For Whom The Bell Tolls

“For whom the bell tolls and when it tolls if it tolls, the somber melodies emanating from the bagpipes and bugles will permeate through the gables and tympanums at Westminster and Buckingham, honouring a well respected queen in all her glorious majesty. But after the wreathes has been garlanded, and the pageantry dissipates, and the comforting congregation and dignitaries have all disperse, the silence will occur on Charles as the weight of the palace caves in onto his shoulders, and he will suddenly find himself all alone, with no one to turn to anymore than his paid servants and guards, and sandstone caryatids for company. And when night falls, the hums reverberating from the morning past will echo in his ears as silhouettes of Diana wails and screams through the maze of passages. Hopefully by then, he will realise that he should, within his ability and strength, spend a moment to reconcile his past misdeeds and fits of temper, because his honeymoon period is over and done with, and public duty now begins. That will form the backbone of his saving grace.”

Take It Easy

Take it easy. Let the anxiousness of our falling ringgit takes care of itself.
Ever since the beginning, everyone is aware that our government champions poor governance. Yet all the curses and words hurled at them and flying around in coffeeshop talks, dissipates when those who know chose not to defy the government, nor volunteer to assist those who can.
How we are today is the direct result of complacency, because most chose to care for themselves and convince themselves that nothing we say or do can change about situations and things. Which means, it is all up to us individually to bring the slightest change if we want to.
This problem is not only about foreign direct investments pulling out? It is also about our shortsighted government whom are not making the exporting of goods or services attractive enough and as their chief agenda. And lastly, some of us including our neighbours who chose to help, helps by converting their savings into other currencies and selling our ringgit. Complex?

Sidestepping

“It is indeed tragic that there are amongst us who wilfully seek for the pardon of a convict now jailed by a nine man judiciary for the wrongdoings he has committed. Even more tragic are those who vouch for his comrade, another would-be jailbird now facing multiple charges, to be our next prime minister, in the event their party retains power in the upcoming general elections. This decision made by their party is akin to sidestepping and disrespecting the verdict of the judiciary and country laws, what-more counter-attacking our king, that they will free these individuals at whatever the cost, by the mandate begotten from the public, irregardless of royal non-interference. This unfortunate stance only aggravates and motivate non-partisanal rakyats to rise and bury their national representation forever, because of their intolerable above law attitude, believing that the judicial inference is nothing but political assassination. This also signals the end of Ismail Sabri as choice prime minister and their party member they downrightly intend to bury.”

Ode to Queen Elizabeth 11

“Beyond the pomp and pageantry of a life assumably well lived, ordinary citizens can never imagine her days emblazoned with court curtseys, chaplain and champagned hospitality, that every single fart will be echoed in the hallway, and every announcement like musical notes, can redirect movement of the share market. Yes, the few castles she shuffled year in and out are big and wide, but just like an ordinary citizens abode, try if we may, ambulating around it day in day out, for 365 days a year, for seventy years, never ever for once, ‘freely’ coming out to shop nor bargained, fetching her own kids to and from school nor have her occasional coffee breaks with some best friends, never ever paid a bill nor slippered a cockroach, never ever making her own appointments with her local dentist nor cancelled a flight, never made to queue nor made her own breakfast wearing just singlets and shorts. Instead she shuffled through scheduled events pretending to be interested in something she doesn’t, pretending to look intelligent with things she doesn’t understand, pretending to smile at something she wasn’t amused at, putting on outfits carefully coordinated for her though they are technically designer uniforms, and having royal advisers breathing down her neck. To commoners, all these sound like a lifetime of Imprisonment. But are they? From cradle to castle to crown to casket and now handling them all to a bloke called Charlie, can anyone ever imagine her anxiety mothering not only her heir but her nation as well as the commonwealth ? They are all unplugged stage play with no room for mistakes and eventhough the first ball pen she uses maybe a Mont Blanc, affixing her signature onto documents have serious implications. But still, for the many years she assumed by birthright the role of queen, she has in quiet dignity, outperformed the many heads of state of our world in stature and respect, charm, calmness, composure and in handling crisis. As for Charlie and his consort, good luck and we hope to see the age of Charleston being revived in good fun!”

Relevancy of judiciary

“If nine judges from three courts has reviewed his case and found him guilty without a doubt, the rakyat will question the relevancy of the judiciary if by interference of the royal house assigned to safeguard its integrity, that pink lips would be granted a pardon and it’s sentencing overturned. Its implication is severe because it will elevate pink lips as an untouchable in the future while the reputation of our royal house in particular that of the current YDPA will forever be damaged in exchange, not unless our royal house wanted to be seen as promoting crime as a profession, thereby indirectly inviting more criminals and law breakers to hibernate in our country. If that is the case also, the safety of our citizens will forever be under civil threat by the very people sworn to govern, protect and safeguard our country and its security. That is morally wrong and shortsighted. My two cents.”

GE to happen now?

“Pahit is pushing for GE to happen now not because he thought it timely to give the mandate back to the public because the rakyat is happy when the judiciary is seen to be independent, but because by the stroke of luck, his only threat for the PMs post, pink lips is now serving jail time, and turtle egg is no match for him thus he sees this as the most opportune time for him to take over the government as the new PM, then quash all the 47 charges weighing heavily on his belt. Faham tak?”

Silenced

“I do not think our Agong would want to meddle with Jib’s case or he would have interfered, before the judgement. After the sentencing, though the process has to follow hierarchy, the Agong would be seen as interfering, bias, and a partner in crime to Jib. Moreover the memorandum submitted by the public to pardon Jib wasn’t representative of neither were they endorsed by the ruling coalition because their leaders weren’t seen at the Istana, their voices, being silenced by Bersih’s petition.”

Not Within the Ambit

“Our Agong’s primary duty is to endorse a candidate that has received the majority of votes in Parliament, to be our pm. The pm then chooses his own deputy as well as names his entire cabinet, again with the Agong’s endorsement. That’s all. In other words, he is the rubber stamp.
With due respect, It is not within the ambit of our Agong to dictate who our pm should be, and the manner in which the choosing shall be conducted. He acts on advice. And Parliament rules are all described in the Act.
For unity reasons, voting must be seen to be swift, open, and orderly. At all cost must factions, dissent, and suspicion be avoided from happening. That is the reason why MPs must congregate, vote, and make known the results straightaway in Parliament. Beit by secret vote or better, by show of hands. With due respect, during the previous crisis, the Agong had been seen to be minding and fiddling, and the process reverses. Apparently being ill advised by the speaker who is strangely a constitutional law expert.
With the agong affirming the voting through secret sds, then again, interviewing the MPs who voted with the sds without revealing the vote count before Parliament convenes, and again observing if the MPs still endorses the candidate they have chosen in their sd, what then is the basis and function of the statutory declaration (sd) if it isn’t self verified?
If the Agong is not careful, he would be seen to be taking sides, if the pm chosen is not in tune to conventional wisdom which is exactly how certain factions crafted it in this manner, to gag the rakyat using the Agong’s interference. And that, with due respect, is unhealthy. And it should not happen again.”

Certifying your laziness

“Are you guys officially certifying your laziness by reducing the weekly work hours from 48 to 45? It doesn’t make a difference when the majority of you works only 2 hours a day prorate to consecutive years of maternal leave, jamuan, lepaking, sembang sessions dan sebagainya. So it is done to induce votes?

Ghost Transaction

“Out of rm9b, rm6b has been paid out according to paper record. But not even one ship has been delivered, after six years. The six ships technically never existed physically. But only on paper. But has been paid in full, because the original contract sum was rm6b for 6 ships. Then the unwarranted unexpected change of vendor occurs on the sixth year. Assumably the ministry in charge made an upgrade, and the original order was cancelled and refunded. Otherwise, how could one change to a new vendor and a new design when works are in progress, without ascertaining the risks concerning cancellation of order and reimbursements written in the first contract? Ironically, the procurement sum is again elevated by another rm3b, making it a grand total of rm9b for the new purchase, to the makers of the Scorpene submarine that could never dive. So who directed the change and who is he in consultation with? Which ministries are involved?
You know what? I think it is a ghost transaction. Only happens on paper.”

