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Malaysia is a country of no stories but one; a country wrecked by that one story, manufactured in Umno party meetings then told and retold by the same man who having conceived it now wants to salvage it for reuse.

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Objective = The Sum of Subjectives

We see how things are from a subjective point of view, and because they really are that way, a form of objectivity is achieved. This is a lesson that our present age needs to learn again. The most complete, objective point of view is not one that is abstracted from the subjective: it is one that incorporates as many subjective points of view as are relevant and needed.

This also provides the link between imagination and rationality. A detached reason that cannot enter into the viewpoints of others cannot be fully objective because it cannot access whole areas of the real world of human experience. [This is..] the importance of attending to the internal logic of positions, not just how they stand up to outside scrutiny.

In a pluralist world, there is no hope of understanding people who live according to different values if we only judge them from the outside, from what we imagine to be an objective point of view but is really one infused with our own subjectivity. Atheists need to know what it really means to be religious, not simply to run through arguments against the existence of God that are not the bedrock of belief anyway. No one can hope to understand emerging nations such as China, India or Brazil unless they try to see how the world looks from inside those countries. — Julian Baggini, Aeon 2017 November (emphasis added).

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https://i.malaysiakini.com/1142/41f285632bc47a956fbea8852bae51e8.jpeg

A Machiavellian? Or a snake oil salesman story teller that he is?

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A Machiavellian Realist World by a Non-Machiavellian

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Democracy is suppose to deliver a set of nice results and when that fails it becomes purely an end to itself — holding an election.

The trouble with democracy, and this happens not only in Malaysia, is that people wish for it to deliver things that can never, never happen try as you might, and even with elections after elections. One is left, as a result, holding bags of promises DAP and Umno politicians made.

Yet people remain hopeful and continue in their delusions. That Mahathir Mohamad did irreparable damage to everything becomes irrelevant but people still pine after him because the justification is, first get the power. Lim Kit Siang criticizes endlessly but when his turn came, the DAP repeat the same policy, administrative and ideological failures, in Penang for example; over the hotel tudung issue, another. (Those issues are stark revelations that the Pakatan can be equally stupid, no matter how they make of themselves. They are as quick to hang you as jihadists slice throats so that, for power’s sake, the liberal becomes illiberal, the godly the satanic, the national Destroyer become the Savior.)

Democracy was never a realistic proposition; if it were then life, to borrow Gabriel Garcia Marquez, would be a breeze.

What’s wrong with democracy? For the answer Niccolo Machiavelli is instructive, the infamous author of the ‘The Prince‘ and whose name is latched to the term Machiavellian. People (editors and columnists at Malaysiakini in particular) who use the expression have typically never read him — you can tell by their references to it — so that to describe Mahathir as Machiavellian is a fucking joke.

Below are eight talking points from and about Machiavelli. In it are described the fallacies of the republic, a democratic form, compared to, shall we say, an authoritarian regime (China is the current Anglophile favorite). This list was compiled by Erica Benner from her book Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli In His World (below).

Machiavelli, Benner wrote, was never even a Machiavellian. He was instead the first, true realist produced by the West. Yet delusions about his ideas persist to this day. Ideas cross oceans and leap over mountains. At the mosquito home of Kadir Jasin and the coconut tree offices of Steven Gan, you know they have arrived when they arrive, the same talking points, the same yada, yada:

Machiavelli’s realities aren’t just “hard facts” that anyone of sound mind can agree on. Historical memories are among the stubborn realities that can kick back against political ideals. So are desires, fears, and patterns of behaviour that seem rooted in unchanging human nature. “In any city whatever” and in states big or small, Machiavelli says, one sees frictions between two kinds of people. On the one side are those who aim to climb to high and higher up social and economic ladders. On the other there are people who worry that high-flying elites might end up controlling public life, monopolizing every advantage, and dictating terms of social interaction to everyone else. Realistic policies need to face these tensions head-on, Machiavelli says, and take both sides seriously. If you whitewash the conflict, suspicions fester. If you play one side off the other, democracies get sick, sometimes fatally.

Machiavelli knew that it isn’t easy to cultivate a sense of political reality. Doing so is less a matter of formal education or native smarts than of coming to understand the dire consequences of un-realism. People are so caught up in their present troubles, he says, that they’re easily “deceived by a false appearance of good” and moved by “great hopes and mighty promises”—even when “the ruin of the republic is concealed underneath.”

It might seem perverse to seek help from a man routinely portrayed in popular culture as an adviser muttering darkly in politicians’ ears, telling them to use shrewdly crafted appearances—lies and spin—to control people’s minds and actions. It’s true that Machiavelli sets out this arch-manipulator’s path to power in his Prince—but only to highlight its follies. The hyper-ambitious leaders who populate his book fly high for a while on big promises, popular fears, money, and foreign support. Then they crash, leaving their countries in a sorry mess. No wonder early readers were sure that far from being a treatise for would-be tyrants, the Prince was a brilliant exposé of princely stratagems: a self-defense manual for citizens. “The book of republicans,” Rousseau called it.

https://politicalscience.yale.edu/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/pictures/picture-93-1362508820.jpg?itok=5XXzZq1n

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcThiXEjDdMOOSV0SyBYoA1gQGEAe0Ye5BN1M4HqimbPCF2cCCnlkw

Here is Benner’s list of uncomfortable truths (some retitled) — the myths of, shall we say, Zaidgeist/Pakatan democracy:

Delusion 1: That (democracy or Save Malaysia) politics would unite citizens.
“Those who hope that a republic can be united,” Machiavelli says, “are very much deceived,” and want something harmful to freedom. Why: because one of the unalterable realities of political life is that people have different brains, interests, and values. Orderly clashes of rival political parties ensure that differences are represented and allowed to breathe freely. When one part of society—whether left- or right-leaning, traditional or progressive—tries to dominate the other and control public space, this infuriates the other parts, and threatens everyone’s freedoms.

Delusion 2: That equality once imposed, corruption ends, freedom prevails.
Machiavelli isn’t a strict egalitarian, but he does insist that personal and political freedoms are eroded when people lack the resources and social respect needed to enjoy them. To avoid corruption, democracies need to preserve “an even equality” among citizens. Excessive inequality destroys public trust because it makes it easier for the wealthy few to dominate the rest. It makes the less well-off feel that the system is stacked against them, and upsets the overall balance of freedoms that keeps democracies stable. 

Delusion 3: That strong leaders and strong states are all for the best.
Nothing could be less realistic than the idea that the powerful can do whatever they want with impunity. No matter how strong you are, in politics “one inconvenience can never be suppressed without another cropping up.” So realistic politics is the art of “choosing between inconveniences”—including the awkward fact that even much weaker people and states can find ways to upset your power. Those “who do not know how to measure themselves and put limits to their hopes” usually come to ruin.

