Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Do we really want to march to Putrajaya? (reprise)

Heart-shaped cloud over Putrajaya. Was it Photoshopped? (Pic by Saeed Salem)

I've been to Putrajaya total of three times. The first time out of sheer diabolical curiosity. I was on the highway and spotted the Putrajaya exit; decided to make a brief detour just to see for myself what the hoo-ha was about. I parked in front of the PM's office and noticed the Egyptian-style obelisk outside his window. I couldn't believe the rococo lampposts and idly wondered how many there were and how much each cost (after mark-up).

The place was utterly soulless. A monumentally overpriced concrete fa├žade. Like a colossal movie set for very boring and unimaginative epics involving millions of demure concubines and uncomplaining slaves. Only an evil emperor with massive delusions of grandeur (or terminal ego insecurity) could have conceived such an anachronistic monstrosity - and the man who launched the Putrajaya project was indeed an evil emperor wannabe, albeit of pathetically mediocre caliber. Unsurprisingly he left us with a cumbersome and morally diseased mediocracy to dismantle.

The second visit was with my ethnic fusion group Akar Umbi. We were invited for a gig in Putrajaya in conjunction with something or other. We even overnighted in a local hotel there. Luckily, the presence of giggling Orang Asli neutralized the robot city vibes of Putrajaya. It wasn't too bad an experience and we even got paid for our efforts.

Last week I went to Putrajaya to assist my friends with their application for a visa extension. Our visit to the Immigration Department turned out to be rather surreal and decidedly unpleasant. My friends were only given two weeks when they re-entered Malaysia after a trip to Singapore. However, the immigration officer at Tuas reassured them they could apply for an extension at the nearest immigration office and led them to believe it was a routine procedure.

Well, it was hardly routine. We were made to wait nearly 5 hours, only to be told the application for an extension was rejected. No reason given. But judging by the smug unfriendly tone in which the betempurunged and betudunged immigration officer pronounced that my friends had to leave the country, it was only too clear that our immigration policy discriminates against citizens of certain countries, in this case, China. If we had been treated with courtesy and not made to wait fruitlessly for hours, not getting an extension would have been much easier to accept.

The cold unhelpful treatment we received at the Jabatan Imigresen in Putrajaya merely confirmed what all of us have known all along: that BN slogans like "Performance Now" and "People First" are just a huge load of Najis (absolute crap, for the uninitiated).

Ironically, my friends had been seriously considering investing in Malaysia and making it their second home. Now I'm not so sure they would want to live in a such a rabidly and crudely racist country - even though all the Malaysians they have encountered - outside Putrajaya - have been very friendly and hospitable.

This foul-tasting encounter with post-Mahathir bureaucracy has prompted me to question the wisdom of wanting to take over Putrajaya - an architectural abomination which carries the reek of an accursed kingdom, something only a reptilian warlord like Sauron could relish.

Every structure in Putrajaya is designed to dwarf and diminish the common man and exalt the abstract notion of financial and political clout. It flatters the megalomaniacal ego and sneers at the whole idea of the soul. The architecture of Putrajaya insults all notions of human warmth and peremptorily dismisses the idea of democracy. Instead, we are browbeaten into submission to whomsoever operates the machinery of government from within those imposing stone fortresses.

If Pakatan Rakyat succeeds against all odds at vanquishing the Barisan Najis, the new federal government ought to seriously reconsider moving into Putrajaya. I'm convinced that just occupying those cold unfeeling premises will swiftly turn the newly elected government into an ugly replica of the old guard. Very bad fengshui, in other words.

Hard to imagine putting on the clothes of a moral leper - and not getting infected almost immediately.

Putrajaya is the concrete and glass manifestation of Mahathir's megalomania - which is really no different than that of Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini. In an earlier age, Mahathir could have been Atilla the Hun or Genghis Khan. These would-be world-conquerors are essentially cut from the same crude cloth. They have no time for the simple and the wholesome. They curl their lips and snarl in contempt at those who show compassion, forgiveness and mercy. They are prepared to do whatever it takes to seize earthly power and hold on to it with a vice-like grip. Their egos crave abject adoration from their disciples and followers - a sure sign that these personality types are descended from fallen angels and false gods.

Only false gods enjoy being feared by those who worship and unquestioningly serve them. The corrupt Umno priesthood established by Mahathir to serve his unholy ambition are the ones who typically work in ideological think-tanks and indoctrination agencies like Biro Tatanegara (National Civics Bureau). Just as Hitler's Third Reich was founded on a perverted sense of racial pride and prejudice, Mahathir built on Abdul Razak Hussein's Ketuanan Melayu agenda and infected two generations of Umno Malays with the dangerously divisive notion of racial supremacy.

Imitation of false gods is what prompts potentates to construct monuments and palaces to their own vainglory. In Malay the word raja (king) constitutes the root of the word for government - kerajaan. This suggests that government officials represent the rulers.

Instead of serving the public, the bureaucracy believes its primary purpose is to serve the symbols of Malay power, the sultans. That's only in theory, of course. In practice, most bureaucrats are programmed to serve their political masters, while helping themselves to the goodies at every opportunity. The upshot of this unhealthy practice is that we invariably end up with a rusty can of overfed maggots in public office and greedy, grasping, dragons of debauchery in the palaces.

