My days as a happy refugee have ended. These days I live with the descendants of the communist officials of my other country – Vietnam.
I met him in a walking group. An Australian lady in the group told me that he’d boasted about his family holding power in Vietnam. He came here on a University scholarship and now works for a federal government department. A Vietnamese education body administers the award of the Australian scholarships to Vietnamese students. For Vietnamese, it is widely understood that in corruption-rife Vietnam, many communist officials use their influence to gain scholarships for their children to study and settle in Australia. In my online reading, I discover growing international discussion of the corruption that is rife in Vietnamese education systems.
One day, while leaving my friends’ house, I saw an expensive car stopped at the house next door. My friends told me that their neighbours were an aged couple who came to Australia under the sponsorship of their son who had first come here as an overseas student and later became Australian resident. Their house was bought in a fierce-bidding auction. The couple clearly came from North Vietnam based on their appeasing, monotone accent only possessed by those living under communism after North and South Vietnam was divided by the 1954 Geneva Accords. My friends later heard from the grapevines that the couple were high-ranking communist officials back in Vietnam.
My days as a happy refugee have ended. These day I sometimes have no option but to shop at businesses established by the emigrant communist officials of my birth country.
The grocery store that I used to shop had new owner. The owner was a Vietnamese Communist Party member who had emigrated to Australia under the business migration category after returning their party membership card.
Another communist official I knew back in Vietnam went to Australia on a house-hunting trip. He had already bought another house in Canada but the one in Australia that he had planned to buy was for his daughter to stay in while he sent her to study on his expense.He also talked about bringing millions of dollars to Australia whenever he wanted to under business migration category and putting up fake business for the first few years after arrival as he didn’t need to work to live.
Did those wealthy emigrant Communists build their fortunes on the money and jewellery they robbed from the captured defectors or on the assets they confiscated from the bourgeoisie in 1978? Or from the fee of 25 taels of gold for each ethnic Chinese passenger who then were allowed to depart Vietnam legally en masse in thousands in one of those “iron-build” ships back in 1978 and 1979? Was their money accumulated from the acts of corruption they made while they were still in power in Vietnam? While living a comfortable life in Australia, are they stretching their octopus arms and maintaining political power and connection to Vietnam?
My days as a happy refugee have long ended. I feel overwhelmed by the vision that one day, this class of emigrant communist officials who were brought up with communist ideals will become powerful economic giants, influential intellectuals, elite public servants and overtake this country where I’m taking refuge and turn it into a communist one.
In country of freedom, they meet,
The villains whose lives are discreet,
With victims who escaped alive,
They are the enemies in life.
Their fortunes they build when they rob,
Corruption has long made them nobs,
The filthy rich devils are rife,
They are our enemies in life.
Connection, power they maintain,
In Vietnam, victims are in pain,
How can both sides not live in strife?
They are the enemies in life.
by tommy japan.