Migration Agent’s Future!

•February 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Last night Kevin Rudd resigned and there would be turmoil during the next few weeks or months, perhaps leading to an early election. Perhaps not.

But what if there is another election and the next government is a hung government, with a swing independent Member of Parliament who do not want any more immigrants!!!

By that time, we would have graduated, our office open, well-furnished, a receptionist employed. Waiting!

No, that won’t happen, the chance is very small, but then again, what if it did? 😉

Such scenario seems inconsiderable. But think again. The current Migrant Law Program at the Australian National University has over 840 members. Assuming ten are staff and others who didn’t make it, there would be still roughly something like 800 potential graduates in a year. (Some are part-time, others full time). And there are four universities providing this same program. Hence potentially we’re churning out over 3,000 new migrant agents every year.

This will be added to the current pull of existing agents. 10,000 agents at least (before being culled by MARA), to my estimates. It shouldn’t be too far from such estimates; if not, I’ll keep on researching for more data to have a better informed opinion.

The current political climate under the Labour government is pretty generous with migrant intake. It fluctuates, of around 250,000 a year, but like anything else government policies can change. Will the Australian government continue to sustain this growth of immigrant intake, and this artificial growth of churning more migrant agents?

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Australia’s Road to Multiculturalism

•February 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Every country has a bit of black spots somewhere along its history, and Australia is no exception. This young and amazing country has come a long way from having an official White Australia Policy during the time of Federation in 1901 where “there is a great feeling all over Australia against the introduction of coloured persons” to one of multiculturalism today “to build on our success as a culturally diverse, accepting and open society, united through a shared future.”

I like Australia, I have to be honest. For this I like the country to have a strong border protection policy. Yet my heart is torn: for one coming from a third world country, I understand how desperate people in other countries are living in a depressing state. No hope, no life, and no future!

But alas,Australiais not reproducing itself. The birthrate for each woman is only 1.9 on average, insufficient to replace its population. Further, with better medical service, its people are living longer, ageing, hence the need to continue its large immigration program.

Since 9/11, and fearful that terrorism could strike locally, the government, through a series of reforms, had implemented legislation to counter applicants of bad character. I thought these are good reforms. If we are not careful, we could see an Australian icon like the Opera House blown into pieces. Lol, I might state the extreme, but then again, you never know. Better to be careful than sorry!

Common Law verses Civil Law

•February 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It is interesting to note that Australia has operated a judicial system which is known as Common Law, originated from the United Kingdom. Another system in the West, known as the Civic Law, originated since the Roman days in continental Europe, later added and modified by the Napoleonic Code.

Common Law started in Medieval England through incorporating local customs from the countryside, determining what is common to them all, and institutionalizing and elevating them to the higher national court in London. Consequently, courts established principles and rules, and were bound by precedents of preceding cases, especially those from a higher court.

Why I say this is interesting is that this scenario parallels the ancient rivalry between the Pharisees and Sadducees of the old Judaic system. The Pharisees interpreted the Torah with the help of the Oral Law, or precedents. The Sadducees, on the other hand, discarded all precedents and interpreted the Torah as it is.

Their most passionate argument is over what the phase “beyn ha’arbayim” means for the observance of the Passover, which is to be observed on the Fourteenth of Nisan. Translated loosely, it means “between the evenings”. To summarize their long argument, the Sadducees interpreted it to mean the twilight just before sunset on the Fourteenth. The Pharisees, with their traditions and oral code, interpreted it to mean the twilight period leading toward the Fifteenth.

Much like the enmities between the Protestants and Catholics or the Sunnis and Shiites, blood were shed between these two religious branches over such differences. But luckily, no European countries to my knowledge had gone to war over the Common Law or Civil Law system rivalry.

Another interesting to note: the High Court in Australia has defined that a person is an “alien” unless he or she is an Australian citizen. It would be interesting if the same case is held in a Civil Law system and the judge didn’t say something like an “alien” doesn’t exist, but only in fantasy of a creepy creature from outer space that you see only in horror movies! lol

Malaysia – the Country I left behind

•February 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Malaysia was once a part of the British Empire. Like sunlight to early dawn, much of the land that came after British conquests advanced toward better wellbeing. Improving yield for agriculture, introduction of roads, railways and other infrastructure, mining, manufacturing and the increasing trade and commerce, had made Malaysia one of the most developed in the Far East.

But alas, the tide of change came after the Second World War. Colonies after colonies were given independence before its time, much to the cheers of local egoism. Like Angkor Watt, much of Africa, Burma and some other independent states were given back to the jungle.

Malaysia fell backward. Racial discriminations were implemented, replacing hard work and equality. Meritocracy was replaced by foolishness, lol. The whole education system that the British had nurtured for hundreds of years, were dismantled and replaced by an indigenous language. History, geography and other social sciences could be rewritten from the native point of view, and they did.

But if you try mathematic differently, it wouldn’t work, and if you compose chemicals differently, the lab might explode. So the Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir, the one who original instigated the abolition of the imperial English language, reversed his educational policy that mathematic and science, should be taught in the English language.

