I have six publications which are widely read. Royalties from these books go to charity.
DESTINY WILL OUT: the experiences of a multicultural Malayan in White Australia
Published October 1997, Minerva Press – Out of print Ebook available soon in 2013 from Amazon Kindle Direct
Imagine a lightly-coloured Ceylonese Malayan boy, brought up in a British territory (but who had not experienced any discrimination), where the multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-coloured people co-existed with mutual tolerance. He entered Australia in 1948 as a fee-paying student at the prestigious University of Melbourne.
To his disgust, he observes a roaring sectarian religious divide, a colonial mentality, and racism. He faced discrimination in service in shops, finding accommodation, and seating on public transport. He was described as a blackfellow (there being no other term in the local lexicon for coloured people other than the indigene). In a fashionable arcade, in spite of being expensively dressed, he was loudly asked “Why don’t you go back home, you black bastard?,” in a very aggressive tone. He did wonder at such ignorance, thinking that a similar question should have been addressed to Cook & Co, the white invaders, when they had arrived to dump the products of Britain’s cultural cleansing.
This was White Australia in the 1950s. Yet, this coloured lad eventually reached the rank of Director in the federal public service, becoming responsible progressively for each of the immigrant settlement policies offered through the then Department of Immigration & Ethnic Affairs during the 1980s. However, he suffered discrimination even within that department – both racial and tribal (the word mass had a weighty influence with the ‘tribals’).
This book weaves fluidly his settlement experiences with his work experiences, in a readable manner, with no bitterness. What was encouraging were the endorsement from senior academics, a number of private agencies, and a variety of immigrants and others. Although out of print, copies of the book can be found in the National Libraries of Singapore, Malaysia and Australia and the State and Territories Libraries of Australia, as well as the top 20 Australian universities. Refer my website www.dragonraj.com for relevant background.
THE KARMA OF CULTURE
1st published 2005, eBook, 2013 available from Palmer Higgs and Amazon Kindle Direct
RECOMMENDED BY THE US REVIEW OF BOOKS 2013 (See Accolades)
It was during a significant psychic experience after my premature retirement (which was to escape any further discrimination) that I was introduced to the spirit world. It was then that I received the suggestion that I could “contribute to building a bridge” from where I came to where I am. This is my second book in this effort, as I had been advised by senior academics that my experiences in Australia do represent a sliver of the history of this rising nation (pity about our politicians).
Culture is like a second external skin, and immigrants need to trade some of their traditions for new ones in order to benefit from institutional adaptation and societal integration. These and other cross-cultural impacts, including the influence of Asian cultural and spiritual values upon Western thinking about democracy, human rights and societal values are woven through this book. Strong endorsements by 3 senior academics in diverse disciplines followed. Refer www.dragonraj.com.
HIDDEN FOOTPRINTS OF UNITY: Beyond tribalism and toward a new Australian identity
1st published 2005, now in eBook 2013 available from Palmer Higgs and Amazon Kindle Direct
This is the third of my efforts to meet the obligation I had accepted to contribute to cultural bridge-building. Within these books I have discussed ethnic affairs, multiculturalism, citizenship, national identity, refugee entry, immigrant settlement assistance and intercultural relations.
This book is about the inter-connectedness of mankind. It has 2 threads – the relationships between the ethnic communities in Australia; and their respective searches for God, with some peering into the Void of the Cosmos. I ride my spiritual horse to extol my ideal – the Aussie Family of Man, finding a basic or core commonality in the major religions when dogma is divested; and expressing the hope of a revised national identity, with new national icons identified by immigrants as well. After all, we immigrants too had re-shaped the nation into the relatively tolerant cosmopolitan people that we are.
Again, the endorsements were gratifying, especially the one from the Religious Affairs Editor of ‘The Australian.’ See www.dragonraj.com.
THE DANCE OF DESTINY – *Awarded Gold Seal of Literary Excellence*
Available from Amazon Kindle Direct
Having been well-educated by British colonialism, buffeted (but not damaged) by ignorance in a relatively new nation set in coloured seas and surrounded by foreign but ancient and durable cultures, risen to leadership positions in both civil society (through a highly interactive and contributory life) and in the federal public service, and sporadically falling into holes which were certainly not there, and also experiencing the wheels of my life-chances cart falling off for no discernible cause, I had to ask: ‘What determines human life on Earth?’
Trekking through the maya of history, geography, sociology, significant psychic experiences and personal relations of some import, I came to postulate how a personal destiny might evolve. I drew upon Hinduism, not on the New Age modifications. Increasingly, I speculate whether, like the nested fields of force in physics, there may be a nested network of destinies, leading to one which encompasses the Cosmos as a whole. Thus, this book is much more than a memoir.
Necessarily and intuitively, I have woven through my narrative some Eastern (mainly Hindu) spirituality. Supportive endorsements again followed. The US Review of Books recently recommended the book, previously supported by Kirkus. Refer www.dragonraj.com. The book is available: at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PITHY PERSPECTIVES: a smorgasbord of short, short stories
1st published, 2010, eBook by Palmer Higgs Books, 2013 and Amazon Kindle Direct
Reviewed favourably by the US Review of Books
I wrote this book for fun. It has since been endorsed by the NSW State President of the Federation of Australian Writers. He describes the stories as “interesting,” “crazy, frightening, weird, some really lovely,” “a clever book.” What more can I ask? The last story in the book (“quite intriguing,” “so different”) ends in a spiritual haze which envelops cats, mice, and a little girl who understands the language of animals. See www.dragonraj.com.
MUSINGS: an ancient, bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society
1st published 2012 – eBook from Palmer Higgs, 2013 and Amazon Kindle Direct
Reccommended by US Review of Books – click here
This is a hard-hitting, no-punches-pulled summary of my lived-through observations, gathered over more than 6 decades (as an adult), culminating with a view on the place of religion in human lives, and the place of mankind in the Cosmos. Not unexpectedly, my perceptual stance is bicultural, since I am well soaked in Asian communitarian spirituality, while grounded firmly in the operational requirements of the Western world.
This book highlights the racket of asylum seeking, seemingly aided by some refugee ‘collectors’ in the nation (who looks after the national interest?); attacks the ‘professional ethnic’ created by the government’s policy of multiculturalism (encouraged to flaunt cultural differences); sneers at the subservience of our politicians kowtowing to the British monarchy, US neo-imperialists, foreign media, mining, and buyers of our assets and resources, and the Vatican. On the other hand, I highlight the commendable aspects of my adopted nation, of which I am proud.
An endorsement by a professor of history and politics says “ … there is wisdom here … this book is rich, intelligent and provocative. A major contribution to Australian culture.” Refer www.dragonraj.com.
All the above books are available in the National, State and Territory libraries of Australia.
I have had several articles relating to migrant settlement published in: ‘Asia Sentinel,’ ‘Malaysian Insider,’ ‘Webdiary,’ and the Multicultural Writers Association of Australia’s anthology “Culture is … … “. The Eurobodalla Writers’ recent anthology “Where penguins fly” includes 3 pieces of fiction by me.
More recently, I had 44 short articles published on www.ezinearticles.com on a wide range of issues, most open-ended, thereby inviting intelligent readers to reach their own conclusions.