
o 作者是北京清华大学国际关系学教授

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vanity Insanity Part 2

Wisdom is the integral essence of inner beauty, and to achieve this essence, one must be enthusiastic and open-minded. Enthusiastic to learn as many things as possible, open-minded enough to not discriminate against anything one reads, sees and listens. It should not matter whether you agree with the subjects or objects, you should accept that you want to learn the subjects or the objects, then the rest should come from your deepest truth to analyze them, just bare in mind that your truth is your truth, even when people disagree with you. If you find that you cannot decide if you agree or disagree with the subject matter, try to look for more truth to that matter, you should repeat the process till you are comfortable with what you think is the ultimate truth.

In addition, you should always have an open mind to evaluated others point of view. I get really angry when people are so myopic to the point that they only select what they “believe” is the true even when evidences from others present themselves. Close mindedness like this is as good as Ann Coulter, Bill O’Railey, and many others from Fox News.

Sometimes I just do not understand that with a handful of modern technology, especially internet, people should be able to improve their knowledge leaps and bounds. I am always telling people whom I come in contact with that if I have had internet as advance as right now, I would have been a million time wiser then what I am right now.

I remember when we were doing research for our paper back then, we have to bury ourselves in the library for days on ends just to get a topic down. Friends my age should be able to remember what microfiche is all about. Now, you have can google or baidu for almost anything under the sun. I can google my Rick Tan and the internet will come up with millions of hits on me, sometimes I think that the computer knows me better then I know myself.

I do believe that one should be very good at what they do for a living but too much concentration on your only job knowledge and disregard other interest outside you working environment or things that does not concern you is just as good as living your life like a zombie. Ask yourself what you think zombies do everyday? They just have one thing in their “dead minds”, if they even have one to begin with, they just want to feed themselves even when they have so much time at their hand, since they can’t get any deader, I feel sad that they don’t do anything else at all.

Only ignorant people say ignorance is bliss. Only an ignorant person believes that ignorance is bliss. For those who find themselves being lazy to work on their mind, I really pity them. I'm blessed for the quest of knowledge and wisdom, by pursuing the truth and wisdom makes me feel alive and happy.

I choose not to agree with clichés. I feel sorry for the people who do. Always remember, material goods and money can disappear in many circumstances like fire, quakes, robbery... but no one can actually rob you from your intellect while you are still alive.

Ignorant people, being oblivious to their environment, tend not to possess a sense of emergency quality. They won’t weight out their options and give alternative solutions to the future unforeseeable disasters, why would they? Being ignorance is, by definition, simply not wanting to know anything else… period!

I’m anything but an ignorant person; I like to know many things under the sun, from technology to archeology, from philosophy to psychology and the list goes on, the only thing I’m not interested in is sports but, by no mean, not all sports, it’s the contact sports that I’m applaud. I can tell you why contact sports are so profitable? It’s rough, it’s easy to understand, there is not days and nights of rehearsals. If half of the money that goes to sports can be redirected to the artistic fields, then I think the world could be more beautiful.

Sports, in general, do not create beauty, on the contrary art does. If male leaders of each individual country could stop telling the world which sport team they follow, and start telling people which ballet or opera they love, maybe we will have a world that’s less indulgence to war and genocide. Sport is about winners and loosers, do you see ballet or opera dwelling in this concept? It’s the “superego” the leader has been shaped.

Sport is associated with toughness, on the other hand, art is associated with being feminine. In order not to show their soft spot, they have to build a façade of a mindless “terminator from the future”. Not that there is anything wrong with showing off the softer side of a man, only the ultimate man who is secured enough has the sensibility to not hide that quality that’s, in my eyes, admirable. I don’t hide my disdain towards anything associated with sport for the mere fact that the money could have been better utilize for beautifying the world.

The above mention was just a minuet portion of my Zen and view towards the differences between stupidity vs. smart, hooligans vs. sophistication, masculine vs. feminine, but I haven’t even touch on the subject of intellect vs. wisdom. And to me wisdom is the ultimate nirvana that an individual could achieve.