Delusion 4: That leaders or the ‘system’, never the people, are the root of all problems.
Machiavelli has no time for this kind of easy blame-game. Bad leaders and corrupt institutions are symptoms of democratic ailments, not their root cause. In manically competitive trading and banking societies like Machiavelli’s Florence—which had much in common with commercial democracies today—corrupt leaders and the super-rich aren’t the only ones who make life harder for poor and middling citizens. People from status-conscious middle levels are often the fiercest defenders of social hierarchies. They can be ruthless about pushing ahead of the pack lest they fall behind, “since it does not appear to men that they possess securely unless they acquire something new.” Such people should ask whether the policies they support can sustain healthy democracies in the long run.

Delusion 5: That bad leaders/policies happen because of ignorant voters.
Machiavelli was brutally realistic about how easy it is to pull one over people. “He who deceives,” he observes, “will always find someone who will let himself be deceived.” But the deceivable aren’t necessarily uneducated, lazy, or stupid. In his day, Machiavelli points out, intellectuals and citizens of all social classes were among the devotees of Girolamo Savonarola, a rabble-rousing Dominican friar who claimed to get his political directives straight from God. It wasn’t ignorance that made people fall into his demagogic snares; he appealed to their longings for self-assured guidance in disorienting times. Citizens who “let” such leaders mislead them aren’t so much ignorant as impatient and irresponsible: too ready to put their faith in quack doctors of state instead of searching hard for better remedies. 

Delusion 6: That in troubled times (Malaysia), a Strong, Savior-Politician is needed.
When democratic foundations are cracking and political practices look rotten, it’s tempting to give audacious leaders a free hand to purge the rot, shake up the system, and save the nation. Machiavelli says: resist it. Frustrated citizens often “persuade themselves” that some leader’s lawless conduct and “wicked life can make freedom emerge.” They let him or her override constitutional checks on their power, trample on the laws in the name of safety or necessity or national greatness. But it almost never happens that someone who bolsters his power in these ways “ever wishes to work well, or that it will ever occur to his mind to use well the authority that he acquired badly.” A leader “who can do whatever he wants, unshackled by the laws, is crazy.”

Delusion 7: That to save a nation, first build walls.
Physical barriers against enemies and the movement of peoples are, in Machiavelli’s opinion, basically “useless.” Citizens who won’t talk to one another, corrupt practices of government, poisonous inequalities: these things make states vulnerable from within, while frail alliances and shoddy diplomacy weaken them from without. Walls and heavy policing just advertise your failure to deal with them. Massive migration has always caused turmoil, Machiavelli observes. But free countries can always find ways to manage the floods that are more effective than adding border guards and red tape, and that show more self-confidence. The ancient Romans were “so generous in admitting foreigners,” he says, “that Rome began to depart from its old customs.” So what did they do? Believing that free movement helped make their city great, they gave newcomers better representation so that they wouldn’t attack ancient Roman ways as outsiders.

Delusion 8: That crushing the defeated will save a nation. (Recall Mahathir’s 100 day in power pledge: pulverize Najib Razak.)

No fantasy beloved of powerful leaders, classes, or states is more damaging to their health, or that of their countries. Viewed realistically, power is changeable and relative. Today you might have oodles of it compared with your neighbour, but tomorrow theirs may wax and yours wane. You might find that your power rested on “very constant and unstable things” such as other people’s temporary misfortunes, or money and favours used to buy fair-weather friends. Real political power needs stable props, and the best props, Machiavelli tells us, are other people whose support you can count on through thick and thin. To get and keep them on side, you need to treat them reasonably well, even if you’ve just crushed them in a war or political campaign. After all, as we read in the reputedly amoral Prince, “victories are never so clear that the winner does not have to have some respect, especially for justice.”

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Longing

 

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We Chop Wood, Xi Entertains the Rich

(This is Part 2/2 of US-China. Part 1.)

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After a while it’s impossible to continue with the clip (above) when one has lived through the scenes, seen the difficulties, indeed, far too many times, and so the memories are painful. Only ignorant White people make a sob story out of it, missing therefore the underlying core issue, which is, the scale of China’s domestic problems are vast and deep even though they are not new, hence, all the more, they require state attention far more urgently than being a superpower or being an emperor. (See this for example, Part 1 in China two-part superpower series.)

Should Xi Jinping fail in the next five years, his political and moral legitimacy as ’emperor’ and, along with him, the entire raison d’etre of the Communist Party are done in.

Why can’t you get it, Fan Jiayang? Or are you, like all those Charlies, so utterly dumb?

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We Chat inside a Melancholy Nation

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On WeChatRelated image, I found Gu Yue’s diary postings from last December deleted in its entirety, all of it over nearly an entire year the daily postings of banal human activities, what she had for dinner, her favorite music, the shopping mall she went with her infant child. This couldn’t be the mere eradication of a memory. No, surely, there was something ominous to it because we, the Chinese, tended to endure our pain quietly, never to speak of it. Silence comes with being ominous.

“What’s happened?” I asked. No reply. At the next: “What’s with the silence?” No reply again.

China, because of its continental size, requires we live a long-distance relationship. WeChat mitigates the distance, but it is never a substitute. Only our Confucian values that underpin the conduct of our lives have kept us going and together.

After a long week, punctured here and there by an inexplicable chill in the bones, this had to be said and so it was: “At the least, tell me why?”

Her eventual reply:  没 是 meishe. “It’s nothing.”

This was typical Chinese understatement: Nothing meant everything.

Up north at Liaoning winter comes early, the baby needs warm clothes, not to mention her. Her rent was due, she was short of money, very short, and she had no support even if she asked around, which she won’t, of course. Even at the new flat, it cost 13,000 yuan (MYR 6000) a year with half down if she was to move in from a more expensive one.

She had apparently spent the last two weeks doing especially all that.

I can only offer money but this is never a solution; it is only palliative.

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https://chineseposters.net/images/e16-331.jpg

CCP poster circa 1970 when city party cadres (picture above says Shanghai) were urged to learn from the countryside in a campaign called 上山下乡 shangshan xiaxiang, ‘Up the mountain, down to the village!’

Don’t bother 同志们. We’re coming to you.

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Don’t Look Back at the Mountain

Like the Wang family in the Chongqing documentary, Jian also came from the mountains. She got her money, 100,000 yuan, last year alone and the family in the mountain is slightly better off but only in the sense that there is a little more meat in the food, the children are fed more often, and everyone is less dependent on foraging for mountain seeds, buds, leaves, timber and firewood. With a further 60,000 yuan (about MYR30,000) from the municipal government, Jian’s father had replaced the mud-floor house, where on the bare bamboo bed you can count the stars through the roof in the night. The derelict is replaced today by a concrete building, still perched on a mountain slope, only lower down. A toilet with piped-in water has replaced the hole near the cow shed.

But, any which you look at it, poverty is still the mountain. It is, you see, bred there.

“I have worked so hard to get out,” Jian once told me. “I’m not going back.”

She hadn’t in the past five years.

To the foreign eye, though, White people especially and even Malaysians, the mountain and its farms make a picture postcard serenity, something like a holiday home. Water flows out of the mountain; the air is crispy clean. Everywhere life thrives, the birds sing. Then the pump broke down and to replace it, if you have the money, is an hour away even via a new concrete road recently completed by the municipal government.

