They Know

Will you bend from morn till the set of sun for 4 years ?
Dodgymi came to work today because I needed extra hands, all thanks to some genius Singaporean smart alec on our supply end who decided to interpret our specs his way. Generally, I like Dodgymi as a person because he is an honest guy. It's very hard to find honest people these days. What is dodgy about him is that he can tell untruths and pass the lie detector at the same time. How can a person be honest and dodgy at the same time? Dodgymi can and defy all impossibilities. That is because most of the times, he don't even know what he perceive as the truths are not.

Over many stints of working with us, I came to know Dodgymi better and eventually learnt how to read his words more accurately. Dodgy as he is, he is one of the most interesting person I came to know in Perth. Each time he comes back to work after a considerable layoff, he will fill us in with his income hunting tales. Personality wise, he is cheerful, careless, funny and sociable. Everyone loves Dodgymi. He is the complete opposite of me.

This time, Dodgymi wanted me to be his partner dealing with labour hire. That's really odd. When I was in Singapore, my colleague from India also asked me to be his partner. Back then, my Indian colleague told me that if I set up a company in Singapore, he will go back to India to recruit peasants through a training school. Each peasant has to pay a princely sum of S$10,000 to Daniel and he will train them up in basic skills to work in a construction site, such as welding or carpentry. Then they will be sent to Singapore and be, in business terms, rented out to companies who needed hands on temporary or long term basis. The initial lump sum, less some meagre training costs, will be then pocketed by the 2 of us. Nice business model eh? 1 man $5000, 10 men $50,000. Easy money. I don't even need to lift much of a finger and Daniel gets to fly back to his beloved country often. Win-win situation. However, I told Daniel, "No, I'm going to Australia to fark kangaroos."

So when Dodgymi asked me to partner him in labour leasing, I stopped for a moment to reflect. Do I look the slightest like a slavemaster? Or do I fit the bill as one because I am a cynical, grumpy old fart? Out of my usual curiosity, I asked for his business plan although I don't have the slightest interest to be a human milkmaid. Apparently, he found contacts through his farm harvesting job who are equipped to help foreigners who are unqualified through the "normal" path gain work visa (and apparently PR later) The candidates will come to Australia as students with student visas. These agents will arrangement for them to learn their courses "online". In the meantime, they will spend their time harvesting in farms as agreed in their "contracts". Someone like Dodgymi will be their supervisor and will be taking care of finding accommodation for them. He will get a cut off their salary for every hour they work. Say for example, if they are paid $21 an hour, $5 will go to the Dodgymi's "boss" and Dodgymi will then take a further cut of $2-3. The labourers will end up making $12-$15 an hour for their harvesting work, depending how much their agents are undercutting them. What was being promised was that, after their student visas have expired, they can apply working visas for them to carry on working. If that is true, this may really lead one to a permanent residency later on. The problem is, I estimate the whole process taking up to 4 years working in a farm for Dodgymi and his friends. Fair trade? I don't know. I guess it's a case of willing buyers, willing sellers.

I told Dodgymi that I have a seemingly endless stream of Singaporeans asking me how an unqualified person can obtain a PR in Australia. His eyes lit up and said, "Go get them for me!" I dismissed him lazily and told him to get his facts right. "Listen my friend, it's Singaporeans," I retorted. "Go and check it out with your contacts and come back to me." I have doubts this channel is available for Singaporeans if we cannot even secure a working-holiday program with Australia.

Unconvinced, Dodgymi called his contact and put her on speaker. The contact was a lady with a clear Aussie accent. When Dodgymi asked, "Singaporeans can?" The voice over the speaker shrilled, "No, no! Singaporeans cannot. They are rich. They cannot work! Please find Malaysians and Vietnamese for me."

I wasn't happy to hear that at all and felt like telling the bitch off. But I couldn't do it. Those were the hard truths. And they knew.


  1. =)) =)) =)) singaporeans really rich meh

    1. one of the richest countries in the world, thus rich.