Abdul Malik Ghazali, another victim of a metaphorically-challenged peoplePersonal experience
I’ve often said, Singapore needs more Malays and Indians as they hail from relatively highly metaphorical and metaphysical cultures - Both Indian and Islamic philosophy is profoundly metaphysical and metaphorical as opposed to Chinese, or more accurately, Legalist-Confucian, philosophy which developed after taking the overarching authoritarian political environment as a given. Foreign talent would not be required as much if Singaporeans had made more of cultures that were foreign to 'Chinese' culture.
I personally view the Chinese as hapless victims of a system of thoughtlessness inaugurated by Shih Huang Ti in 221 b.c. (well, if the government sees fit to maintain a chinese majority in singapore, and promote ‘Chinese‘ culture over all others, there is no reason why we can’t critique it, rationally of course.) A metaphysical or metaphorical history enables people to ‘connect the dots’ between various phenomena and make sense of a whole lot of things that those whom are appealed to by the obvious miss out. Even to my Chinese mates i’ve often found myself repeating in frustration, ‘connect the dots!’.
I've often said, 'if you don't appreciate details, let it be because you can't be bothered, and not because you can't do it'. That is the difference between being 'at rest' from using your mind as opposed to 'not being able to use it when required'.
They rely on me too often to make sense of things for them. And they know, too, that my ability to ‘connect the dots’ and bring to their attention the relation between various details in an experience enables them to make far more informed decisions - from when and where to purchase property; invest in currency; what businesses to start in what locality; how to solve their computer problems; what girl one might 'try' for; what one could expect in a decade if one was to marry this or that girl; how to have multiple orgasms; how to last past the hour in bed; how to relate various features of a scene to take a good photograph; how to handle various types of characters in their respective workplaces; et cetera, et cetera. Yes, i’ve been of much help to my Chinese mates over the decades and always look out for them in the hope that they would be able to experience more of life than they otherwise would, and hopefully develop to degrees that would see them contribute more to the mutual development of those whom they encounter. I've often said, 'if you don't appreciate details, let it be because you can't be bothered, and not because you can't do it'. That is the difference between being 'at rest' from using your mind as opposed to 'not being able to use it when required'.
If we don't learn to appreciate the interconnectedness of reality, than that is going to result in reducing our appreciation of the idea of interconnectedness to that which serves our thus engendered selfish purposes.
That is the value of what i would allude to as metaphorical thinking. That is, learning to appreciate the interconnectedness of reality. In other words, how one thing that is seemingly of one nature can be connected to something else that is seemingly of another nature. It is a great ability to have as it alleviates conditions such as bigotry, self-absorption, apathy, and so on. It makes one better performers at work, in bed, in cooking, the arts, problem-identification, solution-generation, and basically gives one a sort of ‘Midas touch’ that enables one to excel much quicker in anything past more experienced persons. I’ve tried, and still do try, to impart these strategies to my Chinese mates, as I have to my Malay, Indian and Filipinos that i’ve encountered. To be honest, to date, i’ve encountered far greater success with Filipinos, Malays, and Indians. But what the former three might learn in a week, my Chinese mates could take from months to years. Whilst that is extremely frustrating, it had led me to wonder after the social causes for their relative ineptitude. But as that has been discussed in other articles, i’ll leave it at that for now.
Foreign talent would not be required as much if Singaporeans had made more of cultures that were foreign to 'Chinese' culture.
But the reason why I’ve attempted to, and still do, teach these methods to my Chinese mates, amongst others, is that if everyone is attuned to detail in anything they experience, they will make more of such an experience. And as none of us experience the same things, and given our varying experience of the past and the variable development of our senses and sensibilities, we would all be certainly able to contribute relative unique insights to the group. Hence, by becoming greater, we are able to contribute even more to the upliftment of the group. No one person can see all. But with the collaboration of people who see much, they, as a totality, become the ‘all-seeing eye’. And if all humanity was to become as such, than humanity becomes the very image of an all-seeing, all-knowing, and a present-everywhere 'God'. That, I dare say, is the true meaning behind the biblical, ‘God made wo/man in his image. But we aren’t going to see God when we look in the mirror till all our lives mirror the strategies required to make the most of us. But if we abide by a culture where we mindlessly follow tradition, not question authority and laws, go with what ‘hot’ and ‘hip’, value harmony over equality, are biased toward the stability of the familiar as opposed to incorporating the knowledge that comes with the new into our formulae for making sense of things, then we are certainly going to be, amongst a host of others, be imprisoning people for metaphorical allusions.
The first person i’ve heard of being arrested for a metaphorical crime is Gopalan Nair. ‘Poor bloke’, I thought, ‘a metaphorically-challenged people, that the Confucianised Chinese indubitably are, serves as foundation for his arrest.’ His statement was,
..the judge Belinda Ang was throughout prostituting herself during the entire proceedings, by being nothing more than an employee of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his son and carrying out their orders. - straits times
He was then found guilty of insulting a High Court Judge.
One cannot be blamed for shuddering at the thought of living amongst a country dominated by Confucianised Chinese
(‘Confucianised Chinese’ refers to people who have been educated out of attention to detail and thinking in abstract or philosophical ways that enables one to appreciate the interconnectedness of reality by an overarching authoritarian state, and which is reinforced by employer-worker teacher-student parent-child relationships. One does not have to be a Chinese to be a Confucianised Chinese, nor are all Chinese Confucianised.)