Comfort Lynching Pests

This world has changed. Pretty quickly.
Unless they are young, no woman would give love the number one priority a man wished for when it comes to relationships anymore. Despite what God preaches, they will dutifully sit on the pews every Sunday without fail and swear their undeniable faith to their saviour. But when it comes to love, they thought it right to save themselves first, God’s wisdom, later.
Many women have argued “I love him. But he doesn’t have a stable career. I can’t live with that. So I gave him a miss!”
Well lady, I think it’s good that you gave him a miss. Because he doesn’t deserve a woman who prioritise comfort over love. When love does not take first place in his life, your love for him is not genuine after all. It’s comfort you lusted for that his two outstretched arms couldn’t give right? What happens if the same guy suddenly has a stable income? Based on that, you’ll love him? And what happens if he lost his stable income after getting tied down with you? Does that mean you’ll again leave him too? So, the conclusion is comfort, in the form of money, is the glue that makes you stay. And all else is fake right? So why go to church then when God’s second most important commandment you can’t accept? And how about the marital vows of “for better and for worse” then? “For good times and for bad?” And “what God hast jointed, no man can separate?” Have you ever gave it a thought that if you love him wholeheartedly, stay and encourage him, that will drive him to achieve the comfort you longed for in no time at all? Or is that too risky a sacrifice for you to make?
Uncannily, the female species has evolved. To a comfort lynching pest. They no longer believe in staying faithful, and sacrifice for their partner she claims to have loved.
Which comes to the interesting point I want to make. Youths or lowering the voting age doesn’t make much difference in vote count in the general elections. It is the woman’s vote that you need to worry about. Because these comfort lynching pest wouldn’t be able to distinguish between legitimate income and illicit ones. Somewhere in the back of their minds is a voice wishing their boyfriends and life partners could have been more daring and be as bad and confident like these corrupt ministers running our country. So that they could lynch on comfort without needing to strive, for a living.
To women, lying and entitlement is something which has been entrenched into their psyche since young. To avoid harm while befriending strangers as advised by parents, they lie, to protect themselves. So lying, or that little white lie is commonplace to them. They always believe they are superheroes when it comes to relationships and that men should pay for their meals. And be the provider of everything. That is entitlement mentality.
So, to derive into them that these corrupt ministers lie, cheat and felt entitled is harder, because they are so used to it. Something they are familiar with. And felt nothing wrong with it. As such, do you think they give any hoots about our corrupt ministers who lie, cheat and felt entitled especially to women who crave for comforts? The answer is no. They’ll befriend any successful men who could provide for them, nevermind what he trades in, the littlest of talents they have.
Thus, it is not complicated to understand that according to a Google survey on woman’s fantasy, top on the list was pirates, famous man, and vampires. So what does this all mean?
It just confirms that to women, (unless they are decent minded), corruption is acceptable and so are bad people. And we hope it is only living in their fantasy, and stays that way.
That said, I don’t mean there are no good women around. There are. Whole family cramping on one motorbike, vegetable sellers, clerks, teachers and or nurses, the list goes on…
For every successful men, is a good woman behind indeed. And for every failed men, is also a women behind him too. Cuts both ways.
What I meant was,crooks does have their fans in the general elections in the form of women, and youths aren’t the determining factor in voting. So, get that right.
And love? What about love and God’s commandment and marital rites? Takes a backseat to comfort.
But you can be sure the pews continue to be flooded. Because more important than love, is salvation.

What Subsidies Exactly?

When covid happens, the economy fell across the board. Everyone including landlords were affected. People were forced to take unpaid leaves and pay cuts. Many were retrenched. And many committed suicide. Businesses big and small were wiped out.
Except the nondescript essential goods suppliers. Except government and glc servants whom received extra benefits when working hours was cut to half? For them, it was business as usual. And prices of essentials did not fall. But now, you thought it a good idea to float essential goods prices on the pretext of removing subsidies? What subsidies exactly when importers need to be contented with licenses and approved permits? How do you justify raising the price of essentials when essentials weren’t affected? How do you justify removing subsidies when the benefit came in handouts again to government and glc servants? And that one CEO could have his annual remuneration raised from rm300k to rm480k?

God’s Grand Plan

Everything in this world is just momentary. Nothing stays forever. The climate changes, trees petrify into rock, love dies, even water dries up.
The universe according to science is made up of sub-atomic particles, but men, as according to creation, are made up of two distinct elements. Body and spirit. The bible teaches us that God forms men out of clay, then breathes life into it. That life, which was breathed into the body, which we call spirit, is the soul. A two-step process. The soul arrives and awakens the body, then stays inside it. And once the soul has achieved its intended purpose, it then leaves the body. The body becomes motionless. That is when we die. In other words, we don’t own our own soul. They are giventh by God to fulfil his grand purpose which without it, our body is lifeless. That means, our soul belongs to God, our creator. Thus, the existence of man is to fulfil the wishes of our creator, because it is through the soul that gives the body life.
So, do not convince yourself that life has no meaning. It does. Each of us has a purpose, which is to fulfil God’s grand plan, the creator’s objective for the universe. Of course, each of our purpose will forever remain a mystery. But we should be proud of it since we are part of God’s grand plan. Putting it in another way, when mortals procreate, men injects seeds into the womb of the woman we mixed with, which then grows. The whole process takes a year, the invisible first three months where the soul travels some distance to the body, adjust and adapts itself to the life form, and the visible nine months where pregnancy is confirmed in the first three months, and then we watch the baby grow in the mothers womb before it was born. And when the baby cries, that is the sound of the frightened soul as it steps out into the unknown world called earth, trapped inside a mortal’s body. That’s how life is made. It will forever be a mystery when our souls would leave us. But more importantly, each of us needs to live life to the fullest, because each of us fulfils God’s grand plan.”

Besides Good Intentions

Besides good intentions and ideas, our government, beit federal or state, should seriously reconsider if they are competent enough to tackle the most basic of social issues which is infrastructure development, if not, either to employ the right man for the right job or encourage healthy architectural design competitions and proposals. The building and maintenance of public toilets and amenities including bus stands and bicycle parking, parks and recreation, roads, sewerage, and drainage boils down to one’s basic understanding of ‘human and handicap’ ergonomics, geography, town planning and the weather, thus, well-thought out designs and material usage ease movement including refuse collection, facilitates crowd control, prevents vandalism, and unforeseen littering etc from happening. It is no longer market trend to leave ideas to centuries old departments that has never moved along with the times because what we are going to inherit are poorly lit spaces, poorly designed drain covers, brutalised trees, flood and strips of sandy no man’s land.
I can foresee it won’t be long before illegal vendors and careless hawking line the promenade.

Truths All Good Christians Must Know (and its many myths that should be addressed)

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( FOR CHRISTIANS ONLY )

It is almost two decades now I have distanced myself from church. And I have my reasons. I don’t easily fall in line, I can’t conform to rites and rituals, and I have always been an individualist. I am in direct contrast to what others regard as a faithful follower. And I did not know God through the church. Thus, with or without church, my faith did not wane. And my ember did not diminish like an isolated coal they told me it would. But one thing did happen though. After I have turned away from church , not even a single soul from church has ever called me, nor say hello. And it’s been twenty years since. I won’t second guess their erratic behaviour not that I am bothered. But I was given the impression that there’s a line that segregates believers who goes to church, and those who don’t, or have left. They use a term for out-standing characters like me. I’m known as a ‘lapsed Catholic’. For whatever that means. And I think they feel better to be able to classify me so as to tell me that I am not one of them. Also, don’t go to them if I needed any favours. If it is a science lab, they would have placed me inside a jar and labelled ‘heretic specimen.’
“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind…” (Romans 14:1-23)

Personally, I believe that faith is a journey. And to each, our own. This journey of mine had me hover over and under the pews- where once I was inside the church looking out, now, I’m on aerial view, looking in. I am particularly appalled by those who easily succumb to authority and be led by the nose, and others who tacitly sandwiched fear in-between the bread of life. These are the majority which makes up the congregation- an adulterated version of the ‘Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ’ and of the ‘Temple of Solomon’, also known as the ‘Order of Solomon’s Temple’, or the ‘Knights Templar’ – defenders of faith who would fight tooth and grit with anyone who doubts that their God is the greatest. How ironical. But if their God is the greatest, why then do they fear?
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7)

For out-standing souls like me, please be enlightened. It’s a privilege to recce God’s garden and circumambulate one full circle while others are still caught up inside. Without being given the ladder to scale over, one may not understand what the opposing scenery looks like, to make informed opinions. Unlike me who have a full macro view uninterrupted. I’d rather enjoy the fresh air and be caught trespassing, than paying blind obeisance to what the church wanted us to believe in.