But once Dr Mahathir left office, the country fell back again. Beginning 2012, students will have to learn all, including mathematic and science, in the native language. But how could they excel and proceed into Oxford or Cambridge? The result is that remnants of English schools were popular, but they were expensive. The bulk of the country suffers. Malaysia’s neighbor, Thailand had edged forward and seems to be overtaking Malaysia in education and development.

Studying Migration Law at the Australian National University!

•February 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Well, how life can change out of a sudden!

I’m from Malaysia (Kuching to be exact), trained originally as an accountant in New Zealand at the University of Canterbury, found working pretty boring. Under the ‘moonlight’, I went about writing. Actually I wrote a few papers when I first migrated to Australia doing a few Law assignments for my Chartered Accountancy.

Instead of furthering my profession in Accounting, those assignments got me into the psyche of writing. So later, when finding my job boring, that psyche kept nagging me back, and so I went about writing, draft after draft, or I should say, moonlighting, sometimes while travelling in the train, but more often under my boss’s nose, lol. That resulted in a novel under a pseudonym. The theme of the cross-cultural romance story is about catastrophic Japan.

It was published in London, but the selling is slow, at least for now (who knows what might happen to my novel a hundred years from now when I revisited this planet as a ghost? haha). So to ensure some form of sanity for the time being, I am studying postgraduate Migration Law at the Australian National University and embarking a new career: on becoming a migrant agent 😉

Yes, a migration agent for my beloved Australia, a land young and free; free from the prejudices of Old Europe; free, too, from Old Asia.

The Bloop

•May 25, 2011 • 2 Comments
Japan's namazu in ancient painting.

Japan has its own version of mystery.

Well, the mystery of mysteries; it is the “bloop”.  This sound is the name given to an ultra-low frequency underwater sound detected by NOAA several times during the summer of 1997. What created that sound is debatable as the source of this phenomenon remains unknown. And although no convincing explanation has been given, the general consensus seems to be that the origin is almost certainly biological. Could it really have been an animal? If so, the “animal” in question hasn’t been heard since the summer of 1997? Or that the US Navy had recorded them, but refuses to release any further information. But why didn’t the Navy release them? Is there something too scary to know?

In my attempt to understand, I wrote a novel on it and right on Chapter 2 of Over Mount Fuji have the following excerpts:

After placing his laptop on the table, he switched it on and pulled the antenna from its port. He put on his headphones and plugged in the wire to his computer, which he dubbed EQ-Lun. Connected to underwater hydrophones, the spectrogram danced on the screen. The sound increased in volume, signaling a phenomenon had intensified across the Pacific Ocean. It couldn’t have been linked to earthquakes, since it had been continuous even in the absence of seismic activities. He leaned forward, but another sound startled him. A babble like gurgling water, a blo-o-op replaced the hum.

During the last recording, the blo-o-op sound—indicated by the thick cluster of red pixels—was most intense about a thousand miles south of Kyushu Island. He clicked several times until a map of the Pacific appeared in the background, then he superimposed the ambience over the map. Now, after ten hours, the source of this sound had moved further south, its color changed to pink, indicating the intensity of the sound had subsided. He listened to his headset. Yes, the sound had abated. But why? Could a link with a sea creature be possible? Moving. Retreating.

My attempt is just an attempt, hence it’s through a novel rather than a textbook, but I have spent considerable time on it. Maybe it was a special guest “bloop” appearance or something. According to scientists who have studied the phenomenon it matches the audio profile of a living creature but there is no known animal that could have produced the sound. If it is from an animal, the mystery deepens as the creature would have to be several times the size of the largest known animal on Earth, the blue whale. Then our minds are stretched from some mega-fauna cryptids to cryptozoology. Giant squids. Leviathan.

~~

And in Chapter 22, the bloop mystery continues:

Eileen startled when the laptop beeped appeared. Then a hum accompanied the beeps.

Wulfstein narrowed his eyes when the sound persisted. A sheen of sweat covered his wrinkled face.

“Listen,” she said, “the hums are more audible.”

“Yes, indeed,” he said, grabbing EQ-Lun closer. “Most of our equipment is set to detect any irregularity around the archipelago.”

“Why is it getting louder?”

Wulfstein analyzed the reports for a moment, then paced back to the window and squinted over the horizon. “The bloop sound has retreated to the Mariana Trench, but the hum is everywhere.”

Still puzzled, she prodded. “How can you be sure?”

“No one can be certain, Eileen. Something’s stirring—the hum remains a mystery, but the movement of the bloop sound indicates it’s a creature. Only this much I’m sure of.”

Eileen knew that Wulfstein’s laptop link to the laboratory tracked every sensor. Could this be a crucial time to find a breakthrough for earthquake precursors?

“A man’s imaginative power will shrink if not used,” he said. “The mysteries of Ma-no Umi will soon provide the key.”

“How did the sound move? Can you show me?”

“Give me a minute, and I’ll retrieve my database.”

After Wulfstein had reset EQ-Lun, the spectrogram danced on the screen and the familiar babbling bloop sounded. He clicked a key and the spectrogram transformed into a small red ambience radiating toward the top left corner of the screen as the map of the Pacific came into view in the background.

