The Case for and against Australia migration Part Two

Without much ado in comparing Australia and Malaysia and to either bust or confirm the myth that Australia is a dreamworld that all Malaysians born aspire to run off to, here’s a breakdown of the Quality of Life Index published by the EU. Before anyone crucifies me, though, do note that this is written in Gilagolf typical fashion – absolutely no research, and the opinions are generally very myopic, and should be consumed only for fun.

Material living conditions (income, consumption and material conditions)
Productive or main activity
Health
Education
Leisure and social interactions
Economic and physical safety
Governance and basic rights
Natural and living environment
Overall experience of life

I obviously got this list from the website and I am too lazy to click and read the actual definitions, so I’ll just interpret it on my own.

Material living conditions (income, consumption and material conditions)

This speaks for itself. I am thinking this is like how much people earn, and if good jobs are there etc.

Now I am not comparing Malaysians vs Australians. Note that I am comparing Malaysians vs Malaysians-who-are-first-generation-imigrants-to-Australia, the same way my grandfather was comparing his life after he was dumped by his father from the boat to Malaysia, with the China he just fled from. Which had a lot of killings, I assume.

Anyway, the myth in Australia is this: Malaysians who go to Australia will strike it rich and they all go and start a Mamak shop or chinese restaurant and live happily ever after.

The honest truth is that, except for a small handful, most Malaysians going to Australia are going to find it tough to land a job. A chief marketing officer I know headed there with his family and after 8 months, had to become a water bottle sales man door to door. A training director I know is now working as a secretary to a dentist. A high flying lawyer left the high life here and is now selling ice-cream. I know a guy who had a very good pay at pharma line and is now a year into migration and without a job. He is thinking of being a tram driver, but no, I will bet they won’t have anybody doing public service without prior work experience in Australia. Or another guy who used to own his own restaurant here, he is now a contract insurance agent. I mean, the expectations need to be tempered down significantly. As my friend who went over there would say, “Yes, training is good business in Malaysia, and probably can be here in Australia. But in Malaysia, would you want to be trained in corporate strategy by a Bangladeshi worker?” Not that we have anything against Bangladeshis, but honestly, that’s probably how immigrants are perceived over in Oz. No offence.

So you see, you might think Australia is X3 now to the ringgit. But you must also realise, your income will be likely around 30% of what you are getting now. So if you get 20K per month here, you will be lucky to earn 6K AUD. And after the tax and all, you will surprise at how many cornflakes meals (they are cheap in OZ!) you will be having at home.

So Quality of life in this aspect is very much biased in their advertisement of Australia. Now, of course for your kids, they have a better shot at jobs than you. But we are comparing immigrants to Malaysians who prefer to stay in Malaysia, remember.

Score: Malaysia 1 – 0 Australia

Productive or main activity

No idea what is this about. I will just imagine how productive your life is in terms of job satisfaction etc.

Now, EVERYONE swears that they would love a life with a 9 – 5 sort of schedule. They have no idea what another way of working is.

Australia is blessed with a workforce who are not greedy. Really. Their profit is not monetary. It’s TIME. They prefer to knock off earlier and not make the extra buck or deal. I had a colleague who instead of opting to meet me to discuss possible deal scenarios at 4.30 pm in Gold Coast, said, “Sorry, mate, the surf is up, I gotta go!”. It was 3 pm. What?

It’s a great life – for Australians. But wait, what about immigrants? Many of us will fail to adapt to this nonsensical lifestyle of going to work on time and leaving work on time. In fact, many of us modern tech guys will fail miserably at doing anything on a 9 – 5 schedule. The 9 – 5 schedule was created during the industrial revolution, when workers needed to be in the factory line at certain time or stuff doesn’t get done. This stupid idea had been carried on by equally stupid employers in this electronic age thinking this is the way to do things. Many years from now, our kids will be studying this 9 – 5 concept and linking it back to how humans generally began to exhibit similar intelligence to that of a wombat. We all have our own internal clock to get things done.

For Malaysians – more and more people are preferring, not flexi-time, or 9-5 time, they are preferring integrated worklife. That means, you are IN CHARGE of your work. Read the book “Why work sucks and How to fix it” by Cali Ressler and you will get this point. Integrated worklife means, if I have to send my kids or pick them up from school, I do it. I don’t take ‘leave’ or crap shoot because it takes me a few hours, and I am integrating it to my worklife. I am contactable, I am closing deals, I am managing my meetings. Same thing if I want to go shopping with my son for his christmas gift on a slow afternoon. I care about results, and the happier I am with my family and my own time, the more I would want to get the results needed, to keep that happiness.