Which means the common people, the rakyat, don't really feature at all in the power equation - except as a source of revenue and labor. This may have been the prevailing pattern in which power has been misused for millennia - but this sort of top-down hierarchy is no longer viable and should have become extinct along with the belief that Time is linear and Space strictly Euclidean..

Oppressive and authoritarian misrule is the primary cause of mediocrity. The docile, obedient, unimaginative and uncreative get promoted to positions of authority while "cultural creatives" - the innovators, mavericks and real talents - get sidelined or persecuted till they go into voluntary exile.

I hope the next government of Malaysia takes very careful note - even though I already know they won't and that they will rapidly become an almost exact replica of the bureaucratic tyranny they once vociferously opposed, proving once again and irrefutably, that those who consider themselves adult should unsubscribe from the notion of external authority (especially in the guise of their own parents, family clans, political parties, Cosplay governments and fictional off-planet deities).

[First posted 23 November 2010]

Sunday, November 26, 2023

I've been wishing I could share this extraordinary video with everybody for many years. Now you can view it for free!

What About Me?  is the second album by UK duo Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman under the name 1 Giant Leap. The duo traveled around the world recording vocals and music by artists of various genres. The DVD/CD version of the album was released in March 2009.

I consider the 1 Giant Leap  project among the most brilliant and accomplished independent productions since the start of the Digital Era. A must-watch, especially now it's on YouTube!

[First posted 9 January 2013. Reposted 23 November 2019]

Friday, November 24, 2023

Interviewed about mixed marriages for a children's book... (repost)

From my email archives, a request from Jim Holmes - author of a children's book on "mixed marriages" - for an interview that may never have seen the light of day...

Anoora, Ahau & Antares in Tanjong Malim, 1998

----- Original Message -----
From: jim@jimholmes.co.uk
Date: Tuesday, February 4, 2003 9:08 pm
Subject: Re: A Children's Book.

Dear Antares,

Here are the questions, think 12-year-olds. Can I call you by your old name, or should I call you Antares?

Antares applies as it has better exchange value.

There are no guarantees that the interview will be used, as we have 27 out of a possible requirement of 21.

Mine are not the kind of answers that questionnaires seek - not usually - but we'll give it a go.

1. What are your own ethnic roots, and what are those of your partner?

I was born to Chinese parents, but describe myself as primarily human. Anoora is from the indigenous Temuan tribe who live in the Malaysian rainforest.

2. Most people find a partner or get married within their own ethnic group, are there any social barriers to crossing ethnic boundaries in Malaysia?

The usual ones - but these barriers are beginning to disappear as TV brings more of the world into people's living rooms.

3. Do people think it strange that you did not find a partner from your own ethnic background? Does it make life difficult at times?

The raised eyebrows were not because I married outside my tribe - but because I wed someone perceived as socially inferior. My own mother, when shown a photo of Anoora, asked whose maid she was.

4. Can you communicate easily by language and do you find that your partner has different ideals and a differing set of social norms from your own?

Communication of abstract ideas is not even attempted, but feelings are easily understood and require no verbal language. Anoora is in the process of acquiring her own view of what or who she is. When I met her she was only a conduit for tribal customs and beliefs. Our worldviews couldn't be more different - like a dialogue between earth and sky.

5. Has being in a mixed marriage/relationship changed your way of looking at the world?

My way of looking at the world was already different from the norm. Living with Anoora has changed my way of looking at myself.

6. Do you think that mixing the races is one possible way forward for Malaysia?

There is a natural attraction between people of different skin color and perspectives. Over time I believe that at least one-third of humanity will be an exotic genetic mix. However, in Malaysia, Islam is a bit of a barrier to intermarriage. Not many would willingly subject themselves to compulsory change of belief system, even for love. This is a pity, as intermarriage is perhaps the most effective way to outgrow ethnic prejudices that lead to political tension.


In a multi-ethnic community that views people as individuals rather than as racial stereotypes, the politics of ethnic divide-and-rule would soon become extinct. Diversity would be celebrated, not feared.

Anoora, Antares & Eugenie in August 2009 (photo by Robin Tan)

[Originally published 27 June 2012 & reposted 24 March 2013, 1 October 2015 & 13 November 2018]

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Contemplating Eternity (reprise)

Cartoons by Antares

A Rabelaisian Discourse on Swiss Timekeeping, Scientific Orthodoxy, Satyriasis, and Saturdays


She read aloud from the glossy magazine on her silky lap: “’It’s the first time such a complicated timepiece will be on the market, so it’s difficult to put a figure on it. Certainly five million dollars…’”

“U.S.?” I asked, as if it made a difference.

She nodded and continued: “’Certainly five million dollars. But it could be much more.’”

“That’s insane.”

She glanced at me with mild disdain. “How typical! You’re only interested in the price!”

“But why on earth would anyone make something like that?”

“It’s to mark their 150th anniversary…”

“Oh well, in that case it’s perfectly all right. However, I’m afwaid we can’t afford it, m’dear. Teddibly sowwy.”

I was rewarded with a faint smile. “Look, if I showed you a picture of a Rembrandt in an art book, does it mean I’m thinking of acquiring it? There are so many beautiful things to enjoy in this world. Masterpieces! For me it is a pleasure merely to know about them. Contemplating these priceless objects is like… well, like an experience of higher consciousness. It’s almost spiritual.”

