Today, I shall begin working for a different outcome

I am more resilient than i give myself credit for.

Looking back at all the occasions where I have to step up to do more or deal with a crisis, I counted many times where even at the end of a tunnel, I have not given up.

Resilience comes with resourcefulness, perhaps. I am always full of ideas and while not all are great ideas; some of them do provide a better alternative.

Nothing could get me down when I am on a mission.
I fight for the forgotten. I speak up against the Powers-to-be because I know I can make a difference. I am not afraid to be an outcast because I know who my friends are.

I am willing to be the sacrifice if I could speak up for the rest who can’t or are afraid to.

I will not explain myself to those who judge through their lens of bias-ness, self-righteousness. There is nothing to explain when the other party does not want to listen.

I am good at reading people. My sensitivity is often hidden because I prefer honesty to covering up the truth.

And you… You told me I need to be more proactive. And I know what goes on in your petty little mind.

My proactiveness does not come in the form of chasing down answers nor banging on the door. My proactiveness is seen and felt through my conversations and time spent with my stakeholders. My relationships with my stakeholders outlive projects and products.

My understanding of the social construct within this unique, shared sphere is deep and wide. I am proud of the answers I hold because they were learnt through a tough time of self-discovery.

So yes, I have decided that I must focus my time and energy for positive outcomes. I deserve better because I have so much to offer and give.

Thank you for showing me how it is like to be marginalised. I have never been treated this way and i know, I will never forget this feeling. It will help me be a better humanitarian; colleague, friend and manager.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reflect on my development gaps – I am eternally grateful to be able to learn how to better improve myself.

I wish you well.

I will always be living better and happier because i deserve it.

 

 

 

 

An Open letter to Mr Patrick L Smith

When I was younger, I wanted to be an investigative journalist. I want to expose people who didn’t do their jobs well. Why was I obsessed with exposing these people of their misdeeds?

When I was nine, I argued with a Form teacher, a Mrs Paul. She made me stand in front of the class, facing the blackboard. The reason for my argument? I was reading a book with these lines, “…when he was sleeping underneath a tree, a spirit came up to him and tore off his genitals.” [a story by Catherine Lim). Mrs Paul insisted that I was reading pornography. Sheesh.

When I was 10, my Form teacher (a Madam P) slapped a classmate (a girl by the name of Shankri) on the face because Shankri was speaking to me. I was the one who was favoured and had perhaps, caused Shankri to be hit. Bad teachers and examples I’ve had.

Today, I am reminded that journalists hold a very important role in societies. Well, at least in societies where people are generally educated and have an interest in the true well-being of their countries and communities.

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My country’s founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away on 23 March 2015. It was a loss that affected even the most stoic and critical Singaporeans I know. It was indeed a watershed moment for Singapore. Perhaps, it is Election year. Whatever it may be, the late Mr Lee’s contributions to Singapore begun from 1959. There is a Chinese term, “没有功劳也有苦劳” / Even if there were no rewards, there were efforts made.”
Today, I came across an article on The Salon, Lee Kuan Yew is finally dead — and America’s elites are eulogizing a tyrant and psychological monster. I wish no journalists will ever take Patrick L Smith as a role model because his article carries nothing but his bitter tales when he was living in Singapore which couldn’t be more wrong. Smith’s words were made of sweeping general statements which are unfounded, false and misleading.

Half-truths are the worst because it feeds the weak minds with poison while pretending to be an antidote.

***

An Open Letter to Mr Patrick L Smith:

Your words, Mr Smith, show how misinformed and out of touch you have been since you’ve stepped foot into Singapore. Whoever you hung out with when you were in Singapore, i am sorry that you had such a bad time in Singapore. Yes, the career didnt work out. After all, one’s credibility and reputation as a journo is everything, isn’t it? The FEER was interesting only for its narrow perspective (never seen such bad journalism ever) and let’s be truthful,  it wasn’t quite as honourable as you made it out to be. Your words do not value-add to making your readers any more well-informed but are laced with your pompous point of view as if you have had any experience running a nation without any resources nor support. Seeing many readers commenting on how well your article is written makes me worried about their sense of judgement and the future of their children’s/companies’/countries’ well-being and future.