Before that, in her childhood, she would have to cover the same distance through another trail in two hours. This short cut winds through the mountains. With grandma, they stopped at the mountain top to rest. It was at the same spot, I had watched a scene of unimaginable beauty: the rapeseed plants blossomed yellow, terraced fields, neat rows of paddy and maize, and the endless swirling clouds caught hanging over the valleys. In the city market and seated on a road pavement, Jian and grandma sold their collection of wild mushrooms, chillies, sweet potatoes and leaves for wrapping dumplings. That day, they made 60 yuan.

Since I also consume water, I volunteered one day — this was years later — to fetch it from the stream near the house. Back and forth, up and down a dirt trail, two pails strapped to a bamboo pole, it took almost an hour to fill the two cisterns in the kitchen. The water would last two days, if we don’t use it to shower. Next day, I went with her to collect mushrooms, slipped and nearly went down a crevice, which looks like 40 or 50 stories deep, but was caught by the branches of pines and cypress. She howled to her teenage brother foraging on another face of the mountain.

Day Six we went looking for firewood because the nights were getting colder. The higher up you climb, the better the chance you’d find dry, solid pine wood. One log will burn through the night but you have to chop it up into manageable pieces in order to take it home. You don’t want twigs although they are everywhere; they finish burn within minutes. But, the higher up you go, the more there is to climb down. On the way home, at a small clearing overlooking the graying weeds into the valley below, we put down our wicker baskets to rest. It was getting late and the night was closing in. Grandma would be cooking already: after a week there is still a sack of pork we had brought back with us from the city. We smoked. She tugged at my waist belt and wondered, aloud, what it was like to make love in the mountains.

The mountain is indifferent to what you make of it….

Because the mountain had been Jian’s childhood and teenage life for 18 years, it can’t be what it appears, certainly not from her point of view: there is as much trouble as it is beautiful. The point, therefore, was to give it up. And, you begin to see why the Chinese government has made a big deal of urbanizing the population to 70-80 percent from 30, 40 percent at present. Only naive, ignorant western reporters and Anglophiles think much of the farms.

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Easy Come, Easy Go City Life

In the mountains, there is no broadband, no WiFi, so that a WeChat account is practically useless. Back in the city, Jian still went by the WeChat moniker Gu Yue. I hadn’t seen her in almost six months, during which time things happen: she has had a second abortion, and the motherfucker of a man had left her holding not only the baby who had just turned one but also with unpaid rents. Now, with child to care for, no paying work is possible.

In a mountain village, there’s just the food to worry, occasionally fire and water, and lots of small inconveniences bundled up. In the city, all inconveniences are eradicated. Out of which is birthed the burden of so many conveniences. And conveniences require money that goes to child, rent, hospital, fashion, day-care, travel, holidays, iPhone and WiFi, shopping malls, even just a drink of water; on WeChat Gu Yue orders dinner, buys clothes, book hospital appointments, and borrow money. Money being drained like this, daily, without ceasing, it is easy to see why the mountain stays poor if it’s going to be supported by a city woman, a single mother in particular, riding on WeChat.

The city gives money but also takes it away — quickly, too, thanks in large part to the Web — and, this easy come, easy go sub-culture finds expression in Gu Yue’s WeChat messages.

“Men won’t support another man’s child. Why do it?”

“I’m not a saint. But the child is also you.”

“If you are going to send me money, use WeChat; it’s faster.”

Underpinning this materialism is a dearth of ethical values that had been shaved out of China’s economic expansion. America’s insistence, and threats made (or else), that China pumps up its consumer demand is a bad omen. For certain, household debts will rise. It means making easier for Jian to borrow more than the 50,000 yuan, the limit she has reached owing some online credit companies to which she simply has to ask, and it would be given. There, those motherfuckers call it technology finance, ‘fintech’ in short: no collateral, nothing, other than digitizing her identity card details, including the provision of names of all her family members and a meaningless mountain address. My name is probably in there as well though I haven’t asked, and probably never will.

Xi Jinping harking back to history in resurrecting China refers to those values that had in ancient times underpinned the nation’s greatness: filial piety, modesty, introspection, plan in spring for the winter, and so on. Get off the Web was not one of them, though. But, without those ethical values, merely growing the household income looks like a recipe for disaster and China was right to lean on the banks to curb lending to companies like Wanda. Start with the big.

The opening up of China has caused Jian today to be both poorer and richer than her parent’s generation. And to what end?

Nothing.

“When will you come?” she said over a WeChat call at the end of our exchange of messages recently.

I’m not sure, and I can’t say it and didn’t. I simply said, soon.

In the end, I suspect she knows that nobody owes her a living and if anybody must be held to account for her state of affairs then it is she: blame no social system, no ideology, no government, nor the rest of the world. As much as Xi is responsible for state welfare — not world dominance which isn’t his job —  then she is responsible for her own, counting her child as well. This ethical value about her is invaluable. I can see it, hear it in her voice and tones and, so, can only help lighten her burdens in order for her day to pass easier and more bearable.

But what for? Love probably, whatever that is, and duty, and a life in China.

The rest of the world, America, Donald Trump, Fan Jiayang and the like of them; they can fuck off.

When the winter holidays come, I will go to Liaoning, maybe even cross into North Korea with Jian and her child. Perhaps we won’t get to come back, hopefully….

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https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/827006824989720576/d9RCphxS_400x400.jpg

Fan Jiayang, above, liking herself, and getting away with the pretense she knows more than she does all because she is Chinese and China-born — Yankees, you see, are so short of ‘Sinologists’. Her life attitude reminds of Hannah Yeoh, another super Anglophile bitch, self-serving in her liberal morality, racked by an insecurity of being confronted by a illiberal world out to get her.

Below, Jian, completely distraught: Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina who threw herself onto the rail tracks has problems that pale in comparison.

不讓我的眼淚陪我過夜: 不会 我的爱

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The above guzheng music piece 高山流水 was found mentioned in 吕氏春秋 Annals of Lu Buwei (modern book cover below), Lu being a senior ranking government official from the Qin dynasty, circa 200BC. Excerpts here.

The story about the music went farther back, the Zhou era. This then dates 高山流水 at least 2,600 years. The thing about the Chinese arts: it never grows old which, in its turn, greatly enriches Chinese culture, growing and reproducing over time. It defies death.

Related image

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綠草蒼蒼
白霧茫茫
有位佳人
在水一方

綠草萋萋
白霧迷離
有位佳人
靠水而居

我願逆流而上
依偎在她身旁
無奈前有險灘
道路又遠又長
我願順流而下
找尋她的方向
卻見依稀彷彿
她在水的中央

我願逆流而上
與她輕言細語
無奈前有險灘
道路曲折無已
我願順流而下
找尋她的蹤跡
卻見彷彿依稀
她在水中佇立

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The White Emperor Trump

…but, just for a day.

(Next, part 2/2 installment: ‘Gu Yue, Short of Money, in a Melancholy Nation’)

The White man’s Press didn’t know it, nor their Anglophile media underlings: But, where President Donald Trump and wife sat, it’s the same spot, under the same sky, facing the same theater stage that Ming and Qing emperors watched the performing arts — for over 500 years.

