Monday, May 23, 2016


A good friend in Seattle passed me a collection of essays and comments published in July 2015. It's written by Du Ping (杜平), a veteran Chinese-language journalist and presenter of current affairs and politics at the Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television (鳳凰衛視). Du Ping's columns also used to appear regularly in Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao (联合早报).

杜平的《平心论》。Not even going to attempt translating the title. The title is a word play on the author's name, which can also subtly mean 'discussions from the heart', i.e. the writer's honest opinions. It's not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with Du Ping's thoughts and opinions. I read it to check out his point of view written in a different language. Any titles in English written here is a rough translation by yours truly.

The writer touches on various political topics of interest, ranging from Ukraine to Russia's militant moves, USA, and of course what's happening in East Asia especially in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. Fairly enjoyable. The story 'None of Your Business' sounds hilariously vulgar in Chinese-《关你屁事啊》. It certainly makes a point. The writer notes how noisy people are in public in the south (presumably China)- in the trains, planes and shared spaces in general. They talk really loud to one another and especially over the phone, and no one should tell another to 'keep it down'. :P

这段时间,南方地区金是大雨天,飞机总是延误,着实令人很烦。但比这更烦的是,那位得理不饶人的爆脾气老兄,隔着柜台冲着服务员无休不止地纠缠,搞得整个候机室都不得安宁。你走上前去,轻声地恳请他放低音量,他转过头来,怒不可遏地送你一句 “关你屁事啊!” 哇塞,太威武了,外交部没派他去对付阿基诺三世,实在太屈才了。 

Three of the essays invariably mention Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew in the same breath, and ponder on what next after the death of the statesman. My eyes kinda glazed over at those. Of interest, is the essay on Lee Hsien Loong- simply titled 'Lee Hsien Loong's Smile', 《李显龙的微笑》. The writer shares his observations of Singapore's Prime Minister while he was at a grassroots event at Tanjong Pagar in early 2015. The writer was there in his capacity as a journalist, and he was stunned that PM simply shook his hand as he would have done to any resident or Singaporean. The writer is obviously more used to being shoved away by political minders. The point of this essay is to highlight what the writer thinks of the trust between a country's political leaders and its people.

走出祈福室,李显龙依然不时地和身旁的民众握手寒暄。当听到我的问候时,他转过头,向我伸出手,面带微笑地看着我。我告诉他,我是因为李光耀资政特地从香港赶来的,他说 “很高兴见到你”。我相信他并不知道我是谁,他的几名警卫也想必以为我就是这个区的居民。

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