Immigrants might find this concept a lot harder to accept in Australia. Australia might give Australians this flexibility, but can you imagine you, at the bottom of the food chain, telling your boss, sorry, bro, gotta pick up my daughter now, and will work from home. Call me-lah if anything, ok?!

Score: Malaysia 2 – 0 Australia

Health

I assume this is healthcare. Not health in general. If health in general, I think it’s hard to say. You would think australians are a lot healthier, but you know, it’s touch and go right. The air in Malaysia sucks big time. But the pollen in Australia literally gets me sick all the time. The food in Malaysia is oily, but Australia’s fish and chips isn’t the healthiest either. The general cleanliness in Malaysia is horrible, but ok – in Australia, you get skin cancer faster (note to golfers).

But healthcare. OK – some say Australia has completely free healthcare for immigrants. Um, no. But Medicare still rocks. You get the best public healthcare probably in the world and your medicine is also subsidised (not free). Compared to Malaysia where we can opt for government hospital which are cheap and the chance of you dying in the queue is around 95% since it takes a few weeks for you to get your turn. In some cases, babies had been delivered while the mother is at the waiting room, and other cases, these babies had grown up and graduated as well by the time the counter person called the number of the mother. The second option for Malaysia is private. Private hospitals are all run by companies run by persons who actually would rather watch their own mother die than to provide free healthcare. Private hospitals in Malaysia are notorious in overcharging patients for any small detail and their main motto is to extricate every ounce of money from you before you kick the bucket, which you likely will, mostly after seeing the bill. In fact, it is a known fact that the vending machines there only accept RM50 bills or bigger, else you useless, poor and money-less patients don’t get your Maggi in a cup. Damn, someone has gotta foot the bills of those Maggis!!

So for sure, Australia, hands down is way better. And this alone tips the scale for 99% of the immigrants. I mean, Australia doesn’t discriminate much whether you are an immigrant or not.

Score: Malaysia 2 – 1 Australia

Education

Unfortunately for Malaysia, our so called education has descended to the standards of how gebrils were educated in the middle ages to gnaw away at human remains in the Tower of London. That is to say, the education system in Malaysia is often used as a punchline in jokes, and equated to a bucket of sh*t, festering in a cesspool of sh*t, which happens to also be located in a quagmire of sh*t. Our minister of education can probably string a few words together to describe his day in English, but has been known to simply mutter incomprehensibly in another language of how useless English is in this world and that only the people from the isles of England speaks it. When asked to explain, he defended his statement by declaring in broken English, “Why don’t people complain that we do not teach American language, Australian language also? Or even Canadian language, or New Zealand language? Ha?! Why only English? This is obvious way to Anglicise our children!” When corrected that these were all English speaking nations, he chastised the reporter, “I heard of New Zealand language, please. I watched a documentary, where the teacher with the white beard and pointy hat was talking to those beautiful, long haired, pointy ears students with bow and arrows. Pfft.”

I don’t even need to compare the ridiculously and enchantingly free education for PR or citizens in Australia. In Malaysia, we have to paid bucket loads of money for private or ‘international’ education.

Score: Malaysia 2 – 2 Australia

OK – halftime. Not bad, at least we are tied!

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The Case for and against Australia migration Part One

As I am sitting here typing this – I am wondering: How in God’s green earth is my body able to stay healthy in the choking haze in Malaysia and the moment I come to Melbourne, Australia with its clean air and great weather – I fall sick?

Have we Malaysians evolved to be like cockroaches, so used to dirt and filth that our bodies no longer can handle cleanliness and it just goes into panic mode the moment it cannot breathe in poisonous air?

Or is the weather in Australia overrated, or in some essence the entire concept of migrating to Australia a flawed and overrated one?

I’ve spoken to many good friends here who had uprooted and migrated to Australia and every one of them swear that the migration was the best thing ever and leaving behind Malaysia was the greatest decision they ever made and anyone living back in Malaysia are definitely in trouble. Some compare Malaysia to what China was in terms of the Chinese Civil War that caused a lot of our grandpapas to come in boats to Malaysia to escape the communists. In fact, my grandfather was dumped here when he was around 10 by his father, who immediately took the same boat to go back to China.

