What each of my books is about

Having told my followers the good news about my books, I realised, after some thought, that I should set out briefly what each book is about; the writers among you may be interested.

Destiny Will Out: the experiences of a multicultural Malayan in White Australia

I was a lightly-coloured Ceylonese Malayan boy, brought up in a British territory, where the multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-coloured people co-existed with mutual tolerance. I entered Australia in 1948 as a fee-paying student at the University of Melbourne. I had never experienced any discrimination.

In Australia, I observed a roaring sectarian religious divide, a colonial mentality, and racism. I faced discrimination in service in shops, in finding accommodation, and with seating on public transport. I was commonly described as a blackfellow (there being no other term in the local lexicon for coloured people). In a fashionable arcade, in spite of being expensively dressed, I was once loudly asked “Why don’t you go back home, you black bastard?” in a very aggressive tone. I did wonder at such ignorance, thinking that a similar question should have been addressed to Captain 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, I 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. However, I suffered discrimination even within that department – both racial and tribal (the word mass had a weighty influence with those ‘tribals’).

 This book weaves fluidly my settlement experiences with my work experiences, in a readable manner, with no bitterness. What was encouraging were the reviews 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 and State Libraries, and in the top 20 Australian universities. Refer my website www.dragonraj.com for relevant background.  This book will be re-issued soon as an ebook through Amazon Kindle Direct.

 

The need for stability in daily life

 

Since many explanations about existence of relevance to us all are, in my view, no more than unproven or unprovable theories, most of us live our lives as sensibly as we can, seeking stability on Earth too. However, in modern times, migration into foreign climes is a feature of societal existence, disrupting the pre-existing stability. I was one of the intruders, as was my father in another country.

While the new arrivals learn to give up those of their cultural practices which contradict the institutions and leading mores of the host nation, the host people learn to reciprocally modify their earlier views of the intrusive arrivals. Where the arrivals are needed and are thereby eventually welcomed, migrant settlement assistance can be provided by both good-hearted individuals and a responsible government. Thus, daily life can continue, with mutual adaptation, to ensure societal stability.

See my first book ‘Destiny Will Out: the experiences of a multicultural Malayan in White Australia.’ The book is based on my experiences, both as an immigrant settler, and a public official responsible for migrant settlement policies. The great success of Australia’s massive immigration and settlement programs are brought out in the book.

Crucial questions do arise. Should not immigrants offer benefits to the nation they seek to join which exceeds the costs associated with their entry? Should not entry be through the front door – through careful selection – than through forced entry by the back door? How much stress can a resident population cope with, through an on-going entry of immigrants and asylum seekers of increasing ethno-cultural diversity? Are not residents entitled to a life of reasonable stability?