Changing Times

Paul Chong                 A Chinese by Descent . . .      An Australian by Consent

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Kipling told the story of a band of primitive stone-age men huddled around a campfire.They had earlier engaged a tremendous battle that day with a wooly mammoth or a sabre-tooth tiger, or perhaps both. And suddenly one of their members leaped to his feet & began walking up & down, gesticulating & talking, making sounds so graphic that everyone around the campfire relived the frightful battle all over again.

He told them the story of what they had done, & they were filled with awe & frightened all over again, for there was magic in his words. So they took him away & killed him.

Today, they would have to pay him a tremendous fee for such a performance. Different perspectives in different times.

Strange as it may sound, but that was the mind-set of the time then. Things however change over the course of time. Nothing ever remain the same. After all to grow to progress is to change. Somethings change for the better; for others negative aspects may take hold. What would it be cannot be told. Is today’s world a better place to live in? There will be a whole range of opinion . . . ranging from good to bad. After all, opinion is about the cheapest commodity available.

Accompanied with change, there is usually a price to be paid. The crucial point is whether you are prepared to pay that price. Needless to say, the greater the price the greater will the reward be. There ain’t any free lunch in this world.

Let me just say in closing with reference to the privileged “takers” or “beneficiaries” of the ruling Malaysian government for the last 50 odd years. Sinking into the quagmire, socially & politically, is awaiting at the door. The knocking is getting louder but went unheard thus far. The social & political quagmire offer only a one-way ticket . . . there is no return.

The double-edged sword which kills both ways is dubiously held by the UMNO (United Malay National Organisation) government in Malaysia, the end result will be determined by the fate of time.

Make Time


Paul Chong                                                        Friday, 13 October 2017

 

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When friends tell me that they have no time, I tell them to make time. We should all learn to be master of our time & not a slave to it. After all time is but an illusion & should expand & contract to suit our purpose & convenience.

As a personal example, I had run a delicatessen from morn to night, working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year for over 7 years . . . and still found time to write! Any other person in a similar situation would certainly find that he has no time for any other activities. Over & above that, I managed to organise a group tour to China in the year 1989. The group of people was drawn largely from among our deli customers. I was kind of planning for my next business in travel. Incidentally, the China Tour happened to be our holiday dream.

To do my writing, I made time by waking up at an early hour when most people are still sound asleep. Writing also happened in between rendering customers’ service. My time was thus properly & fruitfully utilised.

The well known children’s poem by Julia Fletcher Carney reads:

“Little drops of water
Little grains of sand
Make a mighty ocean
Make a mighty land.”

It further continues:
“So the little minutes
Humble though they be
Make the mighty ages of eternity.”

What do you do with your time? Are you a slave or a master of your time? Time is not what you have, but what you do with it that counts. Thus if you do the little things, you can have time both quantitatively & qualitatively.

How & Why China Surges Ahead . . .

  Paul Chong                                           Thursday, 12 October 2017

A Chinese by Descent . . . An Australian by Consent

 

 

As a Chinese by descent, I can understand how we could be sleeping on hard floor mat, and yet would be celebrating our determination remembering & consuming “the pill of bitterness”,  the shame and humiliation that we suffered – drawing strength from it & turning adversity to victory . . . all within ourselves in our own quiet way.

Persistency & courage are the kind of stuff that men are made of. Unrelenting, we have been known to be most assiduous in our economic pursuits. Both inventive & innovative, our creativities were & are mainly directed for peaceful use like the gun power – not turning it into the Western use for weapons of mass destruction. For the Chinese, festivals, celebrations, peace & harmony take priority like the use of fireworks & fire crackers.

. . . Patience . . . EnduranceThe Chinese are fast learners, skilled in reversed engineering with the flair for improvement. They are very resourceful & full of initiative. Their mental ability & capacity are simply astounding. Putting up with hardships, self-sacrificing, the willingness to work hard & working smart all contribute towards the magical performance of the Chinese & the rapid rise of the nation.

Though seemingly featuring to be of minor significance, the Chinese have a great capacity for thrift & savings. In this way, many a small business man starts off small but eventually ends up big. The end result of success is the accumulation of little successes.

Having said that, herein below are some very good examples/testimonies of the Chinese refusal over the question of development/exchange of technology with other countries which initially snubbed China.

1. Recently France offered to swap with China’s ageing Mirage 2000 fighter technology in exchange for China’s world beating Quantum Communication technology. Naturally China declined.

2. Ukraine wanted to sell its last cruiser to China, China said no thank you. Not interested.

3. UK proposed to co-operate with China to develop their aero-engines, China said “Go hang yourself.”

4. Mighty US proposed to exchange part of their space technology in exchange for access to China’s space station. China said “Go kiss my ass”. Back in the early 90s, when US and Russia invited 16 other nations to form a joint venture for the international space station, China applied to join and was rejected by none other than US. The table has now turned.

5. In 2009 US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrogantly proclaimed that China was incapable of developing the 5th generation fighter before 2020. Then in Jan 2011, Gates made an official visit to China. Just as Gates stepped off the plane in China, the first prototype J-20, China’s first stealth fighter flew over his head. Gates must have thought the alcohol he consumed on his flight must be playing tricks to his eyes. In 2017 March, China official declare J-20 to have entered operation service with Chinese airforce. The speed at which this happens not only took the west by surprised, it also scared the shit out of them.

The west has consistently boycotted China in every form of technology sharing or transfer. China was forced to go alone. Guess what? The more China is denied anything, the more determined and speedier China will be to develop it’s own. China was cut-off by all including Russia when she wanted to develop her A-bomb. She succeeded in exploding one in 1964. A mere 32 months later, she exploded her H-bomb, the fastest among all nuclear nations. US 86 months, Russia 75 months, UK 66 months, China 32 months !

China’s R&D budget in 2015 was 75% of that of US. In 2000, it was a mere 12% of US. By 2022 it is forecast that China R&D will surpassed that of US.

So for those who still think China is always lacking behind, backward, can only copy and make low tech products, incapable of innovating and taking lead, just sit back and watch how events will unfold in the next few years. On the other hand, for those with a less jaundice view of China, I suggest you might consider making a trip now to China and witness for yourself the advances in high-speed trains, use of digital technology, their infrastructures, just to name a few.

In closing, it is evidently clear & most crucial that people are the greatest resource or asset a country possesses. Without the right people, country cannot grow & progress. Country cannot just rely on its natural resources, as in the case of Malaysia.

 

Ideas

Paul Chong                                              Tuesday, 10 October 2017
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent

 

Dr Napoleon Hill in his book “Think & Grow Rich” has this to say: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive & believe, it can achieve”. Ideas essentially begin in our mind, and conception must follow by belief before materialism. It’s popularly thought that idea arises in a reflexive, spontaneous manner, even without thinking or serious reflection. A new or original idea can often lead to innovation. All inventions started off as ideas – ideas are the mothers of inventions.
Idea is simply defined as a mental impression, a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action.

Here below is a little poem I wrote onTuesday, 3 July 1990 on “Ideas”:

Ideas are the greatest commodities in the world
When they come you are never told
Don’t be surprised by their appearance
Jotting them down will be a rich experience.

Their appearance don’t come by rhyme
Thoughts & ideas emerging all the time
Taking a shower or asleep ‘neath a sheet
Reading a book or watching your footy team beat.

Ideas are opportunities knocking on the door
Be aware and you’ll never her poor
Ideas gained and ideas tilled
Committing them to action means you’ll be fulfilled.

Ideas are rich and poor
Depending on how you stir
Begin now with your pen
Carrying them through will make you grand.

Ideas are not easily accepted by one and all. Ideas can be both stimulating and frustrating. It’s gratifying to say that only smart people possess ideas. You’ll find that the “idea man” is the key personnel or asset in any organisation.

