Monday, August 14, 2017

The Best and the Worst in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

One of the things that you have to give the Trump Administration credit for is finding new lows. Just when you thought the administration could not get any more immoral and incompetent, they find a way to prove you spectacularly wrong.

During the weekend, far right protesters descended onto the town of Charlottesville in Virginia to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, the Confederate General who lead the Southern States to battle during the American Civil War. The protesters were met with counter protesters and violence erupted. People were killed and America finds itself at a bitterly divided point.

This event has been something of an eye opener and for me, it was an incident that brought out the worst and the best of what I’ve called “White America.” I stress the point about “White America” because the largest ethnic groups in the USA are of European ancestry and we have to acknowledge that this remains the ethnic group that holds the largest influence in what goes on in the USA and by extension the rest of the world. America remains the country that sets the tone for the rest of the world.

Let’s remember that we had hope when America elected Barak Obama to the Presidency back in 2008. I know lifelong Republicans who actually said, “I am proud of the fact that his name is Barak Husain Obama.” The message was simple – after 200-years, America had lived up to its promise of being a beacon of hope for the rest of us – a place where the son of a Kenyan immigrant could rise to the highest office of the land. While President Obama didn’t fulfil every hope and dream, he did turn around an economy that was in its worst state in several decades and he did bring healthcare to millions who couldn’t afford it. He wasn’t liked by everyone else around the world but he did make an effort to bring peace to places like the Middle East by being “fair” – so fair that Binyamin Nethanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister was quite open about his dislike for Obama and here in Singapore, the powers that be decided to remind the public on several occasions that “change” was a foreign concept.

Things are different now. The son of an African Immigrant has now been replaced by the scion of a wealthy family that made its money on government projects. He inherited office by playing up to the worst in people, stroking their fears and attacking anyone who wasn’t part his version of the main stream. Somehow, he made the obvious character flaws (inability to be pleasant, competent, brave, truthful) into things that the ordinary people could relate to (it still astounds me whenever people tell me that Trump tells it like it is when he’s openly collecting money for charity and then using the money to enrich himself.)

You could say that the events that took place in Charlottesville was the chance for Mr. Trump to prove to the world that he was more than the narcistic clown who had conned the American people. Instead, of choosing leadership and being as tough as he had sounded on North Korean missile threats, he decided to take the easy way out by condemning the hatred on “so many sides,” and then said somethings about how “ideally, we should love each other.”

It didn’t help that David Duke, the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization that was founded on the premise of destroying black people, happily got plenty of air-time telling the world that he and his ilk got Donald Trump elected. More on Mr. Duke’s positions can be found at -  https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16138358/charlottesville-protests-david-duke-kkk
And

To put it crudely, Mr. Duke had chosen to commit an act of domestic terrorism and he had gotten away with it and even got the type of air time that the likes of Osama Bin Ladin could only have hoped for. The clan members, Nazis and other pleasant people at the protest took their chances to attack anyone who was of a different skin colour, Jews and even members of the clergy (which is ironic considering many of these groups consider themselves Christian. An example of the violence can be found at:  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/aug/13/fatality-car-attack-anti-fascist-white-supremacist-rally-charlottesville-video-report

And


This was perhaps the worst in “White America.” The question of how this group of people who once claimed to have “saved the world from Nazis” be the actual Nazis themselves.

Having said that, there were great moments that were inspiring and saw the best of humanity come out. Let’s start with the most obvious – political leadership. If Trump didn’t have the courage to call out the worst in humanity, Governor Terry McAuliffe showed plenty of it when he told the “alt-right “ that their racism had no place and they were neither patriotic or American. This is what Donald Trump in a higher office should have said. The Governor did what a President should have done – told the world that there was no place for bigotry in a nation founded on the premise of giving everyone opportunity.

