Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew

Paul Chong       Friday 6 August 2021

Lee Kuan Yew when addressing an audience in Cambridge was  known to have said: “MacMillan your Prime Minister did not get a Double First in Cambridge, but I did”.

Cambridge was where Lee Kuan Yew topped his cohort with a rare double starred-first-class honours in law.

That put him up tops among all leaders of the world. His leadership is beyond all compare.

He was a young man in a hurry, always on the go, beaming with brilliant ideas. In 1959, at the age of 35, he led the PAP (People’s Action Party) 

 to victory in the Legislative Assembly elections and became Singapore’s first Prime Minister.

Lee Kuan Yew was the brilliant politician &  national leader who led Singapore from colony to nationhood, and served as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990. 

Cambridge University’s Fitzwilliam College paid tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew, calling him the most significant statesman to graduate from the school.

He was born in 1923 in Singapore, studied at Raffles Institution & Raffles College, and proceeded to Cambridge to read for a law degree, graduating in 1949 with a double First Class and a star for “special distinction.” He returned to Singapore to practice law in the well known firm, Laycock and Ong.

He was the founder and Secretary General of the People’s Action Party (PAP) from 1954 to 1992. He entered politics as Legislative Assemblyman for the constituency of Tanjong Pagar in 1955. In 1959, at the age of 35, he led the PAP to victory in the Legislative Assembly elections and became Singapore’s first Prime Minister. In 1990, he retired from the Prime Ministership and was succeeded by Goh Chok Tong. Mr Lee became Senior Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.

When his son Lee Siang Loong succeeded Goh Chok Tong as Prime Minister in 2004, Lee Kuan Yew served as the son’s Mentor without interfering in his son’s administration.

Lee Siang Loong is equally as bright as his father. The second son Siang Yang served as an army general, while his daughter Wei Ling is a specialist doctor. Lee Kuan Yew married Kwa Geok Choo, similarly brilliant, a Queen’s Scholar & the first Malayan woman to gain a First Class Honours at Cambridge, a feat she achieved in just two years. Together, they formed the legal practice of Lee & Lee.

I first saw Lee Kuan Yew  in person when he came to address us in 1963 at the University of Malaya in Pantai Valley, Kuala Lumpur. At the political forum & brain storming session which was chaired by Professor Wang Gungwu, Lee Kuan Yew showed his communication skill & towered above all other leaders & politicians. As a great communicator, he captured your mind, heart & soul . . . for he could easily & eloquently rattled off in English, Mandarin, Malay, Indian & Hokkien dialect. Professor Wang Gungwu, eloquent as he is, his style is more palatable to the academics.

In 1965, when the Federation of Malaysia under the UMNO leadership  ousted out Lee Kuan Yew from Malaysia, he literally cried . . . a cry more significantly for the fate of Malaysia. He knew then that the Malay leadership was pursuing a hidden racial agenda. Lee Kuan Yew was moving too fast & fast gaining popularity with his brilliant concept of “Malaysian Malaysia”. Politically, the Malay leadership foresaw this danger of movement against their hidden agenda, especially with added Chinese population of Singapore, the combined Chinese voids would be disastrous to the Malays. 

Now what is happening to Malaysia with a bunch of good for nothing politicians who are all thieves & crooks . . . the most notorious are Tun Dr Mahathir Kutty (his Indian father’s surname) & Najib of 1MDB heist.

Lee Kuan Yew over the Causeway built & developed the impoverished little island state without any natural resources developing a third world British colony to a first world economy . . . all achieved within one generation, a feat unsurpassed by any other nations globally. He was reputed to say either he amassed wealth as a leader or prosper Singapore as a nation. He forewent having his name in Forbes. 

People ask whether Lee Kuan Yew could work the same magic for America or India. Well directly or indirectly he was in some ways responsible for China phenomenal growth. When Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore in 1978, he was taken aback by the tiny nation’s prosperity. In the conversation that ensued between him & Lee Kuan Yew, the latter made it known that the Singaporeans were mainly descendants from the lowest strata of Chinese stock. The elite class who didn’t need to migrate all remained in China. If Singapore could achieve it, China could prove to be even greater. Well he rest is history.

Lee Kuan Yew’s ideas are many & enduring & they are all studied & put to practice through Lee Kuan Yew’s School of Public Policy, established under the capable chairmanship of Professor Wang Gungwu of National University of Singapore. The first Dean of the School Professor Kishore Mahbubani did a wonderful job. 

Lee Kuan Yew’s beacon is shinning brighter & brighter. His enduring ideas & policy will grow from strength to strength.

In conclusion, I would certainly urge you to watch & listen to Lee Kuan Yew on many available YouTube videos. Foreign journalists just love to interview him & how he would mock those foreign interviewers who thought they could trick him, got out of line or trying to put him in a spot.