The zijincheng 紫禁城 was (deliberately?) misnamed by Anglophiles and White priests as the Forbidden City (its literal, meaning translation is, City of Prohibited Amethyst; countless government buildings were then restricted from the public, so the zijincheng was no different. But why amethyst prohibition? It’s another story).

Zijincheng is a vast complex of 980 palace buildings which began construction in 1406 and completed 14 years later, employing a total one million workers. At the core is a cluster of buildings housing the emperor’s residence, a garden, library, a ministerial conference hall, and the two buildings that the Trumps visited.

One of the CV requisites of being emperor — or a senior state official — is a deep knowledge of the ethics and arts of the day. The Arts meant poetry composition (because statutes were written in poetry form) and music and dances.

Near identical, for-use replicas of the two buildings can also be found in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong: a temple hall facing a semi-permanent roofed stage, sometimes a temporary construction, to host stage performances during qingming and Spring New Year festivals. The temple hall (misnamed, ‘tokong’) replicates the building where Trump sat. In the zijincheng, that place is reserved for only the emperor.

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What is it to be Emperor?

Asks philosopher-king Xi Jinping

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Because the West and its apologist Anglophiles have neither the language nor the words to describe China, everything about the Chinese are today gauged and described on their terms. An Emperor is an iron fisted ruler, all powerful (described frequently, for example, in the New Yorker; even Trump tweeted about it), like a Napoleon on a horseback, galloping off every now and then to seize some patches of land. Or, like a Russian czar, decked in ostentatious luxury while minions scrabble dirt for a living.

There are no emperors in China, not today nor in the past. China’s earliest rulers circa 2697–2597 BCE were described by the subsequent court scribes (eg. during the Zhou and Han dynasties) as huangdi 黃帝, a formal title given to the first Qin ruler Qin shihuang. Chinese don’t give titles on a whim. 黃帝 huangdi literally translates as yellow/supreme.

The western idea that huangdi therefore means Yellow Emperor is stupid, all because of a river’s name and because of the associated translation called ‘supreme’. Huang 黃 is today a common surname (in southeast Asia, romanized as Wong); it also means pornography; yes, the porn that Umno readers download while reading the Life of Annie.

Di or supreme is the more interesting because in the script 帝 is the base word 巾 jin.  巾 looks familiar? Although commonly translated as towel or turban, it is a part of the descriptive compound noun that encapsulates a range of cloths and clothing accessories, eg 毛巾 maojin, towel, and 頭巾 toujin, headwear. That is, in its etymology jin  巾 is character/pictorial-gram of the ancient Chinese headcover. Recognize it below?

https://torguqin.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/20056121327196_kwfboadd4o9n.jpg?w=533&h=272

Only people occupying formal or government positions wears a jin. Hence the man (or woman) who wears the jin is the position of influence and power.

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Like jin, di 帝 is also a part of several compound noun-words, hence 帝王 diwang (王, wang if you are not already confused, means king) and 上帝 shangdi (上above / 帝emperor), the latter was perversely translated by those stupid Jesuit priests as ‘God’. But, why 上 shang? Answer: Because in Chinese cosmology, the universe is heaven, earth and all things in between. So simple, yes?

The long and short of it all? 黃帝 huangdi  is just a fucking title, like Tan Sri and Tun are titles; it has no equivalent meaning in the English. Why can’t the stupid White man (and their Anglophiles) get it?

But, in China, wearing the crown hadn’t been easy. Not true? Ask Qin shihuang. Since he was unelected, the question that arose was, what entitled him to rule?

Donald Trump’s legitimacy arose singularly from the US Constitution. That is, his position is an artifice of (legal) word construction, backed by force, as Commander-in-Chief. His election provides purely the appearance of legitimacy because no election is possible without the Constitution, all of which helps to describe the US as a legal state. Najib Razak’s position is even more nebulous because he wasn’t directly elected to be PM.

China, because of its long civilization, has none of these legalese trappings and don’t need them, rendering democracy both irrelevant and farcical.

Eight hundred years before Qin shihuang titled himself as ‘Supreme ruler of the State of Qin’, questions arose about what entitled the rulers of Zhou, Qin’s preceding era, to rule. The answer that followed — ‘Son of Heaven’ that’s rendered today in English was completely unsatisfactory. The title gave the position of an other-worldly legitimacy but, critically, not a political one, ethical much less.

Subsequent philosophers from Confucius and Mencius onward explored and debated the merits of such a title and concluded with this statement: go back to the Zhou, look at the qualities of the Zhou rulers. After that, an answer to the question came easily: it wasn’t why nor how rulers were made, how they became entitled to their positions. The question flipped around produced this instead: why were these men accepted by the population as rulers? That is, what gave them legitimacy.

Framed in that way, a political philosophical system was born, centered on the Confucianist humanist ethics, the core of which was contained in the Analects that became a guide into legitimacy and the methods for fulfilling it.

For legitimacy to work, the book argued, an emperor exists to serve and serve well; such a person is like the fixed North Pole star by which all stars revolve. Confucian methods for developing such a person (since the Han era, 2,000 years ago, those methods became the examination syllabi for appointing state officials): education, understanding and knowledge are better for governance than legal rules; a population willing to comply is better than rules, far more than the use of threats and intimidation. All of which also says that there are some things — an ethical system, for instance — that’s greater than the emperor, heaven or no heaven, son or no son; the supreme ruler is fallible so that throughout China’s political history one reads of the inner circle of palace advisors resigning or killing themselves because they felt the emperor was wrong.

Now, take all that, and apply it to so-called Emperor Xi Jinping. This is the man who had made known his determination to revive China, to restore its glory and its past and, to do that, has talked of emulating Wang Yangming, 王阳明 (1472-1529) the Ming era senior government official and neo-Confucianist political philosopher but later expelled from public service for supposedly offending a Ming eunuch.

Is Xi the sort of ruler, or even an emperor, that Trump and the Western establishment media (NYT and the Economist for example) has made him out to be, a sort of conquering Napoleon and czar dictator combined? Found in the Economist, for example, western observers, the so-called ‘China experts’ (as though the Chinese are some jungle specimens) and ‘Sinologists’ (is that a new animal specie?), are writing reams about Xi as exemplar of China’s planned conquest of the world. This is so patently false as to be stupid.

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王阳明 Wang Yangming

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And the way to see why is to look at Wang Yangming 王阳明 and Xi’s talk of the China Dream. The two are mutually inclusive, and both address China’s challenges to its own rejuvenation; both Wang and Xi’s ideas do not address the rest of the world, the West much less.

Like the rest of the world, like other Western leaders, Donald Trump, and numerous presidents before him, believe that the national interests exist outside America’s borders.

Chinese political philosophy, on the other hand is the opposite: The archer misses the target, turns around to examine himself and not the target. Likewise Xi’s demands on China and the Chinese: we have to look at ourselves and, to do so, to mirror ourselves against the past.

Two thousand years before the German philosopher Hegel launched an effort to bundle together the disparate western dualism-ideas of subject (also I) and object (Other), nature and mind, body and soul (Spirit), China’s Daoists had already resolved the problem. So-called polar opposites are merely reflections of each other, hence inseparable: the tall and the short define each other; good and evil birth each other. Really, it’s nothing. Confucianists expanded this resolution into politics, that is, into worldly affairs.

