Saturday, July 26, 2014

Migrating to Australia Good Meh? by Ken Soong & Michael Soong

This is the book the I picked up in MPH before I migrated to Australia last year. It is a very good book to read especially for those who are deciding or have already decided migrate to Australia.

Since I"m here for > 6 months already, perhaps I can share with you my opinion about migrating to Australia. What I'm going do here is I will try to write down my own opinion in summary for each chapter. I may agree or disagree or neutral but ultimately this is my opinion. Please don't be too sensitive of it if you disagree.

Chapter 1 - Is The Western Culture Better for You?

There are lot comparisons & explanations about cultural perspective in this chapter (which is good) but for me, there are only 2 main reasons to decide whether western culture is for you:

First one is do you like to speak and write in English? Basically everything is English and you live within it. If you migrate to Australia with the mind that you're still preferring to speak your own language, then the western culture is not for you.

Second reason is do you like corruption?  For instance, driving test is way easier to pass if you know "how" in Malaysia. Here in Australia, there is only one way. Will you get used to it?

Chapter 2 - Land of Opportunities?

The authors talk a lot about business here but I can't comment much about business. For being an employee, I think getting a job in Australia is harder than in Malaysia. There are 2 reasons for that. :)

The first reason is you do not need to 100% master the skill in Malaysia to become an expert. So if you're an expert in Malaysia, you may not be expert in Australia. In Malaysia, you can fake your expertise easily and yet getting very high pay and this cannot be done easily in Australia.

The second reason is there're a lot of competitions in Australia than in Malaysia. The competition is not from Australian but the rest of the migrants from other countries like you. So you need to be better than all of them in order to secure a job.

Chapter 3 - Starting a Business in Australia

No comment on this chapter but if I want to guess, starting a business in Australia is harder than in Malaysia due to similar reasons above.

Chapter 4 - Customer Service Australia Style

I have a lot of bad experience with customer service since I landed here but it doesn't mean it is worst than in Malaysia. My take is customer service is as bad as in Malaysia. The customer service interaction may be is better than in Malaysia (for example they can talk very good) but no action is being taken seriously. The authors mention along this line too.

Chapter 5 - Choosing the Right Suburb

Honestly, no matter how much you read about a particular suburb, you still need to visit there and experience it by yourself.  The next important thing to know is whether the suburb is an established suburb. If it is not, what is the government's development plan for this suburb? It can be none or there is something and all these information can be found in the government website. This drives the potential property's value of this suburb.

The authors talk about certain suburb may not be good even if it is close to the train station and suggest to stay 50 mins walk away from the train station. I totally disagree with this. If a suburb is not good within 15 mins walk to the train station, it is the same if it is 50 mins walk to the train station. It won't make any big difference.

Anyway, I think what the authors mention is very special case. I think having your property close to the public transport is a "MUST" considered element. This is especially useful for new migrant, you can't go wrong with a property that close to transportation. It is matter of whether you can afford it or not.

The authors also suggest not to buy property and hold off your purchase until 2016 and move your money to gold.  I disagree with that unless you're not sure whether you will settle down permanently. If you have already decided to settle down, you should start researching and buying a property when you've found a suitable one. About moving your money to gold, I don't think is a wise choice too. The gold price has already reached it's peak - see my previous post: Can Gold Price Peak Again After 2012?

What about property bubble burst? Similar comment that I have with property bubble burst in Penang, I don't think it will happen, it will probably stable down for few years if economy turns bad. The property price in Australia is mainly driven by high population growth which primary as a result of high migration. As long as the government doesn't stop the migration inflow all the sudden, I don't think property bubble will burst.

Chapter 6 - "Rustbelt Schools" in Australia

Sorry, no comment in this area. :)

Chapter 7 - Schoolyard Bullying

This shouldn't be consideration at all if you plan to migrate. It happens everywhere, maybe in Malaysia it never gets reported. Unfortunately, I was the one who bullied those kids when I was young. I don't think this is ever reported. :)

Chapter 8 - How Good is an Australian Education for Your Child?

I don't have much comment here but I think everyone agrees that Australian education is better than in Malaysian education but let me share my perception about Australian education vs Malaysian education. 

  • Malaysian student can take more pressure. It is true in my generation but I"m not sure generation now. It seems like youngster in Malaysia lately also cannot take much pressure
  • Malaysian student is lack of communication skill. I think this is very true. Even for myself today, I have difficulty to communicate my message or express my feelings.

Chapter 9 - Assimilating into Racist... Australia?

This chapter is not that important. Racist is everywhere and nowhere. Whether you want to assimilating to Australia society is matter of choice. It is back to the fundamental question, do you try to avoid English? If yes, Australia is not good place for you.

Chapter 10 - Tips for "Succeeding" in Australia: Career-wise

The authors give a very useful information about how you can succeed at different stage of your life before you migrate to Australia. My opinion is if you want to migrate, the earlier the better. The older you're, the more difficult for you.

As mentioned before, getting a job is challenging here in Australia but I do not buy in the idea of "lack of local experience" (not by the authors but by most of my friends). Please don't blame it and give this reason as why you're not hired. You're not hired because your skills don't have the direct match of what they are looking for and they don't see your potential. This is the same for all the companies around the world. 