Wisdom is ut
most you can do to achieve the ultimate inner beauty. If you are able to philosophize you knowledge, then you will be able to accumulate your wisdom much easier. Knowledge is like a piece of raw material and philosophy is like a sculptor, a sculptor might be given a piece of beautiful marble; it’s raw, unpolished, unimaginative, but when Michael Angelo starts to put his creativity into the stone, he starts chipping away the rough edges, follow by refining his work with finer tools revealing every curves and every lines of David, Michael Angelo start nurturing David into life by polishing him. Viola, David was born.


Some people have a “philosophizing deficiency”. It’s as unexplainable an most of the auto immune disease, no body can explain why and there is no known cure. You can explain it as old soul vs. new soul. I don’t want to quote anybody around that has the deficiency, people gets to testy about that, but I can tell you who don’t; My mentor Dee, Dan, Michael, my friend Rebecca, Damien, Gidania, Jane, my Friday Night Café Flore Gang, and they are all consider old soul.

For those who hasn’t been tested for this deficiency, you don’t have to rush to clinic nearby for screening but you should know yourself better. The only screening I can think of is to talk to me and within 5 minutes I size you up enough to tell you if you suffer from this deficiency. But how can people like us lead if we expect everybody to be like us? The truth is, if everybody is philosophical enough, we don’t leader nor do we need followers. Now, imagine a world that we able to talk about issues with one another, exchange ideas and philosophize thought with one another, we can take and reciprocate at the same time one an equal level without watering the conversation down… What a wonderful world it would have been.


Add Video“Beauty comes from inside” is an age old common expression, though it’s an utter cliché, it’s hold some truth to it. To see if a person has inner beauty all you have to if a very has self-confidence. To have self-confidence is to be secure, to be secure is to have enough wisdom.
Self-confidence and secure is not mutually exclusive; a person exuding self-confidence does not automatically make a person secure, where as if a person is secure, the possibility that a person is confidence is more evident then not.



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Friday, April 24, 2009

Whities are fatties

The thing around our waistline is call white fat, those are bad fat. Remember when we were still babies, we were fat but that was "baby fat". Guess what, i want my baby fat back. Here is why...

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Fat Cells? What a "Turn-Off"

While I was writing the sequal to Vanity Insanity. I stumbled across somthing that's so interesting that I'm willing to be the guinea pig for the human trial.

This is my favorite switch of all!!!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Vanity Insanity Part 1

It is true, it’s coming to fruition in probably about a few years. Imagine, a fat cell that doesn’t look like a fat cell, instead it looks like muscle cell. That’s not the end of it; it helps metabolize your white fat.

Wow, now all I have to do is just probably a little bit of weight training and a little bit of cardio, and yippy, I don’t have to slave myself in the gym anymore!!! It’s a win win.

Here I have to stress that the entire working out five days a week for me is purely vanity, and if the up side to this vanity benefits my health? Hey I’m not complaining.

Recently, I have been working out five days a week. It is though to wake up in the crack of dawn and hit the gym at 7am in morning, by the way, I love working out at this time is because I don’t have to wait for any machine. There are less people around so the air is way fresher in the gym in the early morning.

Everyday, Monday to Friday, I have my share of about 1 to 1.5 hours of work out and 10 to 15 minutes of shower room routine, i.e. from hitting the shower to finishing up my hair to walking out the gym looking like a supermodel just finishing a fashion shoot. It’s not narcissistic talking; I can sense numerous pairs of eyes following me everyday when I get out of the shower room heading towards the exit. I might strike a magnum to just shock them while they are working out sometime, and be content when they drop their weight.

Pop two hydroxycuts, two eggs in 30 minutes before workout, 30 minutes of Cardio follow by another 30 minutes to an hour of free weight exercise, an hour thereafter before I eat my breakfast for energy, all for in the name of vanity.

The heaviest I’ve ever been is 90kgs or 198 lbs, after the routine, though I weigh in at 83kgs or 182 lbs. Although I wish I could have gone back to my 78kg or 172lbs, I’m happy that I have gain muscle mass and loose at least 15% of body fat. If I’m consistent, I might be able to reduce my body fat to 12%.

That’s just the anatomy side of the story. I haven’t even touched on the subject of exterior and inner beauty yet. I have been plugged, and buffed and quaffed for at least a quarter of a century. I will disassemble my body into three parts, head, torso and lower body, and explain what I have to do in order to be a “contemporary perfect” person. I’ll explain what I meant by “contemporary perfect”.