 

Staying Healthy & Living Long

Paul Chong                                      Sunday, 8 October 2017

A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent

 

 


Ambiguously, do we eat to live or live to eat? One thing is certain, we are what we eat. It follows that we should watch our diet, if we want to stay healthy & living long.

In this modern era, everybody is health conscious & is prepared to spend more in buying organic foods, to avoid harmful pesticides & artificial fertilisers. This is but one perspective . . . there are other considerations.

Besides watching what we eat, we must safeguard against the temptation of overeating. The Japanese have an ancient proverb “hara hachi bunme” which says it best: “Stop eating when you are 80% full.” It is recommended to eat in moderation & spread our meals into regular smaller portions.

All overeating build up our visceral fats causing all sorts of ailment. A healthy person should have a rating of 1 -12. Anything above spells risk.

The Japanese, about the most healthy people in the world, eat in moderation avoiding consuming huge quantities of sugar, fat & trans-fat. Nor are they constantly gulping down quart sized cups of sugary soda. They also tend to eat less red meat, more fresh vegetables and fewer processed foods. They also drink a lot of green tea which has substantial health benefits.

One prominent aspect is that they consume a lot of fish. According to new research, a lifetime of eating tuna, sardines, salmon and other fish appears to protect Japanese men against clogged arteries, despite other cardiovascular risk factors. Diet rich in fish and pickled vegetables, may be responsible for Japan’s incredible longevity. Fish is rich in
Omega-3 Fatty Acids. More raw fish is being consumed by the Japanese than any other nationalities.

Japanese people enjoy one of the longest average life spans in the world — 86 years for women and 79 for men versus 80 and 75 respective years for Americans — with far lower rates of obesity and chronic diseases like osteoporosis, heart disease and some types of cancer.

Physical exercise is important.. More Japanese do walking and bicycling; even stair climbing at train stations than western slugs who sit behind their dashboard, then sit at a desk all day, then sit on the sofa in front of the idiot box. Around 70% of Japan is mountainous and even cities have some hills, and that means more legwork for many of them. Many use public transportation on a daily basis, and that means more moderate exercise.

When watching television, most people generally like to munch tit-bits like popcorn & chips, which unknowingly go towards our horizontal expansion.

Lifestyle & habits of eating are difficult to change. We need to look at this positively & emulate the Japanese if we wish to stay healthy & enjoy longevity.

 

 

 

 

 

Let Not Greed Be Your Creed

 

Paul Chong

Saturday, 7 October, 2017

 

If greed is your creed, you’d soon lose sight of what you really need. Adam & Eve come to mind in the manifestation of need & greed. They were both happy living in the earthly paradise of the Garden of Eden with God’s provisions of all that they needed. However, Eve wanted more & was attempted to eat the forbidden fruit, leading her to persuade Adam committing the same sin of disobedience. They were then driven out of the Garden of Eden to suffer & struggle fending for themselves. I used to postulate with such question as “If Eve had no greed, then what . . .?”

“Need” is basic & fundamental to human existence . . . food, shelter & safety. With “want” there can be no end. This is where you are set upon by “want” on the “greedy” road to uncontrollable limits.

“Want” always start off small . . . a bigger house, a better car, simple family picnic to exotic holiday cruise. The yardstick for happiness & contentment is unknown. What makes a person to lead a happy contented life? This can vary from one individual to another.

Often wealth is mistaken to mean contentment & happiness. But to what extent or limit. In sales, we like to say “Sky’s the Limit”! Yes, we have gone to the moon & soon the outer space . . . beyond which is unknown.
The religious would say, “What does benefit a man if he gains the whole world & suffers the loss of his own soul?” Perhaps I have been too well indoctrinated in the Catholic institution to forget such teaching . . . but i reckon you’d agree with me. In striving for the altitude, fraud befriends, attitude changes, pride & arrogance rule, love is forsaken, health is neglected. You’ve no doubt heard of such expressions as “Pride comes before a fall” . . . “Money can’t buy you love or happiness”. Ultimately, would wealth buy you health. You’d spend 40 years of your economic life in the pursuit of wealth, but you can’t spend your wealth to buy back health. That often is the ironic twist of fate.

The American like to say that only two things in life are certain – income tax & death. Sometimes, the saddest thing is untimely demise. We have no control whatsoever over the question of life & death. Excuse me if I begin to sound morbid; but truth is truth & there can be no gainsaying. This is after all a “crying” life, from the cradle to the grave.

In the BIG PICTURE, do not in haste rub yourself out of it through ill health. Rather set your heart free of GREED. Let BENEVOLENCE reign instead.

The world would be a better place to live if GREED arises not. Many a great war had been fought or would be fought essentially out of greed for power.


Further thoughts upon closing: “The greatest folly is to think that one is blessed with ample financial resources. Money is the root of all evils. Fraud is undoubtedly the daughter of greed”. The list goes on & on.

China: Diversity in Unity

 

Paul Chong                                                                            Thursday, 5 October 2017

Have you heard of the greatest story ever revealed here on earth? It’s of a nation that was once historically great with a civilisation unmatched by any others, held in awe by all, conquered when weak followed by a period of humiliation & destruction not just by one enemy but a host of western power with superior war weapons of mass destruction. Worst were the Japanese calling China “the sick man of Asia” and the British publicly declaring the Chinese as equivalent to “dogs”. There are things which are forgivable but not forgettable, especially when the perpetrators keep on denying & unapologetic.

It is naturally believable that going downhill is easier & faster than going uphill.

However, for all the past humiliation, property ravages & war atrocities & sufferings, in the last three to four decades China has miraculously & surprisingly woken up to recapture its past glory. The dragon is wide awake & sleeps no more. Napoleon was wise to leave China alone in his many great conquests.

Japan is purely populated by Japanese, other nationalities are not permitted as permanent residents. China by contrast has some 55 official ethnic minority groups. The major minority ethnic groups in China are Zhuang (16.9 million), Uyghur (11.5 million), Hui (10.5 million), Manchu (10.3 million), Miao (9.4 million), Yi (8.7 million), Tujia (8.3 million), Tibetan (6.2 million), Mongol (5.9 million), Dong (2.8 million), Buyei (2.8 million), Yao (2.7 million), Bai (1.9 million), . . .Among them Han Chinese account for 91.59% of the overall Chinese population, all making up an overall population of close to 1.4 billion.

One interesting point to note is that Chinese has never been superimposed or influenced by any conquering cultures such as the Monguls or Manchurians. As a matter of fact, the reversed process took place naturally through “sinicization”. These foreigners converted themselves into Chinese by adopting Chinese language & culture, the Chinese way of life.

In this modern age, the minority groups still retain their culture & customs. In times of festivals, you can see them in their beautiful traditional attire, sing & dance according to their music rendering the atmosphere with true joy, peace & harmony. They all want to claim themselves as Chinese & in many cases you can hardly tell them apart from the Han Chinese. In Shenzhen, they have a cultural display centre where different groups assembled.

Taoping Minority from Sichuan Province

China has long been a cradle and host to a variety of the most enduring religio- philosophical types – Taoism, Buddhism, lslamism, Protestantism and Catholicism have all developed quite a following in this country. Freedom of belief is a government policy, and normal religious activities are protected by the constitution.

Geographically, China offers a unique landscape. In the vast western reaches of China – mountains, high plateaus and deserts dominate the landscape, while in the central and east areas, the land slopes into broad plains and deltas. The Gobi Desert runs west to east along the border with Mongolia. There’s a variety & diversity unifying China from snow to sand.

China is around the same size as Australia. Australia is approximately 7,741,220 sq km, while China is approximately 9,596,960 sq km.

China despite its size has only one time zone – same time as Singapore & Perth.