“Well put! And as for me, whenever I feel the onset of Despair, I need only focus my thoughts on the Hope Diamond…”

The cushion missed me and landed with a fat plop near the kitchen door. She pouted in feigned petulance: “Bogus peasant!”

“My love, your beauty alone is enough for me.”

Another cushion – one she had been lying on – tossed, not hurled. I caught it and nuzzled it with mock Italian ardor: “Inamorata! O sole mio!” I breathed. “I worship the miraculous spot where you have sat!”

“Kees my ass,” she said. So I leapt on her and did precisely that.

* * * * * * *

“THIS IS INSANE,” I found myself saying an hour later. I had retrieved the magazine from the floor and was reading the feature on the multi-million-dollar timepiece from Patek Philippe, the Geneva watchmakers: “’Nine years in the making… 1,728 parts, 33 functions, weighs over a kilo…’ and dig this… ‘Every 400 years a special mechanism reinstates the Leap Year!’ ¡Caramba!”

“Isn’t that amazing?” she said, with no trace of cynicism. “And they say it will be the most complicated portable timepiece in the whole world.”

“Portable? Yeah… for Arnold Schwarzenegger, maybe.” I tossed away the magazine and mimed a well-dressed gorilla with an enormous load on his left arm: “Duhhh… mmmph… ooof…” I gasped. “Please, please, please, whatever you do… DON’T ask me the time!”


Oh, she says it so delightfully. I decided to try for an encore. “Er, ‘scuse me, what time is it?” I grunted and heaved and hauled up my left arm up to consult my imaginary 1.1 kilo timepiece. “Wait… I need time to figure it out, it’s the world’s most complicated watch, you see… 24 hands! Er… could you come back in half an hour?”

“Stupido!” she giggled.

“Who, me? Or the gorilla with the five-million-dollar watch?”

“You! You belong to the Casio crowd.”

“Mine’s a Xonix, see! You know I’m not the good Citizen type – and I certainly can’t picture myself going into a Patek Philippe showroom and asking to see the cheapest thing they’ve got.”

“Which you couldn’t afford, anyway,” she laughed. “Do you know how much the cheapest one costs?”

“Haven’t the foggiest,” I said truthfully. “An arm and a leg?”

“TWO arms and a leg!” she retorted. “You’d have to wear it around your scrawny neck.”

I sat down and murmured into her ear: “I can think of much more interesting places…”

“Jesumaria, you are insatiable!” she breathed, surrendering to the luxury of a lazy Saturday afternoon.

I AWOKE FIRST, feeling hot and sweaty. When I had showered away the sleep I came downstairs to find her groping for her cigarettes in the mellow half-darkness of twilight.

“What time is it, do you know?” she ventured, husky-voiced, mussy-haired, but divinely beautiful as ever.

“7:23,” I said, having long adapted myself to digital timekeeping.

She groaned and yawned, then lit a cigarette: “I had such a weird dream.”

“What was it?”

“Can’t remember…”

“That’s funny,” I scratched my head. “I had a pretty weird dream myself. But all I can remember is the bit about the monster watch… god, it was a pretty complicated dream!”

“What watch? You mean the Calibre by Patek Philippe?”

“Is that what it’s called, the five-million-dollar watch?” I shifted her legs and plonked myself down on the sofa beside her, reaching for the cigarettes. “Well, yeah. It was quite vivid. I was somewhere in the future, you know – somehow I knew it was the year 2400. Something about the date… February 28th.”

“Hmmmm,” she said, snuggling closer.

“You want to hear this?”

“Mmmmm,” she affirmed.

“There was a great deal of anticipation, it was in the air. Everyone was watching the same live telecast; we were glued to the holovision set. It was great: I could see this perfectly realistic 3-D image of that monster watch just dangling in mid-air… actually, I think it might have been some sort of vacuum column. Anyway, it seemed like the entire planet was eagerly awaiting the stroke of midnight. Everyone wanted to witness the miraculous Reinstatement of the Leap Year by means of that wonderful mechanism built into the watch movement. Mainly, we were extremely curious to see if the damned thing was still ticking after so many centuries.”

She reached out and borrowed my cigarette. Exhaling slowly, she sighed: “I know you’re making this up.”

“But why should I?”

“Perhaps to tease me?” she purred.

“Hey, it’s hardly unusual to dream about clocks and watches,” I countered, retrieving the cigarette. “Salvador Dali did it daily – or nightly at any rate.”

The languorous hint of complaint in her voice was quite exquisite: “You’re a very naughty man. I never know when you’re telling me facts and when it’s pure fiction.”

“So what? It’s of no significance.”

“You haven’t finished telling me your dream. What happens?”

I laughed and kissed her. “Okay… we’re sitting around watching this great event on HV…”

“Who’s WE and what’s HV?”

“You and me and a few friends… nobody specific, just a few good friends. And HV is holovision, dum-dum.”

She pinched me: “Don’t call me dum-dum!”

“Who started it? You called me stupido… look, let me finish telling you the dream before I forget it completely. Er… where was I?”

“We were watching the mostruoso watch on HV.”

“Ah yes. The announcer was saying it was now more than 400 years, or sixteen generations since the original owner bought the watch back in the 1990s. Then the midnight chime began: doong… doong… tooong…”

“And??” She was hooked. Her voice betrayed it.

