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“What is Truth”? Interview with Dr Patrick Liew

Today we have the huge privilege of having Dr Patrick Liew with us! This feature is part of our Truth Series. Enjoy!~

Wan Wei: Hello Uncle Liew! Can you tell us more about yourself and what you are doing?

Dr. Patrick Liew: I am a committed lifelong learner, always on the lookout for ways to improve myself and make a more positive impact on people and environment around me.

I was a founder of two different companies and had listed them in ASX and SGX. Prior to that, I was the regional CEO of a strategic advisory multinational firm which I had helped to list in NYSE.

Currently, my team and I are actively helping companies transform their business models, globalize their businesses, and leverage on the capital market. I am also mentoring investors in strengthening their wealth and achieving financial freedom.

I have also spent much of my time supporting professional, civic, humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes.

In the process, I’m honored to have won multiple awards for my business, professional and personal contributions.

patrick liew


Wan Wei: How would you define “the truth”? Is there a truth, or is everything subjective? How do you tell?

Dr. Patrick Liew: In a nutshell, truth is a reflection of fact or reality. From a philosophical and metaphysical perspective, I believe that truth is absolute and not subjective. Just as a ruler is a basis for measurement, truth is but a self-expression of an ultimate Creator.

There may be spectrums of beliefs. However, these beliefs may be a reflection of the multifaceted aspects of truth, just like there are different parts to an elephant. In the culture of science, there are generally accepted practices to ascertain epistemological basis for truth. They include mining for evidence through rigorous surveys and validation of evidence.

To help determine the truth, it is important to keep asking yourself, “How do I know it is true? How do I KNOW that I know it is true? ”


Wan Wei: What are the three ways you can tell the truth to someone without being offensive?

Dr Patrick Liew:

  • First, it is important that you build a positive relationship with the people around you.

Like plants, relationships have to be properly sowed, nourished and nurtured. You need to plan for a relationship, invest the right resources, and take the necessary actions to make the relationship work.

dr patrick liew

The best way to build the relationship is to live by the Golden Rule – “Do to others what you want others to do to you. Don’t do to others what you don’t want others to do to you.”

For example, if you want to be loved, you must extend love to your friends. In the same way, if you want to be taken seriously, you need to make them feel important, valued and respected.

Expect the best from your friends and look out for the good in them. In doing so, they will be more inclined to listen to you, feel good about themselves, and become more motivated to achieve better results. Extend your trust and build relationships based on trust. Contribute positively to your friends and take actions to be a plus factor in their lives.

Without a positive relationship, it is hard to have a positive and meaningful communication, including getting feedback and its responses.

  • Second, you need to earn the rights to communicate a sensitive truth to your friends and for them to want to listen to you and pay heed to the truth.

Principally, friendship is like a mirror. When you like your friends, they will be more inclined to like you too. If you are open to feedback and advice from others, they will be more willing to listen to your feedback and advice.

Therefore, be exemplary in the way you live your life. In other words, walk your talk.

Be the friend that you want to have. At the same time, be the friend that others are looking for and you will be on track to building positive relationships and earning trust, affection and even respect from them. By manifesting positive values of being a friend, you will not only attract many friends to you but they will also be more willing to listen to your feedback and advice.

  • Third, demonstrate to your friends your sincerity in wanting to strengthen the friendships and helping them achieve greater good.

As a rule of thumb, people generally like people who like them. Your friends will tend to rise up to the level of your belief in their potential, performance and pursuits. As you journey with them, be sensitive and responsive to their needs, thoughts and feelings and ensure that they feel comfortable and secure with you.

In the process of communicating to your friends, extend acts of love to them. For example, offer them a listening ear, a simple word of encouragement, a helping hand, or other acts of kindness to let them know and feel that you are behind them. You are encouraging and supporting them to achieve better results and a more sustainable success.

After you have connected effectively with them, then you will be in a better position to communicate and collaborate with them, and even correct them.


Wan Wei: What are the three ways a person can accept the truth without being offended?

Dr Patrick Liew: Let me respond to your question in a holistic way.

  • First, the reason why it is so hard to accept a hard truth is because one of your greatest enemies live within you. It’s called the ego.

The ego is an over-consciousness of your being and is an unhealthy attachment. It has a tendency to make you feel bigger and better than the others.

In reality, it is a cover up of your fears, inadequacies and insecurities. That’s why, it tends to be critical and prevent you from accepting challenging truths. The ego is not your true self. It lives in a false reality and views the world from an ethnocentric perspective.

As a result, it blinds you to your weaknesses. It makes you live in a world of your own make-beliefs. It shuts you from the truths and prevents you from seeking the correct path to a better future.

The paradoxical truth about the ego is that you cannot control it without being controlled by it. You cannot manage it unless you replace it with a far more compelling purpose, passion and pursuit.

The best way to subdue the ego is to submit it to the leading of our Creator and to wise counsel. Surround yourself with positive people who will continue to give you feedback and advice. Be open to “angels” who may appear in your life to enlighten you, enrich you, and help you enhance your future.

  • Second, in the process of building a relationship, bear in mind that there will inevitably be controversies, conflicts and contentions. You may even have to go through crises, conflicts and challenges together.

In such times, it is important for you to be humble, keep your mind open, and be willing to accept inconvenient truths. If need be, invite a credible third party to help you in your discussions, mediate over potential fallouts, and strengthen relationships.

Be mindful that as humans, we are liable to commit mistakes and failures. Your friends may be able to see things more clearly, raise hard truths, and criticize you. In doing so, they help you improve and go farther and faster in life.

Therefore, be prepared to bury your ego and be willing to say, “I’m sorry.” Learn to forgive others and forgive yourself. Without a forgiving spirit, it is hard to accept sensitive truths and achieve progress.

  • Third, if people share difficult truths with you, don’t take it negatively at heart. If these truths help you, learn from them; if not, dump them.

Don’t let a negative person or remark stand in the way of your progress.

Give people the benefit of doubt that they have good intentions. Oftentimes, they communicate sensitive information to you out of ignorance and without appropriate emotional intelligence and skill set.

It is good to feel important. However, it is also just as important to see the good in others and learn to accept feedback from them, even if they make you feel uncomfortable and unhappy.

patrick liew


Wan Wei: On a parting note, can you give us a painless tip to check if a person is not lying to himself/herself?

Dr Patrick Liew: It is not easy to check if the person is lying or not lying to himself/herself momentarily or regularly, or stop him/her from doing so.

More importantly, you need to know if he/she is telling you a lie, half-truth, or misinformation.

To validate for the truth, you can verify with credible people and check other reliable sources of information. It is better to check with different sources and triangulate these information to sift out the truth.

Photographs courtesy of Dr Patrick Liew.