I always wondered why Malaysian chinese would still hold on to the ideal that China is their country and become so proud to be called ‘Chinese’, when the only association they have with China are the toys they buy for their kids.

Anyway – back to these Australian immigrants – sometimes, they are so happy that they are in the land of milk and honey that they try to convince everyone else to leave Malaysia and start their own settlement in Australia – as first gen immigrants and the usual reason is “Do it for your kids”, as if staying in Malaysia would cause our kids to turn into slaves and barbaric cannibals.

So I decided to do a series of Australian Migration articles on why its good or bad.

Am I an authority in this? Well, I studied in Australia for 2 years and lived in Australia. I’ve been to every Australian large city (except for Adelaide), and mostly, I was a signature away from being a PR. Yes, a couple of years back, I actually went through the entire process of getting PR in Australia – I paid a total of around RM12,000 ( a lot for a guy who only earned around 3,800RM that time per month) to the lawyer and went through quite a lot, up to the english test and according to the lawyer, I just had to submit in one final form and she guaranteed success. She desperately chased me for it and I told her, I chickened out. She said the 12K was non-refundable but if I decided to take up the PR again, she will give me a discount on future fees.

I never spoke to her again and lapsed my application. And lost 12K.

People thought I was stupid and retarded. But to me, I just wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to let go of this country called Malaysia. People say, you don’t need to – you can put a foot in here and there and just glide around and get PR for your kids. But there are certain obligations like going to Australia and living there for 2 out of 5 years blah blah etc. I didn’t even love Australia the way my other peers did. I was ok and contented staying there – I generally don’t have too much emotion on where I stay, I can adapt to US and India if needed; but I didn’t love or hate Australia at all – it was just ‘meh’ on my end.

So how the hell is this related to golf?

It’s not, it’s just verbal vomit on my end because I am wondering what so great about Australia when I have a stuffed nose and generally a bad headache from my sinus and having a great cup of coffee next to me. It’s just the good and bad of Australia.

For the next post, I will break down the measurements of quality of life, Gilagolf metrics and judge for ourselves whether Australia is better than Malaysia in all the aspects that is important.

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Birdie Run Ends

I didn’t want to jinx it so I didn’t mention it.

But I was on a birdie run which ended last week.

For 5 games, I had at least one birdie. My birdie run stood at six when my luck ran out in Sungai Long. Although I cracked 90, I missed a lot of putts, including a 6 footer for birdie on the 10th.

So far, I’m pretty ok this year, I am averaging around 0.44 birdie, meaning, around 1 birdie in 2.3 games or so. That means birdies aren’t that rare anymore. Which means my irons are generally getting better, because it sure aint my stupid putter.

Anyways, I am going to be taking a longish break – around 3 weeks or so without golf – partly due to the haze, but mainly due to travelling, so won’t be updating in a while, unless Tiger Woods hits the news again.

Happy Hacking, Gilagolfers!

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Puma Shoes!

puma

After being absent for so long, I’m posting my third post for the day. Just bought some really sporty looking golf shoes from Bandar Utama Golf House (Old Wing) for RM199. My RM99 Callaway shoes I bought a few months back has turned out to be a horrible buy. It lasted me less than 10 games and the sole has already broken. I think traditional shoes are just not fit for my kind of style, i.e the swing that has a finish resembling one of the monkeys from the planet of the apes, and going into muddy areas to find for balls, and rocky landslides due to our retarded golf swings. Callaway I think made their shoes for perfect golfers who play 99% of the time in the fairway. Not for us.

So I’ve decided to buy these deceivingly sporty golf shoes that look like jogging shoes so in case guests come to my house, I can trick them into thinking that I am involved in healthy activities instead of an activity that you can play, while smoking, drinking or generally involve peeing into a bush halfway through the game.

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This is GILAGOLF MAX

If you think you are gilagolf, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

One hole in one course.

From tee to green is 3 miles. That’s 4.82 KM. That’s like 10 Par 5s strung together. Wait, the tee is 2,000 feet above the green. The good news is the green is 50 feet wide.

The bad news is that you need to hike down the peak without a trail and brave through rattlesnakes and cactus.

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Golf In Other Places

I get some emails from other gilagolfers sometimes describing to me some really out of this world sort of courses as well.

dino2 dino1There is this place at Queensland Sunshine Coast (I remember driving around there once!) called Hyatt Regency (Or Coolum Golf Resort), where you get to play under the shadow of a T-Rex.