The great unifying factor is the language. Everybody speaks & writes  Mandarin. Communication is no problem. English is becoming more widespread. Great festivals like Spring Festival, Mid-Autumn Festivals etc are celebrated by all usually accompanied by a long spell of holidays.

To the foreign visitors, this vast continent is seen as many worlds in one. Seeing places & meeting faces all spell awe & admiration, a unique experience not to be found anywhere else . . . history & modernity, mystery & discovery contributing to one Big Picture!

Diplomacy & Democracy

Paul Chong                                                                     Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Inspiration is a funny spark of activity. I was in bed when suddenly I woke up at 2.00 am with the urge to write. So next I found myself sitting in front of my 27 inch iMac with a a pleasant stream of classical Chinese music in the background.
It’s strange because for months, I get this mental block without a thing to write. And I could be just sitting & gazing blankly at my computer screen.

I am no politician nor am I a diplomat. I say or write what I mean & mean what I say or write. This is otherwise with the men who purported rule the country or the world . . . a class of people with the most plausible rhetoric. Can we really trust a politician or a diplomat? I think not. Pardon me for saying that the American team of politicians & diplomats are more than actors who strut the world stage with great impression. Naturally good at public speaking, they can thrill & spill capturing the audience. Audience can be lured into oblivion.

Diplomacy is defined as the profession, activity, or skill of managing international relations, typically by a country’s representatives abroad . . . the art of dealing with people in a sensitive and tactful way. All hidden agenda are camouflaged. You’d say playing the diplomatic game.

Democracy means a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. With due respect & without prejudice, I would say it’s “Demo Crazy” to be plaque upon by a ruling class of minority rather than the majority. The elected few are often selected & chosen by the all-powerful unknown elite who actually are the rulers behind the scene. In US this fact is slowly & surely becoming more evidenced.

The two really go hand in hand, like a pair of twins & both are spelt with the capital “D”. It’s like the pot calling the kettle black, an expression in the old days when cooking was only by means of burning wood or charcoal. Though with the use of modern gas or electricity no blackness can be seen these days! What’s unseen, unknown or hidden is more dangerous. It’s better meeting with a known foe than an unknown enemy.

Honesty is the best policy, but this ingredient is seldom to be found in the pool of diplomats or democratic politicians.

I rest my case. Let the judge & jury perform their duties & responsibilities. Caution though . . . they can be bribed. Corruption is so rampant. It’s a disease or more of a deadly cancer that eats into every fibre of the body, heart, mind & soul.

China: Making the Desert Bloom

 

Paul Chong                                 Saturday, 30 September 2017

Greening the desert ensures combating & sustaining the environment from land degradation, climate change, livelihood, productive agricultural activities, provides employment, pollution of sand storms as affecting Beijing plus a host of others. Land is a valuable asset. Xi Jinping, the Chinese President is advocating the planting of trees as a “Green Wall” against desertification.

China hungers for land to meet the needs of its 1.3 billion population. The west of China is comprised of mountains and deserts as well as plateaus that do not provide much arable land for agriculture. Deserts dominate the landscape, while in the central and east areas, the land slopes into broad plains and deltas. China is very much a land of great physical diversity.
The eastern plains and southern coasts of the country consists of fertile lowlands and foothills, and is the location of most of China’s agricultural output and human population.
Thus when China undertakes a project, it always do it in a mega way.

Elsewhere in the world similar projects of land reclamation from the deserts are also taking place as in Israel, Egypt & the Middle East. The technology is somewhat different from that of China.

China has a breakthrough technology in creating a paste that can convert sand into soil. The paste is made up of materials found naturally in plants. Sand when mixed with this paste can retain water, nutrients & air. It would take 6 months only to transform 200 hectares of desert to arable agricultural land with a cost ranging from 4500 to 6500 USD per hectare.

This breakthrough offers an effective solution to deforestation and is credited to the researchers at Chongqing Jiaotong University.