Enter Wang Yangming, 200 years before Hegel, who argued that, given the inter-dependency of the world around us, then knowing something (eg. differentiating good and bad) and acting on that knowledge are simply reflections of each other. You can’t know something meaningfully until it is lived. That is, experience (acting out on something) and knowledge (the mind being its bearer) are not distinct, separate categories but are bundled together. Nothing we know belongs to us (Goethe’s Faust), but what we know when acted out becomes us (Wang Yangming). The engineer imprints his design, his knowledge and his soul onto a railway station once he builds and completes it (the same idea is contained in Haruki Murakami’s novel ‘The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki‘).

Yangming’s idea draws from this underlying Daoist philosophy: 道可道非常道 ‘a way that can be taught can’t be the true way‘. The rationale is this: since nothing we know belongs to us, then our way, one that’s belongs solely, and is true, to ourselves can only be found when experienced.

Applied to China, Xi takes Wang Yangming’s central idea to a national scale. Xi Jinping alone cannot do it. It requires the collective effort of 1.3 billion people: We, the Chinese, have in us, ourselves, a reservoir store of 5,000 years of civilization, culture, ethics, technology and science, of knowledge. Now, apply them, all of them. Let’s see what happens.

China Arise!

This could have nothing to do with being a Chinese national or a Han, Rosie! Stupid you — bodoh sangat… Nor is this so-called ‘China model’ for export — another bodoh — for the reasons cited above. China’s goals draw inspiration from its own history, its civilization and culture, its philosophical ideas underpinning, its science and technology, its language and the arts, all of which are internal to our souls and, so, can only be domestic in application. How then can it be exported because Chinese culture isn’t anything like K-pop? The Chinese life has to be lived and experienced, not staged following a script.

***

At 3:25 (clip below), Xi suggests that Trump and Melania take a photograph. There are numerous buildings, all equally beautiful within the zijincheng. So, why at that spot? Answer: Behind the US couple is the building that seats Chinese imperial power for more than 500 years. Inside it, emperors met state officials to discuss all sorts of national and international issues.

The Chinese don’t believe in the accidents of history. Xi taking Trump to visit the heart of the zijincheng gives concrete expression to a range of pronouncements that has flowed out of Beijing the past five years, from including the most recent 19th National Congress. These are the Wang Yangming’s philosophy, a complete reconstruction of China, the return to its past….

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Compare China’s welcome of Trump to South Korea. We, the Chinese, should relax-la, relax sikit.

 

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In the half hour clip above, Xi took it personally to explain to Trump Chinese building architecture, paintings, and the arts. Like every Chinese boy and girl, Xi knows his China history.

But more significant about the TV news coverage isn’t Trump. His visit was covered in about 8:30 minutes. The rest?

After Trump, the next 25 minutes contain the actual stuff of China’s rise, not by allocating places of international superpower status, that’s not for China to say, nor over who shall get more out of China-US trade.

Rather, that 25 minutes have to do with China’s resurgence because so much had been destroyed the past 150 years, China’s must start all over again, particularly from the ground up. But, the foundations are there already, in its history, its culture, its past, and in our collective experiences.

While Trump visited, thousands of government functionaries and party cadres were dispatched to the provinces (eg. Chongqing, Guangxi, Henan) urging fellow Chinese to press on. There are no material targets — how many tonnes of rice and steel to produce — but it is in ideas, especially if they are old ideas, that must drive China forward. Hence, onward to the factories (17:15), the villages (time marker 16:00, 19:20), newspaper offices, and in every state organ.

In all instances, the issue at heart is getting to grips with the primary question: What will China be like? How do we want ourselves to be like in a given future (22:25)?

Should China become the next superpower, it’s the byproduct of the joint, collective efforts of ordinary Chinese, 1.3 bn of us. Status is seen by people outside and so comes not by one projecting military and economic power because that display is appearance and it especially presumes there exists the weak. (This is Daoist-Confucian political thought in a nutshell.)

Like countless, racist Whiteman reporters, New Yorker’s Fan Jiayang just doesn’t seem to get it, nor does she know her Analects and, after that, her neo-Confucianism. But, in America where she grew up since age 8, she has gotten her way, shouting like a mad woman running down the street cursing, and it’s only because she speaks the language of white Americans, with that NY twang, backed up a pretty face, underpinned by White bigotry.

Yes, China is not perfect (on White man’s terms), nor are the Chinese, but Jiayang is an ABC class of her own, a fucking mealy mouth witch, not unlike Cina@YouTiup, a Jiayang boy-fan, who, for saving grace, knows at least his daodejing: 道可道非常道 ‘a way that can be taught can’t be the true way’.

***

This is Part 2 of 2 of Sinopec. Part 1/2 here.

Inside Sinopec’s Get-Rich-Quick Scheme:

A shoe polish management style called 刷鞋 shuaxie

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Shoe shine management

Made in China, exported by Sinopec, imported by Hong Kong: The Eddie Ho 何蔭management 刷鞋 caat haai style is a Qing era managerial tool deployed by communist dinosaurs for neo-republican commerce in a 21st century world.

But whose shoes does Eddie polish if not commie Chinaman in double-breasted suits, eyes on the girls, thinking mistresses… in Dongguan. One would have thought that Mao had finished off this petty bourgeoisie class of assholes.

Small wonder Hong Kong is Coolie Capital of the world. Until Sinopec the Eddie Hos were polishing British shoes, today, they lick commie assholes. Which would be, of course, perfectly fine: how they live their lives, who they scrub, who cares. Therein, complications set in once the Eddies pretend their loyalty was never to themselves, first and last, and that they own Sinopec.

Such a conduct is treason against the People’s Republic for which there is only one verdict: the Eddies will be arrested, tried and executed, if not today, tomorrow then for the abuse of power and the resources of a nation to advance their personal agendas.

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Shell and Sinopec compared

Does that look like an AGM of entrepreneurs or of political party cadres and commie functionaries?

“Party, government, military, civilian and academic, east, west, south, north and centre,” Xi Jinping said in a speech at last month’s opening of the 19th National Congress, “the Party leads everything.”

If everything includes Sinopec, it should just de-list and cease all the pretense it’s a modern company run on clear corporate values and commercial goals.

Clearly, Xi hasn’t been reading Marx and so doesn’t get it: The Party does not lead, much less own. The People lead, Xi Jinping follows. In the life of a business, ownership doesn’t count for much, not even leadership; it’s the ideological system running it. Sinopec is run on hoodlum — village idiot thug — culture wherein its managers think power flows out of the barrel of a fuel gun. That, if they’d walk round the offices the whole day, threatening with a wrench, things will get done.

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What’s a Commie Corporate World Like?

Beneath China’s illusory face of meritocracy

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There are MNCs and there are SOEs. (MNC being multinational corporation, SOE state-owned enterprise, a term especially reserved for China’s companies.)

Shell is a MNC. But Sinopec is a SOE even though, like Shell, it is also global, publicly traded, and its worth can be found in the stock exchange digital boards of Hong Kong, London and New York.

