Back in 2002, I applied and received a permanent residence status to Australia. I still remember the one simple sentence on my visa: "bearer may remain in Australia indefinitely". During my application, and that was in 2001, AUD$1 is equivalent to RM2.10. Today, AUD$1 is equivalent to RM3.00, an almost 42% increase. Something have gone awfully wrong, somewhere.
If someone is a parent in 2000 and saving money for his daugher's Australia education, in 10 years time, this guy is 42% poorer. That means, his children education is almost cut BY HALF! Sure, there is fixed deposit but our FD rate is a measly 3%. So what can he do? His daughter will not be able to go Australia for education. He either need to take a loan (and he can only hope his age allows it) or his daughter will have to settle for .... and I paused in this sentence for almost a minute - because I can't think of a good alternative - is it twinning? ACCA? Local private colleges? Long distance study? Half work-half study? Sell house to pay for education? This parent probably have sacrifice a lot of stuff - he probably didn't upgrade his car or go to that vacation to save for the education. And it turns out it is not enough and he has to take more loans?
It's not like AU education is a must. I don't mind sending little sen to local Uni if she were given a place... that's a big IF... or if the quality is half as good as Singapore.
So anyway, at that point in time, I decided not to actively pursue a life in Australia. This roundabout decision has partly to do with not willing to move out of comfort zone, partly to do with the "Malaysia is not that bad mentality" and partly to do with a potentially good career with the current company I am with.
Since then, Joey, Anti Ringgit and "the Old Man I hope I don't emulate (sorry can't find link of his story)" has applied and moved to Australia. A couple of friends emigrated to Singapore. Most of them do it because of the family - seeking a better life. None has looked back since.
Do I regret the decision not to pursue a new life in Australia? Not really. If I did, I would not have met and marry Miss World and have a beautiful little sen.
But what of now? What now indeed! It's a forced exodus. There is almost nothing to look forward to in Malaysia. Aside from parents, which is important too, what else is there? Do we want to move forward or get tied by the past?
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