Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I copied this picture from Malaysia Chronicle. It is said to be taken by a Singaporean near the MRT station at China Town. What the boy was doing is too obvious for us to miss. Apparently the Singaporean tried to tell the PRC woman that she should have taken the boy to a toilet to do his business; instead, the Singaporean was told to mind her business. She also took the liberty to leave all the soiled tissue pieces behind.

This picture reminds me of an article I read in The Economist. It was about India's sanitation, or the lack of it. The article carries the following picture, which is pretty self-explanatory.

I visited the Shaolin Monastery in Louyang a couple of years ago. The nearest town is actually Song-shan. While we were walking along the town's main thoroughfare, I actually saw a young boy doing his business on the road, looked on by his very stylishly-dressed mother. To stares from hill-billies like us, she must be wondering "What's the big deal?".

I tended to make this sweeping statement to friends: People of some of the world's oldest civilisations appear to be the least civilised in terms of public hygiene and sanitation. And this is Century 21st!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Not Domestic Maids;They are Domestic Helps!

A friend posted a couple of pictures in Facebook of his family’s reunion with a former domestic help of theirs. I was taken aback somewhat; he is still using the term “domestic maid” in this era.

In the feudalistic or imperial old days, slaves were bought and sold to do one’s menial and dirty tasks. Many were treated like sub-humans; whipping was common. With slavery outlawed, these tasks had still to be performed. If one is rich, one could hire an army of them. But few actually use such a term nowadays. (But if you are a bureaucrat, no matter how senior you are, ironically, you are still a government servant, aren’t you?)

When Filipinas were first recruited over, we called them Filipino maids. They were laer joined by Indonesian maids, followed by Bangladeshi and Cambodian maids. These poor souls have to leave behind their husbands and children to serve in environments that are totally alien to them. Many are subject to abuses by their employers. A couple of deaths actually resulted.

I thought the term very degrading. I would use the term Domestic Help instead.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Wits versus Pot-shots

Wittiness is a gift. Some are born with it; others grow to have it – in speeches, writings, drawings or even casual conversations.  You enjoy people who are witty. The ingenuity in their messages has the power to evoke spontaneous laughter by their audience. The things they say may seem incongruous to the occasion, nonetheless, they don't quite appear irrelevant. They can be ice breakers in tense situations.

On the other hand, people who throw pot-shots OFFEND, even though their subjects may not protest. (Many are also too dignified to reciprocate!) These pot-shot throwers may or may not realise their folly. They think they are clever or witty which, in actual fact, they are not. I have come across many of these characters in life. They are not people of poor upbringing. Many are products of top business schools. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have this to know their foolishness: self-awareness.
My concept of a pot-shot thrower! Hi Jeff, no offence intended!

From my 9-year-old grandson Maxel

I can go on and on to illustrate these two with examples; but to do so will mean I will lose a couple of friends. These people are intelligent, but do not possess wisdom!