27 May CB9. My Personal History In The “Lucky Country”
Conducting a law firm, or having a business of your own, requires an environment that is both stable and fair, so that the business owners would be committed to their undertaking. The “Lucky Country” of Australia provides such an environment. There is ‘a fair go’ for all its citizens.
- The harder you work, the more you reap.
- This is possible in Australia, the “Lucky Country”.
- I have an interest in government or politics. I bought, and borrowed from the library, multitudes of biographical books on politicians, past and present. I pondered on why I would want to read about past athletes, singers or actors. I deduced that I want to read about past politicians (and not about athletes, singers or actors) because they would have made an impact on the world in which we live.
- I also like reading history books which of course is related to books on past politicians.
- Freedom arrived for me to read whatever I want after graduation. I no longer need to read books recommended by my lecturers or tutors to pass ‘law or accounting’ exams. I found that one can never read or prepare ‘enough’ for exams or do lengthy 6,000 words essays. I think I gave it my best shot and just be contented with the preparation made.
- Reading is what I do in my pass time. It keeps my mind occupied, entertained or marvelled.
- My father iterated to me the history of his ancestors. But this is limited. The history has been passed down to me from speech alone, for generations.
- So, I took up reading books written about China and the Chinese. I also learned Mandarin Chinese – reading and writing. Growing up, my parents spoke to me in Hokkien Chinese, which is similar but also different from Mandarin Chinese.
- I confess that learning to read and write Mandarin Chinese is challenging. My greater interest in reading history has generally overtaken this secondary desire in learning Mandarin.
- Over the years, I discovered that some books written in ‘Chinese characters’ (as opposed to English or another language) on ‘China and its history’ may not be neutral because of the restrictive government control on what constitutes public information. History informs us that books were even burnt or destroyed in China (apart from in Germany) to stop the propagation of “old” beliefs. This happened in China as late as the 1960s during the Cultural Revolution.
- Discovering so gave me some comfort in that all or most of the English books that I have read on ‘China, its history and the Chinese’ hold water – they would to a large extent tell the truth and could even be more informative than the ones written in Chinese characters. Of course, many other English books have been translated directly from the Chinese character ones, including The Art of War and I Ching.
- The ups and downs of various great dynasties in China, and the wars between ‘the old dynasty and the new one’ have been interesting reading. The road from the republic in 1911 to the ‘Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Government under Xi Jinping’ has been fascinating reading.
- I also read the history of the US of A – from presidents Washington to Trump.
- No one can escape learning about the English history. The English have been masters or colonists of the world for three hundred years before they passed the baton to the USA in 1945.
- Top biographical books on past politicians that I have read include ones on Deng Xiaoping, Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-shek, Sun Yat-sen, Empress Dowager Cixi, Ronald Reagan, John Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, Lee Kuan Yew, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Vladimir Lenin, John Curtin, Robert Menzies, Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke.
- I have not listed books I have read on ‘living’ past politicians, of which there would be many.
- I have deduced from my reading (and other forms of learning) that every country has its own unique form of government, largely based on its history.
- Australia gives its citizens these important components: a rule of law, a constitution limiting the powers of elected Federal parliamentarians, separation of the ‘executive, judiciary and legislature’, adequate ‘liberty’ to ‘pursue happiness’ (I borrowed these from the American constitution), freedom of the press, good transport system, very little corruption (when compared with other countries) and the best air in the world (when there is no bushfire). Its people are educated and generally respectful of one another. Of course, there will still be 5% of Australians who commit crimes – Lee Kuan Yew said this of any nation and of any race. Crime is curbed from a strong rule of law – the Police have significant power.
- Not many other countries in the world would be able to provide its citizens with enough of these listed components.
- As I look out my office window to the business activities being conducted in the courtyard (a nice café / restaurant) and on the major roadway, one can literally breathe in fresh air and feel free. Everyone has, or is given, a ‘fair go’ in Australia. This means when you take initiative to do something for yourself, as in doing a new business (and work smart), you have all the freedom necessary to carry it out. No one can lawfully undercut and take away what you have garnered or built. The society and the law would not allow that.
- From 17, I have travelled to these overseas nations (some more than once): England, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Netherlands, the USA, Canada, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, India, UAE, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. Each of these countries has its positive qualities and negative aspects, as a place to live and bring up your children. They all have their own unique histories, and past politicians or heads of governments who have made their mark – most have done good for their country, but some have left their country in tatters.
- Having seen these overseas countries; and read, heard and discussed about them, I would say that I am lucky to be living in Australia.
© Comasters June 2020.