Lee Kuan Yew’s name still lives on though he passed on at age 92 on 23 March 2015. He will always be remembered. Will there ever be another future like him? 

Ridiculous Commercial Roofing Services

Ridiculous Commercial Roofing Services

Paul Chong     31 July 2021

Most retirees usually downsize to move to smaller dwelling units or the old folks homes. Consequently, they sell their homes, settle for smaller units & whatever excess fund they have they spend it on going for holidays.

Flipping the coin over, our Commonwealth Government these days is trying to encourage old folks to stay back in their own homes by providing home services & assistance. It really costs the government more to establish retirement homes. Towards this end. service providers are springing up in support of the scheme. Qualified old folks get help & assistance in gardening, domestic cleaning, laundry service, transport, shopping & home maintenance. Depending on your health conditions, those with more disabilities are placed on a higher level; of care & services getting all services for free.

At our present Level Two scheme we have to bear for some home services like roof restoration. I called up three roofing companies for quotes re some water leakage in one corner of our master bedroom. Most commercial companies are not interested in small jobs. Three of those I called are most impressive in their sales & service presentations . . . offering the latest technology in roof tiles & heat retention & resistance, colour of roof tiles & paint work. They even suggest to you to change the gutters & downpipes etc. To me, what’s not damaged should be left untouched.

The first sales representative said the whole work would require two or three days work, & if we allowed his company to put up an advertisement in front of our house, the project would cost us $26,000. We must however accept the offer there & then. I asked for a written quote that I might have the family’s decision. He refused & arrogantly closed his files & even seemed hostile saying that we would have to otherwise pay $35,000. Off he went . . . what arrogance!

The second guy proposed switching from the tiles tio metal roofing, guaranteed no leak for years to come. It would cost us only $29,000 & wise got to give him an immediate reply. I told him that money didn’t grow on trees, money must be spent wisely. Again, off he went.

The third guy was from a company as advertised in Kalamunda Shopping Centre. I phoned in for a quote. Weeks passed no one showed up. Finally, a six-footed of a guy showed up with his briefcase. He said he was the manager of the company & apologised for this long delay. He went up the roof for two minutes (just the front portion of the house. Upon coming down he said he had to change 50 roof tiles. How on earth he determined that without really lifting up the tiles & examining them? He said the whole project on that day’s special would be only $850.00. However, I had to decide rightaway. If he had to await my decision over the weekend, the price would be $11,500! Can you believe that? What can of a fool would I be to fall for such a move?

To cut short the story, we had the roof restoration done about 5 years ago & it only cost me a little over $4,000 with assurance to last for years.

All that is needed ids too replace some tiles in that corner of the house. A handyman or a young man could easily do that without any problem. As the owner, I am now fast the stage of climbing roof. Perhaps, God will send me an angel! 

SENIOR CITIZENS MUST BE HELKD IN HIGH ESTEEM, HONOURED & RESPECTED  & NOT TO BE TAKEN AS OLD FOOLS WHOM YOU CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF.

What Priced Man Or Woman?

Paul Chong      Wednesday 21 July 2021

Generally, it’s been said that a person is worth his/her weight in gold. The verified truism is certainly in terms of qualitative & quantitative value of the person’s time. You may realise it that time is truly a valuable asset. Job of Apple fame would have given his wealth away if he could find someone to replace him on his untimely death bed.

A young person at age 25 starting off on the threshold of life is worth more than a retiring old person. This assessment is based on quantitative aspect of time.

What about the qualitative aspect of time? A young person needs to be well prepared to brave life’s perils through education & training  in order to command a good start in life. An old person may still possess qualitative time, but its span would be much shorter.

How much are you worth is likened to a bar of iron. A basic iron bar is worth little, but when converted to steel, then its value increases manifold. That bar of iron into various articles with enhancing prices.

Time is a vey precious commodity. Untangible as it is, time us often wasted or taken for granted. All of us have 24 hours a day & 40 years of economic life ahead. Yet so many miss their financial boat. Don’t ever sell yourself short. Then don’t ever quit for as it’s said quitters never win & winners never quit.

Chinese has a saying: One inch of time is one inch of gold. This is the driving force that propel them to work both hard & smart. Chinese are most assiduous in their economic pursuits . . . never considering taking rest & holidays except the Spring Festival.

A country’s wealth is often based on its natural resources. Human resources are even more important. Without which you can’t manage the natural resources. Productivity comes with the input of labour. Time is your asset & it’s what & how you use it that counts.

Price Yourself Economically.

The Beauty of Falling in Love

Think of the day when you fell in love

Of the many accomplishments because of love 

You could hardly wait for the sun to rise

Everyday you seemed to soar to the sky.

