Sunday 14 June 2015


History does not talk about those of us who wants nothing more that a roof over our heads, decent food on our table and the means to provide for the needs of our family. Our praise comes from poets and songwriters who had gone through the same trials and tribulations. 

The Ordinary Man

If you and I should chance to meet,
I guess you wouldn't care;
I'm sure you'd pass me in the street
As if I wasn't there;
You'd never look me in the face,
My modest mug to scan,
Because I'm just a commonplace
       And Ordinary Man.

But then, it may be, you are too
A guy of every day,
Who does the job he's told to do
And takes the wife his pay;
Who makes a home and kids his care,
And works with pick or pen. . . .
Why, Pal, I guess we're just a pair
       Of Ordinary Men.

We plug away and make no fuss,
Our feats are never crowned;
And yet it's common coves like us
Who make the world go round.
And as we steer a steady course
By God's predestined plan,
Hats off to that almighty Force:
by Robert W Service.

In Malaysia the ordinary man and women does not matter. They are tools to be used by politicians for their own selfish ends.

The few that are driven to think of power and wealth are the people that does matter!

Of course anywhere you go in this world there really is no place where one is free of these encumbrances. You can only hope to be in a place, where there is hope of justice and fairness when the judiciary stands in judgement over your fight with those who wants to use you for their own selfish ends. 

If, in your personal judgement, there are wrongs to be right and good to be made of the manner that "the powers that be" use and abuse the executive powers vested upon them by the electoral, then your expectations should be that you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your disapproval. That you have the means to argue and put across your point of view in a rational and responsible manner to as wide an audience as you can garner.

All this you will not be able to do in Malaysia and I have often wondered why.

In intellect and ability I would put Mahathir at par with, if not better than, any Australian Prime Minister that had served Australia during my time. The same with Pak Lah and Najib. These are all urbane, educated and astute men who, on any given day, would be able to impress the Australian people with their intellect, charm and their worldliness.

And yet I know I would not want to live in a Malaysia under a government led by any of them.

Why ?

One word is enough to express my innermost thoughts on why it is so : EXPECTATIONS  
What are your expectations of, and, in life?

Let us not go yet into the more refined and rarefied spiritual and intangible expectations and passions in life that we may have from time to time.

Let us not discuss what we want our future to be, our ambitions and about how we want to leave a better world for our children and the future generations.

Let us talk about the basics.

Work, shelter and the ability to live a life commensurate with our abilities.

Can you find work freely and be paid decent and fair wages in Malaysia?

With the money you earn are you are able to afford a roof over your heads that would meet your needs?

What about the education of your children? Is it available and affordable?

That is what I mean by expectations. What do you expect out of life, how you expect to be treated by those around you. Are these expectations being met in the place you choose to call home?

My expectations of life and the living of it are being met in each and every way in Australia - the place I have call home for the last three decades.

Let me count the ways.

Of everything that I cherish most in Australia the freedom to live life as I choose and where I choose (within reasons) are the most precious granted to me. What does this means in real terms?

I am a Malaysian citizen married to a Greek Australian born in Greece. We choose to live in Australia. My son is Australian and lives with us in Australia. My daughter is Australian married to a Malay and now lives with her family in Canada. Neither Australia nor Canada have questioned or put limitations or encumbrances to our diverse choices to live and work where we want. No limitations to the time and place where we stay or work - the choice is ours. Can you do this is Malaysia?

What I do in the confines of my private space in my home is my business. Race and religion has no place in the public life that I lead. In Australia I am not required to state my race, religion or gender when I apply for a place to stay, a job or for any other thing that I may have occasion to apply for.

If for any reason I feel that the application has been unfairly denied I have the opportunity to make representation to independent third parties who will reconsider my application on its merits and make a binding decision on all concern as to whether that application would be approved or denied on grounds that they must clearly state.

Are these options available in Malaysia to protect the rights of the individuals who might be discriminated against because of race, religion or gender?

If despite all your efforts you are still unable to take care of yourself and your loved ones for whatever reason - what happens then?

Australia provides you with a safety net that will ensure you will have the financial means to pay for your basic needs : food, shelter, education and medical care for your family. The financial needs and care for the aged and the sick are part of this safety net.

Are they no corrupt politicians, ministers and government officials and in Australia?

Yes there are!

But there is no everyday corruption.

When you are stopped by the police for traffic infringements you know that you will be punished for it.

When you deal with the government departments there are rules and regulations that are applied equally to everyone without fail.

If you have permanent residence or become a citizen of Australia, you have the same rights as any other Australians.

It does not matter if you are an immigrant from Sudan, a permanent resident like me or if you can trace your lineage to the convicts that first came from England to settle in Australia  - we are all equal in the eyes of the law. Is that possible in Malaysia?

I know for a fact that politicians who do not deliver on the promises made before they came to office will be brought to account by the public at the next general elections if not earlier by the media and other politicians. Governments and Prime Ministers come and go in Australia with almost the same regularity that you change a baby's diapers  - and sometimes for the same reasons!

All of the above and other expectations that I have of what good governance should do are already in place in Australia. Thus I can begin to think about my other wants : A better life for my family, good education for my children and maybe start to think of what I could do to make a tangible difference to the things around me - be it the environment, peace on earth, the elimination of poverty or even a change of government if I am so inclined. Can you do this in Malaysia?

This is possible in Australia because by and large, people in public service, commerce and those with political power and the ability and means to do good for Australians and to Australia will do so. Ethics and morality defines their deeds and intent! It is so because they expect it of themselves and so do the public!

Those in Malaysia who are with political power and in lofty positions in commerce or public office use their positions more for evil than for good. More for personal profit and gain rather than for public. Ethics and morality be dammed.

And therein lies the fundamental difference between Malaysia and Australia.

In Australia ethical leaders lead by examples by doing good. If they do not, then they are made an example of for others to see what not to do! The media will expose wrong doing by anyone - be it at local, state or federal level. No one is above the law and the judiciary and government apparatus are fair and ethical in their deliberations.

These are the expectations of any one who chooses to live in Australia and more reassuring these expectations are being met by the authorities and a government responsible and accountable to the public for everything that they do while in office.

Can you say the same thing of the authorities and the government at state and federal level in Malaysia?

If not what are you doing about it?



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