One has to become the sort who is appealed to by the obvious, ceases to think metaphorically or ‘connect the dots’, put up with the financial pressures that comes with an authoritarian government and Corporational Cons by being opportunistic to each other, and, of course, get behind the queue when it comes to getting jobs and being cast in the media, etc, etc, etc for not being ‘part of the majority’.
[If anyone takes issue with this statement, i’d like to see them prove it untrue as opposed to simply stating that it offends the biases of the majority. Sensitivity swings both ways mate. Taking issue with the insensitivity of another is not being insensitive. Rather, it is being sensitive to insensitivity for the purpose of getting rid of insensitivity and bringing about an egalitarian society.]
Now, we have a Malay bloke, Abdul Malik Ghazali, being arrested. The article on ‘asiaone’ goes,
A Singaporean man who attacked the ruling party on Facebook and urge people to "burn" a cabinet minister has been arrested on charges of inciting violence, police said Wednesday.
Toward the end of the article, we see,
He said it was time to "burn" the sports minister and the PAP. "Rally together and vote them out!!!" he wrote. - asiaone
From the order of the article, it is obvious that a metaphor is being present as the main thrust of the Abdul’s statement. Absolutely ridiculous. The word ‘burn’ has been used in increasing frequency since the 80s amongst the ‘pop’ classes - which included myself. For instance, when we issued breakdance challenges to other groups, we might say something like, ‘we’re gonna burn you man’. No. Nobody in the opposing group rushed off to the police alleging that we intended to literally burn them. Even us juveniles had the sense to realise that. Doesn’t Lee Kuan Yew? Or his son? And how about the ‘first world’ people of singapore? No, the Lees do know this. But that is why they ‘preferred’ a Chinese majority in singapore publicly and in the newspapers - a grossly racist act which, i’m surprised, didn’t lead to their arrest by the Internal Security Department, or anger amongst the Chinese community.
How did this come about?
But the reason why they preferred the Chinese was not because the Chinese were naturally stupid or subservient in the face of authority. Rather, it would be easier to promote China’s culture amongst them by way of saying that it was naturally ‘their culture’. This occurred in the context of the increasing westernisation of singapore back in the late 70s and 80s. The English-speaking Singaporean community were increasingly taking the helm in the media, the economic milieu, cultural production, and, were also becoming highly vocal in the political front. That is when there was a crackdown of the so-called Marxist Conspiracy, a more fervent promotion of Mandarin and ‘Chinese’ culture, more stringent proscriptions on ‘talking about race’ - so that the government neo-Nazi promotion of ‘Chinese’ supremacy could continue with impunity - increasingly public celebrations of Chinese festivities in every corner of Singapore, the increasing association of Singapore with all-things Chinese, et cetera, et cetera.
These events basically indicate that Singapore's totalitarian recent history is coming to a successful conclusion. When people lose their metaphorical natures, and are appealed to by the obvious, they cease to ‘2nd guess’. And ‘2nd guessing’, by the way, is the root of all progress. You won’t have your Ipod without it, and neither would we have the likes of Jimi Hendrix on it.It was, no doubt, the old strategy of ‘divide and conquer’ fused with ‘preferring’ one race over another. The Chinese didn’t see a problem with it as they weren’t disadvantaged by this, at least, not yet. The Indians and Malays, fragmented throughout the country via the seemingly ‘multicultural’ HDB quota system (whereby only a set number of non-Chinese were allowed to live in any particular space), could not get together and engender a ‘critical mass’ in appreciating the consequences of this racist stance of the government, and, in an attempt to ‘get along’, ended up assimilating to the increasingly Confucianised Chinese via their local places of abode and coffeeshops where they were welcome so long as they did and spoke along lines that the Confucianised Chinese could appreciate. Thus, overtime, their own culturally-induced personas were diluted.
Let me put it this way, if it wasn’t for this period in Singapore’s history, Gopalan Nair and Abdul Malik Ghazali would never be arrested. The people of singapore would have fused and become a highly metaphorical people as a result. Thus, everyone would know that the statements of the above two were simply metaphors. Nothing more. Gopalan did not call the judge a ‘prostitute’, and neither did Abdul mean that people should actually invest in a can of kerosene and a box of matches or a 60 cents ‘yipee’ brand lighter and send off the PAP to Great Forbidden City in the sky.
A metaphor, in this context, is known by the literal statement that follows what is thus determined to be a metaphorical statement. In other words, saying that a minister ought to be ‘burnt’ would mean just that if it was not followed by a ‘rally together and vote them out’. It is the second that gives meaning to the first. The second statement is not a conditional, or, in programming jargon, ‘if or else’ statement. In other words, he did not say, ‘let’s burn the PAP, and if we don’t succeed, then let’s get together and vote them out’. The same applies to Gopalan’s case.
These events basically indicate that Singapore's totalitarian recent history is coming to a successful conclusion. When people lose their metaphorical natures, and are appealed to by the obvious, they cease to ‘2nd guess’. And ‘2nd guessing’, by the way, is the root of all progress. You won’t have your Ipod without it, and neither would we have the likes of Jimi Hendrix on it.