08
Mar
10

 

CHINESE PRIORITIES

Unlike the Malays whose hearts and souls are open books for all and sundry to peer into and yank apart because of their own naivity and gullibility, the Chinese are furtive and oblique about their true loyalties! They prefer to stand on the sidelines as commenters and critics of others rather than provide an honest assessment of themselves and their priorities.

Failing to get meaningful responses from my Chinese friends and colleagues let me try!

What is clear is that traditionally, economic and educational concerns are what motivate the Chinese in Malaysia or elsewhere, what contribute to their feeling of security, no doubt  stemming from a  cultural tradition where wealth and prosperity are the sure routes to societal, even heavenly well-being. Family traditions anchor them to clan and community where their first loyalties lie. Loyalty  to institutions other than their own is rare as in their philanthropy.

Perhaps it is the huge migratory patterns of the Chinese over many generations that have made them a people imbued with a “cut n dry” pragmatism and a “stay or leave” mentality. Unlike the migratory patterns that see the Malays settling  in nearby lands where the religion and culture is welcoming and allow them to assimilate comfortably, the Chinese are all over the world in friendly and unfriendly cultures where the only way to survive is through hard work. Their main concern is to earn a decent living, not to assimilate into the native society or swear profound loyalties to the country that adopts them. It is no wonder then that when they feel they have overstayed their welcome they will “up n go”! Where they are in the majority their assimilatory hold on the minority groups is strong and hard!

However, modern developments in ideas about democracy, equality, human rights, societal freedoms etc have awakened peoples all over the world including the Chinese to concerns other than their own selfish predicament. All in all, a wonderful universal “inclusivism” has emerged giving credence to the ideals of multiculturalism and  social integration where loyalty to humanity, indeed the universal and national vision must supercede the purely personal and racial.

Can the Chinese honestly declare that they are prepared to do this – in Malaysia or elsewhere? Can they say that they will stay and do their bit for the country and society that has nurtured them, their families and clans instead of threatening to leave each time an injustice is perceived! Will they admit that they themselves are party to the corruption and abuse of power, responsibility and human rights that they freely criticise and condemn in others? Can they stop pointing fingers and admit responsibility for one third if not more of the political mess that the country is in?

It is tiring to watch the games that people play and to hear the threats they issue when they themselves are partly to blame !

Can the Chinese honestly declare their priority, loyalty and patriotism once and for all!

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10 Responses to “”


  1. 1 Jon
    March 8, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    …which means 1Malaysia has a long long way to go. Thanks Datin for a subject matter many can only talk about, but not articulated in the way you just did.

  2. 2 ninitalk
    March 9, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Jon – thanks for visiting!

    I believe one of the key ingredients in the making of the 1Malaysia cake is HONESTY!

    National/ social integration, equity, equal rights and all those slogans which politicians spew out will onky work if there is honesty among Malaysians in their dealings with one another on the ground – the pride in their successes and achievements and the honesty to admit their weaknesses and failings!

    If the Malays have taken a bashing for their misguided notions about political supremacy “Ketuanan Melayu” I don’t see why the Chinese cannot be taken to task for their commercial arrogance and protectionism.

    I wonder how much response there will be if there is a mass recruitment of the Chinese into the civil service! I wish my Chinese readers will share their concerns because my Chinese friends and colleagues prefer to be silent!

  3. 3 Tokman
    March 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Why do we need to question the loyalty of the Chinese or other races that have accepted Malaysia as their homeland by being citizens. Each group has a different way of showing her loyalty to a nation. Its just sickening to hear, especially Malay politicians, calling these groups of people as ‘immigrants’ when today most of these Malaysians are born and bred here. As a Malay I will feel very insulted to hear such remarks being hurled at non-Malays with such hatred and anger.The Chinese in particular have contributed well to the development of our country in their own way since the time their great great grandfathers came to Malaya. Malays should not expect the Chinese to behave like the Malays as for most of their lives the Chinese have to fend for themselves to survive! The government from the early days has not being particularly ‘kind’ to them as the Malays have always been suspicious of them. They however, have very special attributes i.e very hard working and never back out under any circumstances. They will find ways and means to achieve their goals by hook or by crook. The Malays are use to the leisurely way of life as they have survived so long under the ‘armpits’ of the government, feeling well protected and secured. Seeing the hardworking Chinese able to secure more then 70% of the economy of the country today make the Malays jealous of their achievements. Its not the fault of the Chinese for what they are today…it was through sheer perseverence and solid hard work! The Malays must realised by now that the Chinese are here to stay whether the Malays like it or not. The Malays have all along been obsessed with ‘political power’ while the Chinese are happy to gain control of the ‘economy’ through whatever methods accepted by those in power. If 1 Malaysia is to succeed forget this animosity and jealousy among the various races in Malaysia as the imbalance in poverty among the races SHOULD have been corrected under the NEP! Now the Malays need to work doubly hard to achieve their dreams of sharing the rich economy of the country.

