Sunday, 29 March 2015

The thoughts of heroes are not ours to judge


临江仙  (三国演义开头卷)杨慎者(1488 -1559)

滚滚长江东逝水,
浪花淘尽英雄。
是非成败转头空,
青山依旧在,
几度夕阳红。
白发渔樵江渚上,
惯看秋月春风。
一壶浊酒喜相,
古今多少事,
都付笑谈中。

This poem, 临江仙(Ling Jiang Xian) by  杨慎 (Yang Shen) is more commonly known as三国演义开头卷(San Guo Yan Yi Kai Tou Juan) is one of my favorite poems besides Su Dongbo’s 念奴娇. Both poems are related to the Three Kingdoms Period in China, which is one of the most interesting time in ancient China, and a period that produced more memorable heroes and beauties than any other era that historians can write. It is an era that produced heroes such as Cao Cao, Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Zhuge Liang, Zhou Yu as well as beauties such as Diao Can and Xiao Qiao that became household names.

In this wee hour of the day, as I mourn Lee Kuan Yew, one of the great heroes of our time, I just can’t stop thinking of the words written in this poem, which is still very meaningful in today’s context even though it was written more than five hundred years ago. I would say, this is the beauty of Chinese poetry and more than often, one will be transported into the scene of the poems, to watch the flocks of cranes above ancient Xian or caravans of camels passing through the imposing tower of Jiayuguan along the Silk Road and in this instance, the battlefields of the Three Kingdom period such as Red Cliff, how historians write their versions of Cao Cao, a figure that Lee Kuan Yew was often compared to.

Cao Cao had famously said that he would rather betray the world than to let the world betray him while Lee’s notable quote about his political opponents is “If you are a troublemaker…it is our job to politically destroy you, everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac.”

Alas, the thoughts of heroes are not ours to judge; in all his great, his genius masters him…..一壶浊酒喜相, 古今多少事, 都付笑谈中



Saturday, 28 March 2015

请饮一朵木槿花

  
我的一瓶木槿花, 昨天从唐艺轩带回家 
请饮一朵木槿花 (来源:唐艺轩)

凉风木槿篱暮两槐花枝,

并起新秋思为得故人诗,

避地鸟择木升朝鱼在池,
  
城市与山下喧静暗传思。


一壶好茶配一首好诗!“木槿花”是这瓶成年老水仙的品牌,巧合也是我国的国花,常叫大红花。贵茶香浓,饮了一杯,让人思思难忘,想这唐艺轩去.....

Friday, 27 March 2015

Minister Palanivel, you’re such a shame!

I’d always believe that it is by sheer luck and not so much of intellectual capability that some people became ministers in Malaysia. Alas, these are the rotten apples that made former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir and opposition leaders such as Lim Kit Siang to label the current cabinet as “half past six” and “a bunch of clowns”. One such person that certainly fits into this category is the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

What a big joke and shame! A screenshot from the Parliament Hansard.
It is a big shame and insult to the current Sultan of Pahang that Minister Palanivel, a Member of Parliament for Cameron Highlands, under the state of Pahang do not remember His Highness’s name. During the question and answer sessions in Parliament of 23rd March, Palanivel had to be corrected that the current Sultan of Pahang is Sultan Ahmad Shah and not Sultan Abu Bakar. How can a MP and a minister get the name of the ruler of the state where his constituency is located wrongly unless this minister is totally unfit to be a minister at all!

Worse of all, this is also a minister who can’t even speak a proper sentence of the national language in the Parliament! Read the hansard from the Parliament and you’ll be mistaken that you are reading something produced by primary one student! Such is the standard of Malaysia’s minister. What a shame!

It was just a year ago that some Malay right wings NGOs asked for those who are not fluent in Bahasa Malaysia to be stripped of their citizenship. So, today, I am asking these NGOs, what do they have to say of Palanivel’s proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia? Should he be stripped of his citizenship? 

For goodness sake, I will urge Minister Palanivel to resign from his post with grace so that someone more capable can take over his place. Perhaps, it should be made mandatory for Ministers and Deputy Ministers to undergo a special Bahasa Malaysia, IQ and EQ test before being appointed to ensure that our country is governed by talented people and not a bunch of jokers. 

Related link: Kalau tidak berfasih ber-Bahasa Melayu – KELUAR DARI MALAYSIA !


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Lee Kuan Yew and I

Paying my respects at the Istana.
I grew up in an era where Malaysia’s Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew were at the driver’s seat of each nation social economic and political agenda. The little red dot to the South and the mighty big bully to the North are best used to describe how these two giants of Asia look at each other during their years in power. It is no hidden secret that both leaders loathe each other, look at each other as competitors, sometimes a nuisance yet they can’t completely cut each other off.

Any remarks by either leader were studied and analyzed with great details. More often than not, editorials of newspapers were dispensed for three purposes; to gauge the sentiment of the people regarding their neighbor, to convey the messages of the government that won’t look nice if conveyed through diplomatic channel and to stir up emotions of the people, especially the older generation that live through the days when Singapore was part of Malaysia.  As an avid newspaper reader, these created an even higher curiosity to know Lee Kuan Yew and there is no turning back.

Security, water, KTM lands, the causeway, competing ports, CPF monies, airspace, land reclamations, economy miracles, technology might …..all these were never ending bickering and competing points between the Dr. Mahathir and Lee Kuan Yew. Even when both leaders were fully retired from public office, their views on the other nation were passed down to their successors. Thus, hardly a week goes without reading in print of what the political leaders from both side of the causeway say about each other. It was only in the last few years that the trading of barbs between both nations tuned down.

I weep in silence for him.
I am not afraid to be called unpatriotic to admit that my idols are Mao Zedong and Lee Kuan Yew. I’d written quite a fair bit in explaining why Chairman Mao is my idol eventhough half the world call him a tyrant. The same goes with Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away on Monday, 23rd March 2015.

Historians, benefactors and detractors alike are starting to debate his legacy but to me, it is his pragmatism in creating the Singapore miracle that makes him so special in my heart. I do not care if he have to put dissidents behind the bars for years, I do not care if he made those who slander him bankrupt hence unable to compete in the general elections, I do not care if his words are mean and curt, but what I care is the end result of what he produced, his political will power and above all, his determination to resists corruption and his integrity in not enriching himself and his family members despite his enormous power. To measure a man, measure what he did with power!  

Penning my condolences.
When I was 3 years old, I embarked on my first overseas holiday with my parents and our destination was Singapore. With a twist of an irony, for the moment, Singapore can be considered my second home.  Since then, Lee Kuan Yew’s towering name is like a chime that will ring frequently and books about him were my constant companion. When his memoir, The Singapore Story was launched in 1998, daddy did not hesitate to get me a copy. And this is the book that followed me to New Zealand, followed by From Third world to First. The books accompanied me throughout my Auckland years.

Wished that he will get well to see SG50 but....
I never have the chance to have a photograph taken with this idol of mine but I am thankful for the many opportunities that I get to hear him speak at forums and to shake his hand. I am thankful too, to be able to make it to the Singapore General Hospital to leave a bouquet of flower to him, barely 36 hours before his passing and I was choked with emotion when I went to the Istana to pen my condolences. I am glad that work took me to the Lion City, at no other better time than this trip, to bid good bye to this hero of mine for one last time. Rest in peace, Mr. Lee, though I know you’d said that you’ll get up from your grave if something is wrong with Singapore, but rest assured, Singapore is in good hands. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

“Fifty Shades” books banned? No worries!

Ideas are only lethal if you suppress and don't discuss them. Ignorance is not bliss, it's stupid. Banning books shows you don't trust your kids to think and you don't trust yourself to be able to talk to them. - Anna Quindlen

I bought these three copies in 2012! 
So, now that the Home Ministry had announced that all three "Fifty Shades" books by author E.L. James have been banned, everyone are asking, why does it take 4 good years since "Fifty Shades of Grey", "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed” hit the shelves of bookstores before the Home Ministry decided that it should be banned for it contained elements of pornography based on explicit sexual acts without a clear positive narrative plot and after thousands of copies have been sold to Malaysians?

