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RONNY CHIENG Malaysian Comedian Making Waves Down Under THE MORE WE CHANGE



ISSN 2201 - 3016

9 772201 301002


Editor Joyce Ng Editorial Assistants Karina Foo, Josh Yu, Zaw Shane Accounts & Marketing Christina Soh Public Relations Clarice Chan Finance & Legal Eddie Lee, Josh Yu Circulation Simon Gan Graphic Designer Summer Chen Editorial Contributors Christina Soh, Stephanie Sta Maria, Jonathan Lian, Lianne Letitia Zilm, Roy Savage, Antony Wallace, Erick Ng, Michaela Swampillai, Su-Yin Lim, Christina Yeo, Julian Lee Photographic Contributors Josh Yu, Eric Chiang, Joyee Chan, Jia Shyan Teh, Siok Yee Tan, Jonathan Lian, Joyce Ng, Ian Tay Illustrator Vanessa Law Website Designer Effective Advisory JOM would also love to thank everyone who has helped or supported and given us encouragement over the past year.

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ON THE COVER Ronny Chieng

Work experience/ internships JOM is recruiting and is looking to facilitate work experience or internship programs. Please email Joyce Ng at for more information. Submissions JOM welcomes article, story, comic, joke and photo submissions. Please email your submissions to or for more information. JOM Magazine is published by JOM Media in Melbourne Printed by Forest Printing & Trading ( JOM is a bi-monthly magazine.Views expressed by authors are not necessarily those of the publisher. Copyright is reserved. Find us online Facebook Twitter Jommagazine Youtube JOMmagTV Channel

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Editor’s Note

Change I have always liked autumn – the change of colours of leaves, to fall and eventually lead to winter, then refresh in the next season. For this mid-autumn edition, the theme ‘change’ was picked for a few reasons, apart from the changing season. One big part of it was the desire for a change among ourselves to improve this magazine, and we have started this with new blood in our team. I am also looking forward to further plans in developing JOM including expansion to other states in Australia. However that would only come when the time is right and with adequate support. “What Change has No Change in Government Brought” by Stephanie Sta Maria aims to reflect on the changes in Malaysia one year after the 13th General Election. Ronny Chieng’s story written by Karina Foo talks about his journey from a lawyer towards becoming the only Malaysian comedian in Australia. From a cultural perspective, Jonathan Lian’s “The More We Change” talks about cultural changes that Malaysians experience here down under, and an interview with a Malaysian father by Lianne Letitia Zilm reflects on a family’s story of cultural conflict just among themselves. Our “Baba Nyonya” story by Ying Tan is a tale about the early settlement of Chinese in Malaysia – and now in Melbourne – and their determination to keep their tradition alive in the midst of modernisation. And for a bit of fun, Michaela’s “Love is on the Road” features a couple who share their tips on travelling in a caravan down under. We also have an Anzac Day special, which features the first of two parts of a diary of an Australia war veteran who served in Malaya. I hope that we Malaysians here will remember what the veterans have done for our land, and join the Anzac Day march on April 25. Once again, our magazine has lots of contents to offer, and a print quality that we strive to keep up. For a free magazine some people told us that we might be trying a little too hard – but this is our identity and I think we can only try to do better, and not less. We hope we can achieve this, and are looking forward to our 10th edition! Hope you enjoy this edition in the cool of autumn, and have a good Easter break. Yours Sincerely, Joyce Ng Editor

Photo taken in Bright, Victoria in 2011





08 Upcoming Events 10 JOM’s Picks 11 Your Say @ JOM Board 12 News Corner Malaysian News Recap Our News in Roo Roo Land 18 Inside Malaysia and Beyond What Change has No Change in Government Brought The More We Change 22 Community and Culture Keeping the Tradition (Baba Nyonya’s Story) 28 Malaysian Tales Malaysian Father, Australian Kids Marina Mahathir Ronny Chieng Anzac Day Special: A Diary of Danger 40 Down to Business Your Superannuation, Your Money Migration Matters Property - Playing the Real Estate Pricing Games 46 Styling Life My Caravan Travels: Love is on the Road “Bak Zhang“ Recipe 52 Talk, Think, Laugh Lessons on Change Change: Better or Worse? Kurang Manis






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28th - 28th June


Easter Eggcitement at Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Saturdays, all day Prices vary. A chocolate treasure hunt at a chocolaterie? Need I say more?


ANZAC Day Dawn Service Melbourne 6.00 am, Shrine of Remembrance Remember the fallen and the lives sacrificed at Gallipoli during the First World War. The ceremony begins at dawn, followed by the ANZAC Day march.




Bridge Road Film Festival Film starts 5.45pm, Richmond Town Hall, Watch big screen classics with a loved one or two for free at the iconic Richmond Town Hall. Films include The Blues Brother’s, Wreck It Ralph, and The Castle. Bookings needed.


Victorian Fair Trade Fortnight: Fair Trade Markets 11 am – 6 pm, Atrium, Federation Square As part of the Victorian Fair Trade Festival, the Fair Trade Markets boast a variety of activities and products for sale. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn and be acquainted with ethical shopping. (psst – It’s also the perfect opportunity to get something for Mother’s Day.)


Mother’s Day Classic 6 am – 12 pm, Alexandra Gardens, St Kilda Happy Mother’s Day! Bring your mom (and family) to one of the largest charity fundraising event in Australia. Fun for a good cause! Proceeds go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.


Korea Festival All day, Federation Square Annyeonghaseyo! Come and enjoy the best of Korea at the first ever Korea Festival. This is a free event.

17th - 18th

Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival 10am - 5pm Federation Square Buddha’s Day & Multicultural Festival incorporates the traditions of Buddhist celebrations including the Bathing of the Buddha, daily Dharma ceremonies, the Wishing Bell and traditional incense offerings, a vegetarian feast of Asia alongside the Yarra River, cultural demonstrations and insights, music, art and craft and community service groups.

Upcoming Events

Events to Check Out (Melbourne)

Photo: Eric Chiang

30th May – 1st June

Good Food and Wine Show 10 am – 6pm (5pm on Sunday), Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Indulge your gastronomical senses and be inspired by hundreds of exhibitors as the world’s finest converge at the exhibition centre over the weekend. Bookings may apply.

30th May – 8th June

Melbourne International Jazz Festival 7pm – late, Forum Theatre, Flinders Street Cozy up with a drink and allow smooth, sultry tunes from the masters of jazz music titillate and seduce the senses.


1st – 22nd

The Light in Winter 5pm – late, Federation Square Light up your winter (pun intended) with luminary artists from around the world. With participation from over 20 multicultural communities, this is an event not to be missed.

Malaysian Event 20th - 24th MASA Summit Various times and locations April The national Malaysian event has five core components which are careers, conference, excellence awards, games and student leaders agenda. One of the major highlights would be the MASA Conference which will feature Malaysian Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Khairy Jamaluddin and Malaysian social activist Marina Mahathir. MASA 2014 is a joint effort between Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia, Badan Hall Ehwal Islam dan Pembangunan Insan and Kelab UMNO Australia.

23rd April

The Battle against Corruption, Cronyism and Poverty in Malaysia 4pm - 7pm Melbourne Multicultural Hub A free public forum by Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia Melbourne (SABMoz) will feature Tony Pua, National Publicity Secretary for opposition party DAP and Cynthia Gabriel, human rights advocate and director of Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism.

25th May

Fiesta Malaysia Federation Square 11am - 530pm An annual event celebrating Malaysian food, culture and performances, hosted by Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia, Victoria chapter.

Upcoming Events





(Stuff we recommend)

Chef Lagenda Malaysian Chinese Kitchen 16 Pin Oak Crescent Flemington VIC 3031 835 Ballarat Road Deer Park VIC 3023 There’s going to be high expectations when you have the name Chef Lagenda (Legendary Chef). However, this cosy and homey restaurant has lived up to its name cooking authentic Malaysian dishes, which carry a taste from home. You may order street food or dishes to be served with rice. One of our favourites from Chef Lagenda is “Kangkung Belacan”- a type of typical Malaysian vegetable stir fry with a chilli paste. Distinct and authentic!

The Esplanade Hotel Live Music at the Espy 11 The Esplanade St Kilda, VIC 3182 The Esplanade Hotel, or the Espy for short, is one of Melbourne’s longstanding live music institutions, with a wide variety of local and international talent gracing its three separate stages every week. From pop to rock to R&B, chances are you will find something to enjoy - or rock out to - while you enjoy a pint with mates on a weekend. Located on the Esplanade just across from the beach and right amongst St Kilda’s famous restaurant and cafe precinct, it’s a perfect place to finish off a fun day out. To check out who’s playing, visit their website at

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JOM’s Picks

Bright Your Autumn Breakaway 3 hours scenic drive from Melbourne This little country town located innorthern Victoria is popular for its wonderful display of autumn colours, local produce and breathtaking scenery in the nearby Alpine National Park, Mount Beauty and more. Particularly worth checking out is the “Bright Autumn Festival” – a ten days celebration of autumn colours and autumn produce by Victoria’s Alpine High Country, taking place from April 25 to May 4. We suggest you stay at least one or two nights to enjoy the town and its surroundings and mingle with the locals.

Camberwell Sunday Market Good Bargain for a Great Cause Station Street, Camberwell There’s a saying: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. This is certainly a theme at the very well known weekly Camberwell Sunday Market, where most of the items offered for sale are second hand items. For those with a keen eye and a knack for bargaining, it is not difficult to snag a piece of clothing or antique for just your lose change. The market has also become more and more popular among Malaysians not only to shop, but also to open up a stall to sell unneeded items. By donating a gold coin upon entry, you will also help raise funds for the Rotary Club which helps numerous causes locally and abroad. To find out more about Camberwell Sunday Market:

Malaysian News Recap (Feb - Apr) COMPILED BY KARINA FOO & JOYCE NG

MH370 incident illustrated by Vanessa Law

MAS Airplane Disappears On March 8 2014, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH 370 went missing en-route to Beijing, China. The incident happened within less than one hour after take-off. The Boeing 777 carried 239 people (12 crew members and 227 passengers from 14 nations). There were 50 Malaysians, 152 Chinese and other nationalities on-board. On March 24, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced in a press conference that the plane’s journey “ended” in the Southern Indian ocean. Despite the tragic news, family members of those onboard the flight were not convinced as there was lack of any physical evidence of the plane. There have also been several speculative theories from around the world on the possible causes of the plane’s mysterious disappearance. The World Searches for MH 370 Since the disappearance of MH 370, 26 countries have joined forces in a mass international search for the aircraft. The search crews comprise investigators and experts who have provided radar and satellite information. The international pursuit has also seen the full deployment military assets on land, sea and air. Malaysia is coordinating the search with the help of Australia that is playing a major role in the search area that spans about 223,000sq km, 1680km west north-west of Perth.

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News Corner

Some of the other nations involved are Bangladesh, Brunei, France, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, U.K., Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Chinese Families Hit Hard Some of the Chinese families with relatives on-board the MH370 plane have accused Malaysia of withholding key information. A letter was sent to Beijing’s special envoy in Kuala Lumpur by the Chinese families who claim that that Malaysia had “misled and delayed” the search. The families have also stated in the letter that Malaysia should issue an official apology, provide return airfares to the country together with food and accommodation until the search is finished. On the other hand, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, said that it had acted transparently in the search from the start, saying he “genuinely believed” that the country’s search and rescue team had acted “fairly and responsibly”. Speaking at a televised live press conference, Hishammuddin, who is also the Acting Transport Minister, said that although he can imagine what the Chinese families are going through, it’s not just them who have lost or are looking for lost family members. “Malaysia has also lost family members, 14 nations have lost family members,” he said.

levels with an Air Pollutant Index (API) of more than 350. Two districts mostly affected were Port Klang and Banting with APIs of 350 and 318 respectively. Malaysia’s API and Singapore’s Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) are closely related, and readings of 301 or above are considered dangerous. There were 131 schools in the Klang district that were ordered to close during this period by the Selangor Education Department.