More of Governor McAuliffe’s speech can be found at:  http://time.com/4898560/virginia-governor-terry-mcauliffe-church-speech-transcript/

What was especially encouraging was to hear a lifelong Republican, who served under George W Bush (a President I loathed for his policies in the Middle East) denouncing the “alt-right” supporters and advisors of Mr. Trump for being unAmerican -you can hear his disgust at sight of the KKK and its ilk at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO029In3oiI&feature=share

While White America was on the side of the devils, it was also on the side of the angels. The woman who gave her life was called Heather Heyer, a White American who chose to stand up to bullies and to fight for the victims. More on Ms. Heyer can be found at http://buzz.blog.ajc.com/2017/08/13/fundraiser-for-family-of-charlottesville-victim-heather-heyer-nets-42k/

I am emotionally involved in this. While I haven’t been to America in nearly half a decade and I don’t really do much with America in my daily life, America is the nation that gave me two great blessings – my stepdad Lee and his family and my step mum, Nora and her family. These are the families from “White America” that accepted me and took me for who I am. They helped to nurture me into the person that I am today. I like to believe that America, for all its faults, is a land of decent people who accepted people from around the world as one of their own (I do make the point that it’s the part of America that accepted people from around the world as their own that prospered).

The families from “White America” that touched me are the ones that remind me that Americans are intrinsically a decent people and it’s hard to look the KKK ilk and think of them as being “Americans.” I don’t recognize them as American and yet I have to acknowledge that they are sitting in America.


I can only pray that this Nation of Decent people triumphs over the likes of David Duke and condemns them to the dustbins of history quickly. 

Monday, August 07, 2017

What’s Next for Singapore?

Since National Day is only two-days ahead, I thought I would try and bash out a few thoughts on a topic which should be on the minds of every right-thinking Singaporean – namely, what is it that we want our little nation to be?

Image result for national day 2017
I’ve somehow avoided this topic for the last 12-years because, for all my complaints about Singapore, it’s been pretty much the “Celestial Kingdom.” I never tire of saying this but Singapore is pretty much what a city should be – rich, green and clean. Our crime rates are low and as long as you’re reasonably intelligent, you can get by. It’s been as if we got one formula right at the start and everyone after that just needed to follow the proven script. If you don’t believe me, just ask yourself – “When was the last time you heard the Singapore Government come out with a vision for the nation?” There’s plenty of talk about how to grow the economy but we haven’t exactly heard anyone talk about what they want for the nation.

I can say with all honesty that I’ve never thought much of the question of what I want Singapore to be. Like my fellow citizens, I’ve merely been following the path of just making a living and avoiding getting into any trouble. However, now that fatherhood to a teenager has become part of my life, the question has suddenly become important and why shouldn’t it – this is, after all, the ONLY country that I have an obligation to die for.

I guess we should start with what I hope never changes, which is for Singapore to remain a safe little red dot that remains open to the world.
Safety is something I never fully appreciated until I became a father of a teenage girl. I’ve lived in London, which is generally pretty safe and I’ve visited big American cities like New York and Chicago. While I’ve never experienced anything really nasty, there are parts of those cities that I wouldn’t walk in. I remember getting lost in “California Avenue” in Chicago with a best friend of mine who was driving a sports car. We were running low on gas but we drove on till we got the hell out of there – the local residents didn’t exactly look like they were going to let us keep the car if we got out.

You don’t get that feeling even in Singapore’s neighbourhoods. I remember a US Navy boy asking me if Geylang was our worst neighbourhood and when I replied that it was, he invited me to the States to show me what a bad neighbourhood was.

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This is officially a bad neighbourhood in Singapore


I hope that aspect of Singapore remains in perpetuity. I can live with a slowing economy but I don’t want to live in a place where I worry for my safety or more importantly not being able to sleep because I’m worried that my little girl hasn’t come home yet. One of my favourite Englishmen tells people, “Singapore is the freest place in the world – the safety it provides makes me feel free.”
I also want Singapore to be a place where we continue to accept people from all over the world. I love the fact that we remain a place where you see people of various shades walking around and having fun together. 

I love the fact that I can walk around and find a mosque, church and a temple side by side and worshipers popping into each other’s place of worship for a friendly nod to the divine. To my mind, God is everywhere and nothing is Godlier that human beings acknowledging him in all his various forms. I pray that we will remain the place where a Hindu temple is crowded with Taoist devotees worshiping the Hindu Gods outside. This is the way it should be. I want Singapore to always be the place where a Buddhist can enter a church and a Christian family will observe Hindu rights and Muslims celebrate Christmas.