“Well, the suspense was getting too much to bear. I was sweating like a pig in a sauna…”

“Pigs don’t sweat. I read an article the other day…”

“Please don’t interrupt, my dear. The monster watch chimed three times… four times… five times… six times… then I woke up.”

“Stronso!” she snorted, “that’s bloody cheating!” Shoving me off the sofa, she jumped to her feet and danced upstairs to shower for dinner.

The Universe according to Count Antoine de Patek and Monsieur Adrien Philippe.

THE FIVE-MILLION-DOLLAR WATCH popped up again a few days later during a ‘heavy’ discussion concerning Time and Timelessness. We were watching a popular science documentary on TV about the serious research going on at some gargantuan cyclotron complex in Switzerland. A Carl Sagan look-alike was leading us on a guided tour of the exciting new frontiers of quantum physics.

“What’s so funny?” she demanded after my third or fourth quiet chuckle. “Would you be kind enough to tell me why you find this program so amusing?”

“I was reminded of something Dane Rudhyar once said.”

“Dane who? And what did he say?”

“Rudhyar. You probably won’t have heard of him. He’s only one of the most remarkable renaissance geniuses of the 20th century.”

“So what does this Dane fellow do for a living?” she said drily.

“Nothing whatsoever, he died a few years ago. But he was a philosopher, painter, esoteric scholar and astrologer; a true visionary and a highly articulate holistic thinker. And what he said was: ‘It’s really all so simple! One should not have to talk about it, which is like trying to catch atoms with a butterfly net.’ I think he might have been referring to our Brave New Scientists’ desperate attempts to crack the Mystery once and for all.”

She yawned: ”Atoms are not my specialty, but don’t you think this is a good documentary?”

“See that particle accelerator? You realize how massive that goddamned thing is? And how much it costs to operate? And do you know how extremely tiny sub-atomic particles are? Well, they’re so small they only exist in the realm of possibility. They might as well be purely mythical.”

She shrugged, not quite warming to the subject. “None of my business what they do with their equipment. But I’m sure all that research will prove useful some day.”

“Where would Big Science be without you?” I said, licking her left earlobe. Whereupon Time took a quantum leap into Timelessness. The Wild-Quark-Chase science doco was long over when we re-entered consensual time and turned off the 7 o’clock news.

At some point during the cigarette break our conversation drifted back to metaphysics. “It’s a complete waste of time,” I remember saying, “like smashing a clock against the wall and then examining the broken bits to try and grasp the nature of Time.”

“You mean a complete waste of timekeeping devices," she said drolly. "But what else do you expect scientists to do? Meditate and write haikus?”

My laughter set her off and we ended up farting in unison. It was an entirely ridiculous situation. “That was pretty good” I said at last.

“What was good? Our synchronized farts or my joke about haikus?”


“I can just imagine Albert Einstein in haiku heaven,” she giggled.

“Now old Bert was no grant-grubbing High Priest of Science. His was perhaps the most brilliant mind after Nikola Tesla and Niels Bohr, and he managed to keep it open to a remarkable degree. However, most of your professional scientists are just overpaid technicians, faceless data-gatherers in white smocks caught up in their own myopic specializations.”

“You are, as they say, waxing lyrical.” She popped a peeled grape in my mouth and rested her magnificent head in my lap.

I was unstoppable: “So what do they do all day long? Chasing shadows with their high-tech measuring instruments trying to get a statistical fix on everchanging forms. ‘It’s a trick of the Light!’ the smarter ones conclude. And then, when night falls, they hold anxious conferences hoping to determine precisely why their data has suddenly become invalid.”

“You make them sound so stupid…”

“’Extreme cleverness is as bad as stupidity’ – Lao-tze said that, I believe.”

“But you must admit the scientific method has produced some very useful results. I mean, when I think of video and airplanes and washing machines and computers… I’m impressed. You’re prejudiced – because you don’t have any engineering or mathematical skills, isn’t that so?”

I was silent for a moment. “You’re right to a certain extent, but I’m not saying we ought to eliminate scientists. I just don’t want them to eliminate us.”

“Don’t you agree, science can work together with art to produce functional beauty? Take the mostruoso watch for example. God, the skill that goes into something like that, the dedicated craftsmanship!”

“You seem to have taken a real fancy to that overpriced watch, haven’t you?”

“Why not? To me it represents something unique and exquisite. It’s a celebration of human ingenuity and… at least it’s a form of attainable fantasy.”

“Oh, you terminal case of intellectual materialism.”

“Stop calling me names!”


“Bobble?” She glared at me. “What do you mean, bobble?”

“Bauble… B-A-U-B-L-E… a pretty little useless thing,” I said helpfully. “The sort of precious junk you’re so fond of admiring and collecting. Thank goodness you haven’t got unlimited credit.”

“If something makes you happy you don’t call it useless.”

“It’s that simple for you, is it? Buy a bauble and be happy. Just keep buying and live happily ever after…”

“You know I am NOT like that, Mister!” She sounded genuinely peeved.

“Hey, hey… relax! I was only trying to ruffle your feathers. I’m sorry I succeeded. Anyway, all I wanted to point out was this: not knowing what Time is all about, humans become obsessed with measuring it. They invent clocks and calendars, and then spend the rest of their lives trying to escape the Time Continuum. No wonder human affairs have become nearly impossible.”

“Who’s trying to escape from Time? Not me! And I love human affairs!”