Take London. There you will find Sinopec’s facade in all its MNC functionalities, forms and trappings. There, though, you won’t find managers like Eddie Ho Yam Wah 何蔭 whose no idea of an MNC business, or any business, is to play coolie.

This idea draws from the decrepit, old alleyways of Wanchai: the sullen Father upstairs in a teak wood chair, smoking, hectoring (to no one in particular), concubine silently pouring tea; Wife #1 is in the kitchen. Downstairs, Eddie is behind a desk, on the phone, berating the supplier — ‘Fuck your mother, I don’t want to hear excuses‘ — while ignoring an incoming cell phone call from Shenzhen. Later, he thinks to himself, he will say sorry to the mistress. Immediately outside his timber and glass walled cubicle sits the wife, behind a column of desks. She is counting pennies beside ledgers stacked up to her neck, decked in a gold necklace as thick as your forefinger.

This isn’t resurrected Hong Kong. No, it’s the digitized, computerized (run on pirated Microsoft software) refurbished past. Sinopec is the relatively new arrival to Wanchai, the one with Chinese communist characteristic but all the same: Xi Jinping the Father, Dai Houlian counting pennies, Eddie Ho, wielding the wrench, charged with ‘corporate strategy’ when strategy is by means of a shoe polish with his mealy-mouth and chinky-slanted eyes beneath a new close cropped hair, mainland style. He is Sinopec’s chief street enforcer and underling VP. In Hong Kong, they dish out corporate titles as readily as they hand out product fliers on the streets.

Shell’s strategic planning is as long term as British eyes can see through the London fog.

Sinopec, on the other hand, has 13th Five-year Plan outline for legal works and 7th Five-year Plan law popularization planning.” (Serious, we didn’t make this up; those are their exact words.) This — the planning — goes on and on and on, and like Mao’s Little Red Book stultifying in its scope, meaningless in its contents, and pointless in its abstractions. Nobody reads it beyond the title.

Corporate governance? Those are just words. Like the words employed to battle corporate corruption, its managers say they are adhering to — now take a deep breath — a policy of “deep going into ‘Four Styles’ regulation of formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance“.

You get the point?

That, the above, is in a nutshell Sinopec corporate management today, identical not only in language but in content to some communist party ideologue, Long March style, from 80 years ago. Pity Sinopec, pity the people of China, pity the world.

The company as political ideology encapsulates Sinopec as a party of cadres steering a modern, computerized VLOC ship with sampan oars and jungle survival mentalities. And small wonder the results — USD270 billion in 2015 total sales — were so easy to attain. Those managers have only to squeeze the balls of Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s disgraced ex-chief executive, and he’d capitulate and hand in all the keys of the government vehicles to Dai Houlian, Sinopec’s vice-chairman.

Those keys make up a market that ferries around more than 60,000 employees daily. No great strife needed, and no great innovation, no great thinking are necessary to get to those USD billion revenue numbers. Actually, all China is a captive market and this means all Chinese must bow to Dai Houlian.

It also means that beneath Sinopec’s stilted Orwellian language, parts plagiarized from Shell and Exxon, talking about ‘CSR’ and ‘social responsibility’, lies a pile of dead wood, political jungle creatures in suits and ties, performing guerilla skirmishes to win market shares.

No wonder there’s no talk of careers in Sinopec because, if you are fresh out of Hong Kong University, where do you want to go in the company? Indeed, where can you go? In Shell, they say ‘Join Us‘ and they talk of ‘Opportunities‘, ‘Diversity and Inclusion‘, ‘Understanding Local Concerns‘ and ‘Values‘. Sinopec? Nothing. There’s just absolute silence because all positions are taken up, by the Party, of course; nobody need apply.

Why the party?

Because, in Sinopec, power is the sole determining human and corporate value. You find this value extolled in the virtues of political verbiage of mind boggling abstractions‘formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance‘ —  as if the company is an extension of the CPC. And it is. When power is the sole arbiter of management tools, it invariably produces third rate, third world 刷鞋 shuaxie, brush shoe corporate practices. And you see its results in the following:

A roof dripping is now a water bucket four years on. Cracked and torn fuel hoses wait six months for replacements. It took three years to change a single forecourt overhead light because few technicians would work for Sinopec. Without their own technicians, Sinopec outsource the jobs. And these jobs typically go to the cheapest and, hence, the ones least competent. They, in turn, must curry favor with Eddie Ho who, of course, has his excuses, excuses and excuses for the delay.

Eddie’s use and reliance on shuaxie management style and practice is traceable all the way to Beijing and to the communist party structure imported and infused into Sinopec so that, outside of China, the company is, as they say, nothing. It exists as a tool of international political machinations between state and state, government and government, and president-to-president. That Sinopec is beholden to the CPC it is because Chinese political culture makes the Party equal to State and equal to Nation.

For that equation to hold requires nothing more than producing and nurturing the like Eddie Ho and Ng Chi Hun, Sinopec’s department head for Safety.

Ng Chi Hun is another Sinopec speciality: he urges its operators to stop using swear words with customers. But, on the phone, you hear him tyrannizing a subordinate: “You motherfucker! How many times have I said the service contract cannot be amended once the job is taken! You piece of motherfucking shit!

Such a language — and Hong Kong is the swear capital of the world, after all — has nothing to do with the sub culture of taxi drivers and dockyard coolies that Hong Kong grew from. No. Instead it has to do with the use and abuse of power that monopolizes everything concerning Sinopec, from hiring and firing to outsourcing a light bulb.

The Rise and Coming Fall of Sinopec

Sinopec is so fucked up from the top-down and from bottom-up that, with crude oil prices down, the only means to compete against MNCs is to cut prices. It competes the only way it knows how — cheap, cheap, cheap — like China sells cheap, branded imitation phones and cheap shoes. Management tools like meritocracy, innovation, services, and product marketing are just talk.

Being Sinopec, being a political party outfit that understands only power, raw, brazen and undiluted, that’s all Eddie Hos know and understand. Its managers and directors have degrees in engineering and chemicals that are useless for the purpose for which they are hired, that is, as extensions of political influences to reward and punish and to hire and fire. This is as opposed to building a business with entrepreneurship and distinct objectives.

Ng Chi Hun is, of course, right in his never-ending, 24/7 berating of people to produce results: He counts himself as one of the company’s hatchet men.

Sinopec managers meet its gas station operators on the first week of every month. There Ng holds court. Eddie almost never turns up; he’s the two-face man, outside a thug, inside a shoe shine coolie, hence invisible. He is emblematic of all that’s wrong with Sinopec’s Hong Kong, lavish and conspicuous in its show of wealth and, on the other side, bitter in its deprivation and poverty.

Sinopec’s offices occupy six floors of Wanchai’s Convention Office Plaza Tower. Immediately to the north is the Reunification Monument; beside the Plaza, to the east, is China’s quasi diplomatic liaison office. Chinese commies hurdle together for reasons of comfort and camaraderie. It reflects their isolation and strangeness from the rest of the world and in their way of doing things.

Ng is lambasting again for no reason other than it is the default of his character; he was, as Hong Kong people say, born out of his mother’s ass.