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The Way it Should Be.

What would I change about Singapore? One of my biggest frustrations with life in Singapore lies in the fact that the minds of people tend to be preconditioned to look at the world in a certain way. Admittedly, it’s something that you could say about any other part of the world but I guess, since I live in Singapore I feel it the most here.

One of the most prominent examples of this “preconditioning” comes in the area of race. For all our talk about being a “multi-racial” society, we are shockingly racist. I go back to my favourite Englishman who tells me that when his son when to apply for a job at F1, it was quite noticeable that anyone who was white or yellow ended up as an usher while anyone who happened to be brown or black ended up on cleaning duty. I’ve refused to take up certain positions because what I was being offered was significantly lower than my predecessors and my colleagues have defended the discrepancy in what was being offered because the other person was of a lighter shade.

The other area that frustrates me about Singapore is that it can be an unforgiving place for people who don’t follow the prescribed cast system. I speak as someone who never had a conventional career path of going into the government or the government and decided to do his or her own thing. My own people could never look beyond the fact that I never took the position that New York or London were essential to global prosperity. For me, it was the companies from places like Dhaman (Saudi) or Chennai (India), that gave me a chance and I guess you could say I’m biased but I’m willing to give people outside the established order a chance because they gave me a chance.

It's like this, I applaud the fact that we welcome people from the third world to work here. However, if those people from the third world become uppity and try and go beyond the menial job we gave them, we don’t like it.

We need to be the place where second acts are celebrated. On my Facebook page, I’ve linked up with a few of the girls who worked at the bar that I drink at. They’ve gone back to the Philippines and reinvented themselves as online entrepreneurs. They came here with not very much and gone back as entrepreneurs.

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An example of the Capitalist Success Story of a Girl with Hunger

While I celebrate their success, I ask myself, why can’t we encourage them to start their second act in life here?

As well as celebrating the success of migrants, we should also be the place that encourages second acts amongst our mid-career professionals. We succeeded by producing the people who could work in one job and at one thing. So, as the world becomes more fluid, we should now focus on being the place where second acts take place and succeed. Would Ray Kroc, a milkshake mixer sales man at the age of 60 plus or Colonel Harland Sanders a washed out cook in his 60s get their second acts as restaurant owners in Singapore. The answer should be – why not.


Majullah Singapura. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Put Faith in Science

I was delighted to read “Marmite may be brain food: Study” (5 April 2017) because the article brought home an important point about how we approach many of the issues – letting the science speak for itself.
 Image result for Brain food
Marmite, like many things in life is more than just an item that we eat. It is something that defines us in an emotional manner. You either love marmite or you loath it. Both sides have plenty of reasons to support their arguments and somehow, if one speaks to one side about the other’s argument, they will inevitably ignore the points that the other side is trying to make. Thankfully, in this instance, the science has been allowed to speak for itself – it has now been established that marmite will not harm you and may even be good for you. This fact won’t change the mind of those who loath marmite but it will allow people who enjoy marmite to do so without government interference.


Unfortunately, letting the science speak for itself is not an approach that applies to everything. Take the example of alcohol and cigarette consumption. Everyone agrees that alcohol and tobacco consumption are bad for you is bad for you and nobody complains when governments raise taxes of alcohol and tobacco and places restrictions on their consumption. Yet, despite all of the efforts to curb alcohol and tobacco consumption, those who love to smoke and drink continue to do so.
 Image result for Heavy Booze
Surely the approach to alcohol and tobacco consumption is to “create” science to find a way that allows those who enjoy alcohol and tobacco consumption to continue to do so in a way that minimizes harm to the user and eliminates harm to innocent bystanders. If we can send people to the moon, surely, we can find a way for people to drink and enjoy the pleasures of drinking without the risk of them becoming a danger if they get behind the wheels of car. If we can get people to live underwater, surely, we can find a way for people to smoke without putting the rest of us at risk?
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As much as the tobacco companies are unlikeable, they’re trying to come up with ways that that smokers can smoke without damaging the rest of us. Unfortunately, few governments around the world are trying to encourage the tobacco companies create science. Smoking remains an emotional issue guided by emotional responses.