By no means this is something new, as even closer to home, Mines Resort has giant Tigers and Giraffes as well.

On top of that, one of the Gilagolfers offered his take on Robina Woods, a course reviewed while I was on a family trip in Brisbane a couple of years back.  Thanks, Anthony!

 

I’ll try 2 photos for now and see what happens. If you can recall since you were here last one of the photos shows the practice putting green in the foreground. In the background you can see the fairways of the 18th green to your left and its elevated tee some 500+ metres away. And to the right just behind the practice green is the 1st tee.

Unfortunately I’m not much of photographer,  the 1st teeing ground is blocked by the bushes. The golfer wearing a blue jumper standing next to the golf bags is a member there and a former ‘surfing’ champ back in the 70’s. A local identity here in the Gold Coast area. And the guy wearing a white hat practicing his putt is from the UK – a cricket coach for one of the county cricket teams there. He was second only to Shane Warne when the two were in the academy in their junior years. I can’t recall the county sorry.

The other photo was taken on the 2nd hole. While we were walking towards the fairway, we saw this motor cart in the pond submerged. So I took a photo of it. Apparently according to one of the guys in the pro-shop, a young kid have driven it to the water. Ouch! Cost $8,000 to replace! Double ouch! Anyhow we have had a great time but Robina was the winner. The green was so fast at that time because the day before, Robina had their club championship. So the speed of the green and pin placement was to that standard. If only we knew.

P1000836 P1000838

 

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This is Golf Pornography

mizuno

Since transferring to Mizuno MP-54s from my Taylormade RAC I have actually made considerable improvements in my irons. As in, where I used to be so afraid of hitting my iron shots especially 6 iron downwards, I’m actually now looking forward to it. Anything especially 8 iron onwards is delicious to me – because with the MPs, I’ve actually have some sort of control on my flight. Plus, it’s so darn beautiful.

This month, the Satin Blue S5 Mizuno Wedge is going to hit our markets – or at least the US (not sure when in Malaysia), but my gawd, it makes me drool. Blue is like my all time favourite colour – satin blue is just ridiculously obvious that I am so surprised nobody has thought about this. In any case, why don’t people just come up with groovy colours for their wedges? How about superman red?

I’m the kind of guy who will wander off into a golf shop and just oogle at the Mizuno irons. Something about it really attracts me. I’ll probably start an article exploring Mizuno irons from here on. I believe once any golfer gets started with an MP iron, it’s really hard to go back playing the other irons.

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Playing in the 80s

gilastatsAug2015

For those figuring out why I am so obsessed with shooting in the 80s, is this:

a) I’ve been playing golf since 2004. That means it’s 11 years and counting stuck in this darn game and still figuring out how to play it properly.

b) I’ve undergone a tremendously stressful amount of golf swings – because I thought I was Tiger Woods – and now I have a swing resembling Iron Man fighting with the Giant Python. Basically, a very bad overswing and a long drive that can easily go awry. I basically have very little idea where my swing will end up as soon as I initiate the downswing.

c) I feel that someone who can routinely drive 200 meters above should be scoring in the high 80s. Which I am not until recently. For the record, this year, I am still playing around 91.71 average. For the past 10 games, I am playing at 90.4. For the past 5 games, 90.4 exactly. On the USGA handicap calculator, I am playing to a 14 handicap. On my last 10 games, I am playing to a 16 which is basically a true reflection of my game.

d) Shooting in the 80s is devilish hard when you have a game like mine. Basically tee to green (if I get a reasonable tee shot), I am ok. I struggle mightily at my chips and putts. Mightily.

So here’s the plan for the next few games:

Plan A: Hit the fairway. This is essential. At 38%, that means per round I am hitting only 5 fairways out of 14. This is crap bad, especially if we don’t drive it that long. I am hitting my irons reasonably well eversince I changed to my MP-54s.

Plan B: Play short. I find I always end up in crap when I over shoot my irons. Since changing my irons, my distance control has become somewhat better. I am playing

10 – 70 meters = 60 degree

70 – 100 meters = Sand Wedge

100 – 120 = Gap Wedge

120 – 130 = PW

130 – 140 = 9 iron

140 – 150 = 8 iron

150 = 7 iron

160 = 6 iron

170 = 5 iron

Anything above 175 = 7 wood or 3 wood.