First, let’s start with my head, top down. I’m a guy who knows what I want and can actually direct my hairstylists to create a look that I look good in. In hindsight, I believe that one style should be able to create several looks. I have been a model since I can remember, I have seen million of looks been created on me during photo shoot and fashion shows. Process of elimination allows me to understand myself better, and trust me, not all the looks that were been created suited me. Now that I’m older and wiser, I understand that you don’t have to look like a clown even when the situation ask for it.

In a perfect world, you will be able to work with the only one hairstylist who know how to create a perfect hairdo for you, and he will experiment his new stylistic expression that quaff a perfect hairdo that compliment your face structure.

Ask yourself this question, who knows you better then yourself? The answer is not really simple but obvious; it’s obvious because you spend 24/7 with yourself, and it is not simple because if you aren’t a sensitive person, it’s hard to know yourself even if you spend your sleeping hour dreaming about yourself.

Maybe I’m luckier than many people for I have been through all these makeover, or maybe I’m the unlucky one for been scrutinized and judge by the circle I’m in, may it be my work or social life, how I look everyday. Either way, I never complaint for this is what I have chosen and I’ll live with the consequences. In my opinion, this influences my judgment on beauty. They say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but when a colossal of people didn’t appreciate the beauty, the beauty in that beholder will fade.

Let’s continue with my face, I plug my eyebrow as soon as my eyebrow start bushing up. I’m Chinese and Chinese eyebrow tends to be less streamline. I have friends that urge me not to even touch my eyebrow cause that’s the sign of manliness. I ask them, so when your hair starts growing, and you feel like it’s out of control, you look bad when your hair has grown out, you look like a scarecrow, what would you do? The answer is usually, “a haircut”.

Well, what’s the different between cutting one’s hair and plugging one’s brow? Different era defines beauty differently; in the western world, there are words like baroque, gothic, rococo, art deco, modern and post modern to name a few. These are words that describe art movements in a certain era. So, aren’t these movements a way beauty standards are defined? We live in a different era right now, an era that uses the word metrosexual to describe man with an “exquisite” taste that is acquired by a straight man with gay sensitivity.

We, or at least my friends and I, are more cosmopolitan these days, we are expose to the latest trend, and there is a certain etiquette we must observe to make the cut. We manicure ourselves from head to toe, taking the cue from InStyle, GQ, Esquire and Wallpaper alike, to make us feel like super stars. Their skins are smooth and flawless, their brow are streamline and symmetry, lips are plum and bee stunk…

There are also this thing that pertain to the bible and Confucius that I find explain my point of view; bible says: “Do to others what you would have them do to you”, and Confucius said: “己所不欲,勿施于人”; having seen these images, we can’t help ourselves but to subscript to the new definition of beauty, in my case, these new standards of male image, lure me into plugging my brow, wearing light, “almost invisible”, makeup when attending events, manicure and buff my nails, wax armpit and legs even when my sight of body hair is negligible. I even have mankini waxed and trimmed to look like a porn star.

What I do don’t take away my masculinity, neither does it take robe me from my appeal to whoever I go to bed with. Many, when they notice, were amazed at how much I have to go through to keep myself “perfect”. People might think that keeping this “perfect” image is taxing, but you will come up on top of anyone within your age group.

For my facial routine, it’s very simple, let me break it down:
Cleanse, tone and moisturize - daily
  • Exoliate or Peal - 2-3 times/week
  • Deep Cleasing Mask - 2-3 times/week
  • Detox Mask - 2-3 times/week
  • Deep Moisturizing Mask - 2-3 times/week
  • Vitimin Mask - 2-3 times/week
While you are doing that, don’t neglect your hands and neck. These age many times faster then your face.

I know this article sounds like a drag, but if you know how you want yourself to look like in the mirror, that’s just what you to have to do to achieve that, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even dwelt upon the subject of inner beauty, that’s even more taxing then your appearance maintenance.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

1st World Road, 3rd World Driver

If you are a fast driver like me, speeding through highway in Singapore you should know how frustrated one could be, and by the way, speeding don't kill but driver with bad reflexes do. Imagine a 5-lane highway with only no fast lane, trucks and slow cars occupying the rest of the four lanes, leaving only the 5th lane for fast car. And 80% of the time, the only one lane that’s supposedly meant for over taking, was occupied by taxi cruising at speed below the 90km/hr. In my opinion, reeducation on road etiquette is the first step to ease up the congested highway.