There are, however, encouraging signs. New Zealand recently allowed the use of e-cigarettes in effort cut smoking rates and respected international bodies like the Royal College of Physicians in the UK have argued that science points out that this is the way to go.

One might argue that the science is not conclusive. However, instead of doing the draconian thing, surely the thing to do is to encourage all sides to create more science until there’s a clear direction. Both the tobacco and alcohol companies have made millions selling harm. Surely, its time they returned the money though investment in science and research to create better paying jobs for the rest of us.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Beauty is the Mouth of the Complainer

I got to admit it, I am total cad when it comes to beauty contest – I love watching them. As a heterosexual man, I like looking at women walking around in not very much. Then, there’s the anthropologist, sociologist in me, which enjoys something more – the reaction of the public towards these contests and what it says about them.

Beauty contest evoke a host of emotions in people. You have the brigade that hates them, arguing that beauty contest degrades women to the lowest common denominator (Let’s not forget that the Miss Universe Pageant was once owned by Donald Trump). Then you have the extreme end, the societies that take pride in them. Venezuela, for example takes so much pride in the fact that it has produced more “Miss Universes” than anyone else and has established a school just train girls to get through the pageant.

While I do admit that Beauty Contest are shallow and superficial, I believe that they have their uses. Just as sports has been used to raise boys from the streets into well to do heroes, beauty contest can do the same for girls. Conservative India for example, celebrates the various Miss’s by turning them into Bollywood starlets. As well as producing a great number of pageant winners, Venezuela produced the woman who won the grown and gave the world a first-hand account of what the soon to be US President is https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/30/alicia-machado-donald-trump-backlash-smear)

While places like Venezuela and India use the pageant to get its girls onto better things, we in Singapore do something entirely different. No, we don’t attach the pageant for being a sexist relic. We merely set up the girls who enter the contest for a royal roasting. Where one would expect men to have sympathy for women who willingly parade in swimsuits, here in Singapore …..well just read the comments in the  following links:



Sure, I understand that we’re a society that doesn’t value the beauty pageant winner the way Venezuela does. I can understand that we’re a more conservative society where the girls considered “beautiful” don’t enter beauty pageants (once again, I don’t think Singapore can claim to be more conservative than India). – But do we really have to take so much delight in being so mean.

Sure, some of our beauty queens deserve the roasting they get. I think of Miss Ris Low, the 2009 winner of Miss World Singapore, who proceeded to give a lesson in how to turn people off while possessing a decent body in a bikini by giving an interview on internet TV ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F74FZfdSJY) and then getting caught shoplifting and committing credit card fraud.


Now, Miss. Low is back. She no longer looks like this:

Image result for Ris Low

She now looks like: 

Image result for Ris Low

However, she’s learnt how to speak properly (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3bGVHh3ifw) and somehow she’s managed to use her infamy to propel herself into different things.

While Ms. Low deserved her online roasting, many of our other beauty queens have been decent representatives of the country and projected a respectable image of what a beautiful Singaporean woman should look like. I was particularly fond of Nuraliza Osman, our 2002 winner, who happens to be a senior legal counsel at Shell. Another beauty that comes to mind Eunice Olsen, who became a nominated member of parliament (a job I would love to have). I’ve also had the privilege of meeting with Dr. Cheryl Tay, who was the 2005 winner and a vet (brains and a good heart – girl who loves animals).

What makes girls like these join the pageant? Surely you can’t say any of these ladies are lacking in the brain department nor can you say that they were coerced into the joining the pageant.

Which leads to the main point here – we may like beauty pageants for being shallow and superficial but we don’t have to mean spirited about the girls who enter the pageants. We should accept that a woman has the right to define beauty in her own way and we should celebrate that women with brains have the conscious choice to enjoy these pageants.

As for the guys who are complaining about the girls in the competition – I’m reminded of what my favourite flesh ball once said – “Eh, you think you very handsome ah!”  

Thursday, July 06, 2017

What is the Purpose of 377A?

