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|Q0: Who Am I? |
( A Somewhat Late Introduction )
"A Somewhat Late Introduction"?
No, no! I am not dead! Not yet!
"How's it hanging, McFly?"
My name is Quek Siew Khoon, but call me "Paul Quek".
It's easier on the tongue!
A few words about moi, for context:
- Full Name:Quek Siew Khoon
- Family Name (surname):Quek, pronounced as in "quack", like the sounds made by ducks!
- Own / Given Name:Siew Khoon, which means something having to do with both leaves/earth and heaven ( I
- Internet-WWW / For-convenience Handle:"Paul Quek" [ It's VERY, VERY, VERY "unofficial", thank GOD! ]
- Country of Domicile:Singapore ( looking to "QUIT" to the United States of America one of
these days! )
- Ethnicity / Race :Chinese
- Language Dialect:Hokkien
The last item on the above list is significant: you see, there are many
dialects in the Chinese language. What is generally thought of as "Chinese" in
the West is actually the "Cantonese" dialect.
In Beijing, China (where "China" is a.k.a the "PRC", or "People's Republic of
China"), they mostly speak the "Mandarin" dialect, which is sort of the official "Chinese" language. But in
Taiwan, a.k.a. the "ROC" (or "Republic of China"), politicians kinda like to
use the Hokkien dialect -- it sounds more sincere! True, Really, Sompah! ( a la Singlish ) -- I am not making this up. Anyway, my mum's Hokkien, by the way. My Dad's
"Hokchia" ( I have no idea whether this spelling is "corright or not, lah!", more Singlish for you to chew on! ).
We, in Singapore -- which is neither part of China nor part of Taiwan, either
politically or geographically, but is a tiny island in South-east Asia --
speaks mostly a mish-mash of dialects, sprinkled liberally with beautiful "Singlish" (or the local bastardised version of English) and other languages such as
-- thus demonstrating our deep-rootedness in ASEAN (or Association of
South-east Asian Nations), although the official "Chinese" language in
Singapore is, by decree, Mandarin. Mandarin is so "official" in Singapore that, at one stupid time, TV and radio
broadcasts in other Chinese dialects were "banned" (a very common and
"official" word in Singapore, where only the hammer is used because every
problem is seen as a nail), or at the very least "discouraged".
- the local version of Malay,
- Bahasa Melayu, which is Malaysia's version of Malay ( I think! ),
- Bahasa Indonesia, which is Indonesia's version of Malay,
- Tagalog, which is the Philippines' language, and
- maybe even some Thai
But the average ethnic-Chinese Joe and Jane (or would that be Yang and Yin?)
insists and persists, in the privacy of their homes and clubs, in listening to
dialect music and in watching dialect shows, especially Cantonese martial arts
movies, on video tapes and VCDs.
[ VCDs (or video compact disks) are the successor to Laser Discs (or LDs) and
the predecessor to DVDs. Although hardly used at all in the USA and Canada,
VCDs are still widely used in South-east Asia, Hongkong, etc. -- pretty much
the entire "Orient". ]
Anyway, who can stomach those bastardised kungfu movies? Mandarin, in place of
Cantonese, in these movies sounds like crap! No fun, man! [ Ever try scolding
someone in Mandarin -- it's much more fun in Cantonese! TRY IT for goodness's
sake -- LIGHTEN UP, man! ]
Anyway ... Just remember this: anything "official" in Singapore means it is
sanctioned by the powers-that-be; anything "unofficial" is likely to be
illegal, or frowned upon in some way, or considered outside the limits / bounds
of the OB markers! [OB = "out-of-bounds"]. Sick! And we wonder why we aren't
that creative, innovative, and so forth, or that we are buzz-less, zing-less,
and the like!
I can't say anything much more -- you see, I don't want to be locked up without trial on some trumped-up charges! The system's very, very sick! And we are paying a
heavy price for this sick system. Hence, the recent too-late-and-too-little
recognition of the need to deconstruct and then to reconstruct the entire
system -- the "official" spouting is: to "remake" Singapore.
Can we really, truly "remake" Singapore, I wonder?
Would the "new" Singapore be just an illusory marketing image, the result of
yet more "spin" by the ever-official "spin doctors" (including the "foreign
talent" type), without any real fundamental changes being made?
I am not hopeful!
I am sceptical!
Oh, what the hell!
The future belongs to the children and young people!
Let them make what they want of Singapore.
I am going hiking and fishing! -- Preferably, in the USA -- although Ponggol or Pulau Ubin would do
just as well.
Cheers and cheerio!
Anyway, this is my very own WWW site -- or website, for short (perhaps,
"netsite", since the WWW is part of the Internet?) -- created mostly for my own
edification. But if you find it useful, then maybe that's another reason for
However, since I hope that I have developed a somewhat Zen-like, Tao-like
disposition, maybe the reasons for this website are not all that important....
Hey, after all, I'm not all that important....
Anyhow, I am simply going to treat this website as a place for a sort of
"potpourri e-book" that is continuously evolving.
You will find that, because I find it difficult to read a lot of text on a
computer screen for any great length of time, I have, wherever I can, dispensed
with most of the paragraph and other writing-style conventions meant for a
Still, you can always print out these webpages -- it's your choice -- but I am
writing these pages to be read on a screen.
If you are like me, you probably feel that there are already too many "pieces
of papers" in your life, and you are trying to get rid of them RSN ( "real soon
now" )! ( Yeah, right! )
Before signing off, I leave you with this thought, from the poet Arthur
What one approves,
And thus his nature
You find the rosebush
Full of thorns,
I find the thornbush
Full of roses.
Who knows what he is told, must
know a lot of things that are not so.
The stones that
Critics hurl with
A Man may use to build a
-- Arthur Guiterman
don't let the power junkies and control freaks of this world
make you think otherwise, whatever it may be ...
"Live Long and Prosper!"