Are the books too boring that it took the personnel from Home Ministry 4 years to read them? They have been sleeping in the job and just woke up from the sweet long slumber? Or they are too busy to be testing and trying out with erotic scenes written that they finally agreed it corrupts the mind of Malaysians? Or suddenly, what was deemed alright some years ago is now not so alright, especially with the rising tide of holier than thou attitudes championed by certain parties and one particular individual by the name of Ridzuan Tee Abdullah?

Saw this book at  Borders. Should this be banned too? 
Why only these books? Aren’t there are even more romantic novels available in the bookstores that contain even more detailed pornographic elements compared to “Fifty Shades”? A quick browse at Kinokuniya, MPH, Borders and Times will not disappoint those seeking novels with elements of pornography. Why doesn’t the Home Ministry ban all of them, instead of just “Fifty Shades” books? Selective prosecution or victim of its own popularity?  

Whatever the reasons are, it only shows the unwise side of the Home Ministry to ban these books. Instead, it is giving these books even more publicity, created curiosity and making those who don’t own copies of these books even keener to be getting them. Can’t get them in print in Malaysia? No problem! One can always purchase or even download for free the e-books. Not satisfied with e-books? Well..there are still many ways to go about it. Isn’t it we are living in a globalized world? However, there are many times that I can’t help to think that policy and decision makers in Malaysia still live in Byzantine era.

Banning of books is an archaic act that belongs to the historical department. It certainly doesn’t work in the 21st century. I am all against the banning of books because I believe that every adult is capable to think for themselves the good and bad after reading a book and own up to their actions.  If one’s faith is strong, one don’t even need to worry of other influences. 

And now, there is another question that most people are asking vivaciously. What should people like me who own "Fifty Shades of Grey", "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed” do with our books? Sell it to the old newspaper collector? Throw them away? Or continue having them because the authority won’t be so “free” to be checking every household for copies of these books right? And, if they are getting serious, isn’t most household and personal laptops contain porno DVDs and video clips? Or it is just another classic Malaysia style of announcement of ban to placate certain quarters but no serious action will be taken? 

Friday, 13 March 2015

A pot of tea and a piece of calligraphy

A pot of award winning tea from Wuyi Mountain, Fujian. 
Convalescing from a terrible bout of fever and body ache, I spent an evening after dinner doing nothing but tea and calligraphy appreciation in the comfort of the living room of Mental Cultivation Studio. It has been a while since I last enjoyed such serenity; sipping the best Zhuang Yuan Hong Da Hong Bao (状元红大红袍), serenaded by classical Chinese orchestra while appreciating a piece of calligraphy accompanied by a soft smell of sandalwood incense burning in the distance, that this whole experience is worth a mention.

The intellectually stimulating calligraphy! 
On surface, the meaning of the words written beautifully on this piece of calligraphy sound simple: 静坐常思已过,闲谈莫论人非 loosely translated as: after going through meditation and deep thought, do not talk and debate about other people’s deficiencies.but hidden behind the words are multiple interpretations, depending on which perspective one is reading it from or even one’s mood of the day when one is reading it.  

Honestly, I did not pay much attention to think of the deeper meanings of these 12 words until my dear colleague, Roy, brought up the subject upon seeing it. The calligraphy is a gift from a very close friend and an ardent follower of Zen Buddhism. After having it framed, put it on display and seeing it day in and out for the past one week, this is the first time that I am devoting sometime to read beyond the words. In a short span of an hour, I’ve had 5 different sketchy interpretations. Oh Roy, thank you so much for creating a sudden interest in this calligraphy.

茶中之王 - A brief introduction of Zhuang Yuan Hong Da Hong Bao 
And I have to admit too, I didn’t know that this Zhuang Yuan Hong Da Hong Bao is an award winning tea, until I started brewing it and had my first sip. I was amazed at its aroma, smoothness and aftertaste. My best recollection of this tea was that I bought it for a hefty price in 2011 at the recommendation of tea shop owner, and never taste it again since then. Out of curiosity, I read the label…and oh my…





Monday, 9 March 2015

Should I be angry or look at this with envy?