“This is where I started recording the sound last December,” Wulfstein said, pointing to the sea off the coast of Kyushu Island. “Now the horizontal bar shows the time changes during the last nine months I’d tracked this sound.”

Eileen studied the signal on the horizontal bar. During the first week of December, it started when the red ambience moved northward to Honshu, then it slowly circled the seas there in a Big 8 formation. By January, it began to pick up speed, moving south, but its color faded into pink. At the end of the month, the ambience reached the Mariana Trench. Moment later, it collapsed and disappeared. During the first week of March, the ambience reappeared. It moved southeast, passed the Equator toward Fiji, and headed south.

“What does this ambience mean?” Eileen asked.

“It signifies the source of the sound.”

“So it’s heading south?”

“That’s right.”

Eileen stiffened. How could the sound move with such peculiarity? Before hitting New Zealand, the ambience turned east toward the Galápagos Islands. After rounding the islands at the end of April, it headed north. By the second week of May, the sound moved along the Coast of California, but this time, staying very close to the shorelines. And just before San Francisco, it paused for a long moment. After emitting louder than normal, it turned west toward the Hawaiian Islands, and stayed there. It circled the islands anticlockwise before heading for the Japanese archipelago.

~~

In June, as it approached the archipelago, it slowed, but the sound intensified. Just east of the Izu peninsular, it moved north, then halted.

“What does this mean?” Eileen asked, startled.

“It seems some seismic activities there had troubled the creature.”

After the long pause, the sound turned east and then headed north, following the coastline. Near the north end of Honshu, it slowed, then stopped. The ambience softened as it turned west and headed into the Strait of Tsugaru Kaikyo. But it halted again, and then retreated, as if sensing danger. Making a U-turn, it headed northeast. Again, it followed the coastline, rounding the island of Hokkaido in an anti-clockwise direction. Once it returned to the southern tip, it slowed, then stopped. After a short moment, it proceeded east, but moved at a snail’s pace. Just before the Strait of Tsugaru Kaikyo, the ambience faded, and then vanished.

Eileen watched, studying and keeping her composure.

After a long while, the ambience restarted, but on the eastern side of the Strait. Slowly the pulse regained its strength.

When it reached the open sea to the east, it picked up speed, its ambience finally returned to normal. For a brief moment, it moved well into the sea, but it hesitated, stopped, and returned to the coastline, proceeding down south along Honshu Island.

Once it reached the town of Tateyama, it slowed. And just before Oshima Island, it stopped. Then it circled the island in a clockwise formation, pausing intermittently and moving back and forth, as if examining and re-examining the seascape.

After a long hesitancy, it continued its southward bound, gaining speed, bypassing the Ryukyu Islands and returning to the Mariana Trench by the end of June. Again, the ambience faded and disappeared from view. But during the second week of July, a seismogram spurted out suddenly on the screen as the ambience reappeared with the sound intensified.

“What’s this suppose to mean?” Eileen asked.

“It means the creature was troubled by another seismic activity.”

“Instantly?” Eileen asked.

“That’s right. There must be a linkage.”

Eileen recalled Jerry’s paper was centered on his conjectures of Ma-no Umi. This mystifying section of the Pacific, a topic so baffling and raw, had always drawn media interest. So she grasped the opportunity to be more specific. “The sound is so loud at times. You mean a greater sea creature than those we saw?”

~~

“Without a doubt. I still do not have all the specifics, as mysteries remain mysteries until we see them before our eyes.”

“And is this how science and the arts meet each other?”

“Possibly. Neither of us really believes in the monster. But surely those ancient tales aren’t total fabrication.”

Interestingly one commentator expressed it as a Leviathan in this way: “It is said that at one time there had been two alive. But God killed one so that if this had not occurred no man would be left alive. In the last days it is written that the creature, upon arrival on the coast of Israel, will be killed, and its skin large enough to cover the nation of Israel.” Sobering thought, but no one can be sure; hence I dub the Bloop as the mystery of mysteries. But then there is a stunning passage in Isaiah 27:1. “In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan, the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.”

Incidentally the Japanese has a century-old legend about a namazu that lives in the sea (see picture above). All these mysteries may be connected, or they may not, but if anything, the mysteries deepen.

©) Joel Huan, author of Over Mount Fuji (available through Amazon and Barnes&Noble)

Or if you like to write to me, my email is (no space): eqlunn at gmail.com

Japan: Shift of 2.5 Meters!

•May 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Japan Quake Alters Coast, Changes Earth’s Axis “The massive earthquake that hit Japan on Friday was so powerful that it changed the shape of the country’s coastline and shifted the earth’s axis.

“Geophysicist Kenneth Hudnut, who works for the U.S. Geological Survey, told CNN that the quake moved part of Japan’s land mass by nearly 2.5 meters.

“Experts say that the huge shake, caused by a shift in the tectonic plates deep underwater, also threw the earth off its axis point by at least 8 centimeters.

“Thousands of people were unaccounted for in Japan on Saturday, a day after the 8.9 earthquake shook the country and giant tsunami waves crashed 10 kilometers inland in the northeast” (Voice of America news.com, March 27, 2011).