I have been driving for more then a quarter of a century, traveled around the world where I have the opportunity to drive in some of the countries I have traveled to and live like France, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the U.S., Spain, Hong Kong just to name a few. Hence, I’m totally qualified to compare and give my viewpoints on my driving and road traveling experience in these different countries.

First of all, I would like to do a generalization on these countries driving etiquette. Drivers generally fall into two categories, the western and the eastern mentality. In the western mentality, they are polite, patient and respectful while they are in their own premise but once they drive in Non-western countries, they act no better then their eastern counterparts. The phenomenon is just the contrary, when eastern drivers drive in their own countries, they are just the worst driver without any good reflexes, inconsiderate, inpatient and rude but once they drive outside their own countries, you will notice that these drivers are very out of character. Why the behavioral changes you may ask? The answer is simple, it’s know as “lead by examples”

So, is this ill accredited to individuals or the environment? The answer, through my years of observation, is the environment. Though environment is created by the individuals but most importantly, these individuals’ mentalities or lack there of are sculpted by each individual culture and society. Take Singapore for example; a country raised by a government body they encourage a “Kia Su” or “afraid of Loosing”. With this notion instilled in Singaporean’s head, the drivers in Singapore would rather not let you overtake him because that will mean that they are loosing out to you.

I drive in Singapore everyday whenever I come back for vacation . Most of the time, I commute along CTE between Upper Serangoon to KJE exit. Here is what I encounter every time I’m on the highway; streaks of cars trailing behind a very slow moving car on the overtaking fast lane, usually it’s behind a cab and, mind you, I’m not discriminating but this is what I observe so far. Furthermore, to rub salt on the wound, none of the faster cars can overtake using the next left lane, I know it’s wrong to do that but if there is an window of opportunity open to ease the flow of traffic we will have to do it. Here is the kick; the next lane left lane to the overtaking lane is mostly occupied by trucks, which are suppose to drive not faster then 70km/hr. Now, I might not be a prophet but I can pretty much predict that this might cause a slow down in overall traffic flow.

I have notice this time, when I got back recently, that the section of CTE that I mention above had added an additional lane or two to the highway. I personally feel that there is no point adding lane if Singapore driver doesn’t know to stick to their respectively lane. Awareness public announcement is an essential tool to educate them on the etiquette each driver have to observe.

We advertise to the world as a 1st world infrastructure, 1st world building, 1st world financial system, and first world everything, well, except our 3rd world local talents or work force, as advertised by our government, sorry I can resist the temptation to add this statement in… So, while we offer the world our 1st world services, we can must also bare in mind a 1st world mentality goes a long way to show how civilize we are.

Monday, April 06, 2009

ASS Factor of FHM and MediaCorp

I bet anyone who has tuned in Channel 5 of MediaCorp in Singapore would not be able to ignore a bunch or SPG mother fuckers, and trust me, you can’t help but noticed that these girls are not only ugly mother fuckers epitomizing most of the SPG in Singapore but also highlighted their lowly educated dumbness, on TV promoting the recently inaugurated series sponsored and created by FHM.

The question that they asked were simple, though it wasn’t raise throughout the trailer but one should know how the question was phrase for these girls were so straight forward with their answers; The question being… What do you think “S” stands for in S Factor? These were their answers: “Sassy, sexy… Sophisticated…” What da fuck? Sophisticated!!! Don’t they know what they signed up for? Sassy? Maybe… Sexy? I think they are so dumb that they can’t distinguish between sexy and slutty but sophisticated??? What da fuck!!!

This must me the trashiest programming coming from any production ever. I though Keeping up with the Kardashians and Paris Hilton’s Simple life is trashy but, trust me, these are these reality shows pale compare to S Factor which also, come to think about it, gives girls gone wild a run of their money. At least the neither Paris nor the Kardashians speak with an atrocious accent; though contents of their speech that utter out of Paris and the Kardashians mouth sounds dumb but when the girls on S Factor talks, they make me cringe. What are the foreigners that watch out show without any preconception of Singaporean culture thinks? Why is this show approved by the MDA?

