History Repeated in Families

History is replayed everyday.

Can you see it ?  You did not put in the effort to keep that marriage.  You insisted in your values and your own ways.  You talked and talked.  Now your daughter will repeated your life all over again.  She will make the same stupid choices.  She is already making them now.  And because you are what you are, you fail to stop the cycle.  You think you know it all.  And you do not feel the need to listen.  So be it.  And your son will be like the husband you divorced.  And one day you will be filled with heartbreak and disappointment looking at their broken lives.  You used  excuses and words to get away with things.  And in turn, others cheated you with their smooth tongues.  You had a chance to make good.  You had true friends.  But you chose to go the way you were accustomed to.  You fell for it in your marriage and in your other major life decisions.  And you gave up in the way of integrity.  You wanted a short cut.  Too bad.  The short cut is what you get.  Your father took the short cut and damned his marriage.  You hated that woman, but yet you  did not learn the real lesson.  How shall I describe you ?  Stupid ?

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Vice Pays (Very Well)

Two hoteliers were in the news of late.

Both became extremely rich after building their empires of buget hotels that generate much revenue from “hourly” room bookings,  especially in red-light districts.

One was not happy even with the Rolls Royce he bought and sued the car dealer.

The other gave millions to start a scholarship to “give back to society”.

Vice pays in Singapore.  And pays extremely well.

Is anyone praying for divine retribution, or am I the only one ?


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Facebook Lives – Everyone is Happy

Is the Facebook-You the Real-You ?

Or is it just the Show-Only-The-Nice-Stuff-You ?

Well, the truth is we all do not project the real us onto Facebook.

We are more pretty/handsome.

More sporty.

More connected.

Flying here and there.

Savouring exquisite cuisine every other day.

We love our wife/husband and kids/dogs/hamsters.

Even the miserable people I know in real life look like they are so happy in Facebook.

Does it not make you envious that everyone else is so successful and fulfilled ?

Yes ?

Then go and fake your own happy Facebook life like everyone else !

P/S:  I have 5 such happy lives on Facebook and none of them is the real me.  So buy Facebook shares http://www.google.com/finance?q=NASDAQ%3AFB at your own risk.

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No Place For Engineers

Sorry to make that the post title but that is the plain truth.

As plain as I can make it.

I am not against engineers.  I was one.

But I am going to stop my son from becoming one.

Not only that.

One smart chap on a career forum advised engineers to quit their jobs and stop hanging around their engineer friends.

Radical, yes,

Radical but necessary.

It is like having to cut off a gangrened limb.  Lop it off if you want to live.

Yes, I know.  You were top of your class.

The government gave you a scholarship and you thought it was fantastic.  The future never looked so bright.

And yes, they forgot to keep you in the loop when they decided they are into banking services a few years back.

Engineering ?  What engineering ?


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Serial Maid-Changing Employers

What do you think ?

Is it the maids ?  Or the employers ?  Or both ?

On the surface, they look like well-educated and decent people.  Oh, I am talking about the employers here.

Obviously well to do since they live in this estate.

Mrs Chan (fake surname of course) is now on to her 10th maid.  She is VERY educated.  But 10 maids in 2 years is beyond me.

She has tried almost all available nationalities.  Married ones.  Singles.  New and experienced.  From different agencies.

So why has not even ONE worked out.

Oui.  We have got to change the employer.

It is strange to find out how people treat domestic helpers, thinking they won’t be found out.

Her husband told me once (around 2nd or 3rd maid era) that they intercepted an SOS letter from their maid to the embassy, and they are surprised because they claimed to have treated the maid well.

So.  My question is … Why do these women sabotage themselves by treating their maids so badly ?

Don’t they wish one would stay and give some stability to their domestic environment ?

I can understand if you have been unlucky and went through 3 or 4 maids just to find a decent one.

But 10 ?

I am not sure what to think of them when the number gets to 15 or 20.


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What The Leaders Are Doing Wrongly

They are not getting  many hugs right now.

But are there things they CAN do ?

Actually, they have done a lot.

I hear that many government policies have been revisited to try to make things better.

Is that enough ?

Is that what the man on the street is looking for ?

Yes.  And no.

The “No” bit is because they will not get things right until they change their posture.

Posture ?

Yes.  Posture.

It is not unlike talking to your rebellious teenage daughter.  Every answer she gives will be the wrong answer, because the tone of her voice is wrong.

The citizenry has been liberated by the Internet.   More people know that they are not the only ones unhappy with how the country is run.  And they have valid requests for changes and improvements.


But they feel they are ignored by their leaders.

After having digested more facts, information and opinions,leaked or otherwise, they feel they too need to have a say.

They feel the leaders have not changed their stance, their posture.

Have you argued with a person who could do no wrong ?  ( Your spouse, maybe ? )   What do you do in the end ?  You give up.

The political leaders are in danger of suffering the same fate.  Because they adopt the “We can do no wrong” posture.

The government’s posture looks like this:

1. We can do no wrong.

2. Yes, this happened but it was an error of a single individual.

3. Yes, it does not seem right but it is for the greater good.

4. Yes, you have a point but you are in the minority.

5. Yes, you have a good idea but we do not have the budget or manpower to do it.

6. Yes, someone did something wrong but let us not dwell on it and move on.

7. Yes, someone did something wrong but he is no longer doing that job (but given another comfortable position).

8. No policy is badly written because we have scholars with bright young minds working on them.

9. Yes, we hear you but we are going ahead as planned anyway.

10. Yes, we hear you but because you are not bright young scholars and experienced bureaucrats, you are just noise.


Mind you, this perception is not just in the minds of peope who have fallen through the many cracks of the Singapore Dream.  Many people think this way.  Engineers, the elderly, doctors, affluent families, and school teachers.

People can accept some give and take.  But they will give up if the posture remains the same for a long time.  The posture denies the government of the affection and the respect it should be trying to get.   The posture says “I am not going to say that you are right and I am wrong”.   This posture stems from institutional pride and no amount of facebooking or tweeting from ministers will be able to ease the growing frustration and anger.


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Mum Ranting About Sister

This is the second time she was going on and on about how she has had enough of them.

That she is not going to have much to do with them anymore.

Really ?

Well, not really.

The fact that she kept on at it meant that she cared.  A lot.

She does not want them to leave.

She wants them to stay.

And meaning that they are important to her.

Get the picture ?

I do not know what to say.

It kind of feels like being the big brother in the prodigal son story.

And as usual I am her emotional trash bin.

Thanks a lot !

People never change.

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People Who Cancel Appointments – Part 2


This is Part 2 of the story about this idiot who cancelled his meetings with me twice.

The first part is here  http://kwayteow.com/people-who-cancel-appointments/ .


So guess what ?  This moron emailed me today.

After 2 WHOLE WEEKS of cancelling a meeting with me.

Not a call to apologize.


Nothing.  Just 2 weeks of silence.

And then….



So let us guess what the email is about.

“Oh I am sorry I cancelled the meeting. I had an urgent yada yada yada (obvious lie) and then I went on to yada yada yada (another lie).”

Here comes the good part.

“By the way, the reason I emailed is because I hope you can help me with the blah blah blah… ”

Good heavens ?!  Has this guy no shame ?

If you did not need help on this new area, you would not have sent an apology ?

I really do not know what to say.

Well, actually I do.  But it does not sound polite.


Anyway, your email is the trash folder.


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