I was kidnapped…

by Patrick Liew on May 18, 2016

The darkness of the room was like nothing I have experienced before. It was like a blanket engulfing me s-l-o-w-l-y – and strangling me at my deepest core.

I was lying on what should have been a comfortable bed – but it felt hard to me. It was like I was being glued to it and lowered into the ground.

As I stared into pitch darkness, the eyes of my mind gradually took over. Darkness began to fade, overpowered by what I saw.

I finally understood what many people experienced at the brink of their death – I was watching a mental movie of my life.

These words might sound like a cliché but they must have meant something before they were being overused.

I saw myself from the day I was born till that moment – reliving the ebb and flow of my life. That night, familiar scenes took on a different meaning.

That experience was a life transformational event for me. It happened in 1991 and from then on, I felt like a totally different person.

I was kidnapped.

I was abducted and locked up in what we would call in Singapore a bungalow, a well furnished house that belonged to only the rich and famous. That near-death experience happened in a “third-world country,” a term that has become politically unacceptable today.

The people watching over me were part of a consortium, comprising soldiers, policemen and ‘businesspersons.’ As an entrepreneur, I could tell they had put together the right ‘talents’ for their ‘profit-making venture.’

Their ‘business model’ was so good. I actually joked with them to sell me a share of their “business.” I could recommend them much better “clientele,” including my favourite competitors and fb friends.

“Do you know what this is?” one of the burly-looking guards asked me one evening. He was clearly bored after watching over me for another uneventful day.

“Of course,” I replied, “This is an AR15 rifle – grandfather of the M16. I used it while serving my national service as an infantry soldier.

“Hand it over to me. I can even show you how to strip it blindfolded.”

He broke into a wide grin at the audacity of my request. I was trying to put up a brave front while engaging him in a casual conversation.

I was doing what I was good at – putting smiles on faces.

Obviously, today I can joke about the experience. Back then, you would never be able to imagine the fear that pounded relentlessly at my heart.

The tension in the air was so strong, it was almost choking. I had no clue if I would ever get out alive. I was not sure if I would ever see my loved ones again.

I didn’t know whether my next few heartbeats would be my last few heartbeats.

I was too young to die.

There were many things that I did not do. There were many things that I still wanted to do with my life.

Every night, the guards would lead me to a small room. Shortly after that, I would hear the turning of the key and the lights would go off.

Darkness became my only companion.

While lying on the bed and watching scenes of the past, many questions crossed my mind.

What’s the meaning of life?

Have I made full use of my life?

If my life should end, how would I evaluate my life?

What would others say about my life?

How would I account for my life to our Creator?

I had to examine almost every key area of my life. Every belief and assumption was being questioned.

I felt like I was being forced to put every major part of my life under a microscope.

Some of my friends have asked me if I had any regrets at that point in time.

Contrary to what some writers believed, when my life was hanging by a thread, there were feelings of regret and remorse.

My regrets had little to do with what many people were pursuing throughout their life.

What I thought matter did not really matter. What counted in life could not be counted.

I have since then coined the term, the 5Ps in life – namely prestige, power, position, possession and pleasure. None of these factors took centrestage when my life was literally one breath away.

The thoughts that went through my mind were not so much about what I had gained in my life but what I had given to others. It was not about the quantity of possessions but quality of my contributions.

I was less concerned about losing my life than about not living my life wisely.

I was troubled that I had not lived my life to the fullest and made full use of my life.

My greatest regrets were more about omissions than commissions. It had to do with the things that I should have done and done more with my life.

I wished I had done more for our Creator, my loved ones and the people around me. I should have contributed more to my community and the environment.

When I was finally released, I was not sad about the money that I lost because the experience was worth every cent. The experience was priceless.

I came out with a new heart.

Since then, I have coined an aspiration value:

“The best way to live my life is to live my life for others. The more I reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better my life will become.”

I want to inspire others to greatness so that when it’s time for them to watch their life story, they will enjoy the mental movie.