Najib Bought Chicken at RM1: Shop Wisely Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has advised people to stop complaining about price hikes and instead, shop wisely after purchasing a whole chicken for only RM1 at NSK Trade City, Jalan Kuchai Lama, in Kuala Lumpur. “I’ve bought one, so there’s 999 left,” he said, adding that this special price applied only to 1,000 chickens on sale at NSK. The purchase was on the same day of the official launching ceremony of the “Fair Priced Shops” award, where 269 premises have been awarded. The news has received backlash on social media as it was only two days after the disappearance of MH370. Wake Up Call for VW Malaysia Volkswagen Group Malaysia faced unhappy queries after a group of Volkswagen car owners gathered outside its headquarters to air their grievances about after salesservice issues. On March 14, the group met with the company’s representatives and handed them their list of demands outside the headquarters in Bangsar,Kuala Lumpur. The demands included the vehicle warranty to be increased to 10 years from the current five. The group also wanted some flexibility with the car service interval schedule. In line with the company’s expansion plans, Volkswagen Group Malaysia Managing Director Christoph Aringer said the company aims for higher levels of customer satisfaction. Part of this involves extended operation hours for 20 authorised Volkswagen service centres in peninsular Malaysia, which will open on Sundays from 9am-5pm for car maintenance services beginning March 16.

The department of environment said that the March haze was due to internal sources resulting from land and forest fires in some states. The country suffered from a bad bout of haze in July 2013 when winds blew in fumes of burning products and trees from Indonesia.

Photo by Enslin

A “Raining” Winner Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton claimed a first time pole-to-flag victory at the Sepang International Circuit on March 30. Despite the threat of rain, he won to lead Mercedes to a 1-2 finish for the first time since the Italian Grand Prix P in 1955. He crossed the finish line in 1’40:25.974 to easily beat his German team-mate Nico Rosberg, the winner of the season-opener in Melbourne two weeks earlier, by 17.313 seconds. This victory has shadowed his embarrassing experience in his first Petronas Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix race for Mercedes in 2013 when he drove into former team McLaren’s pit-stop area.

Photo: Main Terminal Building and Tower at KLIA

The Haze Returns In early March, the haze in Malaysia reached hazardous

14 |

News Corner

Air Asia Won’t Budge While the new KLIA2 airport is slated to open on May 2, AirAsia and AirAsia X will not move there until all the

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safety and security issues have been fixed. Air Asia group is supposed to be the anchor tenant, accounting for more than 80% of traffic at the new low cost carriers air terminal. The group will not move from the existing LCCT (often referred to as a “horse stable”), despite warnings that it will be closed by May 9. AirAsia contested that there are safety and security issues that must be addressed before they can move. The company is also concerned over potential increases in airport and passenger services charges – these factors could raise the overall cost of travelling.

the public as a strong voice in promoting and protecting the rights of the less fortunate. She was the Director of Tenaganita, an NGO established in 1991 to help relieve struggles of women workers in the plantations and industrial sectors. She was also well known as the champion of the marginalised, including migrants, refugees, labourers and sex workers. “She motivated us, taught us about our rights. Now she is gone and we don’t have anyone,” said M.Mariayee, a plantation worker, to Malaysia Insider. Body Shop Malaysia managing director Datin Mina CheahFoong, who worked with Irene on a recent Stop Child Sex Trafficking programme, recalled “she always had her big smile and hearty laugh for us”.

Rational Water Rationing While Malaysians are enduring the haze, they face another plight: water rationing. On April 4, the fourth phase of the water rationing exercise saw more than 6.7 million Selangor residents affected. In a press conference before the water rationing date, National Water Services Commission (SPAN) chairman Datuk Ismail Kassim, said that the phase will affect nine districts, namely Gombak, Petaling, Klang/Shah Alan, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Langat, Hulu Langat and Sepang. “The fourth phase of water rationing will involve an additional 620,237 households making a total of 1,340,231 households or 6.7 million people,” he said. The households affected by the fourth phase will be subject to a two-days on, two-days off water supply pattern. The water rationing began in March with Sungai Selangor (Phase one), Sungai Selangor (Phase two), Sungai Selangor (Phase three).

Photo courtesy of Reuters

Paying Respect to the Departed The Qing Ming Festival created bustling crowds in Ipoh as many residents (now living outstation), returned to perform their rituals and obligations. Eateries and souvenir shops were packed to the brim with customers while some bought biscuits, kaya puffs, Tambun heong peah (a Chinese-Malaysian delicacy) and pomeloes. Some burnt paper replicas of bungalows, flashy cars, technological gadgets and Louis Vuitton bags, for their dead to enjoy in the afterlife. The festival is known as Chinese Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day which usually falls on April 5 every year. Major roads in the city also experienced traffic congestion as people came home from mainly Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

Our News in Roo Roo Land Photo courtesy of Malaysia Insider

Human Rights Activist Passes Away Human rights activist Irene Fernandez passed away on the morning of March 31. The 67 year old succumbed to heart failure at 10.58am. She was brought to the Coronary Care Unit of Serdang Hospital a week earlier after suffering breathing difficulties on her way to the Bersih People’s Tribunal on the 13th General Election. Fernandez was known in humanitarian circles and even to

16 |

News Corner

Malaysian Tycoon Died in Brisbane Dr. Peter Yeoh Tiong Yong, from the well known Yeoh family in Malaysia who founded YTL Corporation Limited, died peacefully in Brisbane in early April at the age of 78. Yeoh was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen Elizabeth Birthday Honours List eight years ago for his service to business, multiculturalism and his huge donations to health and education. In 2003, Yeoh was awarded the prestigious Centenary Medal by the Governor General of Australia to honour his achievements in a broad cross section of the Australasian community. He was active in the Australian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Australia Malaysia Business Council. Since arriving in Brisbane, Yeoh had been actively involved

in the administration, facilitation and promotion of better economic, social and cultural ties between Australia, Malaysia and China. Yeoh leaves behind his wife Alice Mah Kam Moi, son Zak and daughters Patricia, Yvonne and Peggy and four grandchildren. Source: Bernama

Immigration Consul Returns with Satisfaction Malaysia’s Immigration Consul in Melbourne has returned to Kuala Lumpur after completing her assignment in Australia, which included the seamless and successful relocation of her office from Canberra to Melbourne last year. The highly regarded Nawal Mohamed Amin said she was fortunate to have the help of the consul general here, Datuk Dr Mohammad Rameez Yahaya. Nawal said there has been an increase of Malaysians seeking immigration help, including some who travel a long way - from Adelaide, Tasmania, Queensland and Sydney - to renew their passports or for other immigration matters. Nawal said travellers requiring social visit visas were also appreciating the convenience of an immigration office here. The passport processing equipment here services the whole of Australia, so applicants going to the consulates in Canberra and Perth can expect to wait up to 14 days to get their documents back, but in Melbourne it is done on the spot. A total of 1,047 Malaysian passports were processed in January and February this year while 759 Malaysians renewed their passports, mainly students and permanent residents in Australia. Her successor is Zaharuddin Izham Zulkipli, who arrived here in March. Source: Bernama MASA Conference Retracts Speaking Invitation to DAP Leader Tony Pua, National Publicity Secretary for Malaysian opposition party DAP, has had his speaking invitation at MASA Conference, due to happen on April 22, revoked on grounds that his participation would not be in the “best interest of everyone”. According to the organiser Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia (MASCA), they initially scheduled Pua to take the stage alongside socio-political activist Marina Mahathir and UMNO representative Dr. Asyraf Wajdi, with keynote speaker Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre here. However Dr. Asyraf Wajdi later pulled out and it was deemed “there seems to be an unbalance” without a BN representative present as a panelist. Pua on April 7 received correspondence from

the organisers that read, “It is with great regret and disappointment to tell you that we have to retract your invitation to speak at MASA Conference 2014 (Melbourne) happening this 22nd April. Despite our best efforts of convincing them otherwise, our main sponsors strongly feel that it was not in the best interest of everyone to have you in the line up of panelists.” Tony Pua will instead be holding a free public forum, hosted by Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia Melbourne (SABM) on April 23 at Melbourne Multicultural Hub. Ambiga in Sydney: Education for True Change Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, former chair of the electoral reform group said education and changing mindsets were needed to achieve lasting change. Speaking to about 120 people at a meet and greet event hosted by Bersih Sydney on April 11, Ambiga said that recent events such as the conviction of two senior opposition leaders and the global criticism of Malaysia over the Flight MH370 crisis showed a pressing need for change to occur before the next general election. She also said that another Bersih street rally would occur if the Election Commission (EC) presses ahead with a planned re-delineation without addressing previously raised concerns. According to Malay Mail, The EC is reportedly planning to increase the number of federal seats from the current 222 to 280.

What’s New

The Heart Radical The Heart Radical, a historical novel set in Malaysia, was published in Australia on February 1 this year. The story was inspired by the author’s father-in-law, H. T. Ong, the first Chinese Chief Justice of Malaysia. Part war story, part love story and part courtroom drama, the novel is based on actual events in Malaysia. “All the characters are based on real people, either historical or from my own family or acquaintance,” said author Boyd Anderson. The book can be found online at or good book stores. The book is also slated to be published in Malaysia and the rest of Southeast Asia. --

News Corner



Photo: A woman overlooking Putra Mosque in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

What Change Has No Change Brought? Changes in Malaysia a year after the 13th General Election with the same government Had a whole year really passed since Malaysians picked sides in a feverish battle for a Putrajaya victory each believed they were owed? Seeing as the political change that was in equal measures dreaded and demanded didn’t come to pass, what then has changed in the country? WRITES STEPHANIE STA MARIA PHOTOGRAPHS JOYEE CHAN & JIA SHYAN TEH

Higher Cost of Living Journalist Patrick Lee pointed out the most obvious change– a higher cost of living. Between September last year and January this year the government has reduced fuel and sugar subsidies by 20 cents and 34 cents per kilogram respectively, increased electricity tariff by up to 15% and proposed a significant hike in property assessment rates. Lee said that price hikes and inflation are not unique to any country but pointed out that the recently introduced hikes had been kept under wraps until after the GE13 for obvious reasons. “Prices are bound to go up sooner or later, though what makes a lot of people very unhappy is how it all seemed to come at once,” he said. “And most salaries are not up to scale with these hikes, making it difficult for the common folk to cope.” Interestingly, he is the only person interviewed who touched on bread and butter issues. The others turned their gaze to the political landscape

20 |

Inside Malaysia & Beyond

and its impact on public sentiment and ethnic division. More interesting is their choice of the term “under siege” when referring to the mental stance of both the people and the politicians.

“There are also those who feel that BN must strengthen its hold on rural areas if it wants to win the next election but in real terms, this means a continuation or a widening of divisive racial politics.”

Leadership Under Siege Saifuddin Abdullah is one of them. The former parliamentarian is far from a Barisan Nasional (BN) spruiker and this has earned him the respect of middle Malaysia. After his loss in the previous election, he was befittingly given the position of CEO of the Global Movement of Moderates. Standing on middle ground has enabled him to observe the unfolding of a dual aftermath in the past year.

The second change is found in the middle ground that has decided to move on. Saifuddin describes this group of youth, academia, professionals and civil society as brave enough to break new ground based on new realities.

“Two things happened at the same time,” Saifuddin said. “First for some who may still be recovering from their GE13 trauma there is a sense of being under siege. Hence they are reactionary in their perception and actions which has resulted in rising racial polarisation and religious intolerance.”

“They believe Malaysian politics are moving towards becoming colour blind and that there is a need to migrate from race-based policies to needs-based ones,” he said. “I’m part of this group.” Another journalist, Aidila Razak, is the second person to bring up the siege mentality. As she crisscrosses between the political sphere and the grassroots she has watched how a deepening partisanship is seeping into ethnic lines and feeding intolerance and defensiveness.

“Everything is seen as BN versus Pakatan,” she said. “More people think it’s abhorrent to befriend a supporter of another other party or coalition so they stick with their crowd and are unwilling to take a different perspective.” She also noted a new worrying trend of Malays and East Malaysians being labeled as ‘stupid’ and ‘backward’ for their choice of voting BN.

Louder Voices from the Fringe The other big change over the past year, Umapagan added, is the increasingly present group of extremist malcontents namely Pertubuhan Peribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa), Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) and Jalur Tiga Malaysia (Jati). But he also sees this as a response to the bigger middle space occupied by Malaysians of all ethnicities.

“When historians look back on 2013, they will see a country deeply divided by racial and religious politics,” he stated. “In summary 2013 was the year when the much heralded 1Malaysia was destroyed in plain sight.”

migrate from race-based Journalist Patrick Lee said that policies to needs-based ones. this unfortunately wasn’t to be as

“They’ve gone with the first approach,” he said. “And that was seen in last year’s Umno elections. I actually expected a more vibrant debate and for (prime minister) Najib (Razak) to be put under the same pressure as Pak Lah (former prime minister Abdullah Badawi).” BN lost its two third majority while under Abdullah’s leadership in 2008, which pushed him to vacate his seat for Najib. But BN recorded its worst election performance in GE13 after wining only 133 seats of its original 140 seats in the 222-member parliament and losing the popular vote. “UMNO went into siege mode

wing groups to position themselves as defenders of Islam and the Malay race.