The rakyat demands an answer! 
I am very angry after reading the articles related to Jho Low, 1 MDB and those in the corridors of power published by The Edge Malaysia issue 1057 for the week of March 9 to March 15 2015. I am also extremely flabbergasted after reading how government’s fund, which consists of your money and my money, ended up being treated like Monopoly board game by these people. For years, I read all 1MDB’s huh hah with the view that I will not believe it until someone can provide proper evidences of wrongdoing but today, I am convinced.

Apart from that, I would urge fellow Malaysians to purchase or borrow a copy of The Edge issue no 1057 and read; with evidential proves that the team from The Edge had managed to obtain. (There are various articles from numeral websites pertaining to this issue, chiefly The Malaysian Insider (of the same owner as The Edge Malaysia) and Sarawak Report but everything is clearer on print.)

Evidences provided! 
It will be beneficial too, for what was printed by The Edge to be translated into Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil so that every Malaysian can read with full understanding how government fund was being used in this one big Malaysia fiasco. I am also in the opinion that a not toothless Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) should be set up to investigate and provide an answer to fellow Malaysians pertaining to 1MDB. The RCI will also be beneficial for the board of directors of 1MDB and individuals involved to clear the air if they think they have been victims of political conspiracy (a term favored by Pakatan Rakyat).

Easy money ! 
However, at the same time, I am extremely envious of Jho Low. How I wish I have one third of his acumen to make deals, half of his contacts (mostly from his school days) and controls billions of dollars at such a young age. I’d always thought that I was very fortunate be in University of Auckland at the right time but I am having a second thought now. University of Auckland is of no match to Harrow School or Haileybury School in United Kingdom that counted Jho Low, Riza Aziz as well as the (in)famous Bo Xilai’s son, Bo Guagua among its alumni. I guess, many people are having the same envious thought as me and regretted for not getting into the “right” school and meet the “right” people that can do billions of dollars of deals.  

Ah…probably, in the near future, someone should write a book to guide parents who wishes to see their children becoming billionaires on which school to attend and how they should invest in education.

Meantime, I am still confused. Should I be angry that the tax money that I pay to the government be used in such a way or should I be envious, working my way to get “connected” and forget about my anger? 

Friday, 6 March 2015

Investment in Chinese tea

Couple of days back, I received an e-mail from a journalist from a distinguish publication house in Malaysia expressing her interest to interview me and a few other friends on the investment side of Chinese tea. Without much hesitation, we had the interview date fixed. The interview reminded me that I’ve promised some friends that I’ll share the recommended tea for investment in 2015 and this blog is overdue for more than a month.

Bu Lang Shan Production Batch Number 6621
Bu Lang Shan Production Batch Number 6061
Last year, the trusted tea shop owner where I did most of my tea buying recommended batch 2006 green pu erh from the Da Yi (大益七子饼茶) production batch number 8582 with the market rate of around RM 300.00. Read here. In Sept last year, he called to ask if I am letting go of my purchase but I’ve rejected him because I’ve taken a great liking to the tea due to its bitter sweet after taste. I’m now so addicted to this tea and I found that it helps a great lot in digestion, especially after a heavy meal.

This year, Mr Wong, the shop owner told me that it is good to invest in tea from the Bu Lang Shan (布朗山) region which will see an increment in a few months’ time.  As there are many different producers or factories that produce pu erh tea from that region, I asked for a more specific brand. I was told that I can never go wrong with tea produced by Da Yi (大益) and Meng Hai (勐海). I was recommended to invest in 2006’s Bu Lang Shan green pu erh batch number 6621 and 6061. Back in 2010, I’d purchased some 6621 and 6061 for around RM 25.00 apiece. The current rate is around RM 100.00 and it is expected to rise to around RM150.00.

Legend of Tea's Lao Ban Zhang
Not too long ago, a friend asked if I want to let go some green Lao Ban Zhang (老班章) tea produced in 2007 by Legend of Tea (古意斋) for RM 1500.00 apiece which we bought for around RM300.00 back then. The price of Lao Ban Zhang have been going up steadily over the years due to scarcity in growing the tea which can only survive at altitude over 2500m, global warming as well as speculative nature. Those days, I didn’t drink green pu erh due to health reason but I bought the tea anyway as recommended. However, I still have to stress that it is important to only buy and invest from trusted establishments.

In my next blog, I will write about reasons behind investing in only certain aged tea, especially aged green pu erh, certain Liu Bao and why not ripe pu erh or Tie Guan Yin or Longjing or even some Wuyi Shan tea. 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Chinese couplets for my home door 宅门对联

The couplet on the main door of Mental Cultivation Studio
Nobody can deny that the Chinese society is the most ritualized society on earth and ceremonial rites, whether to celebrate an auspicious event or a mournful one, are all based upon two key foundations of the Chinese identity –Confucianism and feng shui.

According to the rites of a still mourning family, I have to break away from the norms of the previous years for three full years, which includes writing couplets in elegant calligraphy on red papers to replace the old ones on my doors before Chinese New Year on an auspicious date according to the Tong Shu. However, there is a special provision in the law of the rites that allows auspicious door couplets to be pasted on the main door of the house on the 15th day of the first lunar month, which is today. Taking advantage of this, once again, this year, I practiced hard to improve my calligraphy skills to be able to write a few presentable words that shall remain on my doors for the remaining of the year.
On the side door which also serves as my daily door for feng shui reasons. 
Instead of lengthy 14 words couplets that I’ve written for the past few years, I’ve sized it down to only 8 words for the main doors of my house. The words on the couplets are said to be symbolism of the home owner’s wish and aspirations. In 鸿基福地,瑞霭华堂- I wish for a blessed nation and for auspicious lucks to visit the Chinese community which I think is very much needed, judging at the unfortunate events that unfold last year. As for the other door, I’ve written 九州一统,八方共和, with the hope that we are all unified in a peaceful world. 

P/S: Wishes all my friends Happy Chap Goh Meh and Chinese Valentine's Day. All the best for those who have plans to throw and collect mandarin oranges tonight, may you find your valentine. 


Monday, 2 March 2015

A lawyer’s folly and he reap what he sow

Dear Thelma: I suspect my wife sees me as a meal ticket

I am a 57-year-old lawyer and I am so unhappy I sometimes wish I could die.

When I was 35, I married M. We got divorced when our daughter was two years old. I was too busy expanding my law practice and my relationship with M, whom I met through a matchmaker, did not have a chance to develop.

For the next five years after my divorce, I channelled all my energy into building my business which prospered and I am now quite wealthy.

When I was 43, I got involved with W, a divorcee who is also a lawyer. Due to my bad experience with marriage, I told W I did not want a commitment. We kept our relationship a secret. W is a very pretty lady and I am sure she could easily find another man if she wanted to but she stayed with me. She is very understanding and never pressured me and I think her generous nature made me too complacent. In retrospect, I regret having taken her for granted.

After four years with her – I was 47 then – I felt the urge to start a family. I yearned for a loving wife and a few young children. This urge soon grew into an obsession. I could not start a family with W as she was already in her late 40s. Besides, I felt I should marry a “fresh” woman, not a divorcee.

I hinted to friends and relatives my desire to remarry and was introduced to a few women, but I did not click with any of them.

One day, a close friend told me there was this young legal clerk in his office, who was looking to get married. She seemed like a nice, simple small town girl, and he asked if I would like to meet her. So I visited his legal practice which is in another state, and he introduced me to S. I was instantly attracted to S; she was pretty, pleasant and shy.

We exchanged phone numbers and within a month, S and I were furiously exchanging photos and text messages. Soon we became close. There was one big issue though: I was fast approaching 50, while S was just 26.

On hindsight, I must have been blinded by lust for a young woman who could give me a beautiful family. S was not exactly intellectual, but she was very affectionate and our conversations revolved around simple and sometimes childish topics which I had no interest in.

