5.25 am. Friday.21st December.

I live in Melbourne. I first came to Australia over 30 years ago when, for many reasons, I decided to leave Malaysia with my family to live Downunder.  The underlying consideration for that decision to call Australia home is simply this : I wanted a better life for my family and for myself. Today…not ten years after I left Malaysia, not twenty years after I left Malaysia….but over thirty years after I left Malaysia, I think, with hindsight, with the wisdom, grace and insight that I, at 72 years can say I do have, I can now reflect if that decision to give myself and my family a better life, has been achieved. 

How do you measure a “better life?”. 

Let me try to tell you what I think is a “better life”. A better life is when you have a decent roof over your head. Decent food to eat for your family and yourself. Enough money to pay for the things you need. Happiness and grace in living your life with the people you love. You are also secured in the knowledge that the life you now have, will be the life you will continue to live in the forseeable future. No money worries. No sense of dread for what the future will bring you. No possibility that the world you now know and have lived in for the past many years, can change or be changed by others and that those changes will affect you adversely. 

Then when all is good for my family I want my worries to be for those who are less fortunate than me . I want to see those who do not have the means to feed themselves to be given food. I want those who are homeless, at the very least, to be given a warm bed to sleep in for the night in Winter, and also for any day of the year…and if possible, they must be helped to get a place to live in as soon as it is possible. I want the sick, no matter whom they are, to be given proper and affordable care and I want the aged to be taken care of if they are unable to care for themselves any more. 

I do not worry too much about children not having enough to eat or children who do not have a decent education. I am not saying that there are no starving children in Australia nor am I saying that there are no children who are deprived of a good decent education….but these things happen only in very rare occasions – and when it does happen, it is usually the fault of parents who have not been responsible enough to do what is right for their own children. 

These are the things that I worry about in Australia from day-to-day. I do not worry about corrupt politicians, I do not worry about  leaders who abuse the trust the public have in them to do what is best for the people of Australia, I do not worry about corruption in government or corruption anywhere in the public or private sector……I know that there are enough checks and balances vested in the various authorities tasked with making sure that none of these abuses happen without the perpetrator being punished to the full extent of the law. 

In other words, after over three decades of living in Australia, there is no reason for me to want to live anywhere else but in Australia because I know that life for my family and me, is better here. And in those three decades of living here….there has never ever been a time when my race or my religion, have been a matter of concern to anybody else in Australia, but me. So for those of you who asked why many millions of Malaysians have chosen to leave Malaysia and go live elsewhere….go read again what I have written above…and ask yourself what you will do if you had the opportunity and the means to leave Malaysia for a better life elsewhere…and believe you me friends…it is a better life here in Melbourne for me and my family.