“That’s splendid! You don’t even know you’re doing it!”

“Can you explain, please?” She started stroking my calves.

I lit a couple of cigarettes and handed her one. “All right… why do you pay so much for skin creams and Royal Jelly and extract of reindeer horn and that yucky seaweed stuff? To keep yourself looking young, right? What is age, after all? Merely a demonstrable effect of Time. We’re always seeking the Elixir of Eternal Youth – some secret passage to Immortality. Wait, wait, please don’t interrupt…”

She interrupted all the same: “I need a drink. You want some tea?”

“Brilliant idea. I need to use the loo, anyhow.”

* * * * * * *

MY THOUGHTS WERE SUBLIME as I sat on the pot. The tea was invigorating. We settled on the sofa to contemplate Eternity.

“Past, present, future – they’re mental constructs,” I informed her, feeling like some schoolboy iconoclast who’s just spilled the beans about Santa Claus to his chum.

Tea makes her attentive, so I charged on: “At certain levels of consciousness, Time spirals upon itself and nothing exists except the Moment… the Eternal Now.”

“I love it when you talk like a Buddha. Your face looks so calm.” She touched it gently.

I gazed at her with severe serenity: “The rivers of Time flow into Eternity, where the illusion of Time itself dissolves. So… why should anyone waste five million U.S. dollars on an overblown dress watch?”

“It’s an investment, darling. See what the Eiffel Tower has done for Paris.”

“Ah, but don’t you see? It’s this gnomish Newtonian notion about Law and Order in a Clockwork Cosmos. The Swiss have been obsessed with precise timekeeping for generations.”

“Don’t blame the Swiss. Blame the Chinese, they started this nonsense… as usual.”

“I’m afraid the habit began long before that, sweetheart. Timekeeping is one of the unfortunate and unnecessary by-products of higher intelligence.”

“Okay, why are you wearing that cheap watch of yours? Why talk all this high-brow stuff about Eternity? You use a desk diary, you look at calendars…”

“True, true… but I’m different, you see. I’ve managed to escape the Timestream and no longer take the passage of Time as seriously as other humans do.”

She chuckled: “Ah, my beloved Chronos, how I adore you – you are so marvelously arrogant!”

“Are you feeling peckish, Titania?” I asked, caressing her auburn locks. “I can run downtown and pick up some edibles.”

She tweaked my nose. “Hey, I’m not Titania… I’m Rhea,” she corrected me with no apparent umbrage.

“Of course!” I whacked myself on the forehead. “How could I be so forgetful? Mea culpa.”

“Anyway, I’m not very hungry… but this conversation is making me really homesick.” She sat up and looked me straight in the eye. “What do you think? Shall we take a break from playing humans? Just a quick little vacation, the two of us, hmmm?” Her painted fingernails traced a subtle pattern along my thighs.

I performed a swift mental calculation. “Okay,” I said with brow thoughtfully furrowed. “If we do it discreetly, nobody will get alarmed. We can use the new Antarean Gateway. It will take us right through Arcturus to Andromeda. But let’s set the Zuvuya beam to return in 16 gene cycles.”

“Why 16 gene cycles?”

“Well, that will spiral us back into this Reality Game just before Gregorian Year 2400, give or take a lunar phase.”

“Yes, but what’s the mission objective for that specific coordinate?”

“Don’t you want to watch our monster timepiece perform the miraculous Reinstatement of the Leap Year?”

“Perfect timing!” She winked and gave me the most sensational kiss I have had in aeons.

Or at least since Saturday.

Text & Illustrations by Antares © 1989
Painting: "The Children of Cronos" by Victor Hagea
First posted 27 May 2007, reposted 7 May 2019 & 7 April 2023

Monday, November 20, 2023

JFK's killers never got caught... (repost)

[First posted 22 November 2010]

Advent of The Bunyip ~ musings about my son (repost)

Grandfather Dai had only three sons, but he had had countless daughters. Countless… because many of them had been drowned at birth in huge jars of urine kept as manure for the fields. In those days a Patriarch’s word was law. The Patriarch was the Progenitor – and the Progenitor held the lives of his progeny in his hands. Taking a daughter’s life was not regarded as murder. It was simply a means of ensuring fewer mouths to feed. ~ Dai Moong Yang (In Those Days, 1995)

Ahau's 13th day on earth
IN EARLY 1993 I spent a few weeks editing and retyping a collection of stories written by my maternal Aunt M.Y. (also known as Grace Lee) - but the significance of the lines quoted above didn’t fully register till 30 December 2012, during a long conversation I had with two healer-counselor friends, Heiko and Selina Niedermeyer, who have studied a wide range of emotional and psychospiritual healing modalities over a span of almost 20 years. They had recently completed a workshop with Bert Hellinger, founder of Systemic Family Constellation, which postulates that no soul enters into physical embodiment in isolation – it invariably enters through a complex soul cluster called the Family Constellation and therefore any healing process must always include an overview of the individual’s family dynamics.

Early blowpipe practice
In the course of our conversation, Selina mentioned that Bert Hellinger had discovered a nexus between murder in the suppressed family narrative (literally skeletons in the closet) and mental/emotional dysfunctionality. Apparently it is not uncommon for the souls of the murdered to be reborn within the murderer’s bloodline – but with characteristic disabilities like Down syndrome, autism or schizophrenia. The moment I heard this I had goosebumps. My sweet cousin in Singapore (the late Dr Dixie Tan) had two dysfunctional sons and two fairly normal daughters. My own brother Mike had been diagnosed with schizophrenia decades ago; and my only son Ahau, labeled autistic by some, was unlikely to ever interact “normally” with others because he was born with an unusual vocal cord that makes it difficult for him to simulate human speech.