The Words of God are simple and straightforward. Yet many lack depth to scour its grace and wisdom. And true discipleship calls for individuals to give up everything and follow him. Yet I wonder how many denominations still observe this faithfully?
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:23-24)
“So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple”. (Luke 14:33)
“And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”(Mark 10:21).
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” (1 John 2:15)

Throughout those years in church, I have encountered the most obstinate of believers. Those in true hypocrisy who worships the strangest, those who pray to prey, and those who gossips the fiercest. And to those lost sheeps forever looking for signs and wonders to affirm their faith, I now have the unfortunate unpleasant chore to respond to, their myopic perception of God. I am no biblical scholar, a behavioural scientist nor a theologian. But if everyone were to take a step backwards tying everything we know to the basics of love, we could be seeing happier days ahead, than feeling somber, anticipating the final hours of God’s arrival any sooner. Like everybody else, I dread to be misled. Because one day, those misled may be preaching on the pulpit.
“I may be able to speak the languages of men and even of angels, but if I do not have love, I will sound like noisy brass. If I have the gift of speaking God’s Word and if I understand all secrets, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I know all things and if I have the gift of faith so I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give everything I have to feed poor people and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, it will not help me.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
“Love does not give up. Love is kind. Love is not jealous. Love does not put itself up as being important. Love has no pride. Love does not do the wrong thing. Love never thinks of itself. Love does not get angry. Love does not remember the suffering that comes from being hurt by someone. Love is not happy with sin. Love is happy with the truth. Love takes everything that comes without giving up. Love believes all things. Love hopes for all things. Love keeps on in all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Inside every church are always some delusional Jim Jones in the making. Hallucinators who beckoned they have earned wings- believing themselves to be God’s chosen gate-keeper or messenger of some kind. All because they have managed to garner some followers. Indeed they have. Retirees, pensioners, the golden age club and sinners whom resorted to the church hoping for some form of redemption or free entertainment to kill time. And so these hallucinators seek God inside the pages of the Old Testament without knowing it’s relevance, reviving worship and dance like David did without knowing its significance, arrived at the gates of the New Testament without mastering the Beatitudes, and back they went again to the drama of the Old Testament, preferring the authoritarian and punitive God than the forgiving one. And that is how, like a warrant officer, they stick their noses into every cadets butt, faulting everyone else’s conduct and private business thus giving unconditional love a brand new meaning by inserting them with multitudes of decree. Didn’t they know any better? That the veil had been broken?
“And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mark 15:38)
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God…” (Hebrews 10:19-22)

The most unfortunate amongst these characters may I emphasise again, are these ‘fault finders’- backdoor Warrant Officers who could uncover sin everywhere, under every stone and carpet, except for their own backyard. These characters could see no wrong in themselves, and shows no contrite- comfortably forgetting the speck in their own eyes and forgetting that the Lord is first and foremost, “an all forgiving God”.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:4)
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
“But if you do not forgive others their sins,
your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6: 15)

Next are the ‘fence builders’ – those who thought that God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit belongs exclusively to believers only and no one else, thus disassociating themselves from the marginalised, the destitute, the underprivileged and the non-believers. They too tasked themselves to build wedges between believers and their loved ones of different faiths, urging them to stay away from customs, traditions, conjugal and funeral rites because they believe it is better not offend their jealous God than to embrace love for their own family. Doesn’t these individuals understand that “the greatest is love”? (1 Corinthians 13:13). How then are they “to go forth and multiply” (Genesis 9:1) and “make disciples of all generations” (Matthew 28:18-20), having decided that building boundaries, fences, wedges, and cages is amiable?
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)

Then, there are the ‘fear mongers’. Individuals whom instead of believing and emphasising the glory and majesty of the almighty God whom created the world, believed more in abominations and the harsh punishment meted by God, thus allowing evil to manifest. These individuals spread fear and are scared of everything under the sun, maybe their own shadows even. Imagine the damage they could cause up on the pulpit, spinning confusion in the minds of catechumens at a time when they were taught forgiveness, more so when their faith journey is still at it’s infancy? The fear of the darkness, death, other gods, mythological creatures, traditions and customs, is unnecessary because they are but little elements that makes up the colourful world, if you believe in the all powerful God that is.
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” (1 John 4:18)
One should thus, not shift one’s focus from the God of kindness and compassion, towards darkness, garbage and filth, thereby reducing God’s brilliance, radiance, magnificence and significance whom they will ironically fight tooth and nail to claim that He is the most coveted of all Gods when ridiculed. The Crusaders did severe damage to the Christian world. They went on to wage war using Jesus’s mighty name not knowing our God is all for peace? And whatever happened to the God “whom created the world and everything inside it?” (Genesis 1 & 2) which means everything good or bad belongs to the kingdom of God?

And then, there are in our midst the ‘divine hallucinators’- preachers whose madness grew in tandem with their hallucination. These are the individuals who claim to have seen god, raised the dead and boasts of converting tens of thousands of people into the faith within a few years. Oh really?!
“Some could not resist “letting their right hand know what their left hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3-4)
“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
It is obvious error if these divine preachers doesn’t realise that those who stood inside rallies are in some ways or another, have been touched by the Holy Spirit? And if these hallucinators could raise the dead, they would have made headlines by now and kidnapped by the intelligence to do just that. Raise the dead!
In the bible, except for Moses and Isaiah, no one could have claimed to have seen God.
“No man hath seen God” (John 1:18) (1 John 4:12)
“God is spirit, a form of life which is invisible to the naked eye” (1 John 1:17), (John 4:24).
“God can be seen directly by angels because they are spirit creatures” (Matthew 18:10)
“No one can see me and stay alive” (Exodus 33:20)
And it was written that Moses had once saw the “angel of God as a flame” (Exodus 3:1-10), and besides this, God’s back, because God allows him to.
“Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back but not my face” (Exodus 33:23). Isaiah on the other hand, has physically seen God.
“I saw the Lord. He was sitting on his throne, high and exalted, and his robe filled the whole temple.” (Isaiah 6:1)
“And yet with my own eyes, I have seen the King, the Lord Almighty“ (Isaiah 6:5).
In the Book of 2 Enoch (rejected by the Jewish and withdrawn from the Christian bible), Enoch at age 365, was taken to heaven, and managed to see God in the seventh and tenth heaven. The seventh, was from a distance, the tenth, face to face.
In (1 Kings 19:11-23), Elijah who was transported to heaven in a flaming chariot has not seen God but has spoken with God. Many prophets like Elijah has also had visions of God including Ezekiel, and many have engaged in conversations with Him.
One may argue that everyone who had seen Jesus during his thirty-three years on earth hath seen God, since the bible has surmised that God, the Son and Holy Spirit are infinitely one, while we as mortals are also “made in his own image and likeness” (Genesis 1:26-27), but then again, no one has ever seen God “in all His divine glory and holiness except in his human condition”, where he veils himself to be amongst us, appearing in the form of Jesus. The question is, do we really need to see God to believe he existed?
“Blessed are those who has not seen me, and yet had believed’”? (John 20:29)

