January 10, 2019

Sibu Tales : Cloth Banners

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This photo is from a Teo/Zhang/Chang/Tiong clansman. Sam Teo who is in the photo.

How many of us still keep the cloth banners, souvenir pendants we received as students, teachers and school representatives after perhaps 50 years?

Basketballers were the IDOLS of youths of the older generation.

For their skills and their commitment to the game, the team only received cloth banners, and none of the team players would get a souvenir or any cash gift. Their coaches were not exactly highly skilled but only because they were older and perhaps had longer experiences in playing the game, and the basketballers' team uniform was a simple white singlet. They even had to paint their own numbers on the white singlet. Some even played barefooted.

Although there was already some kind of politics about who could play and who could not play in the team, conflicts were minimal because life's expectations were not high. It was good enough to be chosen. To sit on the bench was honorable. Coaches were respected and perhaps never fired. Any way they did not get a salary like the practices of the 21st century.

But they were highly admired.

Those were the days.


Anonymous said...

Wsishing you a Happy and prosperous new year!

Anonymous said...


The Constellation of world power is changing, and U.S. grand strategy will have to change with it. American elites must come to grips with the fact that the West does not enjoy a predestined supremacy in international politics that is locked into the future for an indeterminate period of time. The Euro-Atlantic world had a long run of global dominance, but it is coming to an end. The future is more likely to be shaped by the East.

At the same time, Pax Americana also is winding down. The United States can manage this relative decline effectively over the next couple of decades only if it first acknowledges the fundamental reality of decline. The problem is that many Americans, particularly among the elites, have embraced the notion of American exceptionalism with such fervor that they can't discern the world transformation occurring before their eyes.

But history moves forward with an inexorable force, and it does not stop to grant special exemptions to nations based on past good works or the restrained exercise of power during times of hegemony. So is it with the United States. The world has changed since those heady days following World War II, when the United States picked up the mantle of world leadership and fashioned a world system durable enough to last nearly 70 years. It has also changed significantly since those remarkable times from 1989 to 1991, when the Soviet Union imploded and its ashes filled the American consciousness with powerful notions of national exceptionalism and the infinite unipolar moment of everlasting U.S. hegemony.

But most discerning Americans know that history never ends, that change is always inevitable, that nations and civilizations rise and fall, that no era can last forever. Now it can be seen that the post-World War II era, romanticized as it has been in the minds of so many Americans, is the Old Order--and it is an Old Order in crisis, which means it is nearing its end. History, as always, is moving forward.

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