I remember that the show I hosted and exec produce for Channel 12, Party Guide for an Urbanite, a few years ago didn’t survive after the first season but yet they kept repeating the show over and over again on TV. I remember that one of the reasons given was that this show is too gay. I was hosted by garret and me, two eloquent presentable metrosexual guy teaching the world how to throw a party, teaching them how to design and cook is way too gay for MDA’s comfort, hence we are asked to inject a girl, another wonderful brianiac host, Vivian Tan to join us after the 5th episodes to “degaify” it. I would like to take this opportunity to urge anyone has a chance to watch it, I have a feeling that you will think that it is not gay at all

This show is demeaning to participants though they don’t mind making a fool of themselves, they should at least have the self-respect. My personal thought for this series is simple; throw in some dumb ugly girls without any self-respect, make them wear as skimpy as possible, have them participate in all the lesbian/homoerotic girl on girl mud fight, and there you have it; a show which the expats would be able to fantasize and objectify the “exotic” looking girls. And I know it’s going to be mostly expat cause many Asian friends of my thought that these girls are so ugly that even with the homoerotic girl on girl is not going to turn them on.

Here is truly my moment of Zen on Singapore programming; I have been in this industry working in many countries and my latest gig was in Beijing, I personally think that Beijing produce has surpass our creativity and production value at least 30 years ahead of Singapore.

Here is what I think MediaCorp is doing. MediaCorp is afraid that they might hurt their rating if then produce any sophisticated or smart content which require comprehending and contemplating on their program, and knowing that Singaporean really don’t mind anything of less quality but it has to be instant gratification, hence the term I coined “seven eleven mentality”, Singapore Media is all about dumbing down to the public, with this direction behind a TV network, you know it’s creating a vicious cycle. This concept of dumbing down to the audience just baffled me, it’s not like Singapore audiences have that many choice of public network to choose from, and having said that, there is no time to loose in upgrading our audience mentality.

Take CCTV for example, they produce highly intelligent series with in old Chinese language. I was lucky to be able to understand cause I was Chinese educated when I was young hence I could understand at least 90% of what the series offer. Being able to host and propose a show in China goes to prove my point. Some of my subordinate’s Chinese are on even up to half of my par. My point is, if I can only understand 90% of classic Chinese conversation without any modern paraphrasing, this is a latent action to have the audience do their own homework so that they don’t have to produce dumb content.

Same goes for Oprah, I would strongly suggest that MediaCorp use Oprah as an role model. Her followings used to be only the lower to lower middle class audience, turning up only trashy programming for her target audience, but with her persistence she finally prevail, and look at her audience right now. She inspires the lower and lower middle class to become a middle to upper middle class.

I hope MediaCorp should take my advise and veer their direction on a complete different path so that wet market “Ah So” or “Ah Chec” know quality when they sees it. And only with this direction can Singaporean shake that stereotype that all the foreigners have towards us.



This is how most of Singapore Females sound like... And I rest my case.

I came across a news from KGO, San Francisco Channel 7 news, about food compost. I have heard of compost from yard trimmings and manure, but food compost? Now, I’m extremely ecstatic, jumping through the roof for this great news.

Each day, despite the hunger that’s going on around the world, first world or the better off developing countries, with excess food supply, threw away tons of perishable to the garbage costing the world it’s environmental and financial baggage. Though we can’t put the waste to a halt but we can’t ease our environment and financial burden composting our putrescible scrapes into a better use. Food compost is the only way we can help our environment when dealing with inconsumable perishables.

We all know that carbon is harmful to the environment. Carbon is been released into the air at a rate that’s so fast our rainforest can’t replace the depleted atmosphere but carbon in the soil is essential to our mother earth. Hence, it’s essential that we replenish our earth with more carbon. The way to go about introducing carbon to the soil is composting food.

Here is the CliffsNotes for food composting. Normally, food scraps are thrown into the garbage much like other household trash. The trash is then trucked to landfills. When decomposition is taking place, they release methane gas to the atmosphere which is 27 times more potent then carbon dioxide.

With the advent for latest composting technology, they are able to trap more carbon in the soil. Microbes love carbon in the soil and with more microbes available, the plants are protected by them, as a result, the plant yield more without introducing pesticide, making them really organic.

I just can’t imagine why we don’t use this technology when it’s available to us. I do urge that Singapore and other countries could follow suite ASAP.


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