“Here’s a list of violations the previous month,” he said holding up typed sheets naming the gas station with their failures to comply. Ng has been enforcing safety standards at Sinopec for five years. And, given the strict discipline and enforcement, the list is queer — running to more than three dozen cases of non-compliance. It is queer because the tougher the company gets, the more there are violations. One case especially drew his ire and this was backed up by photos secretly shot in the night. They showed a truck unloading fuel with almost no safety safeguards: no safety cones, no ‘Keep Away’ signs, no fire extinguisher, no wire earthing.

Such safeguards are the responsibilities of the driver who truck in Singapore refined fuel stored at Sinopec’s harbor terminal. Again, the driver is a short-term, sub-contract hire without any incentive to follow the rules, to keep his job must less.

Marketing is next and the department head Jessica Chan wants the gas stations to promote and sell to drivers who never get out of their cars ‘Tibetan glacial water’. Before that it was Thailand fragrant rice.

Sinopec, a contradiction from beginning to end, is a disaster in the making precisely because its managers, egotists writ large, believe in their own invincibility. They believe power is a bottomless resource and the CPC is always there to supply it. With a near monopoly on China’s demand, Sinopec, own by the state, run by party apparatchiks, has everything to itself.

On the supply side, it exists on the strength of China’s foreign relations with other countries. If Sudan is overrun, an oil sourcing part of Sinopec collapses. If Gabon implodes under the weight of low crude prices, Sinopec suffers. If Venezuela goes, it takes Sinopec with it in South America. If Pakatan Harapan takes over, all contracts with China in Malaysia is potentially worthless.

There may be simply too many ‘ifs’ to witness the immediate fall of Sinopec. It is on that presumption that Sinopec is convinced that so long as it doesn’t place all its eggs in one basket, the company would be alright, it would prosper and its managers can do as they damn well please. But, the argument is so obtuse and fallacious its managers don’t see the possibility that Sinopec can simply run out of eggs one day. After which all the baskets in the world would be useless.

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The Customer, the Terrorist

How the China petroleum company Sinopec crafts then determines state, national security policy

Above, the Wang Chin Street gas station in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, a fuel dispenser nozzle is called, literally, a gun qiang . In the hands of customers, including the police, Sinopec has made know that the gun, loaded with petrol, becomes a potential terrorist weapon.

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Quietly, Sinopec 中石化 has introduced a new, clandestine policy to ban self-service at all its gas filling stations, starting in Hong Kong, on the ground that customers, being strangers, are potential terrorists.

The policy was never publicly announced. But at one of its 47 Hong Kong stations, the Wang Chin Street Station supervisor in east Kowloon was fired after he permitted a customer-driver to touch then hold the petrol dispensing nozzle.

Two junior managers assigned secretively to the policy implementation had been watching from a 100 meters away under a road bridge. They got off the car and went into the station office.

The supervisor was summoned the same minute and given a dressing down. Four days later the supervisor’s employer and station operator Tak Cheong Loong Petroleum Chemicals Ltd 德昌隆石油貿易有限公司 were called to a meeting with senior Sinopec managers.

Late the same day, the supervisor was fired on the primary and principal argument that he had permitted unauthorized use of a gas station equipment  — the fuel dispensing nozzle.

What if the customer takes the ‘gun’ then spray petrol on other customers,” Eddie Ho Yam Wah 何蔭 said, berating the supervisor that Monday afternoon. “This is a serious matter and a serious offense. I must inform your boss accordingly.

How the secretive policy prohibiting customers from handling the nozzle came into being is no mystery, a policy never once specified in operating contracts with station operators, absent in all rule books, and never committed in black on white.

Like other corporate policies (as banal as changing a light bulb), Sinopec rules are arbitrary: It is what a department head says it is. The rationale is proffered only later, and never before full discussion with outside stake holders (franchise operators, government clients, other customers) and seldom debated even internally.

In the same fashion, the Communist Party of China (CPC) runs and administers the country.

In its management Sinopec is no different because — and this is although the company is listed in Shanghai, Hong Kong, London and New York stock exchanges — its top managers from the chairman down are assigned to their positions by the CPC, using the standards of political peddling and factional influence far more than meritocracy to determine job competency. This leaves behind, in their wake, little Napoleons, suggested in Eddie’s middle Chinese name 蔭 yin, shade: his work is as shady as it gets, with little to oversee managerial decisions and provide oversight, and with powers over life and limb. The higher up they go, the greater is their accumulation of power.

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Next installment.

A comparison between old Western multinationals and the new, global spread of China’s State-Own Enterprises: Corporate efficiency or plain old Kafkaesque bureaucracy?

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Such ways of determining policy has insidious, even disastrous national consequences.

Sinopec’s ban on self-service has effectively made itself a benchmark for a nation-wide, security issue, something completely outside of corporate jurisdiction. The company becomes an extra-jurisdictional, extra-territorial power, in a way bigger than the state.

In a place such as Singapore or Cambodia, beholden to China, Sinopec unilaterally determines who is potentially a terrorist.

There may be no empirical evidence to show that the customer is more likely than a uniformed staff to blow up a station but this doesn’t matter. Such a paradox exists given, as in Hong Kong, that all government departments hold Sinopec’s fuel/fleet cards, the result of Hong Kong’s return to China mainland rule that eventually displaced Shell as a the primary energy provider.

It was upon presentation of that fleet card at Wang Chin Street Station that the customer-driver had told the supervisor he’d watch over the fuel dispensing while the latter attended to a long waiting line of other customers.

But, Sinopec’s little Napoleonic managers don’t care for such exigencies nor bother with such explanations. They don’t have to, much less care.

Once vested with so much powers, more political than meritocratic, once answerable to nobody, once corporate policies are made independent of other stakeholders, such a system of structure feeds, in their turn, its internal office politics — often subject to outside, vested influences.

Precisely because rule setting is arbitrary and because internal managers obey no rules other than their own, Sinopec reflects CPC’s political and power standards: It becomes as tyrannical as it can be. Anybody getting in the way is bulldozed over.

Sinopec is a corporate part of the CPC miniaturized.

Wang Yupu, chairman, was just last month seconded from the CPC chief of the ‘State Administration of Work Safety’ — whatever the shit that is. His appointment was made by the ‘party’s organization department’ overseeing the naming of government officials to corporate positions. He was a delegate to the recent 19th National Congress beginning October 18.

Senior operations managers at Sinopec Hong Kong are routinely assigned by the Beijing head-office, one of who worked until May in Singapore. Dai Houliang the board vice chairman but stationed in Beijing was since last year deputy secretary of the CPC ‘Committee of the Sinopec group’. Wang Zhigang, director and senior vice-president, was deputy secretary of an economics CPC commission from Ningxia. Chang Zhenyong, vice-president, was for a period in the CPC Standing Committee and deputy mayor of Beihai, Guangxi province.

In the past year, Sinopec Hong Kong has launched the process of re-tendering about 30 of its petrol filling stations. On the face of it this seems normal, that is, to reassess the performance of its franchise operators every three years and then to weed out the non-performing ones. The Wang Chin Street Station was the outcome of such a process and awarded to Tak Cheong Loong only last month, September.