The Threat of Political Apathy GE13 was a long awaited election especially for the 2.6 million Malaysians who were voting for the first time. It was an exciting time to be swept up in political fever and that election high lasted at least a few weeks after polling They believe Malaysian day. However eventually, many them began looking forward politics are moving towards of to getting on with life and leaving the daily running of the country becoming colour blind the hands of the newly elected and that there is a need to inrepresentatives.

“Malays feel like they’re being attacked for their ethnicity and are questioning why their Chinese friends have suddenly taken a hostile outlook on life. This is what has changed in Malaysia.” I repeated Aidila’s words to Umapagan Ampikaipakan, the co-host of BFM’s Evening Edition, and he agreed. As BN resumed command of Putrajaya, he had predicted two different scenarios. BN would either assume siege mode or change things by offering to collaborate with the opposition.

and rallied around their leader,” Umapagan said. “Pak Lah never had that.”

- Saifuddin Abdullah “When that happens the border gets smaller and the fringe voices get louder and more vociferous. We just don’t know how to handle this because the media was previously more controlled. Now we hear everything and have an immediate reaction when for the most part these people’s barks are probably louder than their bites.” James Chin, a professor of political science at Monash University Malaysia, concurred and said that the GE13 campaign period provided a psychological boost to these right

both sides carried on the same brand of politicking that prevailed in the election run-up.

“There was hope that BN would adopt a more humble and inclusive approach and Pakatan, a more statesmanlike attitude as an alternative political presence,” he said. “But as we can still see, politicians from both sides are still playing to their own galleries and engaging in the same tired rhetoric.” “Many people may feel mentally weary and some may be even fed up with the way things are going. So we could see the resurgence of political apathy once more.” --

Photo: Durian Tasting in Melbourne in November last year drew thousands of Malaysians to reminisce about their national food sent fresh from home.

The More We Change… You can take a Malaysian out of Malaysia but you can’t take Malaysia out of them. WRITES JONATHAN LIAN PHOTOGRAPHS SIOK YEE TAN & JONATHAN LIAN

Change is a terrifying yet wonderful thing. It forecasts difficult roads ahead, but also promises countless rewards and marvellous experiences. Like the great migration cycles of animals, people too must change and leave their homes behind in search of greener pastures. Yet, one aspect of change is certain. Once you leave home, you may never be the same again. In the sleepy districts of Ipoh many years ago, a young and optimistic Raja Yasmin Raja Abdul left behind the comforts of her family to begin her studies overseas. There was deep concern in her household as to how she would survive on her own, far away from the luxuries of home. “I was the only girl in my family,” Yasmin said. “In our culture, the women and daughters are always protected.” “Back home in Malaysia, we live in a group. You would be protected and be made to feel secure by your parents, siblings and relatives. But when you go overseas, you’re mostly on your own.” Sarawakian IT Profession Jimmy Ling met his future spouse whilst studying here in Melbourne. Both Jimmy and Ling Hsien were students in Monash University and during that time, they shared fond memories of their time together as international students during a time of economic uncertainty. Ling Hsien arrived from Perak in 1995. “Before I left, Australia was going through a bad recession so my parents were unsure of me heading there,” said the

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Inside Malaysia & Beyond

49-year-old mother of three. “But personally I was looking forward to a new life in Melbourne.” Bioengineering student Vanessa Pang had a more uneasy start. When she turned 15, her parents decided to enrol her into an Australian all girls’ school here in Melbourne. “My only concerns were the people here, how they were going to treat me,” Vanessa said. Yet, her foreign presence at the Methodist Ladies College did not faze her, as it was her own decision study there. “I was not unsure or scared because my neighbours in Malaysia also came here a few years ago, and I have cousins studying here too,” she added. Vanessa, Yasmin, Jimmy and Ling Hsien are all slices of an ever-growing community of Malaysians who have left home to pursue their interests in Melbourne. Based on the latest Melbourne City Demographic Profile in 2006, the largest group of people born overseas were 20 to 24-yearold Malaysian residents, comprising of 2% of the municipal population and 11.5% of those in that age group. Malaysians who arrived in Australia over the past five years were the also largest single group in the municipality, making up 7.8% of the total population of 4 million in 2011. The majority of them were students. After their education, many chose to settle down in quiet suburbs and start families of their own. The number of Malaysians living in Victoria surpassed 30,000 in 2006.

Photo (from left, clockwise): Vanessa Pang, Raja Yasmin Raja Abdul, Professor Alberto Gomes

An easygoing lifestyle and a freer society were selling points for most Malaysians intending to settle down herw. Both Jimmy Ling and Ling Hsien chose to remain in Melbourne after completing their tertiary education. For the two looking to raise a family, the spacious land and affordable prices all pointed to a better lifestyle and a brighter future for their kids. “That’s the reason why I like it here,” said Ling Hsien. “It’s not about the good job prospects or the good pay, but the good quality of life.” Jimmy added, “We’ve learned about the culture here, so now our lifestyle is more Australian than Malaysian.” All Malaysians who arrive in a foreign land are given a choice, whether to integrate with society there or retain their old way of life. According to Professor Alberto Gomes, an expert in Anthropology at La Trobe University, that decision depends on a number of factors. “If they come here for business or studies, they will slowly become more accustomed to society, the longer they stay,” he said. “For those who have come here to settle for good, there is also a stronger likelihood they will make an effort to try to integrate into Australian society.” Yet, it’s not always smooth sailing for migrating Malaysians, as there are always culture shocks at every turn. The only possible solution is to adjust to a new lifestyle to suit this change.

The matter of raising kids in a different environment is also somewhat tricky, says Malaysian housewife Ling Hsien. To her the biggest challenge is preventing them from straying from the typical Asian upbringing, where the parent’s word is absolute law. “My parenting ways were the biggest aspect I needed to change, from my parent’s style of raising kids back home.” Ling Hsien said. “The education system here encourages you to speak out and voice your opinion, so we can’t raise them the Malaysian way anymore; it’s simply not going to work out.” Professor Gomes has observed the behavioural pattern of a younger generation of Malaysians who have been exposed to a western education. He concluded that their interaction with other kids in Australia resulted in an adoption of certain different cultures to their own. Before coming to Melbourne, Professor Gomes used to give lectures at the University of Malaya, and he noticed subtle differences between the students here and there. “Here, they are told to be more creative and critical in their thinking, while in Malaysia that generally doesn’t happen,” he said. “The younger generation who have been schooled in Melbourne have different friends, some who are Australian, so they tend to interact more freely with others.”

Inside Malaysia & Beyond



Without a doubt, the creativity driven Australian education system follows a different route from the daily textbook recitals of local Malaysian schools. Vanessa mentioned that spoon feeding is not part of the high school curriculum here. “Back home, they make you memorize everything,” she said. “It’s basically following instructions. In Melbourne, the teachers are more open to discussion and creativity.” “The students back home are also more reserved in their thinking and not as open minded, as openness back home generally isn’t a concept yet.” Another unfamiliar taste for many Malaysians arriving here is the freedom of rights and expression. Vanessa said the people back home would be more judgemental and less open about issues discussed, due to strict laws against it. “Back home, people are trapped in an old culture, where you have no voice, even if you’re an adult and married,” Ling Hsien added. “You cannot escape the dominance of your parents, and they can still order you to do things to which you don’t agree.” “I still like to keep my old values though, even if I’m more exposed to the freedom of expression here.” “In terms of culture, we still prefer to keep some of our Chinese values and food,” Jimmy said. “We also like to stick with a circle of friends in the same culture.” Professor Gomes also agreed that Malaysians tend to stick together a bit too closely. He witnessed many Malaysian migrants choosing to settle in Malaysian-dominated suburbs. They also prefer to avoid any contact with the locals. “Some Malaysians complain there is racism in Australia,” Professor Gomes said. “But I also remind them that they come from an even more racist country, so they cannot complain about racism here and say there’s none back there.” “Back home you have ultra-Malay groups like Perkasa making racist comments very openly in the media, vilifying the non-Malays who are in fact, people who were born there as well.” Judging from the responses of Malaysians here in Melbourne, they seem to have no regrets leaving home. So why do many Malaysians still keep their old cultural practices? Yasmin has lived in Melbourne for over seven years. She is no stranger to the western culture, and she has even found a way to live whilst keeping her cultural practices and faith. “What I kept from home is my religious beliefs as a Muslim,” said the owner of the Little Ipoh restaurant.

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Inside Malaysia & Beyond

“There are things that I not sacrifice, like Hari Raya celebrations, and the food that I eat.” “What I cannot change about myself is the food. Rather than having a muffin for breakfast, I prefer to have a nice plate of nasi lemak or nasi goreng.” In keeping to her traditional roots, settling back home again is not a challenge for her, as Yasmin also makes it a habit to return to Malaysia every once in a while. However for some who are used to the Australian lifestyle, going back again to resettle might prove both awkward and challenging. Jimmy believes re-adapting to daily life back in Malaysia would be possible for him but certain things would be somewhat shocking and hard to accept. “Many Malaysians who have gone back say they can’t stand the way people jump queues and not care,” he said. In terms of resettling their kids back in Malaysia, Ling Hsien said her boys are not going to be able to integrate well because of their education here. “As for myself, I don’t think I will be able to integrate either,” she added. “I am used to the life here, with its freedom and a right to voice your opinion.” Professor Gomes also said that his kids, who are of mixed parentage, would have been discriminated against in Malaysia simply because they don’t fit into any of the racial categories. For the younger generation of students however, returning to Malaysia and adjusting to their old lifestyle is a possible future option. If their student visa expires and they fail to get a permanent residency, they would have to pack up and fly home. “Re-adapting isn’t hard,” Vanessa said. “But there would be some aspects in Australia you’ve taken on that you can never change.” According to Yasmin, throughout this journey what you are exposed to is what shapes your success. It’s a unique life lesson worth leaving home for. “In life, it’s not good to be in one specific spot, dwelling in your own comfort zone all the time” Yasmin said. “Change not only helps you grow, but it also gives you a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.” --

Painting by Heidi Koh. (More paintings of Peranakan’s culture:

Keeping the Tradition (and generally, having lots of fun)

The tale of the Baba Nyonya Down Under, who thrive to keep their culture and tradition in the midst of change. WRITES TAN YING PHOTOGRAPH SIOK YEE TAN & JOYCE NG

Community & Culture



It is a quiet afternoon on the peaceful streets of Blackburn. As you step out of the train station the spring sun immediately welcomes you like long-lost family. As you bask in the warm golden light, a party is happening nearby at The Pines Senior Citizen Centre.

founding members and current President of the Peranakan Association Melbourne, Alfred Chi. Born in Melaka, Chi is a true-blue Peranakan. “My parents used sarung kebaya, there were beaded slippers, the food that we cook [was Nyonya], the language we used was different,” says Alfred as he listed out examples of the Baba Nyonya practices that he himself had grown up with.

Take a peek inside and you are greeted by the intertwining melody of music and laughter. You notice that a stage is set at the front of the hall where a smiling emcee announces the next act for the talent show. There are bright pops of colour around the hall and upon closer observation you notice the intricate-looking garments the guests are wearing.

“The core value of Peranakan is filial piety. You will always work around the family,” says Chi.