I couldn’t agree more with writer of “Repeal of 377A won’t automatically change people’s minds” (Today Newspaper 21 March 2017). The writer has rightfully argued that it takes time to achieve a change in social attitudes than it does a change in legal statutes. Repealing 377A won’t make the general public any more accepting of homosexuality overnight.

What the writer and other writers did not address is the question of who does 377A protect. Why do we insist on criminalizing a particular sexual act when we have legitimized almost every other sexual act?

If one looks at laws governing sexual activity, one will notice that the key word is consent. As long as both parties are deemed capable of consent to a sexual act it is legal. If one party is deemed unable to give consent it is not. Rape is not legal because one party did not consent - a inconvenient fact that Professor Thio Li-Ann failed to take into consideration in her infamous 2007 speech to parliament when she urged Singapore's MP's to "Reject the argument of consent" citing it as morally bankrupt. I'm surprised that nobody has called the good professor out on this fact.  

The other area that governs most sexual acts is the question of where they take place. A sexual act in public is a criminal offense because it disturbs the public while an act in the bedroom does not.

So, given these two general facts, why is 377A on the statute books? Who does this law serve? In her 2007 speech, Professor Thio Li-Ann argued that keeping 377A served to protect the national interest. However, Professor Thio did not provide conclusive evidence of how the law protected the national interest.

Take, for example, the most obvious – public health and safety. It can be argued that participating in anal sex increases the risk of catching HIV/AIDS. However, while this may be the case, why is it legal for a heterosexual couple to engage in anal sex while it is not for homosexuals. Are we to say that the law is in favour of protecting homosexuals and not heterosexuals from the possibilities of catching sexually transmitted diseases?

Professor Thio did argue that homosexuals tend to live more promiscuous lifestyles, hence it was in the public interest to keep 377A. While 377A criminalises the act of anal sex between men, it does not criminalise promiscuity. Unless Professor Thio is able to provide scientific evidence linking the act of anal sex between men and promiscuous behavior, it’s hard to see how the act protects anyone in this respect. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health’s statistics would on HIV infections have shown that HIV/AIDS has long since ceased to be a homosexual disease.

There is an argument that people disapprove of homosexual behavior. However, once again there is no evidence to suggest that people believe that something they disapprove of should be illegal.

The topic of 377A creates many passions. However, nobody seems to have asked who the law protects. It would be in the national interest to have an evidence based explanation. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Best School I Went to

My Dad is going to shoot me for blogging this but I’m going to state that the single best school that I attended was School of Infantry Specialist or SISPEC as it was commonly known (SISPEC has since been rebranded as SCS or Specialist Cadet School). This is the school that dad didn’t have to pay king’s ransom for and it wasn’t the school that gave me the prestige of being a “Graduate from England.” It was the school that prepared me best for life.

It’s not to say that I didn’t value my time at Churcher’s College or Goldsmith’s College (In Arty Circles, the Great Art School of the University of London.) Goldsmith’s was great or should I say, it gave me the great experience of living in one of the greatest cities in human history – “The London Experience.” I also have great affection for Churcher’s College, a place where I have many happy memories and where I made some of my best friends.

While Churcher’s and Goldsmith’s were great for the academic training and prestige value, they didn’t quite expose me to the life that I was to have. While Churcher’s was by no means a major league public school, those of us who attended all came from a similar socio-economic background and we were basically a group of nice kids and it was understood that we would all be going to university. Goldsmith’s was like a bubble where you could hide from the realities of daily life.

SISPEC on the other hand was brutal. We all came from different socio-economic backgrounds and saw life from different sides of the road. My best friends included the Chinese speaking son of a fishmonger, who was raised by a single parent and the son of the plastic bag tycoon. Somehow, we had a find a way of gelling together.

SISPEC was supposed to train us how to “LEAD.” It was about getting guys who didn’t always feel like cooperating (or in some cases, thought fucking you up was a sport) and to add fuel to the fire, you had the superiors who weren’t exactly keen on making your life easier either. Somehow, between all of that, you had to find a way of getting things done.
One of my former officers described SAFTI OCS as the best leadership school in the East. Officers spend nearly a year learning how to lead. In the Singapore system, the NCO’s or “Specialist” as we’re known, are there for our “knowledge” of a particular topic. So, in a sense OCS might be a better leadership school than SISPEC.