Love is powerful and a strong emotion

Thomas Edison fell in love with inventions

Luther Burbank thrived with plants

The Wright brothers took planes up to the sun.

What you set your heart on welcome true

Though initially you may appear to be a fool

Ford fell in love with engines and motor cars

See how his name lives on the the superstars.

Paul Chong

3rd July 1990

The Dynamics of Sales

The Dynamics of Sales

Paul Chong         Sunday 18 July 2021

Usually a fixed salary job like teaching provides virtually no incentive for striving to perform better. You work for years & years getting a small annual increment.  Finally you reach your superscale when you are almost retiring.Often teachers who are ambitious  switch career & opt to pursue law study. Few ever thought of taking up sales as a career.

Why not? Conditions & circumstances may be different in other countries, through my own personal experience, people treat sales as a lowly career. It’s a career not requiring any special education or training. 

On the other hand, you must have often heard it that the sky’s the limit. This one line where your income is commensurate to your time & effort. The harder you work the more money you get. You are literary writing your pay check. You are the master of your own destiny.

This kind of unlimited income is particularly true with life insurance sales. There is however one snack. Your earnings are strictly on a commission basis plus bonus. There is no fixed income like a salary. Everything is based upon your performance. Such is the nature of your income you just got to learn to manage your money well.

Few people are cut for this line of sales. Life insurance agents come & go with an abundant turn over. Recruiting agents is a never ending task. You’d be lucky to get one good agent out of every ten recruits. As the manager, I used the power of money to motivate & getting new recruits . . . thrilled & motivated with the sight of seeing the 4 or 5 figured photocopied income cheques. What do you want working full-time, part-time or part-past-time.

It is said that a good life insurance agent will be able to sell refrigerators to the Eskimos. As an agent, your status is raised when you truly sell on the basis of needs . . . a replacement income for food & clothing, roof over the head, education for the young ones in the unfortunate event when the bread-winner is taken away untimely. 

Be sincere, empathetic & your sales pitch simple, for simplicity sells, complexity repels.

A final word, God gave you one mouth & two ears, so you should listen twice as much as you say. Listen with your heart, mind & soul. Emotion & compassion set to play against human logics. 

Life insurance sales is by far the toughest in the world, it’s like being challenged to sell coal to Newcastle.

See You At The Top!

Conformity Or Dare To Be Different

Conformity Or Dare To Be Different

Paul Chong         Saturday, 17 July 2021

In terms of human behaviour, conformity simply means behaviour in accordance with socially accepted conventions. 

It’s interesting to note that human beings are gregarious in nature. We like company & we live in nests. As John Donne would say “No man is an island”.The phrase means that no one is truly self-sufficient, everyone must rely on the company and comfort of others in order to thrive.

When growing up as kids, however, children can be most cruel if you are different. They can make life miserable for you if you don’t conform to their system. So you learn to conform. Conformity sets the standard of our behaviour in all aspects of our life. So we learn to confirm for at   least 18 years of our young life to play & act like the others in the group. Then came the services, offices & work places, we were again told what to do & obey orders for the remaining part of our working life. All in all, we would be spending some forty years of our life in conformity.

Let’s take a look at conformity in today’s fast changing world.  If we conform, that is, we act like everybody else, the odds are 95% to 5% that we’ll miss the financial boat too!  

Why do people conform?

Once the great Dr.  Albert Schweitzer (a theologian) was asked, ”What’s wrong with man today?”  And   what’s the answer? He said “Man simply don’t think.” Man conforms simply because it’s the easiest thing to do. They were taught to conform – from the time they were born, or in school they were told what to do. They wanted to be liked, belong to the group, play and act like the others.  They don’t want to be different.  They wanted to be liked, belong to the group, play and act like the others.  They don’t want to be different because children are sometimes cruel to those who are different. They spent at least 18 years of their life learning to conform to their group.

Then came the service , again, they were told what to, again they confirm. In the military, orders are expected to be obeyed without questions.  Suddenly a man is out of service and on his own for the first time. Now what is the most natural thing in the world to do?  Right, it’s to look around to see what the other fellows are doing.  Since we’ve been always told what to do, why should we start thinking for ourselves at age 25?

So he gets a job and he looks around to see how the others are doing theirs.  Well it seems to be a pattern of human nature to do no more than what is necessary to get the weekly pay check.  Due to peer pressure, he’s not about to set any standard.  Again, he conforms.  He knows that he has 40 years to become great, plenty of time, but does he do it?  Not if he follows the crowd!  Not unless he decides to join the top 5%.

It takes a courageous man to be different . . . one who would rather die on his feet than live on his knees. This like making the choice of being an eagle & not a duck. An eagle commands aerial supremacy & great vision far & wide. Great leaders like Lee Kuan Yew, Xi Jinping & Deng Xiaoping are a different category of men. They adopt systems that work & discard those that failed to work.

