I received this patronizing email last night which made me cringe and my stomach wretch:

Greetings from Perak, Hi there ! How is your life in Australia. Let me introduce who we are... we call ourselves -deleted-. We are mobilizing young perakeans to come back to the state. We are in the midst of a campaign for Perak Branding. This is a campaign which you can also contribute.When are you coming back to Malaysia? We should meet up as soon as possible. Currently, we are the founder of -deleted- magazine and in the midst of coming out with 5 special stand-alone publications. Why a talented young perakean like you doing in Australia? Why are you contributing your energy and ideas in a foreign country? Come back and we have the right platform for your talent to be appreciated. We are not branding a single product but a state...your home-state. Nice portfolio you got in www.jonathanpoh.com. Hoping to hear from you soon. The Editor

Well I can answer a few of The Editor's questions here. First of all, while it's not that I dislike Perak, unfortunately there is nothing there for me to advance in my career. I have gained far more experience and exposure in the one and a half years I've been living in Melbourne, than the 3 years I had been working and living in Malaysia. Appreciation of my skills and craft is still to be desired, even in KL which is far more cosmopolitan than Ipoh. I've been burnt by clients who think that just because they are paying the money, they have the right to _be_ a designer and make outrageous demands at the sacrifice of design integrity. The industry is a fight to see who's the cheapest, nobody gets paid what their really worth, especially in the creative fields. They demand the Sun and the Moon, and they want it all for RM50, and they want it tomorrow. Melbourne is my home now, and while you always have you roots, unfortunately Ipoh does not have what it takes to cater for my needs to grow and develop. I live a more balanced life here. I get to go cycling on the weekends, have dinner and drinks with friends, I go on road trips outstation to see the countryside. From what I hear, my friends working in Malaysia do not have 'luxuries' like this, when it is not in fact a luxury at all! You are only young once and you spend all your time working yourself to death, for what gain? More money? I don't think so... I have never heard of anybody who stays until midnight in the office ever getting any overtime pay for it. Sucking up to the boss for a promotion? Well if that's what you need to do to move up the in your career, then I'd rather not have it. I'm happy running my own business here, and while it can be difficult at times, there is so much support around here that it's not difficult to find out what you need to know, and encouragement to move on and get things done. I just know I'll be getting flamed by my designer friends for some of my comments above, but would love to hear what you have to say if it's any different from my views. Thanks Perak, but I need a bigger pond to swim in. Until next time...