Thursday, April 27, 2023

Pukul Habis sold out in Kinokuniya Malaysia; restock on the way


Thanks to a surge of interest from Malaysians who want to learn more about the story of a fictional war between Malaysia and Singapore as related in the novel, Pukul Habis, the book is sold out in Books Kinokuniya Malaysia.

Replenishment stocks are on the way from Kinokuniya Singapore. These should arrive in Kuala Lumpur next week. If you're in Malaysia and want a copy, please contact Books Kinokuniya Malaysia at Tel: 03-2164-8133 or email:

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Singapore launches TeLEOS-2 earth observation satellite; capabilities described in the war fiction story Pukul Habis

Singapore has a new eye in the sky: a radar-equipped earth observation satellite called TeLEOS-2.

India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C55 (PSLV-C55) launched the satellite yesterday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, a specialised space port facility for rocket launches in southern India.

TeLEOS-2 went into low earth orbit along with the LUMELITE-4 micro satellite, which was also developed by Singapore. Both satellites orbit the earth at an altitude of about 586km.

TeLEOS-2 was developed by Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency and the republic's national space office, the Office for Space Technology and Industry. The Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) on the satellite, which points earthward like an open umbrella, will be used to provide "commercial satellite imagery".

LUMELITE-4 was developed by the National University of Singapore's Satellite Technology and Research Centre (STAR; a clever acronym) to provide realtime tracking of maritime traffic for better predictive analysis, as well as secure maritime communications between ships and with port controllers.

The TeLEOS constellation is featured in the war fiction novel, Pukul Habis. In the story, the fictional TeLEOS constellation of camera-equipped and SAR-capable earth observation satellites are used to survey Peninsular Malaysia during the Period of Tension.

The imaginary scenarios involving Singapore's TeLEOS satelllies were written before 2022 - way before the real TeLEOS-2 roared into orbit.

Incidentally, the Malaysian counter satellite capabilities described in Pukul Habis were inspired by real-life capabilities. Here's a screen shot of Kor Risik Diraja's Remote Sensing Defence Intelligence Application System (RSDIAS), which you can also read about in Pukul Habis along with how Malaysia might apply its SATellite Reconnaissance Advance Notice or SATRAN concept of operations to foil sensors on earth observation satellites.  

Hope you all enjoy the story and find it informative. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Larry Bond, who co-authored military thrillers with the late Tom Clancy, talks about Pukul Habis on his Facebook page

Delighted to see American author Larry Bond recommend Pukul Habis on his Facebook page after reading the story on a fictional Malaysia-Singapore war. 

Larry co-wrote the military techno-thriller, Red Storm Rising, in the early 1980s with the late author, Tom Clancy. Larry is also known for wargames he designed, such as the bestselling naval wargame, Harpoon.

I sent Larry a copy of the book earlier this year as I wanted the perspective from people not directly linked to the armed forces of Singapore or Malaysia. I value his counsel as an experienced and respected author who has many bestsellers to his name. 

Thank you Larry for all your advice and guidance!

Pukul Habis is available from Books Kinokuniya in Singapore and Malaysia.

The book (ISBN 978-9811861499) continues to be available on Do check the Amazon sites that serve your location. "Look Inside" function on some sites shows sample pages.



United Kingdom: Look Inside

USA: Look Inside. When ordering from Singapore, please click on the "Shipping to Singapore?" button. Ignore the "Temporarily out of stock" notice on the page.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Hidden messages in my defence stories: Find out how it all began

Ramadan Kareem & Ramadan Mubarak to all those observing the holy month of Ramadan!

And Happy Easter in advance to all who are marking Holy Week!

The story you see above was the first I published with hidden meanings. It is taken from the August 1989 edition of Pioneer, the monthly magazine of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Yes, from 34 years ago... many of you weren't even born yet.

Can you spot the hints embedded in the headline and story?

The story profiled the 36th Battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers (36 SCE). At the time, 36 SCE's role was deemed "sensitive" and, therefore, could not be reported.

I ended up writing a story about combat engineers from the unit being overjoyed at winning an SAF Best Unit award in 1989 - but did not state the unit's role. Even the appointment of the Captain quoted in the story could not be mentioned (I guessed he must've retired from the SAF by now).

I think 36 SCE was quite pleased with the story =)

Looking back, the play on words was quite basic. 

The embedding of a certain unit's motto as part of the text did, however, become one of my trademarks for weaving hidden meanings into a storyline. Over time, the hidden messages or Easter eggs became a little more subtle and the writing style more sophisticated. Time codes in previous blog postings have referred to certain office units in MINDEF Complex, or even AFPN numbers. I also discovered and practised the elaborate art of writing acrostic prose.

My first fictional work, Pukul Habis, was published more than 30 years after that maiden effort at planting Easter eggs. I consider this novel the highpoint of my efforts at weaving in subtle IYKYK messages, allegories and metaphors that readers might catch. It is filled - repeat: filled - with stuff that patient and trusting readers will pick up on their own, eventually. 

Not all are hidden - some are in the chapter titles! You cannot get more obvious than that (unless one plants an Easter egg as a book title). Go find 'em!

And enjoy your Easter long weekend.