Open-door immigration and open minds

In the mid-1970s a radical Australian government formally ended the White Australia policy (with its racism). This was sensible. A white-man outpost set in coloured waters and surrounded by foreign faiths in the burgeoning independent nations of Asia was clearly not politically sustainable. Yet, the entry door was not fully opened to the darker peoples of the Indian sub-continent until after the 1980s, as indicated by Census data (see Census 2001).

The reigning antipathy to the Aborigine may have coloured the perceptions of some individuals, also influenced (perhaps) by the religions of the region. Australia had already suffered from a bitter sectarian religious divide, which contrasted with my experience of tolerance in British Malaya.

Had this divide now become subterranean? It seems so, as the chasm created historically seems to be unbridgeable. The open immigration door, with its assumed influx of foreign faiths, has certainly not broadened the nation’s ideological values. For example, unlike most developed Western nations, Australia does not have a statute of liberty (while it lectures Asian nations about human rights). See Geoffrey Robertson’s ‘The Statute of Liberty.’

Further, although a vast majority of Australians seek voluntary (repeat, voluntary) euthanasia, a religious minority successfully denies compassionate relief to those who cannot be made pain-free, both pharmaceutically and through palliative care. See my 3 ezine articles on ‘The will of the people.’ (Refer Raja A Ratnam)