Parochial. That word has been used many times to describe Australians.
Australian society is very egalitarian by nature- very working class, perhaps due to its convict roots.
There is the very common and popular notion of “having a fair go”. Italians, Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, Indian etc. immigrants come to this country in the hope that they would all get an opportunity to get a slice of the pie.
And here, The Tall Poppy Syndrome is everywhere..... there is a prevalent attitude that "the goverment will take care of us": your pension, your healthcare, your unemployment benefits. Enter the immigrants, who are used to working hard for their money, who are quite er, more business savvy and better at saving money. Of course they're gonna get ahead.
And lots of people are unhappy.
So we asians know to tread carefully amidst their insecurity.
But business goes on as usual, Asians are also literally buying over Australia.
- Malaysian billionaire Robert Kuok owns a controlling share in Newscorp, Rupert Murdoch's listed company with one of the most expensive share prices in the Australian stock exchange.
- The Malaysian Sunway Group Wonderland theme park.
- Singapore's property giant, Capitaland owns Australand.
- Singapore government's extremely rich GIC owns those Sydney icons, The Queen Victoria Building and Galleries Victoria. They also own the hotel component of No. 1 Martin Place.
- Singtel owns Optus (2nd largest telecom company in Australia). Optus is the 2nd largest because the 1st largest, Telstra, is not fully privatised yet!
Your average Australian finance guy in a 2nd or 3rd tier bank like Westpac would not know this. Not unless he was Macquarie Bank or Deustche Bank material.
And I'm only mentioning a FEW companies and ONLY Sydney properties.
How do you think Australians would react to a company that was asian run and obviously asian owned? If I were an asian investor looking to make $$$ here in Australia, I would set up my company structure in such a way that it has a local CEO and a local board of directors. That is the business model that would work over here.
Do things the Australian way, and make all the damned $$$ I can.
(damn I'm capitalist scum)
So you see, accepting Asian money is not hard for the Australian government.
They'll take in Asian money when this tiny cinderella economy needs it.
Did you know Australia's foreign debt is now AUD$422 billion?
However, accepting Asian immigrants is really really hard for them.
The Migration laws in Australia have toughened up a whole lot since the 80’s. You have to be in a profession that the Australian government considers useful to the economy. You have also had to have graduated from an Australian tertiary institution. In as much as there has been a brain drain in Malaysia, there is a brain drain in Australia, too. Young Aussies leave for the UK and the USA all the bloody time.
They do it all the time in their whore universities who accept asian students without an acceptable command of english, who therefore write essays in gibberish, as long as they pay the full fee, which is much higher than what the Australian students have to pay. Although, in all fairness I have to say that the Howard government has been closing that gap between Australian students’ and International students’ university fees. The evidence is in the annual riots mostly by Australian students, of course, that ensue after EVERY year’s announcement that the universities are raising the fees. So, they vent. They burn their papier-mache John Howards. They get on the 7 o’clock news. They get arrested.
Ho-hum. Life goes on. The fees get higher.
They pay their fees. They owe money.
BUT they still spend big to upkeep their precious lifestyle. Gotta have that beer, gotta have that V8, gotta have that Australian dream that they all have a right to......
Although, overall, this country has been good to me in terms of friends, my career, etc.
But that's because I have to walk the walk and talk the talk, you know what I mean?
(I can drink beer like a fish. I have a lewd sense of humour.)
You have to if you want to get ahead over here.
Am I a sell out? Am I a loser? I don't think so.
I am zooming far, far ahead in the career stakes compared to those who don't want to drink with the directors, those who don't share the slang or get the same types of jokes.
So what has this got to do with Malaysia?
Malaysians are always complaining about the system.
All I'm saying is that the system is there. Make it work for you.
*Implosion steps down from soapbox*
Ahem. Thank you.