Big Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Friday, October 14, 2011
Basic Tenets of Singapore Foreign Policy
Make maximum friends and minimum enemies or no enemies. Be of service to as many as you can be of service to....You don't want to go out of your way to offend or upset any country. But from time to time, a situation arises where you have to advance your interest, be consistent and principled.
Pretty good basics to have as one's personal policy, if you ask me.
Games politicians play
It's the same was what Indian politicians catering to their narrow votebanks play. And seems like the Malaysian politicians are no better with their Bumiputra politics. Respect to Lee Kuan Yew, who had the courage to say it like it is in this speech of his in Malaysian parliament. An extract:
How does the Malay in the kampong find his way out into this modernised civil society? By becoming servants of the 0.3 per cent who would have the money to hire them to clean their shoe, open their motorcar doors? ... Of course there are Chinese millionaires in big cars and big houses. Is it the answer to make a few Malay millionaires with big cars and big houses? How does telling a Malay bus driver that he should support the party of his Malay director (UMNO) and the Chinese bus conductor to join another party of his Chinese director (MCA) - how does that improve the standards of the Malay bus driver and the Chinese bus conductor who are both workers in the same company?
If we delude people into believing that they are poor because there are no Malay rights or because opposition members oppose Malay rights, where are we going to end up? You let people in the kampongs believe that they are poor because we don't speak Malay, because the government does not write in Malay, so he expects a miracle to take place in 1967 (the year Malay would become the national and sole official language). The moment we all start speaking Malay, he is going to have an uplift in the standard of living, and if doesn't happen, what happens then?
Meanwhile, whenever there is a failure of economic, social and educational policies, you come back and say, oh, these wicked Chinese, Indian and others opposing Malay rights. They don't oppose Malay rights. They, the Malay, have the right as Malaysian citizens to go up to the level of training and education that the more competitive societies, the non-Malay society, has produced. That is what must be done, isn't it? Not to feed them with this obscurantist doctrine that all they have got to do is to get Malay rights for the few special Malays and their problem has been resolved.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Ah what a Man!
His speech centered on respect. Not respect from opponents, or from teammates, both of which he considered fleeting. But self-respect, earned only by potential realized.
Ryan ended with the story of Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador who went to Mexico in 1519 and, despite being outnumbered, ordered his charges to burn the boats they had arrived on. As Ryan reached the climax of the story, his voice boomed.
“They burned their boats!” he shouted. “I’m only asking you to give me seven weeks!”
There is something very powerful about great oratory. I can imagine myself being moved if I was amongst the audience. Amongst the acutal audience many reportedly could not sleep that night, and the Jets went on to score a tremendous win.
But what gives these words their power? Is it merely the play on emotions and words?
All the separate elements of Ryan’s speeches are augmented by what players called his most important speaking quality: authenticity. Pryce described that as the main difference between Ryan and other coaches. After 14 seasons, Pryce said: “All you need is to hear a coach once to know he’s a fraud, to know he’s never been in a fistfight in his life. I heard Rex once, and I knew he would fight for me, that day.”
Words worth their weight in gold. And a true hallmark of a leader.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Messing up things
Monday, March 9, 2009
A quote from
Sunday, May 4, 2008
What is Greatness?
This is what Bonaparte had to say on it:
Great men are those who can subdue both good luck and fortune.
Somehow the above quote doesn't quite capture the meaning I'm looking for. But this one does,
I used to say of him [Napoleon] that his presence on the field made the difference of forty thousand men.--Duke of Wellington
This is something that is much beyond excellence in whatever pursuit you're engaged in. This has got more to do with what you are inside out. In this situation, it seems much related to the Man that Napolean was. But this is still too vague to be of any use.