There is clearly a distinction between God’s kingdom and the kingdom we lived in as Jesus himself clearly stated in front of Pontius Pilate. And because his kingdom is not of this world, so are his blessings and gifts of the spiritual kind.
“My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” (John 18:36)
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
But with these seven gifts- wisdom, understanding, right judgement, courage, knowledge, reverence, wonder in awe of God’s presence (Isaiah 11:2-3), doth every believer, some with more gifts than others, were giventh unwarranted blessings which serves as a springboard for discipleship. Inside the scriptures, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are the roots of the tree, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit are, the fruits of that tree. And if we are led by the Spirit and open to God’s gifts, the fruits of the Holy Spirit will be evident in our lives- the virtues of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22) And the harvest would be aplenty.
Where blessings are concern, God has generously reminded believers to
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and it’s righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33)
“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” (Psalm 20:4)
“The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” (Proverbs 10:22)
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12:14)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
The reason why I broach this subject is because of the numerous request for intercession of the greedy kind. Healing from certain sicknesses, illnesses or diseases is understandable but praying for bigger houses? reveals a lack of understanding of the kind of blessings God has in store for us because God has never specifically mentioned wealth as a guarantee for our unceasing faith except to Solomon. And God too specifically asked of us to bless those who persecute us. Can you?
So, it is indeed a misnomer to assume that when a person is endowed with good looks, power, fame or fortune, or born with it, that means God is well pleased with him- therefore blessing him with direct tangible advantage, greatness, influence, and wealth over others. And those who don’t is not in God’s favour. From the scriptures, it is very clear that God shows no impartiality. Moreover, Jesus himself was born poor. Rather, there are many instances where God expresses his concerns about material gain particularly the means in which wealth is gained, and how the love for money could easily distract the rich from entering the kingdom of god. That is one of the mortal sins which could not be pardoned . Mortal sins identified by the church includes homicide, abortion, infanticide, fratricide, patricide, and matricide, sodomy, oppression of the poor and injustice to the wage earner.
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)
“Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to give to God what belongs to God”(Mark 12:17).
“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10-12)

The perception of Idolatry also needs to be addressed. It is one of the primary divides between the Protestants and Catholics. Idolatry in primeval times has everything to do with animism and pagan worshipping. Animism encompasses the beliefs that all material phenomena have agency, that there exists no categorical distinction between the spiritual and physical world, and that soul, spirit exists not only in humans, but also in animals, plants, rocks, geographic features or other entities of the natural environment- water sprites, vegetation deities, tree spirits etc. In the early days, pointing to the empty sky is not enough. Understanding the concept of God requires objectification and thus, megaliths, trees as gods and statues were commonplace. Even in the medieval era, objectification was needed to completely understand the concept of God, hence the many icons, statues and frescoes in temple and home surrounds created for adoration, as commemoration or plain hero worshipping the almighty, just like the many coins minted in Byzantium (395CE -1453AD) which depicts the image of Jesus.
In biblical days, idolatry arises from a personal disdain of the jealous god, Yahweh who was worshipped alongside a female deity, Mother Goddess known as Asherah. Asherah was hypothetically Yahweh’s wife (and the wife of other Gods as well). But Asherah’s shrines were everywhere, more popular than Yahweh’s. And they were also found besides Yahweh’s shrines. Yahweh found that upsetting, calls every child who worships him and her together, a whore, and called for its destruction.
“You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the Lord your God that you shall make.” (Deuteronomy 16:21)
“When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built.” (Judges 6:28)
“And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.” (2Kings 17:16)
“And I will root out your Asherah images from among you and destroy your cities.” (Micah 5:14)
In today’s context, idolatry is something one indulges in, does excessively out of habit or an obsession which affects one’s duty and obligation towards God and family. And for as long as the fetishism, obsession and habit does not interfere with one’s duty and belief, it is not considered abomination. Therefore, the display and collection of statues, figurines, religious paraphernalia, relics, including prayer verses hung at home. How so ?
Because reverence or piety happens to be one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. And piety brings one back to one’s own origin. Piety has everything to do with obedience, respect and paying homage to one’s ascendant, with ‘God as head of the family’, therefore, not unless one prays to a different God, or neglects his own God, is his actions considered idolatry.

There exists a great disparity of opinions concerning other matters. And I for one do not succumb to makeshift authority, with each fraternity forming their own doctrine and preference, especially those who curtail our good sense and empathy towards others in need. As God’s children, good sense must always prevail. The gift of wisdom is imbued within us to discern and surmise each opinion, not forgetting the gift of courage to correct the wrong, no matter how little or many followers the other party has. We should be glad indeed for the gift of knowledge and the larger brains we, as earthlings, are endowed with. For if not, we could not have reigned dominion over all the other creatures on the earth. Each of us should be bright enough to discern between right from wrong, good from bad, godly from evil, shallow from deep, clean from dirty, and healthy from the sickly. And to process every bit of information thrown at us- whether they are relevant and applicable in today’s context, measured against the values of love, forgiveness and kindness.
But humans are born sinners and our fallibility began with the ‘Original Sin’ as was committed by Adam, and because by that one incident, as expressed by St Augustine, no one is spared from falling into the abyss of doom.
The church has clearly defined three types of sin- Mortal sins, Venial sins and Cardinal sins. But sin is what you do which inconvenience or causes harm to others. One can arrive at what kind of sin was committed, by asking the following three questions:
1. Did the act involve a grave matter?
2. Was the act committed with full knowledge of the wrongdoing that had been done in the act?
3. Was the act done with full consent of the will?
If all three questions are answered in the affirmative, the criteria for a mortal sin have been met. If any one of the three questions is answered in the negative, only the criteria for a venial sin have been met. And Venial Sins is easily forgivable unlike mortal sins. Mortal sins are unforgivable and may I repeat that which includes homicide, abortion, infanticide, fratricide, patricide, and matricide, sodomy, oppression of the poor and injustice to the wage earner. In the Catholic context, forgiveness would entail:
1. Acts of Contrition – feeling sorrowful
2. Disclosure – confide to God
3. Penance – doing something eg. reciting of prayers to make amends for it.
St Paul mentions that when we sin, we need not fear that we are condemned by God and that there is no more justification and grace we deserve. God’s relationship with us is not broken unless or until we deliberately and irrevocably sever it by ‘moving away’ from God. There is also no such thing as flipping between grace and penalty. Believers ‘have and always been’ in the state of grace.
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12)
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
“And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.” (Genesis 8:21)
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5)
“Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
“But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7)
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)
There are seven types of cardinal sin. Lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. Most of these sins with the sole exception of sloth, are perverse or corrupt versions of love for something or another: lust, gluttony, and greed are all excessive or disordered love of good things; sloth is a deficiency of love; wrath, envy, and pride are perverted love directed toward other’s harm. Sins from lust to envy are generally associated with pride, which has been labeled as the ‘Father of all sins.’
I will not dwell in detail all the cardinal sins except for one which is lust, which in general, is the least understood but the one believers are most interested in which explains the increase in popularity of porn sites. This deserves some attention because most preachers direct them to sexual innuendos. However, it is not so. Lust, or ‘lechery’ is intense longing, and is ‘usually’ thought of as intense or unbridled sexual desire which ‘may’ lead to fortification including adultery, rape, bestiality and other sinful sexual acts. However, lust also means unbridled desire in general; the lust for money, power, and other things are equally as sinful.
Lust is also thought to be of the least serious of cardinal sins as it is an abuse of a faculty that humans share with animals, and sins of the flesh are ‘less grievous’ than spiritual sins eg. turning away from God.
*But do not despair for there exists restitution for sins. For no sin is unpardonable, except for mortal sins and that is the promise of God.
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)
“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.” (Micah 7:18)
“And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Matthew 12:31)

So spare me! But prohibitions from drinking, smoking, cohabiting and generously offering lifts to members of the opposite sex are but menial and should not be amplified if they happen in moderation, is consensual, and done with pure intentions. Again, sin is what you do which inconveniences or cause harm to others. Believers always like to stress that our body is the temple of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Yes, I don’t disagree nor doubt that a temple is not a sacred place. Therefore for health reasons, we need to safeguard it from abuse. And a healthy body broods a healthy mindset. This has everything to do with the boundaries we set for ourselves but not an ultimatum or imposition which comes with disparaging penalty only the jealous heart that lobbies for punitive sentencing hopes for.
“I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)
Remember, Jesus himself turned water into wine, the first of his first miracle.
“The Wedding at Cana” (John 2:1-11)
Thus I am certain the entire community or country need not be penalised- putting the brakes on taxi services, school-buses and co-ed schooling since every good person is assumed to have the tendency to let their throbbing manhood rule over faith, decency, integrity and good judgement.
And who are we to deprive singles or separated couples no longer in love the probity of happiness in cohabiting?
As Christians, we must believe that everything comes from God who made the day as well as nights, and rain as well as sunshine (Genesis 1 & 2). And as Christians, we should not be paranoid and prohibit everything, frightening ourselves and disassociating ourselves from unpleasant situations, when caring for our community is part of our social responsibility.