They will be happy to have lived a full life. There will be a great sense of fulfillment because of their success. Their lives will count in eternity.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

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What Next After The Bukit Batok By-Election?

by Patrick Liew on May 10, 2016

Throughout the by-election campaign, we have seen different forces dividing our nation and tearing the fabric of society apart.

We have witnessed individuals and groups fighting each other to support their favored political candidate and party.

Now that the hustings are over, I pray and hope that we will close rank and fight for Singapore as one united people.

Lets not allow our opposing views to divide our country and polarize our people.

Let’s have unity amidst diversity.

Let’s talk to and not talk down at one another.

Let’s debate the message but not decimate the messenger.

Let our differences help us to grow and not put us in a gridlock.

Let’s be objective and not oppose for opposition sake

Let’s be rational and not emotional.

Let’s be calm and collected and not be taken up with angst and anger.

We may be different but that does not mean we cannot be tolerant.

We may be divided in our views but we don’t have to be divisive.

We may not agree but that does not mean we need to aggravate each other.

It’s time we realise we may have uncommon ideology but we share common ideals for a better life, a better world.

We may not share the same desire but we share the same destiny as a human race.

Our enemies are out there and not amongst patriots.

Within our body flows similar blood, air and water. We also share a similar structure of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

We may not share the same manifesto but we can choose to:

Respect – not retaliate;

Progress – not regress;

Be constructive – not destructive;

Forgive – not begrudge;

Heal – not harm; and

Love – not hate.

Together, as one united people, we can forgive and forget and press on to make Singapore a “special” country.

We can find ways to work with the authorities and other organisations to help overcome the challenges facing us in a complex and fast-changing world.

Majulah Singapura!


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

A Real-Life Love Story

April 27, 2016

I like to share with you a very touching story – a real-life love story. Ah Seng (not his real name) is a “garung guni” man and he sold mainly cardboards for a living. To some people, he was a nuisance because he would carry them into his HDB flat or leave it along the […]

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Living The Way

April 27, 2016

Embarrassment can occur anytime. It happened to me recently. Once I invited some of my colleagues to my house. It was part of a course that I personally conducted in my company. The objective was to show them how I lived, worked, played and learned in my house. Prayerfully, it would help them avoid my […]

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I Have Found A Sure-Fire Way To Succeed…

April 25, 2016

Do you like to have a sure-fire principle for success? Many of my friends will tell you that I’ve been an ardent student of the art and science of success. Over the years, I have invested more time, more money, and more energy to learn about success than many ordinary persons-on-the-street. I have attended many […]

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Make Reading A Lifelong Love Affair

April 25, 2016

In an increasingly digitized and fast-moving society, there are many distractions, and communications are frequently reduced to sound bites. As a result, reading as a habit has taken a beating and if this trend continues, we will not be any wiser or healthier as a people We need to inculcate a lifelong love affair with […]

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He Befriends Gangsters…

April 21, 2016

A friend – let’s call him Luke (not the real name) – that I have not met for more than 30 years dropped by my office and had dinner with me. Except for some wrinkles, Luke’s face has hardly changed over the years. I once joked on the fb group that put us together again […]

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Sad To See The Fighting For Power And Glory…

April 20, 2016

One evening, I had a heart-wrenching meal with an old friend who was also my customer. It was heart-wrenching because we were trading stories about the ugliness that we have seen in the marketplace. Between both of us, we have had more than 100 years of corporate life. We have covered a wide range of […]

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When The Tyre Hits The Road…

April 20, 2016

It was a delight to get a call from a long term customer, one whom I have been serving for more than ten years. From being a customer, he has become a friend and our interactions have gone beyond just professional matters. We met at the business centre of the Grand Hyatt hotel and spent […]

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There Is A Monster Within You…

April 20, 2016

“Patrick, if you do it, I will leave the room. I will resign from the company.” These were the straight-in-the-face and angry words from one of my former partners in China. Just before that, I had told him what I planned to do at a leadership bootcamp. It was the last day of the course. […]

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