Saving Rice Relations

By Amy Lee | 09 Mar 21
Trey Ratcliff/Creative Commons

Dear John

It is Year 2020.

The British empire which we knew and loved has declined for the past 70 years. The end of WWII has brought too many people of different colours to our homeland that we have lost our old ways of life. The influx of Asians has caused racial taunts on buses and fights over milk powder in Woolies. These racial tensions must not disrupt our lives. Your foes belittled you as “little Johnnie”.  You must travel back in time to show that you are greater than Sir Menzies by smoothing things over.

During this autumn moon festival, you will meet a lesbian cyborg of Chinese-Indian origin called Poona Li Hung at the Hurstville RSL Club. She will serve you fortune cookies at the end of your meal. Poona will drive you to the Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong. She will chant from the Buddhist scripture upon full moon to send you back to the past.

In 1963, you will meet Kei Hsiung Yang and Nancy Yan at the Sydney Opera House whilst they visit Australia. You must persuade them to migrate to Australia instead of the United States by impressing them with your commitment to gun control.  These names mean nothing to you. They will become the parents of Andrew Yang, the first Asian-American to seek the Democratic Presidential nomination for the 2020 US election. He will bring back Asian pride and inspire Australia with “MATH” (Make Australia Think Harder) caps.  Goodness knows we need to work on our maths (even you who failed maths in high school managed to become the Treasurer!)

Don’t worry, this lovely Asian lad won’t actually win. His microphone will be switched off during the debates. As Asians are polite, he will not interject or speak over the others. His airtime will only be 2 minutes and 53 seconds. Letting Yang run for PM is to dangle an olive branch for the Asian community to keep quiet if they think Yang has a chance.

In 1988, you accidentally sowed the seeds that you were anti-Asian migration with your “One Australia” policy. You will not suggest the rate of Asian immigration could be “slowed down a little”.  You will focus on the tightened requirements for business visas and family reunion programs on the values of a “fair go”.

Pauline Hanson’s election victory in 1996 seems unavoidable. You must disendorse Hanson as the Liberal candidate for Ipswich much earlier than two weeks before the Federal election. You left it too late last time. Her name still appeared as a Liberal candidate on the ballot paper. We will never know if those ballot papers with Hanson still listed as a Liberal candidate contributed to her maiden victory.

Even if Hanson is elected, you must rise above her. Rather than refusing to say her name and ignoring her unladylike rants, don’t let her take over your podium. You won’t beat her by defending her right to free speech. Instead, you will focus on the migrants’ contribution to economic growth. You didn’t attack her because you didn’t want to make her a martyr. Your Aussie battlers were looking up to you.

During your four Prime Ministerships, there will be plenty of time for you to axe SBS and ABC. Getting rid of SBS and ABC’s left-wing views will appease the ultra conservatives as well as saving millions of dollars. If there is no SBS, then there would be no office of profit under the Crown to invalidate Michael Hing’s 2019 Senate bid! Your role in this chain reaction is crucial.

Before the 2019 Federal election campaign, you will write an op-ed in The Age to attack Labor for their plans to reward unionists with plum Senate seats as their irresponsible spoils of war against businesses.  This critique will pressure Labor to relegate Tim Ayres from second to third place on the NSW Senate ticket. Jason Yat Sen Li, who was placed third, will go on to claim one of the two Labour Senate seats! Your life long battle against the unions will expose their hypocrisy on diversity by not placing Li higher. The public will see you in a different light for coming out of your retirement to advocate for the ethnics. Getting a few Asian Senators elected will be good for the optics.

You must be baffled by how your home-maker mother came up with these crazy ideas.  Ah-Fu is the new Taiwanese chef from the Hurstville RSL Club. He is disillusioned from being attacked by racial taunts on buses and wants to return to Taipei to work for Ding Tai Fung.  I have been chatting with Ah-Fu, who apart from being a chef, also has a PhD in politics. He was a democracy activist in Taiwan suppressed by the Nationalist autocratic rule. Isn’t it amazing that these Asian taxi drivers, chefs and cleaners with Masters and PhDs from their native countries worked so hard here in something else secondary? Go forth and save rice relations.