Combating desertification in China is best illustrated in the video as below:

Chinese Miracle

YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN MORE INFORMATION AS LISTED BELOW:

https://youtu.be/sK8JNXHcBMA
Agroecology in China: 300% Increase on 8.6 Million Acres – Loess Plateau

https://youtu.be/cazVrq9v1mE
New technology in China turns desert into land rich with crops

https://youtu.be/-xoMB5BmSTw
Xinjiang reclaims lands swallowed by Gobi Desert
https://youtu.be/N8_Hnmty4vY

Gold Is All-Powerful!

20915111_1826554314027501_524815541242818085_n (1)Paul Chong                                                      Thursday, 28 September 2017

The power and politics of gold, that precious metal with more allure and fascination than any other is well documented.
Gold has mesmerized men for thousands of years.

When we talk of gold, we mean pure gold & it is 999.9 – 24K Gold Bullion. Its value is permanent, unchanged right from historical times. Wars, largely financed by gold, have been fought, won & lost over this beautiful & scarce metal. Men would risk their lives, lie, steal & cheat over it.

In the world of high finance & recent years, economic uncertainty is giving gold a new lustre. Whether it’s a few gold coins or gold bars stored in one of the many vaults around the world, many investors are taking a shine to gold. But there’s not a lot of it. It is said that, even melted down, there would not be enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool.

People generally ask:
How much gold would fill a swimming pool?
How much gold has been mined in the world?
How much is all of the gold in the world worth?
How much gold is supposed to be in Fort Knox?
Gold has all the mysteries about it & nobody can really quite know.
.
It’s claimed that much of the gold held by the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve and Fort Knox is gone — that for every 100 ounces of gold traded, there exists only one ounce of real, physical gold. So, where is the gold — and who really owns it?

According to Wikileaks it’s revealed that China has been converting US debts to buying gold. It seems they’ve also managed to find a way to undermine the US dollar as a the world’s reserve currency at the same time. Japan, Switzerland & the Saudis are doing likewise. Russia is cooperating with China all the way trading its oil with China in Yuan which is made convertible to gold thereby dispensing with the US reserve currency.

 

According to Wikipedia:
The Nixon shock was a series of economic measures undertaken by United States President Richard Nixon in 1971, the most significant of which was the unilateral cancellation of the direct international convertibility of the United States dollar to gold. (This happened essentially as a result of Fort Know running out of gold).

While Nixon’s actions did not formally abolish the existing Bretton Woods system of international financial exchange, the suspension of one of its key components effectively rendered the Bretton Woods system inoperative. By 1973, the Bretton Woods system was replaced de facto by a regime based on freely floating fiat currencies that remains in place to the present day”.

The fiat (paper dollar) system allows the Reserve Bank to print money as & when needed. For the last 40 plus years, US seemed to have it easy, but it marked the beginning of the worst 40 years in American economic history. Unemployment, slow economic growth, recessions & neglect in the rebuilding of infrastructure . . . all contributing towards US decline. The American mind-set is to spend as though there’s no tomorrow or easy come easy go.

With President Donald Trump trying .to make US great again does seem a downhill battle. Manufacturers have mostly gone off-shore in search of lower labour costs. Countries, one after another, are deserting the “petrodollar” (oil can now be traded other than the US dollars). US national debt is almost $20 trillion ,perhaps even higher when taking into account other factors.The largest holdersof US debts are China, Japan, Belgium, the Caribbean banking centres, and oil exporters. It’s mentioned that these problems could be tamed and mollified with a true gold standard

Both China & Russia, in preparation of the world in chaos, are buying up gold (Refer: https://youtu.be/MQCDL588MOE). See also “Why is China selling US Treasuries at an Alarming Rate” at https://youtu.be/avi4ll2YvBI.

Something big is brewing. The Rothschild family, only trillionaire in the world, believed to be pulling out of US, is followed by Soros who is buying up massive amounts of bullion.gold.

Gold price stands today at $1,300 per oz. The man in the street is advised to invest in gold or at least in silver which is more affordable at $20, as a safeguard to his personal fortune in the event of financial collapse.