“Some people say that the Peranakan are more Chinese It is the annual Mooncake Festival lunch hosted by the than the Chinese,” claims Ivy Lee, from Singapore. “We Peranakan Association Melbourne hold fast our culture, such as filial in October 2013. The guests are piety and respect for elders. You find decked out in beautiful traditional that many pure Chinese, especially It is our aim to teach attire, including baju panjang and the young and modernized ones have beaded slippers. Performers at the about this. We bring up our people what is Peranakan forgotten talent show delight the crowd by young to respect this, so our culture culture, Peranakan food, is still quite intact. showcasing their talents at martial arts, singing classic Peranakan songs Peranakan music. as well as dancing to Bollywood“Many young Chinese have given up, esque tracks. accepting that modernization has taken over our culture,” says Lee. “Peranakan” refers to the Chinese descendants that have made a home in the Malay Therefore, the Peranakan Association is trying its best Archipelago, especially in Malacca, Penang and Singapore. to ensure that there will be a continued sustenance of These places were strategic trading ports, which the culture, especially since it is based far away from its provided an opportunity for Chinese traders to meet and Peranakan ancestral roots. consequently marry the local women. The women largely hailed from the Malay Peninsula, Java and Sumatra and it With Chi, it appears that the Pernakan culture still was this harmonious intermarriage of Chinese and Malay manages to captivate the younger generation in his family. influence that started the Peranakan culture and lifestyle. “My eldest daughter doesn’t care about all these, but my youngest one, she loves it,” Chi says excitedly. He shares Prior to the growing usage of “Peranakan”, the term “Baba how she has even begun an initiative to involve more youth Nyonya” was used to refer to this special Chinese subin the Peranakan culture. group. Males were termed “Baba” while the females were known as “Nyonya”. The Peranakan Association Melbourne members are very closely knit. They meet every Sunday for activities such as The Peranakan Association Melbourne is the first to choir practice, and have begun to dabble in other area such be incorporated in Australia and was established five as organizing culinary groups. One does not have to be years ago in 2008. There were two dozen initial founding Peranakan to join, you can also join if you are keen to know members and their membership has since flourished to more about the culture. 120 this year. “I have Peranakan friends and through them I’ve gotten to The idea behind the inception of the association began learn about the diverse culture and I really enjoy it,” says in 2007 when a three-month long Kebaya exhibition was Nicholas Kellargias, who is not a Peranakan himself. organized at the Immigration Museum. In order to aid the process, the President of the Peranakan Association “We always enjoy it when we meet,” Chi smiles. of Singapore, Peter Wee was sought to help in the organization. Besides that, Peter managed to recruit a few -people to put on a performance for the Prime Minister of Malaysia of the time, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. As Anyone interested with Peranakan culture are more than a result, interest began to foster among the Peranakan welcome to join their community. To know more about them community and soon after the Peranakan Association or to join them, visit Melbourne was formed.

“ ”

“It is our aim to teach people what is Peranakan culture, Peranakan food, Peranakan music,” says one of the

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Community & Culture

Photo (from top left, clockwise): “Baba� performing at Melbourne Malaysia Festival in November last year; Current leaders of Peranakan Association Australia in their traditional costumes (Afred Lee in the middle); Descendants of Peranakans in Melbourne; Peranakan Food, photo courtesy of

Community & Culture



Malaysian Father, Australian Kids

Keng Meng Lee is an Avionics Engineer who moved to Australia in 1981 from his home in Penang. While he is a proud Malaysian, his four daughters are true blue Aussies. He speaks to us about the ups and downs of bringing his kids up in Australia. INTERVIEW LIANNE LETITIA ZILM & JOYCE NG PHOTOGRAPHS JOYCE NG

JOM: Where are you originally from and how long have you been in Australia? Lee: I have been here for 33 years. While our first stop was Melbourne, we spent over 20 years in Sale, Victoria where I was working with an oil company. My eldest child was born in Melbourne and the other three in Sale. Tell us a bit about your experience moving to Australia. For myself, it wasn’t a huge transition as I’ve worked in a few other countries like the UK, Brunei and Fiji. So, when my wife expressed interest to move overseas, I said “Why not?” We chose Australia because it was quite close to home, and I love the weather here too! It only took me a few months to get a PR and a job – quite different from the situation now.

In what ways do you feel you have changed since you came to Australia? I’ve found that the longer I lived here, the more I adapted to the western way of life. One element I like about western culture is that people aren’t such busybodies –they are friendly but not overbearing. They are also easy going and don’t take things to heart so much; for example, even if I have a disagreement with my colleagues, they tend to get over it quite easily and don’t hold grudges. I think it is not wrong to adopt some good western values and let go of the Asian bad habits as it makes you a better person. How was bringing up your children in Australia different from bringing them up in Malaysia? One thing I really like about Australia is their education

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Malaysian Tales

system – I know my children were taught well about what is right and what is wrong. They were also trained to be independent from a young age and make their own choices, which is helpful for them to determine their direction in life. However, I found it difficult to deal with the individualism and freedom that my children seemed to think they were entitled to. For example, one of my daughters booked to travel to some places in Asia like Indonesia and Thailand without letting me know. While I understand that it’s her decision, a father does worry about his children – especially his daughters! And my children tend to overestimate the safety of other countries just because they haven’t been put in dangerous environments. One thing I wish my children understood is what it was like to have a difficult life. When I was a child, I lived in Perai and to get to school, I would have to walk many miles, take a sampan across a river and ride a ferry to Penang to catch a bus to school. I would have to wake up at 5am and would only get home after dark. But now things are much easier, it’s so easy to take things for granted. How has your parenting style changed since you moved overseas? I was quite a strict parent to begin with but people used to comment that I was too harsh with my children. I am straightforward with my children and I point out their flaws – not to put them down, but to help them improve themselves. Sadly, I was always viewed as the ‘bad father’

who would always scold my children, so I eventually toned down throughout the years. People I knew here did ask me to speak to them nicely rather than command them, but I’m not one to say “Please this, please that” to my kids. I’m still an Asian parent and they need to listen to me. What are some challenges you faced bringing your children in Australia? My biggest challenge was to get my children to embrace their culture. When people ask them where they’re from, they immediately say that they’re Australian, not Malaysian. I tried to teach them more about Chinese and Malaysian culture, but they have a “don’t want to know” attitude towards it. One thing that used to trouble me was my children’s attitudes when my friends would come to visit. Normally in Malaysia, children would greet guests, calling them ‘Uncle’ and ‘Aunty, but when my children were younger, they wouldn’t even greet my guests but would just go into their own rooms. They have changed in recent years though, which I’m thankful for. It’s not that I haven’t tried. I actually speak to my children in Hokkien but they answer me in English. When we were living in Sale, I used to drive my children to Melbourne for the weekend to go to Chinese classes for 10 years! I’m not sure if they even remember how to speak Chinese, though I know they understand what I’m saying to them. However, one of my twin daughters recently did a 3 month summer program in China, so perhaps some of my work paid off.

But, of course, there have to be some rewarding moments as well? Yes – despite our differences, I love my children and am proud of the people they have become. Some of the happiest moments are when they would win awards for being top of the class. My children are now grown up – my oldest one is already married, and they all have had a good education and have gained respectable qualifications. I just want them to be able to be independent; and when I mean independent, I don’t mean just making their own decisions but also being able to support themselves. I am proud of them, and proud of other Asians who contribute their excellence to this country. What is your advice for families wanting to migrate to Australia? I would encourage them to come to Australia as it’s a good country, and there are opportunities available if you’re prepared to work hard and not be too selective. In fact, a change of environment can be character-building for yourself and for your children too. However, I do believe that it’s a good idea for families to raise their kids in Malaysia, at least for a few years to get them a good grounding in their culture. While the education system can give them a good set of values, that cannot replace time spent in Malaysia to give them a sense of belonging. --

Malaysian Tales



Marina Mahathir As a daughter of Malaysia’s longest serving Prime Minister, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir has become used to those who would judge her by reference to her father. But despite the name and legacy she carries, she is determinedly her own woman, and her achievements have extended far beyond simply being a daughter. As an eminent writer, producer and human rights campaigner, Marina Mahathir shares with us her reflections on the remarkable life she has led so far, and her thoughts and hopes on the future of Malaysia. INTERVIEWS JOYCE NG

JOM: You have made a name for yourself for your social and political advocacy. What inspired you to be a writer and a social activist? Marina: I always wanted to be a writer or journalist because English was my best subject at school. But the social activism bit came much later, really when I became Chair of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation in 1993 and then President of the Malaysian AIDS Council in 1994. I think it was when I learnt more and more about HIV and realised that it is a preventable disease and it was just ignorance and a lack of respect for human rights that causes it that I became an activist. You have written a lot about gender issues in Malaysia. What made you so passionate about gender equality? I grew up with parents who treated me the same as my brothers. My father in particular never believed that women should have less opportunities than men. My mother worked all her life and was the first woman to do many things in the health field in Malaysia. So gender equality was the norm in my family. Please share with us what you are working on right now. I’m busy as a member of the Board of Sisters in Islam. Additionally I am Co-Executive Producer of 3R-Respect, Relax and Respond, the TV programme for young women. Also I am Advisor to Projek Dialog that aims to educate Malaysians about each other’s faiths in Bahasa Malaysia, and am part of Malaysians for Malaysia, a citizens’ initiative to promote peace and unity among Malaysians.

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Malaysian Tales

We are the ones behind A Walk in the Park peace gatherings and also behind the Walls of Hope in support of MH370. Of course I’m still writing my column in the Star and I am a member of the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC). Oh, and I’m developing a website for women who travel. What inspired or drove you to do what you are working on right now? All the things I work on have one thing in common: they are all about justice and equality, which is what leads to peace and unity. Or they serve some sort of need eg the website. Being known as the daughter of Tun Dr. Mahathir, do you find yourself free to express your own opinion and thoughts in Malaysia? What are the difficulties in being who you want to be yourself? Generally I have written what I want for the past 25 years. But people react differently to what I write. Some think I’m my Dad’s mouthpiece, while others think I’m being a rebel. There are supporters and detractors for both positions. It seems to me that if I can get both contradictory responses to what I write, I must be doing something right. That is, I stick to principles, rather than politics. How has being the daughter of a former Prime Minister of Malaysia impacted your current work and writing? People have trouble differentiating us, as if I cannot be an autonomous person just because I am related to him.

So when I write something people agree with, I’m being independent. When I write something they don’t agree with and which happens to be in synch with my Dad, then I’m just being his clone. Few give me credit for having my own thoughts and arriving at my own positions. That’s the most annoying thing. What are your thoughts on the current political and religious climate in Malaysia? I think we are in very dangerous times now because there are many people who think that politics and religion should be completely married, even though this will result in injustice to many people. Once upon a time, nobody except PAS wanted hudud laws. Now it looks as if even mainstream people think it’s a good idea. There is less and less room for dissent and independent thinking. Look at what they did to Kassim Ahmad, a frail 81-year old man who is one of our leading intellects. If everyone keeps quiet now, mostly out of fear or denial, one day we’ll wake up to find that all our freedoms have gone. I don’t believe that’s what our forefathers and foremothers fought for in the struggle for independence. Why do you think there have been so many issues relating to Islam and Syariah Law in Malaysia recently? In a diverse country like ours, having two legal systems is bound to cause conflict at some point. What more when some people see it as a way of exerting control. It is not about religion per se but how. When you use it as a basis for law and public policy, it can impact on people unjustly. I have no problems if it leads to greater justice for all, including religious minorities. But it obviously doesn’t. And it gives great scope for people to abuse their powers. That creates unease not just among non-Muslims but also among Muslims. But the climate is such that people who try and say something are immediately labelled un-Islamic or insulting Islam or even apostates. There is no Quranic basis for any of these because the Quran exhorts us to constantly fight injustice and to use our God-given brains. Apart from your writing, you have been actively involved in promoting human rights and various social issues. What aspect of this work do you find the most rewarding? I think the most rewarding thing is knowing you are making people aware of the many powerless and voiceless people out there. And that they are equally citizens of this country as everyone else. There is a perception that many people in Malaysia like to complain but do little to make a change themselves. How do you think people can make a positive impact? I think many people are beginning to be aware that change is not going to happen just on Facebook, that you need to get out there, protest, write letters, start campaigns, vote. The fact that Bersih 3.0 was so much bigger than Bersih 2.0 showed that more and more people felt that they had to show how they felt and that they were willing to pay the price of it. That was a kind of tipping point. The issue is not

to let complacency set in. Things are not going to change overnight, you need to sustain the pressure for a long time. What changes, if any, have you seen recently in Malaysia, both socially and politically? I think the very many citizen initiatives is a very hopeful sign. Projek Dialog for instance. And certainly Malaysians for Malaysia ,a loose group of people who initiate events that promote peace and unity.We started off with that visit to the church in Klang where we gave out flowers. The idea is to provide an alternative to the hate so that Malaysians know they have a choice. So far the Walks In the Park have taken place in four cities and there are plans for more. And the Walls of Hope were a runaway success with thousands of people expressing their support, wishes and prayers for MH370 on the walls all over the country. We are now hoping to archive it all to make into a book or exhibition later because it is such a wonderful expression of unity. What changes do you hope to see in Malaysia in the near future? It’s very clear that the main change we need is in education. We are now harvesting the fruits of a much deteriorated education system where people are barely educated enough to know how to think or even speak. This bodes very badly for our future because we need our people to be better educated, not worse. So much of the discussion about our education system does not focus on quality of education, only about the political advantages or disadvantages of education. But even if we have everyone in the same school but the education provided is poor, we won’t be doing anything for our children. There won’t be unity because the rich will simply take their children out and put them in private schools. How can you have unity when there are such gaps between rich and poor? -A bit more about Marina: In 2010, Marina was named the UN Person of the Year by the United Nations in Malaysia. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day in 2011, Marina was one of only two Malaysian women named to’s list of 100 Most Inspiring People Delivering for Girls and Women.