Ahau at age 6 (pic by Emanar)
Our great-grandfather Dai, through sheer ignorance compounded with arrogance, had been instrumental to the murder of many newborn female babies. Perhaps the same number that had returned as dysfunctional males to haunt the bloodline like a family curse.

During a two-hour session I had with Heiko and Selina in the first week of January 2013, I conjured the spirit of my great-grandfather Dai. He had the haughty air of a typical Mandarin, scion of a rich land-owning clan, and it took him a while to even acknowledge that drowning newborn female infants was nothing less than murder.

His only defence was that he wasn’t the only one who practiced infanticide; it was fairly common in old China (and even in fairly recent times, many couples aborted female fetuses because the government’s one-child policy didn’t allow them another shot at conceiving a male heir). Finally, that impassive, inscrutable mask shattered and a few teardrops began to flow down his cheeks. He looked, for a moment, humbled.

A 10-year-old Bunyip
“Please ask forgiveness from the souls of those you thwarted from taking earthly incarnation, and then forgive yourself,” I told my great-grandfather’s spirit. When he slowly faded from view, I knew the family curse was finally broken. My only begotten son Ahau Ben would be the last in the bloodline to bear the karmic consequences of his forbears’ abysmal ignorance and self-serving cultural myopia.

After some initial hesitation I decided to share this story to illustrate how “the sins of the fathers” do get passed along the chromosomal track. I use the word “sin” in its original sense: in Middle English the word sinne was a term commonly used in archery to mean “missing the mark.” As a metaphor, missing the mark indicates poor aim, barking up the wrong tree, misreading the map of life, or possessing an entirely erroneous and distorted view of reality.

Humans who have yet to attain enlightenment tend to commit stupid, destructive acts as a result of a benighted perspective, usually inherited through parents and imbibed from their tribal and cultural milieu. A society that places a greater value on male offspring is likely to adhere unquestioningly to patriarchal attitudes that glorify skills in combat and the ability to “bring home the bacon.”

Amphibious Ahau by Dorota Nierzwicka
What happens, of course, is that such males end up in decision-making positions, bringing along their blinkered perspectives and prejudices. As military chiefs they will be constantly itching for the glory or martyrdom of warfare; and as corporate heads their ruthless ambition will blind them and harden their hearts to the wholesale desecration of the sacred landscape for illusory short-term profits and bigger bonuses.

However, life does not occur on a single plane. Almost every event or situation can be interpreted on many levels. Likewise the Advent of The Bunyip (a nickname I bestowed on Ahau Ben when he was a toddler, partly because of his amphibious nature (he loved playing in the bathtub and later the river); but mostly because he did seem to me a somewhat chimerical entity, a creature right out of fairy tales and long-forgotten legends.

Ahau was named after the Mayan starglyph for the Sun or Solar Christ. His second name Ben is inspired by the Mayan starglyph for Skywalker or Celestial Messenger. It so happens that the last King of Mu was reportedly named Ahau too. Not one to settle for the mundane, I delighted in creating a mythic context in which to locate Ahau’s entry into my life. I have written about this at length before, so I will say no more about the mystery of Ahau’s being (click on this link if you wish to read about it).

THERE IS ANOTHER possible explanation for the way Ahau turned out. He arrived at 2 in the morning of the 21st March, 1996, by Caesarean section at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur. I didn’t know till a bit later that the nurses had given him a hepatitis jab without first asking my permission. When they asked me to consent to a second follow-up jab, I expressed deep consternation that they would administer a vaccine to my child without first consulting me. Of course, I refused to grant permission for another jab, having learnt of the unholy alliance between the pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession that has made vaccinations enforceable by law.

Twenty years after Ahau’s birth a heated debate rages between pro- and anti-vaxxers with the main contention being that evidence linking vaccinations with autism has been systematically suppressed by vested interests – because once a vaccine is approved and becomes a routine medical procedure, vaccine manufacturers stand to rake in billions every year. Intuitively, I tend to be anti-vaccination because I generally feel a great deal more trustful of nature and the body’s immune system than of medical or any other species of science – especially since the bulk of it is fueled by corporate funding and private grants.

The possibility that it was a hepatitis jab that triggered my son’s autism has certainly crossed my mind many times. But as I can think of no way I can obtain irrefutable proof of this, it seems pointless to hold on to this suspicion.

Ahau is the way he is and those of us who know him well adore him exactly the way he is – even though it still strikes me as absurd that he should take advantage of everyone around him, recruiting us into his service, instead of taking more responsibility for himself. No doubt this can be attributed to the fact that his ancestors on my mother’s side were landed gentry (my aunt boasted that it took men on horseback 11 days to collect the rent) - all the males being archetypal spoilt brats - or perhaps Ahau’s sense of entitlement is due to his residual memory of having been an absolute monarch in a lost civilization called Mu.