As a Singaporean, I will urge you to not try to interfere with how we Singaporeans judge our politicians and founding leader. You did NOT know why the Late Mr Lee was hard on the Barisan Socialis. Please don’t speak as if you were in Singapore during the tough times we had when the Malaysian Federation deal fell through. Tough choices had to be made then.

You said, “Singapore’s tragedy is that its people allowed one man to humiliate them as deeply within themselves as Lee did. This is the hole they may have a chance to climb out of now. We will have to see.”

Truth be told, I am proud to be a Singaporean. There was never a hole of humiliation. We were protected and given the tools to succeed on any world’s stage. We, Singaporeans, do very well what we decided we can be good at.

Perhaps, Humiliation was what you went through – using mistruths and disinformation in order to sensationalise whatever publication you were with then. Singaporeans have never been more proud to have a founding leader and father in Lee Kuan Yew. Yes, we do have our issues with our Government (but bad food isn’t one of them as one commentator mentioned. Poor fella. I wondered what he ate!) but we will manage our domestic issues, thank you very much. We don’t need any foreign journalists trying to tell us what is right or should have been. We are thankful for the “no-life” (as what another commentator claimed Singapore is. To each his own, i will say) because who would want drama and guns in our lives? That is the reason why we build Changi Airport and have one of the world’s  best airlines in the world so that we get to travel in style to see what the world has to offer.

We don’t have to prove how we live our lives by Western / Caucasian standards. These standards mean nothing to us, Singaporeans.

The saddest thing about your article? You had a paragraph about how Mr Lee Kuan Yew reminds you of someone who “beats his charges with a bag of oranges so the organs are ruined but the bruises do not show” – how unoriginal. I’ve seen that line somewhere in an article about Tiananmen in 1999. Your stories were untruthful and meant to paint a negative image of Mr Lee. His bodyguards and drivers (I happen to know one of them) and they spoke of a man who was strong, disciplined and fair.

We will climb out of any troubles Singapore may face in the future because we are Singaporeans made resilience by Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s fiery brand of passion, strength and commitment in times of needs.

Please don’t quote theoretical ideologies as if they were indeed, best practices business cases. Show me a country which have had a perfect leader first, then tell me what your solutions may be for the problems you claim Singapore have?

Lastly, quoting Amos Yee and egging him on just tells me how your blinkers have not been removed from when you were in Singapore.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew may be seen as a “tyrant and psychological monster” to you but he was only acting towards people who are equally tyrannical and psychologically-unbalanced with their points of views. Humans react to what they are treated with, fair point?

Please, mind your own business and let us Singaporeans grieve.

Yours Sincerely,

Rene

What Is Your Price?

“What is more humiliating than finding the object of your love unworthy?”
Jeanette Winterson, The Passion

When I started travelling by myself, I love getting lost in museums. Museums carry with them… history and stories other than art.  I can’t claim to know art but what I do know is, if I like a piece of art, it holds a value to me.

What I value, I will not bargain for a discount. Asking for a discount from a piece of creative work (not just art per se) is tantamount to saying,  “I think you are good but nope, you’re not worth me paying the price you think your work is worth.”

What makes such behaviour irksome and insulting is to know the professional, marked-to-market benchmarks and still expecting an artist, a fellow professional to bend over backwards just because one thinks the world of his own opinions and has-been experiences?

When I was a casual database editor in Melbourne, I was paid A$20.86 hourly. My job was to edit content for educational institutions and craft relevant keywords for SEO. I could hit 200 entries or more per hour while my fellow colleagues managed between 8 to 30 per hour. In the end, I was the only resource required to run the online system because I was able to offer the best outcome for the price the company felt was fair.

Today, this ideal of fairness is lost on indecisive decision makers who only hear their own voices. They saw the speck in the other person’s eye but not the log in their own.

Another lesson learnt.