Photo: Marina Mahathir and her father, Tun Dr. Mahathir, fourth and longest serving Malaysian Prime Minister. Courtesy of Sun Daily.

Malaysian Tales



Taking stand up comedy seriously Some might assume that stand-up comedians are funny all the time; like 24-7 holding onto their stage persona. Well, it is hard to be taken seriously when it is literally a one-man show - pardon the pun. But there is one stand-up who seems rather prudent and even pensive when not on stage and he is taken seriously by those around him.


Malaysian Tales



Malaysian Ronny Chieng, is your regular down to earth guy by day and at night, he transforms into a vocal stand-up comedian entertaining a resounding audience with his sharp satirical perspectives, sarcasm and raw wit. The range of topics he covers in that one hour is vast yet specific – from daily experiences, relationships and other events where he jabs them with side splitting absurdities. His anecdotes are simply hilarious because they are brutally honest, un-polished and animated. In April, he performed in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in his show, Chieng Reaction, an apt name to describe the positive reaction received in his earlier shows.

Lawyer Comedian Makes Waves When not doing stand-up, keeping a low and unassuming profile is what he prefers as it works like the calm before the storm, building up the energy for the stage when the sun goes down. “When up there, everyone has their eyes on you, but you still need to be self-aware when people aren’t looking as it develops self-realisation. When you have that, it enables you to build a strong state of mind and a bit of thick skin which is an essential skill in this industry because you face a lot of criticism,” says Chieng who started stand-up about four years ago. Born in Johore and raised in the USA and Singapore, Chieng moved to Australia where he became a commerce and law graduate of University of Melbourne in 2009. He only practiced law for six months before making a career switch to stand up, and the rest is history. While it was a gamble to switch careers from a corporate profession that could promise a stable income to another that looked like the opposite, Chieng knew that there was nothing to lose. He was resolute with his stand-up career and went on to win the 2012 MICF’s Best Newcomer award and in 2013, was named one of the “Top 10 Hottest Comedians” by The Age and the Herald Sun in Melbourne. He performed on the nationally broadcast 2013 MICF Gala, as well as the Sydney Comedy Festival Opening Gala at the Opera House. He had two gigs at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal including the Eddie Izzard Gala, perfromed at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and sold out a two-week season at London’s SOHO Theatre. He also sold out the 24-show season of his second gig, Can You Do This? No You Can’t, and it was then moved to a larger venue, selling out an extra 1400-seat show in the Main Hall of the Melbourne Town Hall. He also received a nomination for the 2013 Sydney Comedy Festival, Best of the Fest (Local) award. That is a pretty impressive list of credentials for the 28 year old who only dreamed that one day, he would embrace his passion and be recognised for his talents.

“There’s no one to really motivate you, and you have to put yourself out there so it takes a lot of willpower and resilience.” “Actually, it was hard to find a ‘proper’ job in the law industry so I just started doing comedy in University of Melbourne and slowly built my contacts from there. I was working in a small law firm to complete my legal administration qualification and performed at gigs at night,” he says. It was initially challenging as Chieng worked very hard to book himself for gigs and impress both the organisers and audience. His efforts paid off and aside from his successful shows, he also has TV credentials in Peter Helliar’s ABC1 comedy series, “It’s a Date”, panel shows, “Tractor Monkeys and Dirty Laundry Live”, Sam Simmons’ ABC1 sketch series, “Problems”, as well as SBS1’s comedy sketch show, “Legally Brown”.

The Serious Side to Comedy Chieng does not regret his double degree because not only does it look good on paper, it gives him a firm foundation for his jokes and monologues on-stage.

Malaysian Tales



“It’s an irony because I talk a lot about going to law school and it definitely has a strong influence on the comedy especially when I mention legal terms and use them as reference points in everyday scenarios. I like to do this as it challenges me to build good precision with words and offers an interesting debating style to the comedy. Think of it as giving the whole topic a thorough cross-examination,” explains Chieng, whose role models include Kevin Hart, Lucy Kay, Todd Barry, Andy Kindler and Tom Houston, to name a few. What he says on-stage is cued from a basic script that would have been rehearsed, and the rest is impromptu. Of course, he would want to avoid that awkward moment when the audience does not laugh. “It’s about trial and error and it sucks to have dead silence when you think you’ve said something that should have been funny. But, that’s a learning point. There are no hard and fast rules about stand-up. Well,actually there are but once you’ve mastered them, you break them to suit your style and your audiences’ appreciation of comedy,” explains Chieng.

He adds that he does not like to pick on individual audience members as it puts them in the spot. Then again, that’s smart because he should be the one in the lime-light. “I don’t like to be preachy and confrontational. My topics are things that people can relate to, like frustrations at the check-out counter, traffic jams and annoying habits. I don’t touch on sensitive subjects like religion, politics and tragic events because that could mean a downhill for my career,” he says with a chuckle. Being one of the few Asians and the only Malaysian comedian in Australia is also Chieng’s unique selling point. “It helps to get your foot in the door but ultimately you have to be good at what you do because it’s a competitive industry. I’m particularly proud of Malaysian comedians and I collaborated with some of them for shows in Australia. Working with Harith Iskandar, Douglas Lim, Kuah Jenhan and Dr Jason Leong was great and they are a bunch of really cool guys,” says Chieng.

While his career in law has taken a bit of a backseat, it is still on his mind. “It is something that I would pursue,” he says then pauses. “Actually, it’s also something that my parents wish I would continue… but they now see that I’m making a name for myself in the entertainment industry so I guess they are fine with it,” He says with an impish smile. At his show later that night, he candidly told the audience that his parents were “moderately ok” with his stand-up comedy career and would occasionally ask when he was going to make a switch back to law again. On what he thinks about Malaysians and their sense of humour, he says that they seem to love topics that are local as it is “closer to home”. “I think Malaysians may not appreciate slapstick and frivolous humour as much as the Western audiences do. My style is a mix of everything because of my upbringing and while I can’t please everyone, I hope to touch on matters that are close to the heart and put a smile on peoples’ faces,” he says. But ideally, he would have them in stitches and rolling off their chairs. -Catch Ronny Chieng’s Chieng Reaction at the MICF until April 20, then Perth International Comedy Festival 1-4 May & Sydney Comedy Festival 6-11 May & 13-18 May. 34 |

Malaysian Tales

ANZAC DAY SPECIAL: A DIARY OF DANGER Australian Roy Savage was a soldier assigned to company operations in Malaysia from August 1963 to October 1965, during the time of Indonesia's opposition to the creation of Malaysia. In this two part series, he tells of his journeys and intrepid adventures in dangerous grounds where communists and terrorists lurked.

Republished from Listening Post by the National Malaya Borneo Veterans Association Australia

Malaysian Tales



13th May 1963 We flew out of Brisbane Airport by Qantas Boeing 707, stopping at Darwin and then on to Singapore. From there we flew by Malayan Airways DC3 to Malacca then by road to Terendak Garrison, our home for the next two and a half years. We were confined to camp so we could climatise for the first two weeks. However, a mate of mine, Harry Muller, who had been over for just over two weeks longer talked me into sneaking out overnight into Malacca. Fortunately, I never got caught.

August 1963 The Malayan States, Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore combined to become Malaysia, thus starting the Confrontation with Indonesia which objected to the union of the States, especially Sarawak and Sabah which were on their border with Kalamantan in Borneo. Most of 1963 was taken up with exercises and Coast watching.

November 1963 We did an exercise in the Kuantan area but I came down with Malaria and Monsoon Blisters. I can remember being carried down a very steep mountain on a stretcher which was at about the same time when the news broke out that President Kennedy had been assassinated, I was being evacuated back to the British Military Hospital in Terendak where I recovered in time for Christmas leave.

Christmas 1963 A Group of us went up to Penang by train and made a short stop in Terendak then continued by ferry across to George Town on Penang Island. We made the Boston and Sydney bars our home for the stay. I visited Penang Hill, the Temple of a Million Buddas, and the Snake Temple plus a lot of other touristy places. Before we knew it, it was time to return back down to Terendak.

February 25th 1964 The Battalion was deployed along the Malay/Thailand Border, as the Communist Terrorists were still active in the area. Unfortunately, the company had its first casualty on the 5th of March when Lt Dhobi Brian died of gunshot wounds to the head. We carried him on a stretcher out of the Jungle to an area where we could get a Wessex Helicopter but he died on the way to

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Malaysian Tales

the hospital. I enjoyed the Operations up on the border as we were doing the job we were trained for. By then, I was a forward scout, carrying an Owen Sub Machinegun - a hell of a lot lighter than the Bren. All our resupplies were parachuted. The beauty of the resupplies was that we got a big stone jar of Rum dropped into us every resupply and this was potent stuff. We used to get one water bottle capful every night until it ran out and some of the fellers used to save up their ration and have it all at once, although that was illegal. The Company Headquarters that was situated about 10km from us, was known as the border club and had a nine hole golf course set up around their hoochies. The golf stick was a branch off a tree while the golf ball was an onion wrapped in insulation tape. Because we were up there so long we set up Platoon Base Camps which ended up like mini villages. There were two incidents that come to mind. The first was when I was on sentry when I smelled a Tiger (you could smell Tigers up to 100 Yards away). When I spotted a tiger, it was between myself and the platoon so I couldn't shoot at it, as I would have fired into the platoon area. I just had to keep my eye on it and wait for it to move off. This took some time, as I was sure the tiger could smell us. The second incident was when we were on patrol. Our section consisted of myself, Kel Jobson, Lofty Eiby, (section commander) Alex Swanson (section 2IC), A G White, (Mad Dog) Smith, John (Noggy) Haines, and Darky Butler. Kel and I had just changed over and I was acting as second scout, Kel had just stepped over a fallen log and was continuing the patrol when a Golden Cobra came up from behind the log with its hood out standing on its tail. It raced at me and the rest of the section and everyone ran at different directions. Blokes were getting tangled up in "Chutamati" (wait a while) vines while Kel just laughed his head off.

April 6th 1964 We arrived back in Terendak and after two days of maintenance, we were given a week off.

On the second night off, I was visiting a house known as the "Love Garden" but that was when the Pommy Red Caps (British Military Police) raided the place. I quickly took off out of the back door and headed for what I thought was a nice green lawn but I ended up tangled in Lilly pads. The Red Caps pulled me out and took me back to camp where I was charged the next day with fourteen days CB (confined to barracks). It was around this time that Lt Brian’s replacement arrived. The Delta Company platoon commanders were now Lt Col Brewer 12pl, Lt Bludger Blake 11pl, and Lt Bob Freebairn 10pl; this was to remain the same until our return to Australia. From May until October, the Battalion did coast watching, across the Straits of Malacca. My section was lucky as we had an area north of Terendak at Kuala Linggi at the mouth of the Linggi River that we were to control. Just down from the mouth was a jetty where our anti tank platoon had set wup a Mobat anti tank weapon to cover the mouth of the river. In late August we were again warned for border OPS, the warning order stated that we would do a secret move up to the border to fool the CT’s (communist terrorists)

September 2nd, 1964 Just before we went up to the border, Indonesian Airborne troops parachuted into Labis in south central Malaya. These troops were commanded by Lieutenant Sutikno. They were expecting the Malay civilians to help them, however the civilians dobbed them in and all were captured.

September 3rd 1964 On the 3rd of September we boarded a train at Tampin to take us up. We had breakfast on the Kuala Lumpur railway station before continuing on our way. When we pulled into the Ipoh station, the Irish Husars band was playing Waltzing Matilda and all the Malay merchants had signs saying welcome Aussies (so much for our “secret move”). At eleven o’clock that night the train stopped in the middle of no-where and let off ‘A’ Coy. It did this several times letting off different Companies before we got off at 1230am and faded into the Jungle. Our Company was dropped into the Mata Ayer area. On this OP we used to patrol into Thailand and barter with the local inhabitants of a village for live chickens. We would swap

them our ration packs plus cash. This worked well until the Thai authorities found out that foreign troops were on Thai soil and warned the Australian authorities to keep Australian troops on our side of the border.