Amidst the excitement of flirting with a young, pretty woman, I did not consider the fact that S may not be in love with me. I guess she was just too happy to have found a rich man who drove her around in a flashy car and took her to fancy restaurants.

By then, I had broken off with W. I proposed to S after nine months of courtship. I thought S would be thrilled as she seemed to like me very much. She even sent me less than decent pictures of herself while flirting on Skype.

It was then that my close friend, who is her boss, informed me that S had told several close colleagues that she was only interested in marrying a rich, older man to escape poverty and move out of her small home town. She said I was the richest man she had met, and she would take her chances even though we are of different races.

I confronted her about this but she put up such a convincing show by crying her eyes out. She told me what I heard were lies and that she loved me and was not bothered about our age difference.
I had a gut feeling that something was not right but I went ahead and approached her parents for her hand in marriage. Coming from a poor family, they probably thought I would give their daughter a better life and take good care of her.

So we got married when I was 50 and she was 27. Things went along pretty well the first few months. She was happy to live in a big city and I bought her a new car. She pestered me to buy a bigger house so I bought a lovely bungalow in a nice part of town. Meanwhile, S changed from a shy, simple girl into a demanding and controlling wife. She complained when my family members dropped by the house or when my siblings from outstation stayed a few days. She even complained when my parents came to stay over sometimes.

At the same time, her family members started to treat the house like their own. Her parents visited often and her sisters dropped by almost every day as all of them, including my young wife, are homemakers.

My wife did not conceive the first year. I suggested going to a fertility clinic but she refused, and accused me of marrying her just to have babies. She was her usual dramatic self, and screamed and cried until I gave in.

One day, I found a bottle of contraceptive pills in her drawer. When confronted, she confessed that she was not ready to have children and wanted to enjoy life first.

I was very angry and threatened to divorce her. She cried and begged for forgiveness and promised to go to a fertility clinic with me. We went to see a fertility specialist and soon she was pregnant with twins. I was over the moon and gave her whatever she wanted, including a trip to Hong Kong where she maxed out my credit card buying designer clothes for herself.

I came from a poor family and am careful with my spending, so you can imagine my pain when she splurges like that. Fast forward, the twins were born but one of them has some problems and doctors diagnosed he may be autistic. We took in an extra maid and part-time helpers to do gardening and cleaning as my wife would not lift a finger to do housework.

The babies slept with the maids who doubled up as their nannies. My wife continued her carefree lifestyle of shopping and playing mahjong. Most of the time, the children are left at home with the maids. This hurts me very much. I dreamed of having a loving wife who would devote her time to her family, but this was not to be.

I was brought up in a traditional family. My mother stayed home to take care of the entire household, and cooked and cleaned. With my wife, everything is just the opposite. She spends a small fortune on designer wear, expensive hair treatments and facials. Hence she looks much younger than her 34 years.

Now she refers to me as “that old man” in front of her sisters, friends, and even the maids. I had a serious talk with her and told her that if she was so dissatisfied with an old husband, we could get a divorce. She threatened that should that happen, she would take the house, half my business, all our properties, and the children too, besides seeking a hefty alimony. I could give up my MONEY but not my children.

I also feel very embarrassed as more and more frequently, people are mistaking the twins for my grandkids, and my wife for my daughter-in-law. Sometimes I feel shamed to approach her for sex as I feel so old while she is so young.

I wish I could turn back the clock, and not marry a woman so much younger than me. I regret not listening to my gut feeling that she was only looking for a better life. And now I have to suffer for it. I do not know what I should do now. – Desperate Old Husband

Dear Desperate Old Husband,

IT may be cold comfort to you that your problem is not uncommon. Many people, men especially, find themselves in this “trap” brought upon by their own misunderstood desires.
There is the issue of your unhappy marriage with your wife, and having to deal with being the “old man” in your young family.

You have gone past the stage of taking more interest in your wife’s interests or spending time together. You have to first acknowledge that you are incompatible with each other. You mentioned that you had nothing in common with her. You attributed this to her age. Now you have only your children in common. You have no shared goals or vision. She does not share your views on family or child-rearing, even.