It’s really interchangeable once I go past the 140 mark. Sometimes I’ll hit an 8 iron, sometimes a 7. Depends on the hole. For instance, in Glenmarie, one of the hole had such extreme elevation that from 155, I hit a 9 iron and still long it.

These are not really my listed distance. I hit it shorter, but the idea is to hit it before the green or just front of the green, since my flight (and my old golf balls) do not promote the professional backspin…instead it just rolls and rolls after hitting the green.

Since opting to play a more conservative “do not attack the flag” style I’ve seen my scores hover within the high 80s or low 90s. I don’t experience those massive blow holes much anymore.

Next stop: Kota Permai, which besides Mines, is probably one of our favourite courses to play on!

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Tiger is back in the hunt

tigerwoods

Don’t look now, but Tiger is trying to win the Wyndham Championship – the final tournament he will be in this year. If he wins, he gets to play a few more rounds in the FedEx Cup playoffs for 10 Million bucks.

If he gets anything other than a W, he’s packing his bags to go home.

I know, you would say if he gets number 2, there is still a chance, if everything else falls his place (a whole bunch of good players starting to play like hackers) – but I know Tiger for a long time (whether he knows me is still the question) – he won’t want to depend on people. He will go for the W. So expect him to play aggressive, do or die, run birdie putts by and probably miss his pars. The first few holes – 5 holes will determine his game. His putting must work. If he pars the first 5 holes, he won’t win. If he birdies them, it will mean that he’s putting well.

Unfortunately since I boycotted the robbers called Astro, who is run by crooks – I never agreed to pay the extortion fees they demanded to watch the Golf Channel. So I am only following via my Iphone App, which doesnt have live streaming of Tiger.

Come on Tiger! Make Gilagolf proud!

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Golf is a funny game

palmgardenAug

It is. A funny game, that is.

When you play like crap nuts, you sometimes still win like an immortal. When you play like an immortal, you end up losing like crap nuts.

Palm Garden had always been a good hunting ground previously. Now, the new palm garden is a different beast. Yes, the length is no big deal, but the befuddlement on this New course would be the darn greens. Most if not all greens are tabletop, meaning if you miss these greens you will end up rolling down to New Mexico and having to loft up your shot again. It’s annoying.

Another matter would be the bunkers and the green itself – playing very quick, and completely bamboozling me in this round.

Think about it – 7/14 fairways hit for me is very good stats. I average 39% meaning I hit roughly 5 fairways a round only. But I hit 10 greens in regulation this round. 10! My average is 23%, meaning I only hit around 4 greens in regulation this round. I 2.5x my average this round alone, and at one point, hit six greens in regulation IN A ROW.

Out of 10 greens in regulation, I three putted SIX. I two putted two and I one putted two. That’s six bogeys, two pars and two birdies for my 10 GIR. What the heck is going on??!

Putting had always been a middling aspect of my game, but at one time, when I 3 putted my fifth green in a row, I simply tossed away my putter about 20 feet in the air and told the caddy that she could have my putter.

The very next green, I hit a tricky 10 footer for birdie.

The other birdie occurred on the 8th, when my drive left me only around 50 meters, and I hit a half sand wedge to 1 foot of the hole.

You would think this meant I won some money as well.

No, I ended up losing all 3 frames of our sixers and forking out for lunch, that cost me RM100.

Sixers is played like this:

a) A partners B, C partners D for the first six holes. The next six holes, everyone swaps, and the last six holes everyone swaps again so that everyone will partner each other once in the 3 ‘frames’.

b) We play best ball and if that is square, then second ball counts.

c) No strokes given. In todays game, we had a 13 handicapper, a 16 (me), and 18 and a 24. Even when I partnered with the 13 handicapper, he played so badly, the 18 and 24 handicaper won without strokes given. WHAT?!

d) We played fringes – birdie, sandy par/birdie, escalation within the frame, twin pars/birdies for partners etc. One fringe=1 ball.

e) We played variations of 3-1-1, (game-dormie-buy) meaning each sixer we are playing 3 balls for game, 1 for dormie, and 1 for the buy.

f) Depending on our mood, we could play RM 10 or RM5 for a ball. So it could be a RM15-5-5 or RM30-10-10 for each sixers. Included the fringes, we could really lose quite a lot, for instance I lost 10 balls today despite playing one of the best round tee to green of my life (and one of the worst putting rounds of my life).

If I putted well, I would have won all frames, saved RM100, scored around 84 or 86, and gone home a happy man. Golf is a funny game indeed.

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