October 1964 We arrived back in Terendak and again after maintenance we were given a week off, I survived the week (just) without getting into trouble. However, the following week myself, Kel Jobson, Harry Muller and, Jim Baty were having a few quite beers at the Sheraton Bar when we were again raided by the Red Caps. This time I took off through a hedge and found myself tangled up in a bloody barbed wire fence, which the hedge was growing round. This big Red Cap picked me up and carried me back to the vehicle. The following day I was again charged and received 14 days CB, the charge was the same as the first. “OUT OF BOUNDS, BREAKING CURFEW, RESISTING ARREST USING OBSENE LANGUAGE,” no sense of Humour those Red Caps!!!

Early November 1964 Fifty-two Indonesians landed by sea in the Merlimau swamps just South of Malacca. My Company was sent down to deal with them, we threw a cordon round them, 10 platoon behind a rice paddy bund leading to the sea, 11 platoon behind paddy bunds facing the sea and 12 platoon (my platoon) facing 11 platoon in the swamp itself. I was the forward scout closest to the sea. We got into position just before last light. During the Thursday night the enemy fought all night as they tried to Mortar and Machinegun their way through the cordon. Ronny Carroll (who was to die in Vietnam) got a round through his Rifle magazine. During the night the tide came in and we had to hold onto Mangroves for just over two hours, as we couldn’t touch the bottom. When the tide went out we were again chest deep in mud. I don’t know whether I was more scared that night from the enemy or the chance of a crocodile appearing. There were also fish that skipped across the mud and climbed trees, hard to believe I know, but true! During the night they moved up our Mortar platoon as well as the Australian Artillery. We were also backed up by the Saladin Armoured Cars of the fourth Royal Tank Regiment, as well as in reserve a Company of New Zealanders and a Company of Gurkha Riflemen. Just before first light

Malaysian Tales



our Mortar platoon (using 3 inch Mortars) set down a barrage which forced the enemy to try and break out through our platoon. Just after first light we asked for a resupply of ammunition which was brought up by the Military Police. When we broke open the boxes we found that they had sent in 7.62 Blank Ammo we were not impressed I was right as I had a 9mm Owen sub machine gun. It took another hour plus to rectify the mistake. At 11am we started our assault towards 10 platoon. We had approximately eight hundred yards to go and many a nasty words passed our way as they tried to speed things up. However if I stood up I was in chest deep mud, all I could do was to lie on top of the mud and pull myself along. We reached 10 platoon just after 4pm. It had taken us five hours to go that distance. The military authorities expressed surprise at the Indonesians choice of a landing spot, which put them well within striking distance of the 28th Commonwealth Brigade. The prisoners were handed over to other Australians who delivered them to the Sungie Rambai Police Station.

On Patrol in Malaya with 9mm Owen Gun

End of Part 1. Part II story will be continued in June/July edition.

Tom Macdonald and myself at Border stone ten On the Malay/ Thai border - the border stone still said Siam

LT Col Brewer platoon commander 12pl Delta Coy 3RAR

38 | Malaysian Tales

Mouth of the Lingi River Malaya 1964

Indonesian POW'S 1965

Roy Savage & Bob Harris with belt fed Bren Sereken Borneo 1965

Roy Savage with M15E1 in Borneo 1965 Lofty Eiby to my right.

Kel Jobson at Border Stone 8 on Malay/Thai Border 1968

Mobat Recoilless Rifle covering the mouth of the Lingi River Malaya 1964. Note: 7.62 Bren on side as spotter.

Sydney Bar and Cyranos at Sungie Udang Malaya

Malaysian Tales



Your Superannuation, Your Money A massive 17.7 billion of unclaimed superannuation is sitting in Australian funds, and some of it may be yours. Taking action now to claim it and keeping track of superannuation contributions made by your employer will ensure that it will look after you when you reach retirement. Superannuation (or super for short) is money set aside and accumulated over your work life for retirement. When you start working and earning more than $450 per month, your employer is required to contribute a minimum of 9.25% of your gross salary (9.5% from 01/07/2014) into your nominated superannuation account at least on a quarterly basis, which is commonly known as superannuation guarantee contributions or concessional contributions. Your nominated superannuation can be an industry super fund such as Australian super, Host Plus or Care Super, or a Self-Manage Superannuation Fund. Claiming lost super is simple; there are a number of ways to do it, but first of all, you will need your tax file number, full name and date of birth: • Register an online services account with ATO at www. or • Conduct a quick search online at au/calculators-and-tools/superseeker/ or • Contact ATO self-help phone service on 13 28 65 Fast key code 1 then 2 or • Contact a customer service representative on 13 10 20 or • Submit a paper form to ATO, the form can be download at If you have multiple super accounts, you should consolidate them into one single account to save administration/ commission fees and charges, and more importantly, to be able to manage your super more easily. Carry your super with you whenever you change job by providing super account details to your new employer. Whenever you change your name, address or any contact details, update them with your super account provider to ensure you receive statements and communication in a timely manner.

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For those who are self-employed, you can make personal deductible contributions, however you will need to lodge a notice of claiming deduction to your super fund provider and meet the 10% rule (your employment income must be less than 10% of your total income). Employers in the hairdressing and beauty, clothing retailing and management advice and consulting industries are identified by ATO as having high risk of not meeting superannuation guarantee compliance. If you are employed in those industries or any other industries, make sure you check your super account on a regular basis to see whether contributions are made by the due dates. If you can’t see any contributions that you are eligible for, check with your employer. It is your money! For those employers who did not make or did not make enough super guarantee by the due dates, you are required to lodge a statement with the ATO, and you may be charged interest at a rate of 10% plus ATO administration costs and you may not be able to claim a deduction for your business. Getting caught by the ATO for paying late or not paying enough super guarantee is a nightmare for businesses, as it is extremely time-consuming and costly as you will usually engage an accountant to handle such audit. It is just not worth it to avoid your super obligations as an employer. Super is not something that you wait until near retirement or “leave it later” to consider. If you want to have a comfortable retirement, do some planning now and talk to your financial adviser and accountant.

-The Materials are provided for general information purposes only and should not be substituted for professional advice.

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In addition to compulsory contributions, you can boost your super balance by “sacrificing” some of your gross wages into super through your employer. Be aware, however, that too much super also costs you money, as from 2013/14 onwards, if you exceed the concessional contribution cap, the exceeding amount will be included in your assessable income and taxed at your marginal tax rate, and excess concessional contributions charges will also apply. For 2013/14 If you are aged 59 or under, your concessional contribution cap is $25,000 and $35,000 if you are 60 or over.


On 25 April this year, Australian war veterans who served in Malaysia will for the first time proudly carry the Malaysian flag in the Anzac Day march down Swanston Street in Melbourne. These men risked their lives and lost comrades in the jungles of Malaysia, fighting for Malaysia’s freedom. Please show your support for these soldiers and let them know that we are grateful for their sacrifices.

Lest we forget. - A message from JOM Magazine

Photographed by Ian Tay at Anzac Day 2013

JOM Magazine



Migration Matters: Parent Visas WRITES ANTONY WALLACE

Another program year is fast approaching, and the year has been filled with many migration changes. As per usual, they rarely favour the visa applicant. The biggest changes for the program year (which runs 01/07 – 30/06), are knocking on the door and will come into effect on 1st July. There have been rumours spreading about SOL (Skilled Occupation List) changes and what occupations may come off. The SOL changes every year on 1st of July and will remove certain occupations whilst balancing that with adding some. There is no certainty on what these changes will be at this point of time and it’s really a matter of ‘watch this space’. However one certain change fast approaching most likely occurring on 14/04/2014, is the introduction of credit card surcharges imposed by DIBP (Department of Immigration & Border Protection) application payments, therefore expect to wear an addition 1.5% - 2% with your application fees. 1st of July also generally sees the rise of VAC (Visa Application Charges), usually by 10-15%. This can be quite costly especially if dealing with parent visas. Parent Visas Parents of an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen may apply to migrate to Australian under 2 different categories of parent visas, either Parent or Contributory Parent. A limit is placed on the number of Parent visas granted in each program year. As a result, there are large numbers of parents who satisfy the Parent visa requirements who must wait in a lengthy queue before their visa is granted (approximately 13 years at the moment). This waiting time is significantly less for the Contributory Parent visa (12-18 months). In the 2013–14 Migration Program year: 2250 places have been allocated to Parent (noncontributory) visas, including approximately 1700 places for Parent (subclass 103) visas and approximately 550 places for Aged Parent (subclass 804) visas. 6675 places have been allocated to Contributory Parent visas (subclasses 173/143 and subclasses 884/864). Criteria Balance of Family (BOM) generally requires at least half of the applicant’s (parent) children to be lawfully and permanently resident in Australia. They also require a sponsor, who will usually be the applicant’s child. The

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Down to Business

sponsor must generally be an Australian PR or citizen, 19+ and be ‘settled’ in Australia. There is no true definition of ‘settled’ in the regulations, but generally Immigration are seeking a period of 2 years. An Assurance of Support (AOS) must be obtained before the visa can be granted. This is a legal commitment by a person to provide financial support to the applicant and repay to the government the amount of any welfare payments made to the applicant during a period of time after their arrival. In addition, a bond needs to be paid, this amount varies, but expect to pay approximately $10,000 for a contributory parent. There are other factors that will affect onshore applicants such as age. Health & Character requirements must be met, and the health criteria is something that is looked at very closely for a parent visa as there is no provision for a health waiver. So all applicants must be of good health. Expect to pay in a range of $2,300 - $3,500 for the VAC for a parent or contributory parent visa. Now you may ask why it’s called a ‘contributory’ parent visa? As mentioned before, these visas are fast-tracked and there are more places allocated for those visas, however it comes at a cost for this ‘express’ service. The government will charge a 2nd VAC when they are ready to grant the visa, at a price of $48,550 per parent for the permanent contributory parent visa. There are variations though, to spread this payment over a period of time by securing a temporary contributory parent visa first. In summary, the parent visa is a great visa if your parents wish to settle down in Australia, but expect to wait a lengthy period of time, unless you look at the Contributory Parent pathway. -Antony Wallace (RMA: 0965140) Principal Migration Agent I-Migration

Mapping your best path forward in Australia Phone 1800 155 326


Suite 5, Level 8, 180 Russell Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

• Student support and counselling • Advice on the best educational pathway for students • Placement with the right school/university


• Resume, interview, and preparation for job search

• Career advice and coaching

• Work experience placement and internships


• Visa and migration services • IELTS coaching

• Buying/Renting Australian homes

Want to learn more? A Division of New Careers Australia JOM Magazine | 43

Underquoting practices is bad for the buyers. It is a waste of time and money. This auction campaign in Prahran was quoted as ‘$800,000 - $850,000’ but the eventual selling price was $975,000


Playing the Real Estate Pricing Games TRICKS AND TRAPS OF REAL ESTATE (PART VI) “Erick, we have checked out some of the properties and we definitely can afford to buy in the suburb,” insisted the wife of a married couple, who are both first homebuyer clients of mine. I then responded, “I’ve researched the recent sold prices of the properties in that suburb and it is unrealistic for your budget. Did you check the sold prices or the advertised prices?” “Advertised prices,” my clients replied.