It may have been a little naïve of you to expect, in this day and age, a wife who would devote herself completely to your home and family. Aside from the strides in women’s empowerment, relationship experts also recognise that two adults in a healthy relationship must develop and maintain their own separate identities. It is unrealistic and unfair of you to expect your wife to be like your mother.

And that bring us to the crux of your problem – your expectations. There is nothing wrong in you wanting to start a family or having a younger wife for that matter. However, you should have, from the very beginning, been open and clear with yourself and her about what you wanted.

You are a divorced man, yet you expected a “fresh” woman, as you say. Is that not a bit unfair? You come with baggage, and yet you expect an uncomplicated woman for yourself.

If you expected her to play hostess to your parents and relatives when they stayed over, you should have expressed this to her clearly from the very beginning. Communication is so important in a relationship.

Looking at your story now, it is clear that there were signs that you were incompatible. Or, at least, she wasn’t all that you were looking for. You either did not see these signs or perhaps you chose not to see them.

You have to admit your complicity in all this. She spoke of things you had no interest in, yet the attention of a young and nubile woman flattered your ego and you liked that. You complain that she spends your hard-earned money on facials, hair treatments, and designer clothes. You did not stop her because you feel good to be with a woman who looks and dresses like her.

You did not like her spending so much money, yet you allowed a large credit limit on your credit cards. The point here is that you have plenty to gain from this arrangement, too.

Yes, she may have cried and begged you not to leave, and you made the choice to stay on. You decided that you still wanted to be with her at that point. Maybe it was lust that drew you to make that decision, or the desire for children and a family. Whatever the reason, you have to take responsibility for your actions and admit to yourself that it was your decision.

Admitting that is not symbolic of sleeping in the bed you made. It is the first step for you to stop viewing yourself as a victim. It is this mentality that has stopped you from rationally and intelligently analysing the situation, and taking the necessary steps to help yourself.

You are a lawyer and have access to a network of lawyers who are probably among the best in the field. Have you checked with anyone on what your wife can and cannot claim from you?

If you see yourself as an old man, how would you expect others to see you? You must have done the math when your children were born and figured out that you would be older than other dads when they started school and other rites of passage. Did it not matter to you then? What were you expecting when you wanted a young family?

There are many older men in the world who have become new fathers. They have found ways to deal with it. Can you get fit and change your style of dressing? Getting fit is not just about looking young but also being physically prepared to cope with young children. There will be running and playing involved. Would it not make sense to be prepared for that rather than groan about being unable to keep up?

It is clear that you are not trapped, but you perceive yourself to be. Changing that perception will help you see that you have choices to make, and you can change the circumstances in your life. That means having to admit some harsh truths about yourself, and having to make some decisions that will make you uncomfortable. Assessing yourself, if you are ready for that, is the key to helping yourself. – Thelma

This “pitiful” and “desperate” lawyer’s mournful lament that was published by Sunday Star and The Star Online became a sensational topic of conversation among fellow practitioners since its publications on 1st March 2015. That same day, it also started the speculation and guessing games on the identity of this so called male chauvinistic lawyer.

Instead of the sympathy and advice that he expects, the respond to this man’s folly attracts nothing but sarcastic remarks from both genders. Pun aside; everyone agrees that this man deserved the reaping of what he sows. The chauvinistic side of him that belittles older women is showing the other side of the coin that reflects back on him clearly that he is “the old man”.

“下流老头子,活该,” quips a male colleague of mine, which loosely translates as “dirty old man, you deserve it”

Personally, I feel that this man should be applauded for his courage to pen out his folly and for probably a few brief moments in his life, casting aside his huge ego and narcissism, begging for help. Alas, I do think that karma is at work, he just deserved it and finally, his case is a good moral lesson for everyone, especially those that have a liking to the novel idea of having the “sweet young thing” wife as well as to young girls who look for “sugar daddies” as ticket to glamour and wealth. Match made in heaven can be hellish if both starts with the wrong steps.