22 September 2017

[First posted 25 September 2017, 20 March 2019 & 21 March 2021]

Thursday, November 16, 2023

My Son, the Reincarnated King of Mu! (updated)

The High Hut aka Jabba @ 1996. Took about two months to build and cost me less than RM2,000. Our hillbilly fambly lived here without electricity... until a freak mudslide in October 1999 forced us to evacuate.

Best bathroom I ever had!
Life with the Pertak Hillbillies - old photos, sweet memories

Thought I'd found the ideal location, about 30 yards from a gentle 200-foot waterfall called Lata Puntung (Blowpipe Falls), right below Bukit Suir - which I later learned was the abode of the dreaded langsuir (jungle sirens akin to harpies or vampires).

It was quite spooky when I first moved in around April 1994. Whenever I was away for a couple of days, I'd return to find the food left for my dogs untouched but putrefying and crawling with maggots. Didn't take me long to discover why my dogs and the local folk seemed so wary of the location. It was the scene of a tragedy that occurred around 1907 when a mining tunnel (the eerie entrance to which was scarcely 50 yards from my High Hut) collapsed, burying alive 200-300 workers. Nobody can say exactly how many died, as the mine owner made himself scarce, fearing bankruptcy from having to pay compensation to the miners' families.

Fortunately, I had quite a few visitors who were geomancers, healers, shamans and wizards - and their collective efforts to ritually cleanse the area eventually cleared the psychic murk and brought more vitality and cheer to the spot.

Star Commander Lee Ahau Ben Anoor-Antares in his Pleiadian scoutship.
Ahau, Antares & Anoora at the High Hut @ June 1996 (photo: Jesse Hang)
Father & Son, June 1996 (photo: Chief Jesse Hang)

Father & Son @ 2008 (photo: Gabriel Herbst)

When my son Ahau Ben was born (at 2:00 am, 21 March 1996, at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital) everyone noticed that his head was remarkably large. (The photo at right was taken on his 13th day on Earth.)

He had to be delivered by C-section as his mother's pelvis was a little out of whack due to childhood polio. So when I first saw him, his curly hair was neatly pasted in tiny beautiful ringlets around his enormous head. I greeted him in star language and welcomed him to this funky and exciting but pretty much messed-up planet.

Our jolly joy boy rarely cried and smiled most of the time, a beatific Buddha smile. Before his first month I was calling him Doctor Baby because he seemed to be healing his mother Anoora's wounded heart by gazing at her with pure adoration whenever he suckled at her breast. Initially she couldn't handle the emotional intensity and had to quickly pass the infant to somebody else.

Anoora was hydrocephalic at birth, a melon-head baby who looked so grotesque her mother immediately offered to sell her to a nurse. However, her father intervened and sent the infant to Pahang to be raised by relatives. When I first met Anoora, she had no grasp whatsoever of what love was all about. Now her own baby was tutoring her on a daily basis.

This came as no surprise to me as I had established contact with the incoming soul during Anoora's pregnancy, and it had "told" me its original home was the Great Central Sun and that its mission on earth was to demonstrate the power of love. So I chose to name him Ahau Ben - Mayan starglyphs meaning Sun God and Skywalker or Celestial Messenger. Later I read somewhere that the last king of Mu (a lost civilization many have confused with Lemuria in the Pacific) was named Ahau. It now appears that Mu may have - in truth, if not in fact - referred to a vast bioregion encompassing East Asia and what is now known as Australia (see map below)!

Our Big Head Boy never learned to crawl. I guess his head was too heavy to be supported by his limbs. Instead, he inched along the floor on his bottom for a few months - until one day he decided his legs were strong enough to try walking. From early infancy, Ahau was exposed to many languages: English, Temuan, Cantonese, Tamil, star language... and he was always attentive to birdcalls and animal sounds. Ahau's great-aunt Mak Minah often sang Temuan lullabies to Ahau. Long after Mak Minah's death in 1999, Ahau still listens raptly to the entire Akar Umbi CD, occasionally singing along.

When he was around six months, he enjoyed squatting by himself a short distance from our High Hut and I would observe as he smiled secretly to himself, as if conversing with invisible folk.

I had expected Ahau to learn human speech quickly but he did just the opposite. His vocal range was astonishing: he could produce extremely high-pitched squeals that reminded me of dolphins and sometimes he uttered distinct syllables in an unknown tongue. Certain phrases would be repeated consistently, but it sounded like no language known to any of us. One day he distinctly said: "Maniam!"

And from then on he began experimenting with endless variations on the theme. I began telling friends that Ahau spoke Maniamese - a language consisting of only one word expressed in countless ways. Subsequently he switched from Maniamese to Bunyip - a language spoken by only one person on earth, Ahau Ben, affectionately dubbed The Bunyip.

Close friends and family began to express concern about Ahau's inability or refusal to communicate in recognizable human languages. I teased him about being a non-English-speaking Bunyip and he would smile and go, "Ho ho ho!" in as low a register as he could muster (this was before his voice broke). He apparently understood just about everything people said to him - but only very rarely would he deign to communicate in English. 

When he was three, I went away for more than a week and when I returned, I distinctly heard Ahau say, "Welcome back, Daddy!" as he threw open his arms for me to lift him up.

One day a friend's 10-year-old son rushed out from the room where he had been tickling Ahau and excitedly reported that Ahau had said to him: "Okay, that's enough!"