So, do not simply believe in what others say or do blindly, for fear of being chastised, worse, made unpopular because we happened to be more inquisitive than others. The gift of courage, one of the seven gifts of the holy spirit, encourages us to be bold and stand our ground.
“And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely; for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” (Luke 16:8)
Likewise, it is not about how many times we have read the bible from beginning till end, but about our contrite heart and how much we understand about charity and learnt from it. And to all the ‘doubting Thomases’ whose glory rests on tangible proofs and miracles they witness during faith healing, my concern is what if one day God decided to take away everything and there is no longer any miracles to perform that you can see with your own eyes, would they be as faithful to God, or would they moved on to other faiths? Seriously, I want to know.
“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe… “ (John 20:24-29)

Maybe God doesn’t deserve me or I don’t deserve God so likewise I can’t blame the congregation for being self-absorbed. For they are the fruits of what the church teaches.
My desert experience wasn’t only forty days as Jesus had experience, but more like years cowering in fear of being stalked by the evil one whom I was told hides under the cloak of Jesus. Fact is it is just a figment of an over imaginative mind given the opportunity to lead catechumens such as me. The implications was severe and I suffered because of misinformation. No one deserves to walk that road I did long ago. And it could be prevented by addressing the misconceptions I am doing now. Thus I felt it timely to say something. Of course I can’t address all. Except those within my ability to grasp.
My concern is this . What good can a brilliant God do, armed with an army of blind, paranoid, conceited, uninformed followers whom were all assigned to stand up and fight against demons and wrongdoings?
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:43-45)

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

Aweful Mild Lot

Malaysians are an aweful mild lot.
We sign petitions for everything. Being told that is the civilised way and the right thing to do. And so we did. How convenient it is to shout through petitions while quietly protecting our own hard earned gains and investments? But can’t you see that we are dealing with injustice here and a whole lot of unequivocal cable pulling? And a civilian is being forced to serve jail time just because the lawless perpetrators was victimised nevermind the truancy captured on the videos? Don’t you realise that the right thing to do is to take to the streets? Wake up dude! Sampai bila nak tidur ni? You want to fight for a better Malaysia, it takes lots of balls.
I know.
You don’t have them.
And some created petitions so that they could earn from the donations.
Please stop this insanity.
If you live in fear of the government, then I fear you too cos you voted in the government you fear.

Let me be Blunt

“Let me be blunt.
Assuming all the BN supporters came out to vote, and they managed a popular vote of 50% and the total voter turnout during the Johore State election was 50%, that simply means only 25% of valid voters in Johore supported BN.
So what happened to the other 75% of voters, more specifically the 50% who stayed at home oblivious to the importance, when the remaining 25% voted otherwise?
The reasons are many. But here are the few which contributed significantly to the low voter turnout.
1. The spike in recent covid cases sometime after the announcement of the Johor election acts as a deterrent. Many wouldn’t want to risk their health.
2. Closure of voting stations earlier than normal.
3. Low postal votes across the causeway. Only about 10% or rather 7k out of 60k voted. How come? Who handles it?
4. 3-5 corner fights which greatly reduces the oppositions chance.
5. Our rakyat is fed up. Why? a) Mishandling of funds. Corruption is rampant amongst politicians. b) Our politicians same old same old empty pledges. c) Way too much of politicking. Politicising every single issue including crisis and disaster management. d) Our politicians uncanny habit to party hop. Crudely disregarding citizens constitutional rights to the point of forming their own backdoor government once elected without the citizens mandate. e) The acquittal of those found guilty due to corruption by our court of law. g) The constant abuse of race, religion and royalty in controversial matters to gag the rakyat even during the swearing in and forming of the backdoor government.”

Why PH Lost

“We have different set goals and priorities. Our upbringing, mindset and beliefs are also different. And with China now dominating the world economy, we will face trust issues in our own homeland, no matter how noble our intentions are.
There are few reasons why PH lost. 1. As explained, trust issues. 2. Which resulted in 3-5 corner fights versus a stand alone PH. 3. Vote buying thus the collaboration eversince the Sheraton Move. 4. Postal votes. Out of 60k strong working in Singapore, they only receive 7k. Thus they close the polling stations earlier than usual suspecting they are turning up after work. Most right minded people doesn’t trust postal voting. 5. Unverified army vote distribution.
Not being able to see eye to eye is one thing. But putting crooks back into the game, that is utter stupidity. Similar to saying we have absolved them from their crimes. Have we?

Flood Mitigation Plan

Because of the conversion of six retention ponds meant to contain excess rainwater run-offs during flash floods and severe thunderstorms so that areas in the vicinity of the storm remains high and dry, the KL flood mitigation plan had been disrupted. No thanks to the shortsightedness of the authorities in earmarking these crucial pools for development and allowing these conversions. Without these retention ponds, surrounding areas where flooding occurs is no longer habitable, because the excess water has no where to run to, thus it rises quickly, when the usual outlets are too small to drain them off. What this means is that those poor inhabitants will continuously face anxiety and suffer, each and every time it rains.

I severely doubt the authorities concern has contingency plans, now that the retention ponds had been traded off, other than putting in place sirens to warn residents nearby to evacuate, when the rising water reaches danger level. But does that mean flooding is solved once and for all after spending yet again a huge sum on a simple addressing system? Land is scarce and costly. Thus, to replace one retention pond with another within the vicinity is unlikely. So what else can they offer and who bears the loss? Setting up rescue teams and encouraging developers to build more houses and buildings on stilts? Or should they do the drastic, requiring all new developers to fill up their lands higher than the highest flood level ever recorded in the area before planning permission is given? Or is the national disaster committee only equipped with sampans, meant exclusively for politicians to do their usual recce?

The problem here lies in our system. There is perpetually too much power vested in one individual who is given veto power by law to override collective decisions made. Findings has shown that more than 900 projects had been given planning permissions out of which 60 percent of the projects had already been completed. Which now adds to the glaring damage. Not helped geographically by KL, being one of the only two cities in the world that doesn’t have a seafront so all the water naturally has nowhere to flow to. And if unskilled personnels are still appointed to helm positions that requires expertise, or that those in the know has to follow rules set by those with vested power, our problems will persist.

Besides this, global warming has taken its toil on rising sea levels and that is the reason why Indonesia has to build its new capital elsewhere while Singapore has already put in place their own draining system. We on the other hand is happily clogging up Tasik Kenyir, and acquitting the guilty in our courts of law.

Mirror Work nonsense

“The mere fact that when one wakes up , brushes his teeth, combs his hair, grooms himself, had breakfast and go about his day, is affirmation enough that that person loves himself enough. The ones who doesn’t love themselves are in a bloody mess daily. Tardy and unkempt.
So I don’t think one needs to affirm themselves superficially by standing in front of the mirror and talking to himself, reassuring himself that he loves himself.
Unless your faith is weak.
And having a bad relationship with others is not the reason why you don’t love yourself. In fact, it is because you love yourself a lot, way too much, that you do not want anyone to intrude into your sanctity of what you believed in, that’s why disagreement occurs.
And there is nothing wrong if both sides fight for what they believed in. Then go separate ways. That has everything to do with because each of them love themselves way too much. Not meaninged to undermine each other or treat one another badly.
So, do not read too much into these mad hypothesis expounded by false philosophers using the church to bind and prop up their overthinking. So that when the church remains relevant, they could still control the mass, expand their contacts, whilst using the bible in vanity, milking a cent or two from seminars and sharing.
That’s the cause of this madness ain’t it?
Power, influence and money?
My two cents.”

Tad Too Late?

Malaysians are usually a tad too late warming up to world trends, but when we do, we are often hasty, when beamed with pockets of success stories of others, never considering the longer term effects it may have over the whole ecology. As we commute our excitement, we subconsciously fell in line and became the follower of trends, never for once the setter. At the other end of the scale, we would often be left with the final few grains on our palms where others have grazed, after they have moved on to greener pastures. Such is us.

Our national gallery is not at its infancy. But oftentimes, I wonder if there is indeed a national narrative to begin with or that we have spiralled down strutting in a ring filled with the shallow opinions of horse traders, zealots, lobbyists, backdoor experts and money driven leeches; if you could consider them as loyal fans to begin with. Are these the personalities the colourful bedrock upon which we shape our vision? How do our agencies define the limits of their involvement and how far have they gone in pushing the boundaries of our identity?

