The Rotten Apples poem

1975 Mr and Mrs Nguyễn Cao Kỳ – ex Vice President of South Vietnam – in a refugee camp in Pendleton, California.
General Ky Exiled In United States. (Photo by Paul Slade/Paris Match via Getty Images)

<<Story related to the poem>>

Live in the now,
Old enemies are friends,
The big money depends
On the friendship!

Shaking the hands
That kill their own people.
The exile all dangle
With known devil!

They bring us shame!
The acquisitive ones
Who were refugees once.
Soulless creatures!
(Abhanga-style poem)

1975 Mr and Mrs Nguyễn Cao Kỳ – ex Vice President of South Vietnam – in a refugee camp in Pendleton, California.
General Ky Exiled In United States. (Photo by Paul Slade/Paris Match via Getty Images)

The Rotten Apples’ related information

Nguyen Cao Ky with his wife Dang Tuyet Mai and their daughter Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen in their apartment at the Tan Son Nhut Air Base – Photo by Marilyn Silverstone.

<<Story related to the information.>>

Nguyễn Cao Kỳ and his third wife, in a visit to Vietnam in 2004, was welcomed by the high-ranking Communist official Phạm Thế Duyệt. A statue of Hồ Chí Minh was in the background.

Nguyễn Cao Kỳ in South Vietnam before the fall of Saigon.

The Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, signed in Manila, Philippines, on Sept. 8, 1954, created a regional defense arrangement called the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). Its purpose was to foster a system of mutual support to protect Southeast Asia against Communist expansion. The signatory nations were Australia, France, New Zealand, Great Britain, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States. Vice President Nguyễn Cao Kỳ stood far left in the picture and President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu is third from the right.

South Vietnamese General Nguyen Cao Ky, Prime Minister of Republic of Vietnam (1965-7) and Commander in Chief of South Vietnamese Air Force pictured in October 1971. Three decades after the war Nguyen Cao Ky has been given permission to return home to celebrate the Lunar New Year festival of Tet. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/Getty Images)

Nguyễn Cao Kỳ, once the powerful premier of South Vietnam, now runs a liquor-delicatessen-grocery store in the blue collar suburban community of Norwalk, California. Here Ky works the cash register as his wife, Đặng Tuyết Mai (back to camera) after escaping Vietnam in 1975.

HO CHI MINH CITY, VIET NAM: Former South Vietnamese vice-president Nguyen Cao Ky (L) and his former war-time body guard Ly Huynh hug each other as Ky is greeted upon his arrival at the Sheraton Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, 14 January 2004. Ky, who was a staunch anti-communist, returned home with Hanoi’s blessing, nearly 30-years after the Vietnam War. AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH Nam (Photo credit should read HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)

Nguyễn Cao Kỳ hugged his old bodyguard in Vietnam in 2004.

===>>> Video of Kỳ talking to the press on his trip back to Vietnam in 2004, calling all Vietnamese to unite to build Vietnam to become a dragon of Asia.

Nguyễn Cao Kỳ’s coffin was covered with the flags of the US, Malaysia and South Vietnam. Funeral in Malaysia on 29/7/2011.

Nguyễn Cao Kỳ’s picture on a worship altar for the deceased at Vĩnh Nghiêm temple, Saigon. It is believed Kỳ wore Malaysian costume as he was awarded a Tunship by the Malaysian Government in 1965. Tun title was also rewarded to all retired Malaysian Prime Ministers.

American First Lady Bird Johnson, President Lyndy B. Johnson, South Vietnam Second Lady Đặng Tuyết Mai. Phillipines First Lady Imelda Marcos and South Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyễn Cao Kỳ in Manila.

Đặng Tuyết Mai and Nguyễn Cao Kỳ 1969.

Kỳ Duyên and Đặng Tuyết Mai in the US before Ms Mai fell ill.

Kỳ Duyên and Đặng Tuyết Mai, Duyên’s third partner and Duyên’s two daughters.

Kỳ Duyên and her mother on a cruise.

Restaurant Phở Ta of Đặng Tuyết Mai built in 2009 in an affluent area in Saigon.

But wait there’s more!

The Rotten Apples

Prime Minister of South Vietnam, Nguyen Cao Ky, and his wife made a two-day visit to southeast Queensland in 1967. (link to newspaper article http://www.couriermail.com.au/ipad/wild-welcome-for-vietnam-pm/news-story/57a5dd5fc8d76c59d83d166e7d9e5d4e)

<<Facts, pictures, and video clips related to this post – visits, investments in Vietnam by the family of the ex-Vice President’s family>>

I always feel very lucky that I was accepted to resettle in Australia after escaping the Communist. However, I also feel inferior and have developed a complex seeing the bad things other Vietnamese refugees did in Australia that made headlines. Crimes such as drug dealings, forming gangs, welfare fraud, immigration tricks,… I don’t join Vietnamese groups that habitually gather to speak loudly in our native language and yet don’t mingle with others at social events in Australia. I distance myself from unruly, uncivilized, unethical and small-minded Vietnamese. Another friend once told me that he felt good that Australians often mistook him for Japanese because he didn’t feel proud to be recognized as Vietnamese.

More than ever, I witness the financial burden brought on by recently arrived asylum seekers as well as the social issues coming with them while Australia struggles with budget deficits. These days, like those in later generations of Vietnamese refugees that I know, I feel embarrassed to be recognized as a refugee in Australia. I dislike reading stories of Vietnamese boat people that said they escaped the poverty induced by the Communists. I don’t like to be blindly grouped as economic refugees.

The death of Đặng Tuyết Mai, on 21st December 2016, brought mixed feelings to me. She was also known as Madame Nguyễn Cao Kỳ, the former wife of Nguyễn Cao Kỳ, South Vietnam Vice President until his retirement from politics in 1971. As the country fell to the Communists in 1975, Mr and Mrs Kỳ fled to the US.

In 2004, Mr Kỳ returned to Vietnam, playing golf with Communist leaders, calling for peace and reconciliation with a government he once fought and hinting that he might even move back to Vietnam. Mr Kỳ later was involved in organizing trips to Vietnam for potential U.S. investors.

In September 2009, Madame Tuyết Mai went back to Vietnam and opened a plush restaurant called “Pho Ta” – specialised in the traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup – on one of the busy streets in Saigon.

Mr Kỳ’s daughter from his second marriage to Madame Tuyết Mai, a former stewardess, is Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên. Kỳ Duyên was a 10-year-old girl when Saigon fell in 1975. She and 20 others escaped in a crammed military cargo plane to Washington. Her father flew his own helicopter to a waiting U.S. aircraft carrier. Now she is a well-known mistress of ceremonies on the thirty-four-year-old and famous “Paris By Night” show. The Vietnamese-language musical variety show is popular overseas as well as in Vietnam and features musical performances by renowned pre-Saigon Fall performers and modern-day young stars.

But wait there’s more!