Nevertheless, I finally succumbed to well-meaning advice and took Ahau to see a specialist at Tawakal Hospital. The Egyptian neurologist who examined him said the only way to ascertain if there was any problem would be to do a series of MRI scans. So Ahau was made to swallow some liquid anesthetic which knocked him out within 15 minutes. It was quite surreal to watch my unconscious boy being wheeled into the MRI chamber - it was like a scene out of a sci-fi movie. 

We waited anxiously as the neurologist studied the magnetic resonance images. Finally, he turned around and said: "Well, the good news is the scans show his brain is perfectly normal, no fluid in the cranium, apart from this bit of mucus in his sinus passages."

I enquired if there might be some medical explanation for Ahau's disinterest in acquiring the routine skills other kids his age find easy to master. The neurologist mulled over this for a few moments, then he said it could be due to any number of factors - from genetic to environmental, he couldn't really say for certain.

He remarked that Ahau had the largest brain of any kid he had ever encountered. "He could turn out to be a supergenius... or maybe he's really an alien," he added with a smile. His parting words were most reassuring: "My advice to you is to keep him away from doctors!"

Well, there are days when I wish Ahau was like other kids. It would be nice to hear from him the inside story on his mother - what it was like being in her womb for nine months. Every father relishes going on long walks with his son, doing a bit of male-bonding and stuff... but, then, I'll never forget the look on Ahau's face when he saw me being wheeled into an ambulance in December 2009. Without a moment's hesitation, he ran up the steps and plonked himself on the seat beside me, determined to accompany me wherever I was being taken. His surrogate mum Mary (above, right) had to forcibly drag him out, reassuring him that his Daddy would be fine and that he could visit me very soon...

When I emerged from a 5-day induced coma and regained my strength, I kept hearing Ahau singing to me from a few feet away. I was convinced that Sungai Buloh Hospital was only a short distance from Magick River... later I realized that my mind was operating in multiple dimensions and that Ahau was watching over me from the astral plane or dreamtime - perhaps his natural habitat.

I was shown a glimpse of an alternate universe where telepathy made human speech redundant and reminded that Ahau had chosen to incarnate through Anoora and me because it was the only way he might escape school - where his brain would be formatted and stuffed with useless information, rendering him incapable of completing his mission. He didn't travel all this way to conform to human expectations.

A few years ago, Ahau had met a Mayan clairvoyant named Carlos Palada and taken an instant shine to him. We looked on in amusement as Ahau plonked himself on Carlos's lap and began "talking" excitedly to him in a series of high-pitched squeals that sounded like some antique dial-up modem. After 10 minutes or so, I could no longer contain my curiosity. I asked Carlos if he could understand Ahau's language, and Carlos explained that Ahau was transmitting high-frequency packets of visual data, decodable only to somebody with an activated causal chakra.*

"Well... what's he telling you?" I asked, and Carlos said something I'll never forget:

"He was showing me video clips of what this place looked like about 80,000 years ago. There were dinosaurs around then. He's from a fifth-dimensional race that only appears on third-dimensional planets like Earth whenever we're undergoing a massive transition... their work is to stabilize the electromagnetic grids... his last visit here was sometime before Lemuria was destroyed."

Ahau's favorite spot in the whole wide universe!
Whenever Ahau's stubborn resistance to acquiring basic skills gets on my nerves, I have to remind myself that I actually heard this report from Carlos Palada - an amiable guy with emerald green eyes, working for a Japanese construction firm in Singapore, when I first met him in 1997 at a Flower of Life workshop. Carlos had absolutely no reason to make up such crazy stories.

I mean, even if Ahau's an alien... why can't he brush his own teeth, dress himself, open bottle caps, wipe his own bum?

Ahau, Anoora & my grandson Max at Soluntra's Rock

I can hear Ahau sending me a burst of high-pitched audio signals which might translate into something like: "Where I come from intelligent beings don't grow teeth, don't wear clothes, we drink directly from the clouds, and there are no assholes that require wiping, because we're smart enough to eat stuff that doesn't turn into shit!"

Okay, okay, okay, Ahau.... I'll cut you some slack.... for now.


* In May 2014 Ahau gave us a scare when he collapsed in fits and had to be hospitalized for 5 days. The doctor at KKB district hospital took a long time to intubate him and when I asked him why it was so difficult, he declared that Ahau's larynx was like no other he had ever seen. "Nothing wrong with it, just that it's not a normal human larynx." It was only then I understood why Ahau refused to speak human languages - his vocal cords are simply not designed for human speech.

In the wee hours of 21 December 2017 I found an Arabic-subtitled video on YouTube summarizing the Pleiadian involvement with Earth's evolution and did a screen capture of this unusual map:

Postscript: When a friend heard about Ahau's 5-day hospital experience she intuitively sent me some Transfer Factor (a colustrum-based tonic that reboots the immune system). Ahau enjoyed the orange-flavored chewable tablets and finished his two-month supply. Miraculously, he began to really flesh out, acquiring impressive muscle tone in the process. Here are a few portraits of the former King of Mu taken since 2015...

Ahau making his way upstream while Bonzo lazes on a rock

Ahau with a sling after breaking his left humerus on 1 January 2017
Wefie with his dad (who has also acquired some middle-age spread)
Portrait of the 21-year-old Ahau as a robust young lad

[First posted 21 October 2011, reposted 21 December 2017, 4 July 2018 & 20 March 2023]