Erick Ng is a licensed property buyer’s advocate at Capital Exchange International. He exclusively represents homebuyers and investors to master plan, search, evaluate and negotiate the purchase of their properties. Trained in architecture, construction and real estate, Erick’s client base ranges from first home buyers/investors to property developers and government officials. Erick was featured on Channel 9’s prime time show ‘Hot Property’ and 3CW Chinese Radio Station. He can be contacted via

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Now here is the problem. In an auction city like Melbourne and Sydney, the advertised price and the sold price can be very different. When a buyer is new to the buying process, he or she will usually be surprised to learn there is a gap there between advertised price and what the seller will sell it for. Many buyers who have been “tricked” into thinking the advertised price range will be what the property may be sold for will readjust their expectations when they conduct their research or after they lose out at the auction bidding. And they have to learn fast. They usually add on a certain percentage extra on top of

the top range. As the likely selling price can vary between 5-30% from the top range, this is actually a tricky task. In the previous issues, I discussed the other five major areas where homebuyers and property investors will find traps in their property-buying journey: location, representation, advertisement, ‘staged’ property and contract of sale. In this issue, we look at one of the most confusing of all – the price of the property. Underquoting Underquoting is rampant in the blue chip suburbs and in particular properties which are sold via auction campaign. In a nutshell, when a house with a fair market price of $750,000 is advertised with a price range of $600,000 – 650,000, that is underquoting. Underquoting by specifying a significantly lower price-range knowing that the property will sell for much more is a common tactic used by real estate agents to bait interest and competition, leaving hopeful buyers wasting time and money on pre-sale reports and solicitor’s fees in perusing contracts. I have known a medical doctor homebuyer who had been trapped by agents’ endless underquoting games for almost 2 years until he was so fed up and decided to overpay to end the buying process once and for all. Although Consumer Affairs Victoria warns buyers on the practice of underquoting, in reality this practice is hard to police and the pricing system is open to abuse. The onus is on the buyer to navigate the underquoting minefield and figure out what fair price to pay for a property. It is far too easy for buyers to be manipulated to pay more due to emotion, scarcity of time for research and sometimes, ego.

Property Price Playing Hide & Seek In the second-hand property market, some online listings have no price listed. This occurrence can sometimes be almost 50% of the listing of a particular suburb. This means that buyers have to take extra efforts to make a phone call during reasonable hours of the day to enquire on the price if the property fits into their budget. Depending on agents, some may take up to two days to respond to a price enquiry and there is a minority of agents that will not reply any enquiries at all. Some agents are notorious for not calling back buyers or replying emails. As a buyer’s advocate, I am used to this. However, my main concern is when there is no price listed, it allows the agents to quote a different price to different buyers. Also, different prices can be obtained from different agents of the same property. Recently, I looked at a 4 bedroom townhouse listed in Balwyn North at Lansdown Street which is about 500m from the popular Balwyn High School and had an online advertisement with no price. The first agent I rang quoted me $950,000 plus. I rang the second agent and the price was $1,000,000 plus. So which one should I listen to? None, of course. There are many more tricks and traps in the pricing of real estate than the ones listed here. To combat the misleading price games, ideally we do not have to look at the price quoted by the agents and just conduct our own price research based on comparable sales. It is therefore crucial for a buyer to do an in depth due diligence, or hire a consultant who can do the job. Otherwise, he or she may be paying the ‘price of the inexperienced’.


Overquoting While underquoting has taken the spotlight in many real estate discussions, overquoting practices are surreptitious and they are designed to trap unsuspecting buyers who are often used to underquoting. If a buyer is not careful, he or she will assume the price is underquoted and pay much more than what the property is worth. Some agents will come out with all sorts of excuses to justify the overquoted price. They claim that the market price paid is between a willing buyer and a willing seller, even it is significantly higher. In some listings, the overquoting is designed to allow time to condition the seller’s expectation down throughout the auction campaign. Different Price for Different Buyer Buyers may sometimes be surprised to find out that they may be quoted a different price from other buyers for the same property. This is called two-tier pricing and it is illegal. This practice can be found in certain off-the-plan properties and it is difficult to police because it usually happens at overseas property road shows. A Docklands apartment that is marketed in Melbourne for $580,000 is priced at $770,000 in Shanghai. It is almost a $200,000 mark up. Many overseas buyers do not conduct the much needed due diligence on their property purchase hence they may fall into the trap of two tier pricing.

Down to Business



With the convenience of inclusive worldwide tours, and a list of romantic destinations to visit, hitting the roads in a caravan is not your usual romantic getaway, but for couple Dr Michelle Lim and partner Ian Jones, this was the perfect romantic getaway to explore Australia. WRITES MICHAELA SWAMPILLAI

Ian invites me in to their lovely modern apartment on Malvern road. We had a chat as we waited for Michelle to return from her busy schedule. When she is not on the road with Ian exploring and discovering new territory, Michelle specialises in Chinese naturopathy and currently works in Melbourne researching products related to her field. Ian on the other hand worked as a Chief Executive Officer of a company for 25 years before consolidating his love of coffee by establishing two coffee businesses before retiring. Little did I know that one of the businesses he used to own, ‘The Coffee Company’ in Balaclava, was where I would pop in for tea occasionally on my way home.

My Caravan Travels: Love is on the Road Michelle returns home and joins Ian and I as we unravel their caravan stories around Australia. “Why travel around Australia in a caravan?” I asked. “Caravanning travels in Australia are extremely popular. Australia has organised for it, setting up caravan parks all around the country, and it gets better and better overtime,” Ian says. He also tells me that there are two types of caravanners: a “grey nomad” who travels continuously, living on their well-invested caravan which they would have bought by selling almost everything they owned, and the other is someone who travels in their caravan for a period of 2-3 months to take a break from city life and have an adventure. The ease and flexibility of caravanning is that there rarely is a deadline on getting to your destination, but the easygoing atmosphere does not stop the couple from living an exciting life on the road. “It’s absolutely an adventure to travel around Australia in our caravan- especially when we see crocodiles,” Ian laughs as he comments on his fishing expeditions with Michelle, one of the relaxing events they do as a couple. During their trip to the outback in Emerald, a small town by Queensland’s Nogoa River, Ian and Michelle would get

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up at dawn to go fishing for Red Claw lobsters in the rivers of Lake Maraboon, and have a freezer full of beautiful red lobsters by evening. Ian tells me how it was definitely worth it, while admiring the sunset from his penthouse. Michelle showed me pictures of the lake and their lobstercatching adventures from her caravan diary, where she records her most precious moments from her journeys with Ian. I would have one too if I led such an exciting life as she does. “We put our nets into the water and label them so that no one else would mistakenly take our catch,“ Michelle says, pointing to the calm and soothing waters of Lake Maraboon where the Red Claws were. Sometimes Ian and Michelle would forget which net was theirs. “At times like that we wished we had a GPS put in our net,” Michelle jokes.

Ian and Michelle began their caravan travels in 2008, delving into a world of spontaneity and discovering places where no plane or train could ever take them. “What makes caravanning a good idea for couples?” I asked. “It’s great because of all the free time we have to spend with each other,” Michelle expresses, bringing Ian and I some snacks. “If you’re on the road and you see something that catches your attention, you can just make a stop, get out and explore it.” This is exactly what happens when the couple is on the road. Michelle would tell Ian to pullover whenever she sees a unique building or a pretty landscape, then they would stay for a coffee and keep exploring the area. “It’s such a simple way of living,” she adds.

“Its absolutely an adventure to travel around Australia in our caravan- especially when we see crocodiles.”

Styling Life



“If you stay in hotels there’s a good chance you won’t meet anyone new, everyone just shuts their door.” Like Ian and Michelle, 80-90% of the caravanners on the road are couples. Caravanning is always a great way to meet people, according to the couple. “It’s social and people are always friendly,” Ian says. There is always an occasion to share your adventures with others or exchange tips and advice with them while cooking in the caravan park’s communal kitchen. “If you stay in hotels there’s a good chance you won’t meet anyone new, everyone just shuts their doors,” Michelle laughs. When she first started traveling, Michelle explains how she was the only one of Asian descent on the road. ‘It felt odd at first, but I’ve gotten used to it now, she says, having met people from almost every state of Australia. When the short and gloomy winter days arrive, the couple prepares their caravan for an escape to the warmer temperatures of North Queensland. Their 7-day trip includes a trip to the tropical and beautiful Whitsunday Islands in Central Queensland. Known for the stunning

48 | Styling Life

Great Barrier Reef, corals, and snorkelling, the islands have “the whole package,” as Michelle puts it. She shows me a picture of a busker playing on a perfectly- preserved vintage piano at a flea market in Whitsundays. “You find such interesting things on your travels,” she tells me. Despite the island’s magnificent weather, Ian tells me that the most memorable part of his journey in Whitsundays was rescuing a local who had troubles with his boat, out on the water. “You never know what could happen in the middle of the sea,” Michelle advises. Hindchinbrook Island, part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, was the couple’s most rewarding destination during their North Queensland escape, due to its fascinating river canals that are rich in aquatic animals. Caravanning around Australia does sound dreamy but it certainly isn’t budget friendly. Ian and Michelle bought their luxurious caravan for a hefty $140,000, but it is a worthy investment, Ian defends. Renting is always an option, but to Ian, having a custom-designed caravan suited with everything you need is much more comfortable, especially when travelling for a long period of time. “Any plans for the next caravan trip?” I asked the couple, who starts sto prepare dinner together. They reveal to me that those exciting days would have to be put on hold for now. “It’s time to move on with the bucket list”, Ian says, with plans of travelling around Malaysia to be with

Michelle’s side of the family, and visiting China and Japan for the first time.

Caravan parks in Victoria/useful links: Melbourne Caravan Park Enjoy the best of Melbourne, and the scenic countryside at this conveniently located caravan park, just 9km from the city centre. Offering luxurious villas, budget cabins, and an all-inclusive caravan park with a heated pool, fully- equipped kitchen, playground and game rooms for the kids, an outdoor spa, and a movie room. 265 Elizabeth Street, Coburg, Melbourne, Victoria Coastal Camping Victoria Offering a range of affordable caravan parks and camping sites along Victoria’s beautiful coastlines suited for families or couples. Around Victoria VICParks’ Tourist Parks A site dedicated to caravanning, camping, holiday retreats, short breaks, and long-term stays, featuring the latest news and updates from Victoria’s participating caravan parks and sites. Around Victoria

Styling Life




“Bak Zhang” (Hokkien for “rice dumpling with meat”) are glutinous rice dumplings traditionally eaten by Chinese on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar. Its tradition can be traced back to the Chu Dynasty in China, to commemorate a loyal general who died for his country. Today the tradition has emerged as a cultural festivity called “Duan Wu Jie”, which features the famous dragon boat competition, as well as a family occasion for blessings and the dumplings have become another Chinese delicacy. Whilst it’s a Chinese food, Malaysians have their own version of the dumplings, which we will introduce here. Fret not about the long list of ingredients – it’s definitely a fun and worthwhile activity when you make them with your friends for a gathering, or with your loved ones. The ingredients can be obtained at many Asian groceries.

Ingredients: • • • • • • • •

500g pork belly, chopped into ~ 2cm chunks 1 kg glutinous rice 20 dried chestnuts 1 chinese rice bowl of dried shrimps (heh bee) 1 chinese rice bowl of dried Chinese mushrooms – I used approximately 40 tiny ones 1 Chinese sausage (lap cheong) 6 salted duck eggs (we will only be using the yolks) 20 shallots

For the pork belly marinade: • • • • • • •

3 tbsp oyster sauce 1 tbsp light soy sauce 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 1 tsp sesame oil 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine 2 tbsp five spice powder 1 tsp white pepper

For the rice marinade: (approximate amounts – you may need to adjust according to taste) • • • • •

5 tbsp oyster sauce 5 tbsp dark soya sauce 1 tbsp light soya sauce 1 tbsp sesame oil 1 tbsp white pepper

For wrapping: • At least 60 bamboo leaves (you need 2 per bak chang, with some spares in case of tears/holes in leaves) • Cooking string/hemp leaves

50 | Styling Life

Method: The night before: 1. Soak the bamboo leaves in a large pot of cold water. Try to submerge as much of the leaves in the water as you possibly can. 2. Soak the glutinous rice in cold water. 3. Soak the chestnuts in cold water. 4. Mix all the ingredients for the pork marinade together. Pour it over the pork belly pieces, and leave to marinade overnight in the fridge.

Preparing the ingredients:

5. Cook the duck eggs in a pot of boiling water, for 10 minutes. Leave to cool sightly, peel, separating the yolk from the whites. 6. Soak dried shrimps in a bowl, using hot water. 7. Soak the Chinese mushrooms in a bowl, using hot water. If your mushrooms are very large you may want to slice them in half. 8. Slice the Chinese sausage into 1 cm slices. 9. Peel and finely dice the shallots. I cheat and use my mini food processor, which does the dicing in 5 seconds flat.

step 1

Cooking the ingredients:

10. Heat 1 tbsp corn oil in a large pan/wok. Using high heat, fry the Chinese sausage until they brown slightly and become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and place in a bowl. 11. In the same pan, fry the dried shrimps until they become fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan, and place in a bowl. 11. In the same pan, fry the Chinese mushrooms until they become fragrant, and brown slightly. I usually season with a pinch of salt (old habits die hard). Remove from pan, and place in a bowl. 12. In the same pan, fry the pre-soaked chestnuts until they brown slightly. Remove from pan, and place in a bowl. 13. In the same pan, fry the pork belly chunks until they turn lightly browned. We’re not aiming to fully cook the pork belly here – the aim is to sear it briefly. Remove from pan, and place in a bowl. 14. Add 1 tbsp corn oil to the same pan. Fry the shallots until they become fragrant. Add the glutinous rice flour, and stir for 1 minute. Add all the ingredients for the rice marinade, and any leftover pork marinade you have. Taste, and add extra oyster sauce/dark soya sauce etc as necessary. Switch off the flame, and leave rice in the pan.