Chapter 11 - The welfare state and you

Just a piece of advice, don't rely on this system and therefore you don't put this as part of your migration consideration. If you do, you won't be living good here in Australia. Furthermore, if you're a new migrant, you need to wait for 2 years before you can apply for this benefit unless you have children. So if I were you, I won't put this in my financial planning so that whatever that I get from this system is an extra. 

Chapter 12 - Migrate for What?

Although the authors mention that they provide independent view but I feel that they're more biases against people migrating to Australia especially in this chapter.What they discuss here in chapter are mostly explaining why Malaysia could be a better place. :)

The fact that everyone knows is Australia is better than in Malaysia and we cannot deny that. If not, why so many people migrating to Australia? It is not just Malaysian but all the nations in the world. It is a very nature thing that human always migrates to a better place. That's why you see there are quite number of increasing foreign workers in Malaysia . This is simply because Malaysia is better than their countries, no?

Whether or not migrating to Australia is better, it is very personal thing. I can say Australia is good but I can also say Australia is bad. So, migrate for what? You're the only person can tell. Australia definitely is a better place but can you make use of it?


Kris said...

I really like your last comment:

"Australia is definitely is a better place but can you make use of it?" -> This is a must if you plan to migrate in the first place. Else what the heck you migrate in the first place.

As for me, I agree that in Bolehland it is much easier to start a business and with the correct connections, you can easily get rich as compared to Australia or even the US. :D

So i still will stick in Bolehland, even though i do complain alot on other things, we just must hope and try to improve things instead.

One thing you did not touch much as i see on most asian migrant is that they tend have & mix around more asian friends instead of caucasians. So that is something to be improved as you are going to stay there for the rest of your life. ;p

ChampDog said...

Generally I think everything is hard in Australia due to competition. To me, I look at this as good thing actually rather than bad. But this competition is from other migrants, not Australian themselves. I think if your competitors are not migrants, probably it should be a lot easier than in Malaysia. That's what I think.

It is in chapter 9 actually talking about Assimilating into Australia. Yes, I didn't talk about much because I think "English" is the main issue. As long as we don't try to avoid that, I think that is fine.

Australia is slightly different than in US because it is full with migrants. You will be surprised that a lot of Asian are already an Australian and you can't really tell. So, we don't need to purposely to mix with who.

I do leave a backdoor to Malaysia. Sometimes, you don't know what will happen in the future. Letting it has the flexibility is something good to have. So I may or may not spend rest of my life here. If thing turns out badly (hope not), I will come back. :)

kampunginvestor said...

Hope you doing well in Australia but what i heard is that if we migrate to Australia, we are also considered second class citizens.. Is that true bro? :)

Miss me ma? ha ha

ChampDog said...

Definitely miss you bro! :) Multi-millionaire already?

Not sure what you mean by second class citizen. Do you mean racist?

If you have already have PR, whatever you get is exactly same with the citizen. It is only you can't vote only. So legally, there is no second class here unless you don't have the PR.

If you mean racist, I think no lor. Maybe there is and I don't see it only. Also surprisingly, I have seen many Australian have an Asian couple. I think now they all mixed around. So I guess racist now is very minimum already.

bradbravo said...

It don't start with 'A' for nothing

ChampDog said...

Nice tip and I agree with you. We need to be careful to avoid those fraud. Friend of mine in China has encountered such situation before. At the end, he has to change agent and those money spent on previous agent was not refundable.

It is always safer to check for legally registered agents.I was using "Global Migration" at that time. Just one thing to keep in mind, although you have agent to help you on this, you still need to be careful too (know exactly what is going on). Don't just 100% trust or rely on the agent. Question the agent if you have unclear stuff.

Unknown said...

Ive just move to australia 2 months, and already landed me a job.. i can tell you why i made the move. Here is what i can think of at the moment:-

1) KL is getting overcrowded.
2) People dont follow rules.
3.) Traffic jam, due to the above. You know how people turn in without signal or budge your queue
4.) Political situation and corruption. Back no 2
5) The growing "narrow-minded" thinking of the society.
6) The rise of radicalism and extremism
7) Rise cost of living
8) Tolls
9) rising crime rate (homocide especially)
10) The mentality of 'showing off'. We dont have that here in perth (for now). People just dont care what you dress or what hand bag you carry. Car is definitely not a measure of wealth.
11) great air quality, no seasonal haze.
12) better and healthier lifestyle, people here go to the beach and do activities, NOT flock to the malls or mamak shop at 12am bringing kids for late supper (if you get what i mean)
13) dwindling ringgit. Aud better and more stable currency since 90s.
14) quiet life of perth , way better thn the busy life of KL

These are just my opinions.

ChampDog said...

@Zaim Rasis Haris congratulation! Hope you will like Perth more and more. How is the weather there?

I'm living in Sydney, it is a very crowded city too (maybe still better than KL) and living standard in Sydney is also very high. Nevertheless, I still prefer Sydney than in Malaysia/Penang in overall. Maybe 90% vs 10%. :)

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