Our neighbouring compatriots have gone milestones ahead of us, curating not only interesting visual exhibitions but visitor experiences, and have undertaken membership recruitment drives, patron-ship galas, admission packages for groups and families, even enticing members to be gallery sitters. So how can ours still be thriving on a makeshift cafeteria and a minuscule museum shop none thought it important to rife up its setting and contents? Aren’t our agencies aware that the sale of mementos, publications and monograms assist in the sustenance of the gallery not forgetting the promoting and disseminating of our art history and exhibitions to the world? Hell even Penang State Art Gallery has a better museum shop and painting adoption plans! So what can we take pride in, when we are allotted acquisition funds for artworks that stays hidden yet in the few years leading to the pandemic, we were letting out precious spaces for non art-related corporate use? How much truism is there on our visitor head counts then?

Technically, the training of younger artists to become entrepreneurs should be left to business schools when really, the job focus of artists is to make good art because saleability depends on the quality of art each produces. The business aspects of promoting, writing, cataloging, records and recognition, and client sustainability drains time and traditionally been overcome by galleries and auction houses who also by the way, functions as quality controllers. Thus, I am pondering if our national gallery fully understands the intricacies of art management when the importance of proving exhibition history, proving existence, proving fair market pricing, proving purchase and proving its provenance required for art pieces sold in the secondary platform is left out, and that no one artist can qualify or attest himself in such matters.

It may sound like a tall order to some but what seems to be extraordinary to us is common practice for all other reputed national galleries and public museums worldwide. Most of their policy makers have articulated cross border broadening of knowledge and art appreciation throughout their respective countries, which cuts across every culture, aspect and time, eventually expounding a common camaraderie to the masses ready to unite differing values through art. That is how a national narrative is formed. And these could only happen through field studies, mapping, and open engagements with stakeholders beit inside forums, symposiums, or art talks. It would be interesting to invite high profile curators and celebrated luminaries to engage in critical discourses and at the same time, to get them to speak about their current projects and ways of slashing and weaving through mazes and red tapes. That way, we can tap into their ideas, compromise our standard operating process, sell our unique locations and at the same time, make them our catalyst, driver and mouthpiece. Even Marina Abrahmovic stood for Bangkok Art Biennale once! Again, how do we define let alone redefine and push the limits beyond the boundaries of our identity to make it happen?

Have our national gallery ever expanded it’s role by mobilising our collections abroad, since we have been receptively permitting in-bound print shows ala Caravaggio? And when then can we afford to give our visitors a full fledge permanent timeline experience and awareness of our art history that could only happen with a permanent gallery space, so that visitors could devote their time and energy helping us to grow, at the same time becoming our catalyst, driver and mouthpiece? What more, are we prepared to forgo unkempt security guards whose youngs runs around the gallery grounds and partakes in food receptions meant for guests? When would the whole podium not forgetting the prominent spiral staircase become potential display areas and when are we getting rid of the bathroom feel of the entrance lobby?

Plain and simple, our national gallery needed urgent institutional reforms. To begin with, we need first class infrastructure revamp and a reconfiguration of its space and flow. Then hopefully, the rest will fall into place. If our desire is the world stage of course. We needed well exposed and well connected people from different fraternities who live and breathe art day and night to helm it. We can’t have a gold medallist diving expert to be in charge of a football team unless they are willing to learn. Art is serious business and a major catalyst towards growing tourism trends in metropolitan cities. So make us proud!

Elsewhere in our country , our provincial galleries may be modest in infrastructure, but certainly not provincial in ideas. They make do with the littlest of resource and budget yet they managed to deliver their very best. And the key to their success? A selfless, committed, forward thinking, liberal-minded committee who doesn’t promote self-censorship out of fear of losing their jobs. There are benefits in organising gargantuan exhibitions and endorsing artistic freedom. It begets us free publicity worldwide and regional recognition as a formidable player. This all translates to tourist dollars.

Looking inward, we should be receptive enough to acknowledge that every town and city in our country has its own cultural identity and preference of artists which makes each of them different, unique and interesting and with that, sprouts its own conversations and engagement. So why not then, a new language and narrative, if other towns and cities can manage and deliver never mind from where the art scene started first? It is not entirely wrong if there co-exist divergent parallel narratives, since our country is unique. Even Mercedes Benz automobiles has different classes and models.

Since the Nanyang days, Penang has been the preferred platform from whence our national art scene sprang. I singled out Penang because It’s topography had been conducive enough to attract international artists to nest and work. So how then, one wonders, does budding artists become stifled and sidetracked when artists like Ernest Zacharevic and Latiff Mohidin (both not Penangites ) has persevered and made it this far? Perhaps yet another ill informed opinion maybe? Nuf said for now.

Turn Your Gaze Towards The Sky

“God speaks to us through nature. How else can he reveal himself, his love, his glory, his might, his wonders or unleash his fury if not through appeasing your doubt of his existence with the burning bush, the opening of the Red Sea, Noah’s flood, the flattening of Sodom and Gomorrah, the lightning that transforms Saul, freak storms, landslides, and tsunami. And if we can’t read these signs and wonders occurring in our midst, that only makes our weekly devotion hogging inside places of worship, a routine joke.

Indeed, we humans are dumb. For not being able to calibrate and process these subtle warnings that flashes between our eyes, and dumber indeed, than the government we voted in. For truly, who amongst us would elect candidates that insults our grey cells, when capitalism educates us to select candidates with heavyweight credentials to represent us? That said, when we feel cheated by these entrusted individuals, maybe we should question ourselves why we could be swayed by educational credentials and eloquence than to stick with the meek and humble selfless individuals?

As humans, we are all endowed with amazing sensory organs that allows us to mind read others, the ability to judge and to feel. Those are the sensors that triggers our haunch and intuition. And if our haunch and intuition tells us to chuck candidates with questionable intellect, how so did they survive? Are we missing something in our judgement that the majority wouldn’t agree with?

Admit it. Most of us are too self engrossed to do good for our community. We feel entitled to guard our own interest but not those beyond our four walls, and went with the flow even when we know our laws are outdated, therefore the abuse. As burdens to society we are, we leave it to selfless souls to care and manage our environment, and run our society, while we prefer to spend time watering our own garden. We chose to be ringside spectators, but spends our waking hours mingling with strangers on the social media to ply our trade, boost our noticeability, and enrich our pockets, hoping to gain traction with famous personalities as well as sending amorous private messages. We then transforms into disgruntled Frankensteins when we see mismanagement, and our economy nosedives. What kind of an idiot are we?

By our habitual actions and inactions, we have created our own brand of shit and disgust, and made the shits of others pliable. Has it ever occurred to us that bullshits like this doesn’t just happen overnight? So please go plug the source and nip the problem in the bud. Swallow the pride and shits we personally nurture before our ground turns into solid waste foundation. For God is real. And his tantrums has turned into wrath’s. Look around us. Little ‘Acts of God’ is now manifesting. Be more selfless and understand his disgust. Then turn your gaze towards the sky, as Emperor Constantin 1 did. If God did not abandon you, so should you not abandon his creation to see it rot. Indeed, God speaks to us through nature. So should you help protect it and not play dumb. Help protect our country and Fark this present government off.”

Chinese Observances

“In the old days, the Southeast Asian migrant Chinese were inundated with many beliefs. Beliefs that’ll bring them luck, prosperity and happiness. With beliefs, sprang the many superstitions observed. More so when affirmations were rhymed into ditties and sayings that tickles the fancy of the larger crowd. For those who doesn’t attend schools, these ditties acted as guides in the school of life, for they held many truths. Whereas others, especially when related to food, sounds more like marketing 101.

The Chinese of Southeast Asia practices a strange mix of religion which falls into a larger cauldron they identify as Buddhism, which again lives below an infinite space known as the Sky God, or ‘Thni Kong”. Though many are now baptised, Buddhism was and still is, the supreme god to these believers, Taoism and it’s many practices and deities, as the guide to rites and rituals to attain Nirvana, and Confucianism, as their gospel to communal living.

Especially during auspicious occasions, birth, marriage, full moon, or new year, these curious concoction of three-in-one cocktail comes into play. Elements that does not conform to their practices were silently removed, and others desecrated with red paper. Even food was not spared.