Daily Gratitude Practice

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Today, I am thankful for:

– Having a mirror in unpleasant and unprofessional people to guide me as to how I should NEVER be, be it with colleagues or external business partners, whether they are more junior or otherwise

– having the courage to speak my mind and be truthful to people without the fear of repercussions. I will never be truly free if I have to hide my feelings even though i know that the truth is always painful to hear.

– recognising that apologies have to be sincere and meaningful. An apology is not a defensive tool. I am thankful to be aware of the differences and will honour my apology as what it is meant to be.

– being aware of my limitations so that I know how I can best improve myself. My lacks and failures serve to only make me more aware that there is much to learn and acquire in life other than bags and shoes!

– my mother’s constant presence in my life. She is so precious and I want to be able to give her an even better life.

Also, I am very grateful for my thick-skinned and strongheaded mentality…it has provided me with much buffer against the ugly behaviour I am subjected to… it is also useful to my resourcefulness in finding solutions.

What an amazing day to learn how to be a better person, one day at a time.

Hello December, Goodbye Little People.

What you risk reveals what you value.”
– Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body

It has been a long, hard year. A year of struggles with the constant reminder that Forgiveness is important not for the perpetrator, but really, for my own sanity and peace of mind.

Pulau Ketam

In a warped sense of Logic, the person who hurts my family the most gets to eat the largest piece of the cake(s) AND gets to start all over again when I am left with the burden and responsibilities of all the mess he has created out of his greed and selfishness. I must be blessed with the most forgiving parents and siblings in the world. They sleep well every night despite what they had to go through.  I was the only one who refused to let go of the possibilities of legalities and governance. But still, my parents told me to let it go.

On hindsight, there is no need for forgiveness because the perpetrator never thought he did any wrong to anyone anyway. The ability to purge toxic relations is most important for my peace of mind because when I delete memories off my mind, the heart gets to heal a little bit by bit.

My life is always better once I come to terms with the demons that grew bigger whenever I have to face people who repulse me for all sort of reasons. In my own little ways, I get back. Trust me, I am that good that these people don’t even know what i have done to them.

I hurt you a little to get back at you.That, is how I forgive. But because I possibly have too much of a conscience, I hurt you without your knowledge.

I am thankful for 2014, regardless. Of the pain and struggles, good things still came to me because the Universe did conspire to bring what my heart desires nearer to my sphere of awareness. I am always thankful for the possibilities my employer gave me in pursuing my master programme. Through this programme, i met a bunch of really endearing mates. These folks gave me a chance to serve them and little did i know, I was able to do whatever little i could, as best i could. Maybe I just really need to be tasked, to feel useful.

Thank you, Universe, for always giving me a second chance to be a better person. I will always remember to not let the Little People rob me of my joy.

 

Little Woman

You think everyone is after the same things as your little mind and empty soul desires.

You plot and scheme against others you find as threats to glorifying yourself.

Your insecurities are as obvious as those zirconia earrings you claimed as diamonds.

You are sad, pretentious and a false believer of Christ.

I reject your brand of “leadership” for as long as I share the same space with you.

Now, get lost and stay lost.

Loss & Love

I tend to lose things easily. Strangely enough, it is not because I am careless. Rather, on the contrary, I treasure every little thing too much, so much so that I hide them.

And I forget where I hid them.

Then I grieve for the loss of these little things. And i procure more things to fill the void.

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People. They are the same to me too except I can’t hide or file them away in a special corner. (Or maybe I could?)

Sometimes, one can love another too much. Say for example, my baby niece, M1. She is my everything…this must be the purest form of love and adoration. And my nephew, Cj. Oh how I love to smell his head ALL the time. His smile never fails to light up the room for me. There is another niece, M2. We’re still working on our relationship…we’re not quite there yet. (But I still love M2 very much except that we get angry at each other really easily. [She is 2 and very immature, really]).

This must be love. There is no in-between, no grey area. With so much love comes pure pain…when loss is amplified. How do you fill up the gap of someone in your heart? Someone whom you love with all that sinewy muscles within that chest cavity?

That’s right. A cavity is what loss is. A hole. A space that can never be replaced.

I promise myself to love fiercely because when a cavity forms, at least I would have enjoyed all the lovely bits.