However, being an officer is relatively simple in the sense that you’re part of management. Your job is to provide “leadership” and there are plenty of cooperative subordinates to do things for you. I remember reading a manual for NCO’s published by the American army, which tells a wonderful story. It involves a major, a few second lieutenants and a sergeant-major. The major asks the second lieutenants to put up a flag pole and the young officers spend hours trying to figure it out. After watching them struggle, the major offers to show them how to get it done. He turns to the sergeant-major and says, “Sargent-Major, please see that the flag pole is up by sun rise tomorrow.”
This story is the perfectly illustrates the difference between being part of the team that plans things and the team that has to execute things. As an NCO (or Specialist, as Singapore insist on calling them), your job is basically to get the basic unit to execute things. While you have some leadership authority, you are primarily the bridge between the boardroom and the shop floor. An officer has the advantage of a rank that says he’s entitled to lead. There is that distance between you and the men to say that you are the boss.

The NCO doesn’t always have that luxury. You have to be close to the men so that they feel compelled to do what you say but you also need to except orders.

In later life and having worked several industries (PR, advertising, insolvency, food and beverage and retail), I’ve noticed that the key skill is the ability to manage people.

One of the key problems with management is that it’s constantly presented as a top down thing. You are told that you manage when you can get your subordinates to do things. The thing that management schools generally fail to teach you is the need to manage up or “boss management.”

As an NCO in a military unit, you got to be able to command your specific unit but you also have to learn how to manage your bosses and believe me – you have plenty. In professional armies like the USA and UK, an NCO has to manage the men and very often his boss – the young officer, who in many cases is often young enough to be his son. Learning how to tell your boss he’s a total idiot in such a way that he understands and does something about it while still showing the proper deference is a skill. In corporate sector, the easy way out is to avoid telling your boss there’s a failing.  In the military, where you deal with lives in life-ending situations, it’s irresponsible not to acquire the skill.  

I’m not saying that SISPEC taught these skills perfectly but the experience made one aware of the need to acquire such skills.

In my current existence, I find myself learning to manage. I am essentially a bridge between various competing interests like bosses, clients, staff, colleagues, suppliers and so on. I don’t always do it perfectly, but the experience of going through SISPEC (nearly 30-years later) made life easier.
National Service wasn’t something I wanted to do. The job was forced upon me. However, when I look back, I’m grateful to the experience. It was wonderful preparation for later life.


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Boys - Let the Cougars Hunt You Down!

As the French election draws to a close, I thought I would drop a line on the topic of being with an older woman since there is a possibility that the next “first lady” of France is significantly older than her husband. I am, of course, talking about Emanuel Marcon, the current front runner who is married to a woman 24-years his senior and the woman who has given him seven step-grandchildren and the ripe old age of 39.

What’s interesting about this, is the fact that Mr. Marcon’s marriage to an older woman is the fact that it’s been positioned against the marriage of the 70-year old Mr. Trump to a much younger woman. Not even the most extreme “Trump Haters” have questioned the marriage of a 70-year old man to a 46-year old woman. Sure, there have been comments about Mrs. Trump’s propensity to plagiarize speeches or to sue people ruining her chances on cashing in on being First Lady, but nobody has questioned a woman marrying a man old enough to be her father. Mr. Trump is actually somewhat respected for having a woman with a “hot-bod” walking next to him in public. Having a significantly younger woman is probably one of the better things Mr. Trump has done – most men overlook his record of being a miserable failure of a husband because he’s snagged their “wank fantasy” (cool – we like electing old farts who get young babes) and most women have an “understand” Mrs. Trump for making an advantageous marriage.

By contrast, Mr. Marcon gets flack for marrying a woman significantly older woman. His sexuality is being questioned and quite a few people have wondered if he’s got a “mummy fixation” (would you trust a Mummy’s boy to run the country?). The fact that Mr. Marcon has been a loyal husband makes people question him even more. I think the person who summed it up best is a Finnish friend of mine who suggested that Prince Charles had a screw lose because “What type of man kicks out a beautiful blonde and replaces her with an old hag.”