But the previous Wang Chin Street operator was given another station, at present under construction. Which then suggests that, beneath all the appearances, there exists another reality, one that plays to influence peddling and money, the latter by commissions from every liter sale of petrol or diesel.

Sinopec’s corporate managers entrusted to determine who takes or not take this franchise commissions supply them with even greater powers. There is no element of appeal, neither to facts nor to reason.

It was on the threat of forfeiting the commission money that the boss of Tak Cheong Loong went down buckling. A man in his late fifties, born in Penang, he emigrated to Hong Kong where subsequently he became bulk distributor of Shell fuels before getting his first Sinopec station three years ago.

On the night of the sack, he drove with his wife to the station.

“Come, let’s have dinner together,” he said upon seeing the station supervisor and not long after the Wanchai meeting with Sinopec. He admired the supervisor’s dedication and hard work, he said midway through stuffing noodles but money counted more in the end than any recognition of meritocracy.

Three hours later, at the corner table of the restaurant in Kowloon Bay, his wife produced a statement of employee payment on plain A4 paper.

The supervisor signed, she whipped out a cheque book, and that was that, one more human transaction resulting from the politics and power of Sinopec’s managers who today determine national policy in ways far more influential than the government.

They have made known, in effect, that all customers, including the government of Hong Kong, are potential Islamic suicide bombers and that the supervisor had created, even if remote, a situation that could lead to a terrorist activity.

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The Sinopec Communist Party runs its business like it were a political outfit, with committees: Wang Yupu, center, chairman and to his left Dai Houliang, vice-chairman.

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Sinopec today decides state, security policies for countries: Customers are potential terrorists, according to its Hong Kong Maintenance and Safety department managers.

… and now wants to ‘save’ (with DAP help).

The signboard placed at the entrance to the launderette. - Picture from Facebook

Another Allah First Project by Tanah Malaiyoo… Allahuakbar!

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Allah the Racist, the Pedophile, the Head Chopper, the Killer of Children and now the Launderette

Dear Muslim-Only Launderette,

Thank you for posting the sign. We, the Chinese, have been wondering how to identify so as to boycott Malaiyoo laundry shops. Now we know: Where there’s Allah, there is a Malaiyoo. Again, thanks for the tip.

BTW, you are welcome to buy Chinese phones, even our rice and our ships. No ‘faktor kesucian‘ required. Only leave, ‘tanggalkan‘, your money behind. Those are also not gifts from Arabia and from your fucked up Allah. You steal phones again, we chop off your fucking balls — after we are done with your hands.

Salam…

Orang Cina

PS: Mahathir Mohamad and Lim Kit Siang will soon be coming to Muar and will want your vote. Don’t listen to them. Remember, always Allah First, Malaysia Second.

 

From Anglophiles, Taiwan and Malaysia, such a film is call ‘art’ — and gets prizes, Taiwanese types. If from my Motherland, it’s called ‘propaganda’. No prizes, of course.

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Pete Teo, the Chinese Anglophile from Sabah made infamous by a slap from a Malaiyoo in the Peninsula, has participated in an anti-China film done in Taiwan (Cina @ YouTiup, below, is easily impressed; ‘wah‘ he says). This is a film about a film, a trick taken from an old literary story-within-a-story device (Joseph Conrad, for example). It talks of a single family situation within the politically loaded one-China context.

True, some Hong Kong people want a separate state independent from the mainland. Ditto Taiwan. And they are far more millions who want to keep China one. What about them? Their views don’t count; undemocratic?

In any case, what’s the big deal about the film? Anybody think China will sweat over it? It will win big prizes that the Taiwan Anglophiles will happily hand over dozens all because a film is anti-China. We, the Chinese, on the other hand, are too big for that.

If director Ying Liang 應亮 wants such a film, yes, he’s entitled to do it, but not inside China; there’d be millions of Chinese — and this isn’t just the central Chinese government only — who will want his head. Is this oppression? Is this undemocratic? Answer: So what? Why, on the contrary, we like to think it is very democratic.

The Chinese have lost hundreds of millions upon millions of lives (between 1938-45, 25 million and we haven’t yet finish counting the bodies) to lay out, build and keep intact its civilization, culture, identity, and state for over 3,000 years — helped by Confucius and Laozi. Why would you think we would let a couple of motherfuckers undo it all? Because Pete Teo says so? Ying Liang? Taipei Times of Taiwan? Or Richard Brody?

They can even call China all sorts of names — we don’t give a fuck.

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But, here’s the rub. Brody:

Ying Liang, one of the world’s best filmmakers, whom China tried to silence, has a new film, I Have Nothing to Say….

One of the best? According to Brody, of course. And this is how good Brody is:

Here’s the Chinese title: 媽媽的口供. 媽媽 = mother; 口供 = confession. Hence in translation: A Mother’s Confession.

In one dialogue scene, a main character, the mother played by 耐安 Nai An, said to the public security officers: 我還有話要說. Literally, “I also have something to say.

Now, take those two sets of Chinese phrases and their actual translations and compare them to Brody’s English rendering of the film title I Have Nothing to Say, which so clearly attempts by distortion and by outright lying to connote, to imply and to infer a sense of defiance against the authorities, of silence, of an uncooperative attitude.

Western attempts to portray China on the cruelest, darkest possible terms is legendary and has gone on for the last 300 years, indeed ever since the arrival of White Christian missionaries and gunboats. They have never, never, never been attempts in mass media to be fair or to see things on Chinese terms — much less to be real or truthful. Not even to see and interpret China by other Chinese who feel their government is doing right.

The result is this relentless propaganda, itself twisted — I have something to say becomes I have nothing to say — standing on the legs of western values (human rights, yada, yada, yada). Helping to spearhead this are the Taiwan Anglophiles and western editors at Taipei Times. In the circumstances, therefore, why should China allow Ying Liang any space at all at home to present such distortions (which is why it is also called propaganda).

At the end of the day, we, the Chinese, don’t give a shit. Ying can do what he likes; Pete Teo can take part in the film, again, we also don’t give a shit.

But if Pete wants to talk about being silenced, that would be a joke, isn’t it? Does he mean silenced like he was silenced with a slap in front of Najib Razak, no less?

In his Twitter, Brody cites Ying:

“…all Chinese signed a contract with the government: If you forget what happened, you can lead a normal life. If you don’t, then you have to leave or not have a normal life.”

Is that statement even true?

We, including the authors at shuzheng, have never signed any contract with the government, expressed or implied; the government doesn’t want such a contract, and we don’t need it to govern our lives. We know about Tiananmen, we have never forgotten, we even talked about it — in front of the authorities. But are our lives abnormal as a result? Have we left? Were we driven out? Can I not publish in WordPress?

To us, people like Ying are abnormal. Like the West is abnormal, like Brody, like Pete Teo, like Mahathir Mohamad, like Lim Kit Siang — these bumbling Anglophile fools. They aren’t just nuts; they are plain stupid, and can’t even do propaganda convincingly.

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Pete, you want another slap? Next time your tongue will take flight… and all your teeth with it. Whoosh. Stupid fucker, and watch your tongue, boy.