Living In Australia



Paul Chong                                                                   Thursday, 14 December 2017


In a word, living in Australia is great . . . “a lucky country” in the downunder world, geographically speaking that is. Everything else is top of the world . . . rich in natural resources, largest continental island in the world, beautiful weather with sun, surf & sand for fun lovers, good first class education, opportunities for one & all in a truly cosmopolitan nation. Most importantly, fairness is practised in true meritocratic way.

I am a Chinese by descent . . . an Australian by consent. My family & I have been in Perth, Western Australia since 1982, that is more than quarter of my life. It is indeed a fortunate life with my three offsprings all acquiring tertiary education from a PhD holder, a specialist medical doctor to a civil engineer.

Though born & bred in Malaysia, I could never consider myself a Malaysian because of the non meritocratic system of extreme corrupt government since independence from British colonial rule. Every non Malay race is marginalised in all aspects of human endeavour & life. Needless for me to go into any detail of the ongoing unfairness & injustice upon looking back & looking in from outside. There’s no meritocracy but sheer  “democrazy”. Brain drain from the country is no surprise. What’s Malaysia’s loss is gain to countries like Singapore, Australia, US, UK & Canada.

Everyone wants & deserves a good life, but not to expect & demand on hand-outs, for that would be tantamounting to living on your knees rather than dying on your feet. You’ve got to work, not only working hard but working smart as well. Work is God’s design for our natural living.

In Australia the aged are well taken of. Medical care can be said to be par excellence. All possible help are extended to make life of the aged comfortable & safe. Under the scheme known as Home & Community Care (HACC), there are organisations offering facilities to take good care of you, especially as the song goes “When you grow too old to dream, you’d have them to remember”.

Really, old people can keep on living in their own home, best place to be, rather than to scale down moving to units or aged homes, unless it is absolutely necessary. If you are living alone, Red Cross provides visitor service whereby a visitor would come by on a regular basis to keep you company, have a chat with you, have tea or a game of card, or take you out shopping or medical appointments. Other organisations also provide such a service & other home services as well like domestic cleaning, minor home maintenance, gardening.

There’s that Triple A Care (Australian Asian Aged Care Program) with multiple home & community care services. Charges for the services are subsidised & all that is required is $8 per hour.

TADWA’s (Technology Assisting Disability WA) purpose is to improve the quality & enjoyment of life for people with disabilities, older people & those caring for them through the application of technology & the skills of volunteers & staff. For our home, they came & installed safety railings for our steep driveway, front & back garden steps. All we need pay pay is for the materials.

In the case of Chorus (its old name Volunteer Task Force) apart from providing gardening service & other domestic services, organises outings to places of interest & lunches. I am particularly impressed by their friendliness,helpfulness with extreme care & attention.`The staff & the team of volunteers are about the nicest people you will ever meet. A stranger is but a friend you have not met. You can have hundreds of friends`but none near you or ever in sight, you might just as well be by yourself.

Old habits die hard. Nothing like living the life you are so accustomed to`. . . free & easy to be living in your own home.`A man’s home is his castle, however modest or otherwise.`

In the final analysis, I wish the best for all Malaysians. I would further add by quoting what the DAP leader Lim Kit Siang said: ” If we love Malaysia, we must unite as Malaysian patriots to save Malaysia from corruption, kleptocracy, injustices, exploitation and the fate of a third-world nation”.““““`“““““““““

Friends & Friendship

Friends & Friendship

(By Paul Chong)


(A person who helps at a difficult time is truly a reliable person.)

With three score & ten years behind me, though a dimmer prospect of another score ahead of me, I have lived a life where the word “friend” takes on different perspectives with the passing of time.

The essence of friendship is a connection or bond undeterred by time or space. It’s a love that knows unlimited boundaries & true friendships last a lifetime.

You don’t need to have friends in high places or in senior positions who are able and willing to use their influence on your behalf. What you need most is, in times of need, a friend whom you can count on anytime, anyplace, anyhow – dependable, responsible & reliable whatever the circumstances. This is what’s all about of the proverbial saying of “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. It is someone who has collectively all the wonderful qualities in him which he puts at your disposal without the least worrying about his own self interests.

  • He has with you a bond of mutual understanding, love , affection & respect.

  • He ‘s a strong supporter of your cause – be it personal or otherwise.

  • He’s always on your side – friend rather than foe.

Over the years when you were growing up, you were & are constantly making friends. After all, we are gregarious creatures, social beings, who need to mix & congregate. You have it heard being said that no man is an island. For all intent & purposes we find ourselves living in nests, be it social sharing common interests or professional as in the same line of work or employment. In school, we have classmates & schoolmates as friends. In college, we have college mates, & at university, university mates.

In our working life, we have colleagues & work mates – some closer than others, distinguishing through degrees of same interests. For the ambitious ones, they move outside the sphere of their own environment by joining clubs & associations to extend their friendship circle. Some join service clubs with the noble idea of rendering service to the community or the sheer opportunity of meeting people in higher places. Some take to playing golf for in most Asian countries golf has a snob connotation attached. Others use it as an avenue of closing deals or negotiating one. Sports like tennis does provide an avenue of advancing one’s social circle & ladder, rendering a touch of class & social grace. Church going is also a way of socialising.

Whatever & however friendship is cultivated, friends of such category seldom last. The Chinese have a saying about friends who will wine & dine with you while you are able to lavishly throw parties around. While the going is good, that friend is around but not otherwise. “Hey, there’s nothing in it for me!”, so he drifts away.

So will all your friends drift away one way or another. Some sadly enough through the misfortune of untimely demise. They are never around you forever however close you might have been because of circumstances or job locations. Out of sight out of mind is a natural human phenomenon. If you value friendship as much as you value your life, stay in touch, particularly those who are really your friends.

When you sit and rock in your old rocking chair, & your mind wander into the distant past, take time to think just how many friends you have made over the years, how many are still with you, but more so, how many can you really count them as friends. I wonder!

Sometimes, a friend is but a stranger whom you have not met! You met by chance & by choice you became friends. Good friends endure the test of time & trials. I also remember an old song we used to sing in school:

Make new friends

But keep the old

One is sliver

The other is gold.”

Friendship demands all due care & attention.At all times, we need to apply all the “Rs” in terms of mutual respect. Friends, more than all the things, must be renewed, refreshed, revived, reclaimed,redeemed & restored that they may be treasured & not discarded.

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” St Thomas Aquinas

May you always have

Love to Share, Health to Spare and Friends that Care!

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent