Chew on it – Richard Chew

Look Both Ways

Only recently did I learn that when turning into an intersection, pedestrians have the right of way. It is not commonly known. Or perhaps it’s just that I’m ignorant.

Either way, as pedestrians we should be aware that even when we have right of way, we need to be wise. When flesh and bones come into impact with a ton of metal, flesh and bones will always come out second best.

As a driver, I am sometimes shocked by pedestrians who step onto the road without ensuring it’s safe first. People who are lost in their phones are a major concern, and cyclists who decide to make the rules to suit themselves and zip onto a crossing are completely reckless.

Some time ago, during a thunderstorm and poor visibility, a pedestrian stepped onto a crossing without ensuring that I had noticed him. Fortunately, I braked just in time or else he would have damaged my car and traumatised me!



Recently my niece Clara and her partner Cesc visited from the UK. Cesc’s intellectual capacity is a wee bit different from mine (it’s vastly superior as he completed his PhD in string theory). I still don’t understand what string theory is even talking about it and then googling it.

More interestingly, Cesc works in the field of AI, and he assured me that fear of AI is unfounded. As usual, people fear what they don’t know or perhaps the movie Terminator has convinced people that machines will take over.

The simple fact is, machines have no emotions, and they do not think, they compute. They do not have “desires” to take over the world, unlike narcissistic egomaniacs and dictators.

AI gathers information and computes an outcome at hyperspeed according to an algorithm designed by humans.

It does not technically learn and make decisions. It has limitations. AI can be creative but not like humans can with a combination of real-life experience, emotion, and inspiration.

Our news media loves dispensing fear, it helps sell their product.

AI is an invaluable tool in the progress of humans as it is going to make things far more efficient, like in medical applications. It can help with diagnosis, assist in complex treatment procedures, and predict health risks.

The benefits of AI are limited by humans’ imagination…


Body Fat

I recently returned from Singapore and Penang, the food capital of Malaysia, so eating tasty meals was a given. Consequently, I gained body fat.

Upon return, I made a pledge to go on an extremely low-carb diet. For a Chinaman not to eat rice is totally unnatural, but I persevered and incredibly my body fat is melting away. It certainly helps with the motivation when I can see results so quickly.

The key to losing body fat is largely determined by eating, and to a smaller part, exercising.

Exercising is one of the keys to good health, as it is essential to keep a strong core, toned muscles, and good mobility in our joints.

Having a healthy amount of body fat is essential and will also equate to a happy mind.

Eating excessively or poorly will result in fleeting happiness, but continued unhappiness with be the end result.

My plan is to maximise my chance of a long and healthy life means I need to eat well and workout to have a healthy body. It will also help lead to a healthy mind.



I am in the midst of writing my autobiography. My life has been way too interesting, and now I’m working on keeping life simple. My philosophy is: Life is not simple, but don’t make it complex.

In a nutshell, I felt abandoned in boarding school at age eleven, which resulted in my first depression. I went from a fat, lazy kid, to become a decent athlete. I became a karate instructor at 15 with my own karate school, represented Australia in karate as a competitor and coach, coached aerobic athletes to become world champions, and became the owner of Healthland Fitness Centre at 21. I sold Healthland and found a way to lose money incredibly quickly with a restaurant, and became bankrupt at age 42. I suffered the worst experience of losing my daughter, had three bouts of depression, found a treatment to lift my depression, went through two divorces, and then faced the challenge of setting up Elixr with little finance, 20 years ago.

There were so many challenges and adversities to overcome in making Elixr into a success story.

It will also be nice for my great-grandchildren to read about my legacy (in the distant future) as most of us know so little of our ancestors, who have contributed to our DNA, hence our behavior and idiosyncrasies.

Fortunately, our member Berwyn Lewis who is an accomplished writer, author, and journalist, is kindly helping me write the book. English and its convoluted grammar has never been my strong point.

The book will be called Chew on Life.