(3/3) My ex-wife and I got married in Melbourne. We had a child together, but separated soon after his birth. Then, when he was 3, she abducted him and went back to Singapore. She said she did it because she felt homesick. Luckily, Australia and Singapore are signatories to the Hague Convention, and because he was born in Australia, the Australia government intervened on my behalf and supplied most of the funding for me to get him back.

I was really thinking about his welfare. Having been through the Singapore system, I knew it would be better for him to be educated here. A child is supposed to be a child, they shouldn’t do that much homework, and have that much pressure. They need time to play. And there’s really bad pollution in Singapore when the Indonesians burn their forests. Last year, it went on for 4 months, and the levels were called hazardous. You wouldn’t want a child breathing that in. Here, there’s clean air and fresh food. And in the end, it’s your child – if you don’t fight for him, when he grows up, he’s not going to care about you, or he might not even know who you are.

It took me almost a year and half to get my son back. Now, I’m enjoying being a Dad – he’s like a good mate to me. We go to the cricket together and to the soccer, of course. He’s very happy here. But I feel like time is passing so quickly. I can still carry him, but maybe soon I won’t be able to any more. A kid is only young once – once you lose that time, you can’t get it back.

One of the biggest achievements of my life was when I got his report from kindy, and his teacher wrote that he really loves his Dad. That’s something that money can’t buy.

Malaysia / Singapore
Arrived 2008

This is the first of a series of stories from Melbourne. Thanks very much to those who have already contributed to helping me get around Australia! If you would like to help support this project, please go to: www.youcaring.com/newhumansofaustralia

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