On the table during reunion dinner, which is usually held during the eve to usher in the first day of Chinese New Year (or the coming of Spring), all kinds of meats, vegetables and condiments is a must. That to the Chinese signifies abundance as it harnesses positive energy. (For as long as you can tolerate the tediousness that goes into it’s preparation.) Before the clock struck midnight, one would have assumed that their abode has been spring-cleaned and decorated with auspicious objects, including their cars and compound, and elements that suggest bad luck or ‘suay’ are hidden inside storerooms, especially brooms and sharp objects including kitchen knives, never to be seen till the 15 days of Chinese New Year ends. This covers plants with leaves that shapes like daggers as well. And they even have preferred colours. Red sits on top of the list, followed by yellow.

Throughout Chinese New Year, the sounds of fire crackers are heard, in the belief that the noise would ward off evil spirits. Charity is encouraged, sworn words refrained, new clothes worn, animosity discouraged, sweets served, and the most menial of work especially the sweeping of homes, were halted. Such are the ways of the Chinese.

Throughout history, these observations became habitual and that in turn manifest as traditions attached to their beliefs. To identify one as a Chinese is to observe these traditions and beliefs which are related to Buddhism. As they serve themselves with a wide array of food and dishes, so too did they bedeck the altars of their Gods with abundance, with a few exceptions or add ons. Prayers, paper effigies, and joss sticks, as the intermediary or points of transfer between heaven and earth. All for the sake of prosperity, luck and happiness.

But how many of these believers actually attain prosperity, happiness and blessed with good luck throughout the year, one ponders? Can we be certain that in a famine stricken country, and the many whose cars succumbed the flood, families who were forced to bunk inside stadiums because their apartments caved in, and every passenger inside a plane that crashes, lax observances?”

Abusing trust

“Most women teaches their female friends to always be on guard throughout their nuptial ties so that they do become a victim of betrayal, if it ever does happen.
To me, that only means that you probably don’t know what love is about or ever truly loved your partner, with all the mistrust that is happening.
Now why do I say so?
Because love is after all blind!
And if you’re not one who is blinded, probably there’s never so much as a thing called “love” to begin with!
Be proud that you are blinded, because love is when two souls are bonded in holy matrimony and became one. And thus, you are required to perform your vows as a single entity by sharing and giving to one another. That is also the moment of truth when you realise that you are one person who is capable of giving fully your heart to love. That you trust the other person completely. That’s what love is about. And that’s what God wants, nevermind what others say.
And if you do not know how to love another fully and give your complete trust to your partner, but follow your friends advice and remain cautious, then, I’m sorry but you are better off single. So is your friend. Than to cheat your partner for a lifetime with that barricade of mistrust forever looming in the shadow of your union.
Yes, unfortunate things do happen in relationships if you do not follow your friends advice. But whatever it is, just regard it as your partner’s loss for abusing your trust and failing to see through your well-meaninged intentions and generosity by giving fully your love towards the relationship.”

All About Provenance

“Provenance establishes the history of ownership. Not authenticity. But a good provenance certainly supports authentication, removes all doubt towards the legitimacy of ownership, whilst eliminating disputes and claim towards the work once sold.

On the contrary, if an artwork is authentic, nothing can take away the genuineness even when no documents ever existed. Not even provenance. Genuine works of this nature just happens to hover on a different plane because of unexpected turn of events or otherwise beit relocation, war, death, spring cleaning, debt settlement, divorce, gifts, donations, even hunger, as they fall into the hands of cafe owners, descendants, friends, undeserving people, neighbours, strangers, cleaners, movers, antique shops, flea market, pawn shops or the worse case scenario, refuse bins! With no receipts, papers, or even a signature intact, should authentic works of this nature be appraised at a lower price?

Provenance is a Western invention. It is the trailing bloodline of every personal property since the day the object leaves the hand of its creator beit the artist, craftsmen or artisan till the present owner. With more claims of stolen items being sold at auctions at frivolous prices, provenance became a necessity deterrent from costly lawsuits, and a convenient tool to reject dubious consignments. Nowadays, it behaves as a stop valve to deter ‘blockage’. A term appraisers use when too many items of similar nature flock the market causing the value of a personal property once thought rare, but now ubiquitous, to fall. In instances like this, should provenance be abused to control the flow thus preventing blockage from happening?

But if provenance is vital, how could one Chinese ceramic found in a shoebox, and another, which was used as a door stopper, escape this stringent necessity? By pure reasoning, it is certainly doubtful that accidental possessions and unexpected finds like these do have papers to back them up. This includes the controversial possession of two zodiac animal busts that once grace the walls of the Forbidden City in China. Why, one wonders, that the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 does not apply to consignments such as these, when war spoils should be repatriated accordingly?

Many reasons could be factored in but one seemingly good reason why reputed auction houses are prepared to take chances by breaking conventions is the quality exuded by an irresistible find. Hence, it goes without saying that no matter what, provenance no matter how muzzy it is, cannot take away the authenticity or genuineness of a property, more so when no report of theft was ever recorded, which begs the question: “How should one keeps track of cultural relics and papers and address the grey areas of provenance, when for example the Cultural Revolution of China 1966 displaces everything? Even real estate title deeds. Wouldn’t this imply that all Chinese relics are in-consignable? And if that being the case, wouldn’t the Western collector indirectly has more to benefit in the auction circuit than their Eastern counterparts?

Since early 2000 as auction records would have shown, the demand for Chinese cultural relics soared a million times over. The downside being so did their bad debts reach an unprecedented scale. The reason is because some Chinese sellers view provenance as double standard Western capitalism designed to subdue Chinese consignors. Hence their retaliation by not paying. This triggers a series of revamps implemented for would-be bidders never seen in auction rules before to curb the frequent fraudulent bid calls. But not long after, the Chinese Central Committee decided to set up their own auction houses, after some unsuccessful attempts to buyout some reputed auction platforms. Not one but a few.

Besides these concerns, there are scenarios of consignors owning the right papers, but sold duplicated artworks to unsuspecting buyers sometimes with the original papers, at times without~ the original work of which they still keep. There too are cases of genuine artworks without the necessary papers being mistakenly rejected as dubious. Incidents like this happens frequently at auction houses, especially those which lacks expertise. At the other end of the spectrum are consignors with underworld links whose lawless reputation exceeds the genuineness of their provenance. And there are also the uninformed collectors who seem to invest more in dubious artworks, that when their collection is assessed as a whole, cautious auction houses will shun away as quickly. Last but not least are cases where dubious artworks by famous artists and forgeries appears in open auctions, as favours to appease their high-powered buyers. Cases like this are not one-of-a-kind but ubiquitous. What is more beguiling is can dubious artworks possesses genuine provenance then escape close scrutiny? Think about it.

In most cases, properties that fetches record prices has an important personality or impeccable history of ownership attached to it. These personalities simply overshadow the long trail of provenance required. So much so that it has become the norm for auction houses of repute to turn away those which do not have. But does that mean that collections coming from important personalities or collectors are always genuine? The answer is a resounding no. Because every collector, no matter how experienced they are, is vulnerable to deception. More so when they lack knowledge in their field of interest, more frequently occurring in the early stages of collecting.

Many a time, good properties has been rejected by reputed auction houses because provenance could not be established. This is indeed sad for genuine collectors who turns their hobby into a lucrative investment that each time they spotted a valuable piece going for a song at the flea market, they need to request for formal papers. Wouldn’t that raise eyebrows when sometimes, the asking price is merely USD10? Moreover, what kind of provenance and lineage does one expect from a country which has only gained independence for slightly more than a decade? Or another that survives a Holocaust or a cultural revolution? A string of DNA’s or atoms to backtrace your fossil collection?

Imagine a genuine Picasso or a Pollock not previously known which has no provenance. Will the auction house reject it and regard it as fraud just because no evidence of its existence was ever recorded in the catalogue raisonnè nor the stolen objects databases? Or will they report it so that the possessor is arrested? Or would they set forth an ingenious marketing strategy to have it sold because of the high estimate it could fetch? It is well known that the latter does happen to some blue collar consignors who uses their lifetime savings to build their collection. That will again depends if their engagement is convincing enough that these auction houses would stick out their neck to help them.

