INTERVIEW

CSWC interview with FERDINAND PIET
FROM MINISTRY OF CIGARS

Mr. Piet, our CSWC Judge, gave a interesting interview on the Ministry of Cigars' closing, his CSWC experience, cigar culture in Southeast Asia, and much more.

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Mr Feredinad Piet, founder of the well known web portal -Ministry of Cigars, which has been shouted down

Ferdinand Piet is a well-known cigar personality and the founder of the Ministry of Cigars, a cigar online platform that was recently shut down. His writings and writing style are one-of-a-kind - incredibly true and honest. That is one of the reasons his text was always appealing to read. He was also very active in cigar tasting and reviews. he is also official CSWC Judge.Enjoy in this exclusive interview with him 

The Ministry of Cigars, one of the most well-known global cigar online portals, has been shut down - this was sad news for all of us at cigar community - what happened?

Someone reported me to the Singapore authorities. And apparently what I was doing was illegal in Singapore. I knew that advertising tobacco was illegal in my new home country, but I did not know that the definition of advertising in the Singapore tobacco legislation was so much different than the definition set by The Adverting Association of the United Kingdom. According to that definition, advertisements are messages paid for by those who send them. And I think that's how most people would see advertisements. When it comes to tobacco, everything is considered advertising in Singapore legislation. Even posting a photo of a naked cigar on social media is advertising.  Since I am a law-abiding citizen, and I don't want to risk getting into a fight with the Singapore government I decided to follow the advice of the Singapore Health Science Authorities and my lawyer and shut down Ministry of Cigars.

Is there any possibility that Ministry of Cigars will come back to life in the future?

I am now in the process of handing over all the articles to another party. The people behind cigarinspector.com are going to reboot the site. They will publish some of my old articles. I won't be involved though. Singapore's culture has a lot of links with Chinese culture, saving face is very important here. So if I would continue, even with a legal loophole, I would embarrass the authorities and that is a big deal here. It's not wise to do so, as Singapore isn't mild on those that do. I could lose my immigration status over it, and that would mean I will have to leave the country. Since my wife and I have shared custody of her children, it would mean that I would lose my family. That's not worth it. I rather stay friendly with the Singapore authorities, especially since I love this country. I mean, the weather is always good, the country is efficient, the food is amazing, and it's the safest country in the world. Quality of life is very good here. I don't want to risk losing my family and my good life here over a website. This is the country where I want to grow old (or 'older' for the jokers amongst here that will say I'm already old)

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Ferdinand and his family are located in Singapur

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Always present in activities in Southeast Asia

Your first encounter with CSWC occurred during a qualification event in Kuala Lumpur. What were your first impressions? And what is your message to someone who hears about CSWC but is dubious of the concept?

 always said that cigars are for relaxation and that it's not a product for competition. It's still what I believe in. But when you came over to Kuala Lumpur, I came down to KL to hang with you, to support you and Samuel Spurr (co-organizer of the KL event). It's always good to have a smoke with you. And what I found out is that it's actually a fun event. It is a competition, but more for fun. It's about having a nice get-together with like-minded people. It is a brotherhood thing that you will only understand once you join a CSWC event, either as a competitor or as a spectator. I had a blast that day and it turned my opinion around. I came in 4th or 5th, but I won the side bet that I made with Sam. The loser would pay dinner for the winner between the two of us. Sam still owes me dinner haha.

We are really proud of you for being the official CSWC Judge for that portion of the world. So, when the Covid situation allows it, we will be able to see you across the area performing official judging- which nations do you think may be excellent possible places for CSWC?