Perhaps its nature. Men are supposed to be providers and a man is supposed to be at his most attractive when he’s at the peak of his earning/hunting powers. A young boy of 17 may be physically fitter than a 30-year old but hey, he’s just a boy. By contrast, nature says women are supposed to be fertile and nature is such that a 17-year old girl is fertile and desirable whereas a woman in her late thirties is less so, even if the 30-year old woman is better educated, more mature and earns her own keep. My late Uncle Richard went as far as to advise me, “Make sure your next wife is half your age – no point having a girlfriend unless she’s very young and there’s no such thing as a good-looking woman over 25.”

While I have come to accept that I may not be expressing pedophilic tendencies every time I look at a woman 12-years younger than me, I have a lot of sympathy for men who like older women. I was one of them and I have to thank two ladies who touched my life.

One of them is around 12-years older. We met when I had came back from England for military service.  I was 19 going on 20, while she was 32. The fact that she’s black was probably a bonus (Chinese guys and black chicks is something that really happen in Asia). The point is this, the relationship made me feel like I had something special on the rest of the guys. I was 19 and there was this worldly-wise woman who thought I had something special to offer the world and wasn’t afraid of letting me know.

The other is someone I met when I came back from university to serve an internship in Citibank Singapore. She’s 6-years older, Malaysian Chinese girl. She’s a beauty of the highest order, sweet and mild mannered yet strong. She’s worked most of her life and when she first approached me, I was thrilled. It really felt good that she had an interest in me and I saw her pretty much as everything a woman should be. My tag line with this particular lady is this – she turned an old nightmare of “settling down” in an HDB flat into a dream to work towards.

Neither relationship turned into anything concrete but I’m glad to say that I’m still a friend to both ladies, even if it’s mainly on Facebook.

Both of these ladies set a special tone for me. An older woman was the way to go. Sure, a younger one might be fresher to look at but if you’re looking at life-long commitment, you really want someone who will be like a good bottle of wine and gets better with time.
It’s like this, a younger girl may look prettier and fresher but young girls want to be adored. It’s easy to impress a young girl. Spend a bit of money on her, show her you can resemble whatever fantasy she may have and she’s yours. 

An older woman on the other hand, is more willing to accept you for who you actually are and somehow, when you have one in your life, you get driven to do things. To get an older woman to be interested in you is also more challenging because she’s been around. It’s easy for a woman to impress a man as long as she’s got tits and not obese.  It’s more challenging for a man to impress a woman into talking relationship, especially when the woman has seen more of the world.
Although I’m far away from my late teens and early thirties, I still take this view. Getting a worldly-wise woman to give you two looks is a challenge.

Hence, I hand it to Mr. Marcon. He met the Mrs. When she was his teacher. He was a mere 15-year old boy and yet he managed to find something to impress a decent looking woman, who had everything a woman could want. She actually gave up her life to be with him (and that’s with parents warning her to stay away until he was 18).

What I’ve said about an older woman having the ability to drive a younger man is very true for the Marcons. Prior to running for President, he was actually a minister and before that, he had a very successful career at Rothschilds. He’s actually credited her as the reason for his success.

By contrast, the Trump marriage is boringly obvious. When the current Mrs. meet Mr., Trump had been an established brand name for decades. The signs of luxury and luxurious living were all there. On his part, she had a nice pair of tits. There’s nothing to suggest that either of them have created something more an interesting than the old-fashioned trade off that women have made for the last thousand years – financial security for their bodies.

I used to be very proud that I would never have anything to do with a younger woman and for quite a few years, I actually stuck to that.

I’m a little less adamant about my no younger women rule. I was involved with an older woman who was a nightmare to hang around and expensively boring. I’m married to a younger woman who is level headed and very sharp.

Having said that, I still maintain that the best option is to go for a woman who wants to make you a better man, despite her age. Perhaps I’m the wrong person to give relationship advice but a man who can look beyond what makes his loins stir and goes for the woman who makes him special, is someone worthy of respect.