The story about provenance is long and wide. With many twists and turns. To those who aren’t aware, perhaps this is the time to pay heed to the propensity of tracking down provenance. If possible, to backtrack it till it hits the date of origin of produce or manufacture. If they want to have it consigned in the future that is. But in their own way, auction houses protect their own integrity by screening and investigating each and every property they intend to accept. Because they understand that costly mistakes can seriously damage their reputation. Especially the provenance tied to these properties. Good auction houses also constantly refine their method and mode of working to ensure staff integrity to ward off malicious deals schemed by greedy collectors wanting to dispose off their doubtful loots.

Recently there were two cases of properties fetching ludicrously high prices, many times higher than the low estimate being sold online. One is of a Chinese Republican type vase of very poor condition, the other, a Song dynasty censer of doubtful attribution. How does this happen one wonders? Although money laundering seems to be the obvious reason, scammers of today are now getting more creative than ever before, scouting for loopholes in the terms and conditions of selling platforms to thrive, and if all auction houses carries with them disclaimers, then, so much the better for scammers to roll out vague deals, then disappear by the click of a button. Because of voluminous listings, most auction platforms have no control over fraudulent claims, auction estimates, and provenance especially – the hammer price of which still relies very much on the bidders discretion and direct engagement with the seller at the other end. Provenance? They disappeared into the backseat. Online auction platforms in general are commission agents. Not authenticators doing you a service. They provide you with an avenue to dispose your possessions. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Now the final question. Are there categories of properties that doesn’t require provenance? Yes there are. Maybe if one is tired of trailing provenance, they should perhaps collect something else that doesn’t require them. Think about it.

– Kris Lee 2014/2021.
Appraiser/Auctioneer/Collector of art, antiques and collectibles with more than 3 decades of

Failed Mathematics

“They cheered for the fishermen, yet none of these victory march protesters has ever stepped foot near that village and beach before, nor when the discussion was going on before the decision was made. Public engagement was open, but they prefer to wallow in their own forum and follow their leaders, gerakan stalwarts formed under the guise of ngos who thought they could cripple dap in the name of conservation, by stirring a non-issue when in reality, the family of these fishermen no longer finds a promising future basking under that windy tide.

As a Malay centered township, it would be shallow thinking to even suggest that these inhabitants weren’t engaged to help improve their living conditions, nor were they denied provisions to learn and earn et al. And it is indeed a tragedy that ngos would use their plight to justify their need to preserve that catchment. Besides, the current government did not deny them their right of earning, even when judging according to today’s standard, their occupation is no longer sustainable. But if they have decided to stay put in that catchment, but deny the progress that would benefit their village in the long term such as connectivity to the city, and added value to their property, that has far reaching consequences and an oversight.

It is sad but true, but many of their younger generations prefer to be grab drivers instead. And no wedding planners has ever considered that part of the island to be an ideal shooting location. The access since sixty years ago was long and winding no thanks to the bn government who did nothing to improve their livelihood except blurting our empty promises. Thus their current state of affairs. And btw, do any of these protesters at the last count knew exactly how many of these fishermen are still making a living combing the sea? 200? No. It’s hardly 10 percent. Their catch hardly feeds the inhabitants of their own village. One can trust their so-called ngos to keep the statistics tucked under their arms. And then blame their dwindling catch to the circumstances plaguing the sea, when the truth is, none of them wanted to be a fishermen anymore than you do. On a lighter note, why be a fishermen when all the politicians drives a Vellfires?

The ngos may cry victory of sweetness, then beat their behind and leave that place under the care of father sun, whilst these fishermen’s scorch their skins and suffer, so they could all have their little cheap thrills once in awhile penetrating the area with camera crews in the name of conservation.

And the biggest loser? The villagers not forgetting the people of Penang. Because if their standard of living did not change years down the road whilst yours is way ahead in terms of invincibility, remember this day which says so much of your careless character and selfish motives. Besides, there is not enough heightened activity and inhabitants to justify the need to build the costly link. In all goodness, the current government is trying to help them unlock the full potential of their village besides uplifting their standard of living. And if anyone would suggest that this is a political ploy, think about the humongous budget that one needs to raise when really, they could unlock it elsewhere with lesser budget.

And so what we have here are political parties cloaking as ngos and Malay supremacists back saddling the ngos questioning the sincerity of a dap led government. That’s what it is. Using marine life and it’s survival as excuse. So much for Merdeka and what it means.”

Government Tango

“I would love that we could all tango from stages 1 to 2 or stages 2 to 4 but not during a time when the statistics deteriorate so badly 20 months into lockdown. And children’s are now rushed to school by October just because their first 100 days grand plan say so. Whatever that can be done then to prioritise children so that they do not need to waste two years of the lives idling has fallen onto deaf ears because our ministers thought their lives are far more important than these vulnerable children’s. Therefore they were all and I mean in totality, 70 ministers who received their two jabs first even before the frontliners does but claims to put our interests above theirs. And so is the idea of a strict lockdowns for 2 months being overruled by economic concerns of their cronies. And with the delta variant now running haywire in the streets, suddenly they decided to allow cinemas and hotels to operate. Fine. I have no problem with that for a long as the patrons and operators have all completed their jabs, but so must all the other types of business be allowed to operate and patronise only by those who have completed their jabs! The situation we have right now is that businesses in enclosed areas are allowed to open but banks still restrict users and gyms are not allowed. How different are they? And those foreign workers whom have not completed their vaccinations are roaming everywhere preparing and delivering food.

And why the restrictions on interstate travelling when you are so prepared to reinfect people from the same state by opening up touristy businesses? You mean your daily statistics as reported doesn’t add up our country as a whole, and that state borders are still manned by personnel’s to check on permits for parents visiting families or children that they are all required to reinfect themselves standing in line at police stations to seek permits?

To cut it short, our ministers all seem to suffer from post mental siege not helped by the lurking virus they thought it fine to legalise corruption side by side by pardoning corrupters and blaming individuals on the streets who committed suicide on drug taking. What? I am sorry but why don’t they ask themselves where these poor people find spare cash to purchase drugs when they don’t even have enough to buy food therefore they decided to dive down buildings while many others raised white flags that you clearly bar, and why is the drug problem persistently menacing after 6 decades of nation building? No will to correct the system?

Money and the thought of getting rich is the root of all evil and the mother of how corruption came about made worse by a government who succumbed. They seem to think it ok to drive into the minds of our children to follow in their footsteps while ironically making compulsory religious and moral studies in schools. And for as long as they are not the ones who eat sour bread or instant noodles, they are fine.

Well, the whole country is not fine when the biggest crooks in the history of mankind has direct access to the prime ministers office and government investiture ceremonies insisting they be made national economic recovery advisers. And it is certain not fine when the government changes and ran independently, indignant to the wishes of the rakyat. And it is not fine to admit defeat to a virus we could jolly well contain right from the beginning if not for the power tussle and billions spent to achieve herd immunity. These defeatist attitudes are certainly not welcoming nor are they putting our country at the forefront of disease control. What sort of messages are they prepared to send 100 days later? That corruption is also fine and it is here to stay?

Go F off!”

Cabinetmakers Terms

“Some of us may have noticed that governments of the day seems to have an obsession, preference and attachment towards cabinetmakers terms, when describing Parliamentary placings and positions of these elected members who ran our country.

Words like ‘chairs’, as in chairman (now chairperson), ‘seats’, as in the seats of Parliament, ‘bench’, as in back-benchers, ‘Secretary’~ (which comes from the french word Secrétaire meaning a form of enclosed writing desk), as administrative arm of the different portfolios, a ‘secretariat’ which is a permanent administrative office of a department, and lastly, ‘cabinet’, as in the committee of senior ministers responsible for controlling government policy.

This is so because until the medieval era, castles are devoid of furniture and thus it was the usual formality to greet and be greeted, and to grant audiences and discussions standing.

When chairs made their appearance in the 18th century, they were a luxury. They weren’t mass produced like today and thus, not everyone could afford the comforts made by the ébéniste and menuisiers, the two components of cabinet making which decides the shapes, designs and functions of these furnitures. These cabinet makers were very much celebrities and respected people of the courts. And thus, especially chairs, they are reserved only for those in power, and the people who could afford to commission them. And orders were usually piled up to the brim and may take years to have them delivered.

Therefore to be offered a seat, means you are a deserving privileged, someone worthy of respect.
Hence this obsession carried on, with these terms handed down through generations of those who were vying for these seats of power. And above this are the ‘Rulers’- the instrument used for sizing and measuring furnitures.