Wrapping the bak zhang:

step 2

step 3

step 4

Here are some illustrations on how to wrap your bak zhang: (Illustration on right) To watch a video on how to wrap them: https://www.

Cooking the bak zhang:

23. Boil water in a large pot. When the water comes to a boil, gently lower the bak chang’s into the water. Make sure the entire bak zhangs is submerged in water. Cover the pot with a lid, and cook over medium heat for 2-3 hours. 25. Once the bak zhangs are cooked, remove from the pan and place in a colander. Alternatively you can hang them up, but I didn’t want water to drip all over my stove! 26. Once they have cooled slightly, unwrap and eat!

step 5


TA DAA!! Enjoy your bak zhangs! step 6

Styling Life



Lessons on Change If there’s one thing that’s certain in life, it’s that change is the only constant. Some of us are excited by the prospect of change – others avoid it like the plague. We spoke to some individuals about a few facets of change. WRITES LIANNE LETITIA ZILM

Having a “can do” attitude Change is often hard at first. Breaking out of our comfort zone always leaves us a little uncertain as we’re out of the familiar. It is easier to face however, if we have a “can do” attitude, knowing that there is a solution to every new circumstance. In uprooting geographically 4 times in the past 6 years, seeing each change as an exciting/refreshing new chapter has always made each change a positive one. The challenges of getting used to things culturally and settling into life does come, but you just learn along the way and deal with the punches and ultimately if you hang on to faith, things have a way of working out. - Mandy Making Sacrifices I really hate change - if I imagine my path to go a certain way but I veer off track, it really upsets me. For example, I always believed I could convince my husband to move back to KL with me. However, over time, he made it very clear that his future lay in Singapore (though I myself could only work in Johor Bahru due to qualification issues in my field). While it pains me that I don’t have my family around to see my future family grow, I’ve started to build a goal for myself here and have come to accept the changes in my life and the choices that I made. – Jolene Changing Habits I remember a teacher once tying my hands with a thread once and asking me to break it – that was easy. She then tied the thread around my hands five times, and that was a bit harder to break. But she tied it around many more times, and I soon realised that I could no longer break the thread. Thus is the way with habits – the more times you do them, the harder it is to break them. If you catch yourself going down the wrong path, make the change sooner rather than later. – Ricki When Change is Needed Change happens when it is willed to happen. I’m an advocate of change, particularly in certain areas that have not changed for the better, such as the Malaysian education system. As a mathematics lecturer, I despair in the fact that the methods of learning used in Malaysia neither bring out the best in the subjects nor in the students. This has to change, and it starts from wanting that change. Even if it’s not within my power to control the curriculum, I still aim to do my best to be the best teacher my students could ever have. – Andrew Overcoming Fear Personally, I have always found change difficult to handle and when I have to undertake a leap into uncertainty, I worry much more than I probably should. My approach is to stay positive and to convince myself that if I am not happy with the way things are, no matter how dramatic the change towards ‘the brave new world’ is, it is still better than remaining in an environment that I am not happy to

stay in. Somehow, while it does not eliminate my fear of the changes to come, it does help me to overcome fear of the change and to make that crucial first step in the new and unknown direction! – Michael Baron Change is positive I’ve had to move houses, countries, schools many times in my life due to my parents pursuing multiple careers in the aviation industry. As a child, change was too difficult to adjust to but as I grew older, the prospect of leaving behind memories, friends and family in order to start all over again got harder. When I was 14, I came home to my parents packing once again, to move to Australia. I begged them to change their minds – I loved my friends and my school. I felt my whole life was in New Zealand, where we were living at that time. However, change is a positive thing; it helps us grow, brings new experiences and teaches us to rely on those we love to survive the obstacles that we must face. It also gives us the opportunity to learn more about our family and friends. Throughout my life I have been able to determine who will stand by my side and support me throughout all the changes that have occurred and will continue to occur. – Keryn I personally am rather acquainted with change; I went to two primary schools, two secondary schools and multiple Universities. I’ve moved house five times since I moved to Australia, and over a period of three years, graduated, got married and had a beautiful baby boy. I thought that my prior experience with change would prepare me for motherhood, but I clearly underestimated the impact of having full responsibility over a human being and having to meet his every need. Some changes were graceful, but some came like a slap (or, in this case, wee) in the face. Thank goodness for me that (most) women have an inbuilt ability to love our children and to learn what works best for them. At only eight months of age, my child taught me some of the most remarkable lessons about change. He reminded me that change is the natural progression of life, and that if we didn’t change, we wouldn’t learn things and wouldn’t grow. Many times, I wished that he would stay a baby forever, but then I’d never get to see him walk, talk and reach other milestones that he should reach. It also reminded me that there are so many things in life we don’t have control over, and as adults, we can overcomplicate things. For babies, there are only two options – to accept change or to reject it. Acceptance results in contentment and rejection results in crying until an acceptable alternative is offered. -Lianne is living the small-town dream in the leafy suburbs of Adelaide, with her Physics-teaching husband, raspberry-blowing baby and tree-digging dog.

Think, Talk, Laugh





Change is a common theme and process, in our daily lives, or being learned as a subject. Everyone will have different perspectives of change as we each have our unique background, circumstances, and personal encounters. Life is Change No one expresses change as distinctively as the famous Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, who propounded that change is the only constant in life. This phrase strongly resonates with me. I often relate to changes in life as a roller coaster ride. There are exciting twists and turns, ups and downs. The roller coaster effect may or may not be desirable, depending on individuals, context and scale. In my case, the recent transition from working to full-time student has been quite an experience for my family and I. Role aside, the geographical shift from Malaysia to Australia proved to be an adventure too! Multifaceted Impact Change impacts all facets of life, and occurs at micro (individual) and macro (national) level. At both levels, the 3Cs principle rules: Choice, Chance, and Change. We make choices, take chances, and effect changes. The cycle continues. From our recent move, we have been blessed with the opportunity to appreciate a different culture and environment. The cultural adaptation, albeit with the initial acute homesickness, has been quite seamless in the sense that Australia is a multicultural nation, and diversity is appreciated. No issue in sourcing food or ingredients, and people are generally friendly. The only minor challenge experienced so far is perhaps getting used to the Australian twang and the weather swings across the Mediterranean climate. It has also never come across my mind that we would be contributing to save the environment being active public transport commuters, pedestrians, and embrace the 3Rs concept. Learning to recycle, reuse, and reduce waste can be quite economical in the long run, and indirectly promote creativity. On the macro level, much hype has been on

54 |

Think, Talk, Laugh

transformation, transcending national economies, social and political development. Similar to the individual context, change is inevitable to be progressive. Quoting Mahatma Ghandi’s “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”, leaders need to be committed and pragmatic in pursuing greater causes, for a greater good. For Better or Worse Some say you either take it, or leave it. People often feel threatened, resist impending changes, and try to retain the status quo. My personal contention is doing so may deny potential opportunities for betterment as life evolves, and furthermore is futile, as globalisation is a potent force that impacts every life. Live life to the fullest, we often hear. To do that, one must learn to view change as a natural phenomenon, to anticipate and embrace it. Change, for better or worse, really depends on you. --

Christina Yeo is currently pursuing her PhD in Geography, Environment and Population in Adelaide. She is making a study of the motivations and progression of Malaysian and Australian diaspora moving between both countries. As part of her research, she has designed an online survey of Malaysians in Australia. “I humbly invite fellow Malaysians, aged 18 and above, currently living and working in Australia, to participate in this survey. Malaysians here include persons of Malaysian origin. Your participation is highly appreciated.” To assist her, please go to


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Talk, Think, Laugh



Kodak’s pioneering digital camera. Photo: Nono Fara

uncomfortable as to never go back.

Kurang Manis


Change is the only constant The dangers of sitting still while change passes you by In preparation for a lecture recently, I found myself looking for images of seats used in fast-food outlets. I was preparing to describe how, according to one theorist, such outlets deliberately make their seats uncomfortable for long-term sitting so that their customers don’t linger too long, and so vacate the tables quickly, allowing others to take their place. I remember as a boy going into a well-known fast-food ‘restaurant’, and sitting down on the beige hard plastic chairs, and feeling just a bit too close to the table, but unable to push the chair back because both the chairs and the tables were bolted to the floor. I now know why they were built like this - to make me uncomfortable, but not so

56 | Think, Talk, Laugh

However, when I was looking for images of those hard chairs online, they were surprisingly hard to find. The chairs that are now used seem much more comfortable and accommodating, and invite longer periods of sitting. It occurred to me that perhaps this was in response to an evolving starry ‘coffee culture’ that is bucking the fastness of fast food. And this is coupled with ubiquitous wifi enabling people to spend long periods doing work, while sipping lattes and munching fries or muffins. Perhaps this shift was unwelcomed by fast-food chains, but one which they coulc not avoid if they were not to be by-passed by passers-by on their way to a chai latte. Without changing, they might go the way of Kodak. Famous and profitable at one point for its film and filmprocessing, Kodak also invented the digital camera, but shelved it, fearing it would harm their existing business. If only they’d known that it would vanquish film anyway, things could have worked out quite differently for Kodak. Change will happen, with or without us. Julian CH Lee is a lecturer in International Studies at RMIT University. Hannah Murray was an intern with the School of Global, Urban and Social Sciences, RMIT University.

Where to get JOM We are often asked where hardcopies of JOM can be found. For your convenience, here is the list of places where you can get a copy of JOM Magazine! (Unless they have run out!) Melbourne CBD and City Fringe Consulate General of Malaysia, Melbourne (432 St Kilda Road, Melbourne) Malaysia Hall (4K High Street, Windsor) Hometown Grocery (440 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne) Laguna Asian Grocery (QV Melbourne) Papparich (QV Melbourne) Blackball (8/206 Bourke Street, Melbourne) Petaling Street Restaurant (188 Little Bourke St) Sugar Bun/ Nanyang Bak Kut Teh (205 Russell Street, Melbourne) Chilli Padi, Melbourne Central Secret Recipe, Melbourne Central Café Crema (488 Swanston Street, Melbourne) Yahweh Asian Grocery (594-600 Swanston Street, Carlton) Norsiah’s Kitchen (604 Swanston Street, Carlton) Chilli Padi, Flemington (295 Racecourse Rd, Kensington) Chef Lagenda (16 Pin Oak Crescent, Flemington) Laksa King (6-12 Pin Oak Crescent, Flemington) NEW! Wonder Cafe at Tune Hotels (609 Swanston St, Carlton) NEW! LuxBite (38 Toorak Rd, South Yarra)

Melbourne Suburbs China Bar Signature, Burwood (380 Burwood Highway, Burwood East) PappaRich (Chadstone Shopping Centre) PappaRich (540 Doncaster Road, Doncaster) Best Asian Grocery (Kingsway, Glen Waverley) Yeoh Enterprise Asian Groceries (1306 High Street Road, Wantirna South) Grand Tofu (5/53 Kingsway, Glen Waverley) Kampung Story (Ste45/300 Point Cook Road, Point Cook) Asian Supermarket (Point Cook) Hong Kong Asian Grocery, Clayton (367 Clayton Road, Clayton) Circle K Asian Groceries (High St, Doncaster) NEW! Jackson Corner Store (Jackson Crt, Doncaster East) NEW! Mihub Cafe (12 Synott St, Werribee) Sydney PappaRich Chatswood (1/63A Archer Street, Chatswood) NEW! PappaRich Broadway (185 Broadway, Ultimo) Malaysia Silverfish Books (28 Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur) Got suggestions for new spots to place our magazines? Let us know at or email at

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JOM Issue 09  

9th edition of JOM Magazine, first and only Malaysian community magazine in Australia. Featuring Malaysian-born Australian comedian Ronny Ch...

JOM Issue 09  

9th edition of JOM Magazine, first and only Malaysian community magazine in Australia. Featuring Malaysian-born Australian comedian Ronny Ch...