To Deng Xiaoping, it does not matter whether it’s a white cat or a black one, so long it catches rats.

Never Say “No”

Never Say “No”

Don’t ever say “No”
 or “wait Lan!”

Wait till i am retired

Wait will i have made my pile

Wait till i have solved my problems

wait till i am free

Right now i am too busy.

WHATEVER YOU WILL – IT’S UP TO YOU

RIGHT NOW IS THE TIME-FOR THERE 

IS NO OTHER TIME.

Time is but an illusion

It expands and contracts

To suit your own convenience.

I URGE YOU RIGHT NOW TO CONSIDER
THIS MATTER OF DOING SOMETHING WORTHWHILE VERY SERIOUSLY.

I INVITE YOU TO COME FORTH IF YOU
ARE WILLING AND BE AVAILABLE.

TO SERVE YOUR COMMUNITY!!!

Paul Chong

Saturday, 26 June 1999

Change Or Chain

CHANGE OR CHAIN

 Paul Chong

Sun. 29.9.91

In life it’s either change or chain

Bondage is lengthy like the train

To break the shackles that blind us

Requires more than just supernatural urge.

We blind ourselves to our worldly ways

Wealth and possessions make our hearts sway

We blind ourselves like the melody unchained

To break free seems such a silly change.

We can change for the better or worse

In chains we can find no verse

To change or be in chain is up to us

It must give from within us.

To change means forsaking

To be in chain is possessing.

When our live for Him prevails

worldly things we can assail.

Life’s Three Es

Life’s Three Es

Paul Chong  

Sunday, 11 July 2021

A child is generally happy & cheerful . . . full of spirit, energy, enthusiasm & emotionally focused on things he pursues. My grandson Nathanael (13) for instance, once he settled, he would be most reluctant & agitated to be pulled aside to do something else. He’s most single-mindedness in all his engagements.

As we grow older, we tend to lose our spirit bit by bit as a result from the pitfalls in life. Life of course is not a bed of roses, for even with the prettiest rose bush, thorns are all over.

It is well worth to remember that success is relatively simple . . . it’s just fools like to complicate matters to justify for their own failure. Then too, no man can really succeed solely by accident or luck. Real success depends a great deal upon his ability & capacity & how much of his potential he develops & uses. Also I believe in making things simple, for simplicity sells & complexity repels. Stickability comes into play . . . never to die until you’re dead.

From the womb to the tomb there is but one room. Make that room really worthwhile for you to rest in peace. 

The qualitative & quantitative of life depends much on your input. Apart from working both hard & smart, you’d need  the catalyst of the Three Es . . . which are Excitement, Enthusiasm & Emotion. They are essentially the fuel & energy that keep the fire of life burning. An old entrepreneur was once asked “How are you today?” He simply replied “I am feeling better & better each day . . . any better I’ll be perfect.” That’s his mindset or attitude.

When you get up first thing in the morning, be thankful & grateful to God that you are still alive. You are as energetic & spirited to brave the storm of life.

Modern life brings on lots of sufferings, strife & fear. Are you an overcomer or you are overcome particularly by the prevailing Civid-19 pandemic. Not seeming to go away over the last couple of years, we may have to learn to live with it, as what Singapore government is ready planning to do for the safety & security of its population.

I often like to say “Grow up but don’t
 grow old” which is chronologically impossible. However, we can be like young children who play all day without worry or care . . . with all the energy consumed with excitement, enthusiasm & emotion.

Live . . . don’t merely exist.

Kalamunda

Kalamunda

(First Settled in 1881)

Paul Chong      7 July 2021

Kalamunda up in Perth Hills among the trees 

Where once a train zig-zagged up its way in spree

It used to be a health and holiday resort

with scattered stilted buildings of sorts.

Kalamunda of old had a post office and chemist,

a closely-knit community with just one dentist,

a doctor, two butchers, a guest house and a pub.

Nothing buzzing like the present hub.

Canning Road was nothing but a narrow dirt track

with trees on both sides to spread

todays traffic come and go

that was never seen before.

The air was fresh, the rest were green 

The atmosphere  was certainly most serene. 

The greenies then would have no complaint

There was nothing absolutely that need to be explained.

Present Kalamunda is one of changing scene.

With new developments everywhere to be seen

Kalamunda Central appears so monstrous now

Striking out the rural setting of renown. 

To grow to progress is to change

Kalamunda Town could never be the same.

Generally changes were met with resistance

Time alone will render it assistance

With the growth of facilities will bring

Hopefully a steady stream of beings

Population must increase &business will surely grow

Kalamunda can never be like before.

Originally composed by Paul Chong

Saturday, 30 June 1990  

Kalamunda has attained City status now. 

Kalamunda Hotel is over 100 years old.