Australia: The Question of Becoming A Republic

By Paul Chong Sunday 30 August 2015

Unknown-3

As I sat at our little breakfast table having my late dinner of rice porridge, fish & some vegetables, I listened to the speaker on the ABC addressing an enthusiastic audience over the question of Australia becoming a Republic. For as long as I have lived in Perth since 1982, I have heard for countless times the word “Republic” but to no end.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that the Australians will ever change. I am a Chinese by Descent . . . an Australian by Consent. I have lived here longer than I have ever lived elsewhere. If I may compare myself (certainly not in the same status) to Warren Buffett, the American self-made billionaire, who has lived in the same modest home he first bought over 30 years ago, I have dwelled in our little holiday home sitting on the escarpment of Perth Hills for nearly 30 years. This is my own paradise with vista vision to the valley, the City of Perth & beyond.

To-night as I walked down the slope of our home to throw away the garbage, it was foggy, rainy, cold with a light wind & the city lights were shrouded by fog. It was dark & wet.

In 1984 I wrote a little book entitled “How to Have Motivation Unlimited” predicting that Australia would become a poor cousin to its neighbouring Asian nations. True enough. Just take a look at Singapore, a little city state without any natural resources & impoverished as compared to the great “Down Under”. Singapore however is not lacking in the wealth of people resources with the drive, courage & determination to make it work under the great leadership of the late Lee Kuan Yew.

images

WHEN I first arrived in Perth (1982) solely focussed on giving our three children a brighter future, some friends were telling me that I would find the Australians as “White Malays”. You all know at this stage what’s happening in Malaysia. Today (Saturday 29 August 2015) people globally joined hands in mass BERSIH 4 rallies (Bersih means clean). The Malaysian government UMNO/BN has been milking the country clean through its catchword of CCN practice of corruption, cronyism & nepotism over a period of more than 50 years since its independence from Britain. Now the catchword is changed to CNN (confused not with the famous media CNN) which stands for Corruption, Nepotism & “Najibism”. This time BERSIH 4 movement has been the result of recent WSJ revelation that MR2.6 billion (US$700 million) went missing from the funds of 1MDB, proclaimed investment front for the Malaysians under his chairmanship, into the personal bank account of Najib,chairman & the incumbent Malaysian Prime Minister.

In a quick flashback, I have witnessed in Australia the economic downturn of the early 1980s – the “Bottom of the Harbour” scheme, the achievement of late Alan Bond, the flamboyant house painter who became infamous as a rich oil painting collector with his ponzi business schemes. He was the hero for first winning the America Cup in 1984.

Politically, the scenario was one of in-fighting, incessant rivalry between Andrew Peacock and John Howard, the likes of Paul Keating, reputably proclaimed by his predecessor Bob Hawke as the best Finance Minister in the world, back-stabbing leadership between Julia Gillard & Kevin Rudd . . . the fast changing of guards like changing daily clothing. Hope that things would be different now under the reign of Tony Abbot. Yes, Anthony John “Tony” Abbott MP is the 28th and current Prime Minister of Australia. He has held this position since 2013, and been Leader of the Liberal Party since 2009. We pray, hope & trust for a hero he be in returning Australia to its former glory.

Unknown

All these years that I live in Australia, I have known but one good leader in the person of Robert Menzies. He was like John Howard inclined looking towards England – the helpless far-off motherland. That tie is still strong among the Aussies, and until such time the umbilical cord is severed, Australia will forever drift along.

“No worries. She’ll be right mate” attitude is deeply ingrained in the mind & hearts of the Australians. They will never see that to grow to progress is to change. Change will be hard to come by. What we need is not a BERSIH movement but a mental revolution. “Life isn’t a bed of roses” so said Malcolm Frazer, the has been prime minister. Roses are beautiful but their thorns are prickly.

Perhaps, OBAMA could come over to Australia to inculcate the change concept among the Australians. However, I reserve my comments . . . certainly not the way the president is dragging the nation down economically & politically.

As for Malaysia, Najib Razak, who scored 5 straight A’s in his term as Prime Minister of Malaysia. This is in reference to his follies with the murder of Mongolian beauty queen Altantuya, Anwar Ibrahim, a former Deputy PM, with sodomy charges, the forbidden use of the word Allah by non-Muslims, trying to block Azizah, wife of Anwar from being the chief minister of Selangor and last but least the recent Aircraft crash of MH 17. The end of his era is nearing its end!

Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd

It is the kind of leader at the helm of the nation that will prove the positive outcome of the nation. A country must be able to decide its own fate & that will demand a good strong man – a man with the vision, courage & the right focus to steer the nation through the roughest oceans.

During tough times, the overjoyed concept of “sun, sand,sea & surf” must be forfeited. Australia’s economic future is tied to its Asian neighbours – the very people at our doorstep . . . not motherland England nor the far-off American shores.

Be a republic, a change is refreshing & rejuvenating. Let’s turn on a new page in the economic & social life of the Aussies. Find the right leader!

Change

Change (By Paul Chong)

To grow to progress is to change

Both health & wealth will be your gain.

flowers

Change, the keynote word of Obama, saw the transformation of him from obscurity to the stage of respectability. Change is inevitable as one journeys through life. People of courage are constantly looking for change. In most cases people change because of circumstances reflecting enforcement without the freedom of choice. Most people generally just drift along without exercising any self-will or control.

What is advocated is exactly the reverse . . . acting rather than reacting. A boat or ship that does not venture far from shore never gets anywhere. It just got to brave the waves and storm, for nothing ventured nothing gained. You’ve got to pay the price for things unforeseen when changes are made. Human beings have that innate fear of facing the unknown. Consequently, only the brave of hearts will tread in places where even angels fear. Hence, there are more followers than heroes.

Let not circumstances rule your life. Be prepared to take risks and take charge of the circumstances. Do whatever you can. Tackle all possibilities and leave the impossibilities to God. We say let go & let God. Here’s a small piece of poetic message with magnificent power & meaning:

As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend,

I brought my broken dreams to God, because He was my friend.

But then, instead of leaving Him in peace, to work alone, I hung

around and tried to help, with ways that were my own.

Alas! I snatched them back and cried “How can you be so slow?”

“My child,” He said, “what could I do?”

YOU NEVER DID LET GO

God does endow us with gifts of courage, but sadly enough it’s one of those things that the average man lacks or afraid to pluck upon it. God won’t let you down. He’ll see you through.

Change is refreshing, kind of rejuvenating & exhilarating. It gives you a brand new prospective in life and sets you on the road to success. As captain of your ship you steer your way through the storm. New horizon zooms ahead as you strive for it.

Courage is that precious little ingredient that is necessary for change. Sentimentality must give way to progress. Likewise, there’s no room for inhibitions. Someone once said, “I’ll rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”

Change is an inevitable process with the passage of time. Nothing stands still. Everything is in a state of flux. Time changes things – here today gone tomorrow. This natural phenomenon happens with individuals, political leaders, countries, as with your status, power, wealth & influence. The mighty can fall – the weak can rise. The journey begins, the journey ends . . . savour the moments & happenings along the way, for the end is just the beginning of another stage or level. Such is the nature of things rendering it difficult for anyone to envisage the outcome. Be the change you wish to see in the world . . . Gandhi.

Since the lifting of the Bamboo Curtains, China has undergone tremendous changes. It is a dynamic country beyond all recognition – all in a matter of a short span of thirty years.

The question is what will the world be like in 5 or 50 years from now. Who can say? Your guess is as good as mine.

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent