Who is right? Australia or Facebook?


When facebook removed all news in Australia, the media has a one sided voice to blame Facebook, they even invited someone who cried in a video and said facebook removed the info they needed, but is it a fair comment?

Let’s look at the timeline first:

First there were traditional media, then there was facebook. Facebook did not have any content, it’s just info shared by everyone. Facebook was popular so the traditional media wanted to use this platform to expand their influence. Those media needed facebook so they prepared the paperwork to become registered accounts. Once they were on this popular platform, they received the traffic from facebook and caught the young people’s attention.

What happened next, the traditional media were not satisfied with just the traffic, they wanted facebook to pay them. They lobbied the government to legislate to do so. The government passed the legislation, so facebook had to delete all news in Australia.

A few things should be clarified to see the full picture:

Are the traditional media victims of facebook? Facebook never invited them to join facebook. The media joined and used facebook. if the media groups are not happy with facebook, they can choose to quit. Get out, that’s it! They can’t enjoy the traffic and demand more money from facebook. What is more ridiculous?

Are they facebook posts biased? Yes, very, but so as the mdia. Which news goes to the front page, which one is called breaking news are all biased, so the subjectivity is an ongoing issue and not a facebook problem. The media should be blamed for it first, not facebook.

Who is resonsible for this issue? The government legislated first, so if facebook keeps allowing those content posted in facebook, it will take the risk to breach the Australian law. Has facebook done anything wrong? No, it’s simply a very resposible company that does not want to be in trouble.

Why everyone seems blaming facebook? It’s because most media resources are on the opposite side of facebook, they are struggling to survive at the age of the internet, so they won’t miss a chance to say all bad things of facebook. Most media hide that fact the real reason facebook removed all news is the Australian government has legislated to ask facebook to do so.

Should the government do that? Abosolutely not! The government should be impartial among different economic groups. However, the two parties of this issue are Australian based traditional media that gives the government lots of money and US based social media company that does not give Australian government a damn, so the Australian government chose to support the Australian media group. Is there anything wrong? Probably not as it’s politics.

Why did Google changed the mind and paid the media? Google has its news subscription service whereas facebook doesn’t. They have different strategies.

What will change? Nothing for me. I just won’t read news anymore, there is no news in Australia anyway. People like me who never buy a paper will not buy a peper because of the change of the law, but I do miss some well written internationl news from BBC but unfortunately it’s not availble for me to read on facebook.

Completed the accounts for two listed companies


30 September is the last day to submit the audited accounts to ASX, so I managed to get them both done before the deadline. Phew.

What have I learned? Technically, firstly, I prepared the finance lease asset and liability for the first time according to the new accounting standard. When I was in uni, they talked about the change of removing all off-balance sheet leases. That day is finally coming. I was pretty good at calculating finance leases, now although the lease has a different name, I managed it well. Secondly, I learned how to value options using Black Scholes model. I knew option valuation when I was preparing CFA level 2 exam a few years ago. I understoond fixed income and options were really hard but I never understoon why people wanted to value those options. I hope it’s not too late but I understand the reason now as an accountant. This small issue also reminded me about my passion of finance, so I will pick CFA up one day.

Something not technical? Well, I once worked with auditors in the same office and heard they complaining about the clients all the time, so I know how important to co-ordinate with the auditors to meet their timeline. Given it’s the first year for me to prepare the job, rather than creating my own shedule, it’s much easier to follow their instruction. It’s strange that some people just treat auditors like a supplier, I found the auditors were quite helpful. For this job, they gave me some helpful guidance on option valuation and cash flow reconcilatio, so I can’t really say bad things about them.

I can finally add listed company year end accounts to my resume now.

Uber Drivers in Honolulu


I had a short holiday in Honolulu over the Australia Day long weekend. I stayed in Waikiki island which was full of tourists and close to everything. I took Uber three times to go to the supermarket and restaurants and I met three Uber drivers.

The first one was a very nice lady. Her car was right next to me when I made the order, so I could not even tell the direction on the map. This lady was from New Jersey and moved to the island five years ago when she retired from a job in Newark Airport. She bought one bedroom flat in Waikiki and worked as a Uber driver. She said she took it easy, started late and finished early, so she would not see those drunkies but all nice tourists. She said people in the island were quite different from the big city, so early today she took an old couple from NY and in order to make some conversation, the gentleman asked her some simple questions, then his wife said: why did not ask those questions if you already knew the answer? Typical New Yorker, the lady driver said, and they made awkward conversations not even behind you, like all old and young people who always do the wrong thing. I laughed hard with her and I thought she had a wonderful retirement.

The second guy was an angry man. He didn’t allow me to touch the boot as someone broke it, then he yelled at the red light as it was too long. Anyway, he was from CA, moved to the island when he was 12. He was running a limo company for tourists but it didn’t not run well at the moment so he had a bit of time to do Uber. He had a bad experience in hiring someone to drive his limo as the employee would not treat the car and the passenger in the way as he did. Despite his busy life, he would go golfing in an hour after dropping me. What a nice island life, I said. Yeah, he laughed.

The third guy was a military guy. I was a bit surprised military people are allowed to have a second job but he said it was common. He moved from Atlanta to the island with the job and then settled here. He would retire in 4 years and he was planning his own charted boat fishing business. Currently he was in the process of getting the captain licence and also studying part time with the support from the government. Everything went so well. He was the first person asking me about the bushfires in Australia and I couldn’t believe someone in the island would care about what happened around the world.

The Uber drivers I see in other cities are mostly Indians who can’t get another job but in this island, all Uber drivers have their stories and they like to share with other people. For me, it’s a great experience to know the island a little bit more.

Back from Central America


I recently had trip in Central America, starting from Panama, then Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and finishing in Cuba. It’s a lovely Christmas time.

Panama and Costa Rica are relatively rich countries in the region so nice food and nice hotel and everything was alright. Once I stepped into Nicaragua on a bus, I could see the difference – there was no infrastructure. Even at the border, there was no road or car park for the bus to stop and pick the passengers. The driver just dropped my backpack to the dirt road for security check. and it seemed fine for everyone. I had a chat with some friends in the hostel and realised for the first time that this country was under dictatorship. Soon I realised this was true when I went to the city and saw a square of Chavez.

I had a particular interest to those countries who maintained the diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. Because of the one China policy, Taiwan does not have many friends in the world without diplomatic tie with China, but there are quite a lot in this region. I had a special visit to Taiwan’s embassy to Nicaragua and Honduras and took some pictures. You know there are only less than 20 embassies in the world, even less than the quantity of Disneyland.

The highlight of the trip was Guatemala. I would like to spend a few years there because of its nature and culture. In this trip, I missed a tour to the volcano as the tour was full. Instead I went to a local football game between Antigua and another club. The level of the game was so so but I liked the passion of the fans. It’s a 10 thousand people stadium without proper seats but most people stood there and watched the game to the end like me, supporting their team. The hosting team lost the game in the end but I will still support it.

Cuba was nice but o be honest I don’t like the idea that people had to pay a lot more than local people for everything. China used to do that in 1980s, so for me it’s so old fashioned, communist and ridiculous. It was an experience, but put it in this way, at least Cuba is not a backpacker friendly place, so bring lots of money before entering the country.

Am I coming back? Yes, I think I will learn a bit more Spanish next time. Also I would like to have more adventures in Guatemala.

Full-Time load this year



My study load in 2019 was full time but that inlcuded summer and winter school. In the coming year, I am going to do 3 subjects in one semester. To be honest I am struggling with two units now but the university removed the study load limit in the third year so I am going to have a go in the new year.

For those units, I hope none of them is going to be as boring as Evidence. I also start selecting my electives now and Advanced Company Law is my first one. I hope I can keep all my electives under commercial law and Chinese law. There are some offshore units which are quite interesting too but I will only consider those units next year.

In the new year, I will tell myself that I need to study every week, not those two weeks before the exam. Yes, this is the new year resolution.



I resigned from KPMG as an accountant. Now I am a free man.

I like to work for a big firm. I have to admit, once I am in, I feel it is just a job, but I know for many people it’s a dream job to work for the big four accounting firm. Yes it’s a decent job, but there are so many problems in big firms. Through the 3 years experience there, I found the management team was so comfortable with their own way to do certain things and did not want to change. I started my career in a smaller firm with an innovative leader, so in the beginning, when I joined KPMG, I tried to bring some new ideas such as the workflow management tool to the firm but it was so hard to change anything. Not just the way they do certain things, people are more restricted in big firm too. From my experience, I joined the firm as a compliance tax accountant. Despite I expressed my interest in transaction service and tax advisory several times, I had to be stuck with tax compliance with my direct partner and there was no flexibility.

At this stage, the best option for me is to take a break, not keep doing something I have no passion about. Being a law student is always good too.

Summer School


Last time when I took summer school was in the last year of my last degree. I thought it would need more time to look for jobs, so I took the subject of taxation law over summer. I didn’t go the lecture at all, not even listen to the lecture recording but read some lecture notes. My friend went there and texted me the assignment. I completed the assignment without referring to any lecture material. In the exam, I saw the lecturer for the first time and said hello to him. He was quite a small Vietnamese and looked nice. I didn’t do well in the exam but because I knew who the lecturer was, I emailed him and asked him if I could get a D as I needed it for a PhD application (which never happened later), then I got 70 – Distinction. My friend’s study was even more interesting. He got a full-time job so he didn’t review anything before the exam and he was 100% he would fail but he got a 50 in the end. I would think the lecturer was just a nice person, but he kept sending me emails in the next month and asked me to vote him for the best lecturer of the year. I did it just for the D I received.

The Sydney summer school is a bit more serious. I need another 5 years to finish the degree if I follow the traditional mode, which sounds like forever, so taking summer school to accelerate the study is quite reasonable. I am a bit worried about the study though. Getting ready for the law exam is hard for a full 13 weeks’ study, doing it in two weeks in summer school sounds quite unachievable  Anyway, I hope it is a good decision when I review this year.


Dragon boat


I know dragon boat for long as there is a dragon boat day Day in China. But I didn’t see the dragon boat until I was 24 years old when I was in Hong Kong. I went to Lantau Island on that day and saw a dragon boat race.

KPMG was recruiting dragon boat team members in October last year. I was told dragon boat was a popular sport for team building and KPMG had the dragon boat team for  5 years. The dragon boat race would be in the second week of the Chinese New Year, which is also the closure of the celebration. I didn’t hesitate and paid for my registration. My body was calling for my Chinese blood and I knew it.

The training started in October as well. It was fun for one second then became hard. I needed a full bottle of water for the training and I particularly did not like wearing wet clothes going home but the water was inevitable from the strong peddlers.

On Sunday 25th February, we were at Darling Harbour at 7.30am. The nerves and emotions were etched into everyone’s faces, yes it was the race day. There were 48 corporate teams in the race and every boat has 2 heats. KPMG’s one boat was in the major final and the other was in the minor final. In the minor final, one KPMG boat was narrowly beaten by another team. It wasn’t great news for us waiting for the major final.

I was lucky to be in the major final and it was pretty intense. Westpac clearly didn’t want to be challenged as they were leading the game for almost 10 years. At the starting point, there were war cries from them but our team remained quiet and focused. After a few deep breaths, we started the race. The first 20 strokes were really fast and I could feel everyone wanted to win the game. At 100m, “Go Now, Everything” was from the back of the boat – the traditional call that we had to empty the very last ounce of energy. There was supposed to be a transition with longer and slower stroke but no one slowed down. I followed the person at the front closely. The last 20 seconds was like a long day, but we finally finished. I couldn’t see the result and didn’t know what happened until some KPMG crew were cheering from the bank. I thought we won but the boat was very silent. I once thought what would happen if we won, the funniest scenario was all of us jumped into Darling Harbour, but no, nothing crazy happened. One stoke, two strokes, we moved slowly back to the pier. We took a picture when we jusmped out of the boat with the gesture of Number 1. That was our celebration.


Not sure it was just for us or it was a tradition at Dragonboat race. Everyone from the race used their paddles to build a corridor for us to go through and I just gave high five to everyone. I finally realised that we indeed won the race. It was amazing. On the way back to the crew, I saw the announce board. We finished the race at 50.06s, only 0.22 seconds ahead of Westpac. It was very close but so glad we won.

It was raining on that day and I walked home wet but I had no complaints at all. In the night I heard someone said “Are you ready?” and I put my paddle in the water. Yes, it was a sweet dream.




The old town of Zagreb was small. The cathedral was very tall and from the hill, there was a very beautiful view of the city. However, there were not many tourists compared to Italy, which was great for me. As it was Christmas I went to the mass in the cathedral. Although I did not understand the language, I really enjoyed the music and the atmosphere. I noticed the top part of the cathedral was under maintenance but probably because no one could figure out how to fix it, they used a painting to cover the tower and it looks like it’s been there for a while.

As a vegetarian, I found it hard to live in this part of the world. There was a kebab restaurant next to the hostel but there was no vegetarian option. Interestingly, there is a veggie option for kebab shops in Australia, but they never refer to the final product as a veggie kebab. Instead, they call it a veggie wrap so that the name of kebab cannot be messed up with non meat stuff. As no supermarkets were open on Christmas Day, I had to buy a beef burger and got rid of the beef by myself to change it to a veggie burger. I remember the situation was the same in Poland or Czech when I was there a few years ago. I don’t complain about it. As it was so cold here in winter, people need the energy from the meat.

One thing I do want to complain is that people have to pay a luggage fee for buses in Croatia. I was surprised when the bus driver asked for cash for my bag. Later I googled and found an article on the website explaining the reason for the fee – they argue this is similar to the extra luggage charged by budget airlines so that people only pay what they need – this is just bullshit as there are a lot places in a bus. Basically, I had to get some Euro coins just for the luggage and most of my other expenses could be paid through credit card. The exception of the luggage fee is the the company called Flex which is associated with MegaBus. Flex had wifi on the bus and the check in was via my mobile phone. I guess Flex was considered as non-budget bus company and much better than the others.