  4. 4 Anonymous
    March 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Why do we need to question the loyalty of the Chinese or other races that have accepted Malaysia as their homeland by being citizens. Each group has a different way of showing her loyalty to a nation. Its just sickening to hear, especially Malay politicians, calling these groups of people as ‘immigrants’ when today most of these Malaysians are born and bred here. As a Malay I will feel very insulted to hear such remarks being hurled at non-Malays with such hatred and anger.The Chinese in particular have contributed well to the development of our country in their own way since the time their great great grandfathers came to Malaya. Malays should not expect the Chinese to behave like the Malays as for most of their lives the Chinese have to fend for themselves to survive! The government from the early days has not being particularly ‘kind’ to them as the Malays have always been suspicious of them. They however, have very special attributes i.e very hard working and never back out under any circumstances. They will find ways and means to achieve their goals by hook or by crook. The Malays are use to the leisurely way of life as they have survived so long under the ‘armpits’ of the government, feeling well protected and secured. Seeing the hardworking Chinese able to secure more then 70% of the economy of the country today make the Malays jealous of their achievements. Its not the fault of the Chinese for what they are today…it was through sheer perseverence and solid hard work! The Malays must realised by now that the Chinese are here to stay whether the Malays like it or not. The Malays have all along been obsessed with gaining ‘political power’ while the Chinese are happy to gain control of the ‘economy’ through whatever methods accepted by those in power. If 1 Malaysia is to succeed forget this animosity and jealousy among the various races in Malaysia as the imbalance in poverty among the races SHOULD have been corrected under the NEP! Now the Malays need to work doubly hard to achieve their dreams of sharing the rich economy of the country.

  5. 5 ninitalk
    March 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Tokman

    Using your argument that each race is unique in that they are influenced by their own socio-cultural environment, I can also say that the Malay peoples from the outlying areas of the Archipelago had already settled in the Malay lands when the early Chinese merchants and traders arrived from the 7th century. Malay political power (Malacca Sultanate)was at its zenith in the 15th and 16th centuries when the new wave of migrants from China and elsewhere came to take advantage of the thriving entrepot trade. The British brought in Chinese labour to work the mines and the commerce from the late 18th and 19th century with the rise of Singapore and Penang.

    The Chinese had a headstart in commerce and trade, the Malays in politics and government! The Chinese were concentrated in the towns, the Malays in the kampung. The Chinese in the urban areas were exposed to English education, the Malays in the rural areas were exposed to Malay education.

    It was the objective of the NEP to correct the demographic, educational and economic imbalances by creating a more level playing/ working field. And despite the many abuses and mismanagement I’m proud to admit that it has achieved this to a large extent!

    In just 50 years the nation has developed by leaps and bounds in many aspects of its life. The Chinese have prospered, the Malays have developed tremendously as a people. You choose to see the “animosity and jealousy” among the races; I see the “rivalry and competition” among the 4th and 5th generation Malaysians whose forefathers were mostly migrants from different periods in the nation’s history.

    However, the point of my posting is the unhealthy attitudes, name-calling and branding that are fast developing in the current political scenario. When something goes wrong fingers are quick to point at one another.

    My point is – if the Malays are arrogant and presumptious in brandishing their “Ketuanan Melayu” in politics, the Chinese are equally protectionist and selfish in guarding their “Ketuanan Cina” in business and commerce. Instead of threatening to migrate each time there is a political upheaval they should be reaffirming their loyalty and patriotism. Instead of hitting out at the government and its agencies they should be offering their services and expertise! They should work hard at building up the social fabric of the nation as much as they reap its economic and educational opportunities!

    At least we know where the Malays stand vis a vis their land of birth!

  6. 6 Tokman
    March 10, 2010 at 9:02 am

    The Malays are always quick to point fingers at others whereas they should be looking at themselves for their weaknesses. I beg to disagree with you on the point that the Chinese had a headstart in commerce and trade while the Malays focus on politics and government. If the history books were correct we the Malays indulged in commerce and trade in the Malay Archipelago (even with traders from China, India, Arabs etc.) way before the British brought the Chinese to Malaya as labourers. What happened to the Malays after the glorious days of the Malacca Sultanate? What happened to those rich Malay traders then? The Malays involved in trade and commerce, I believe, must have stayed in the ports and towns rather then in the kampongs as you suggested…if they were in the kampong then it was their own choice. The ‘vacuum’ in towns and ports left by the Malays were filled by the other races who started their businesses i.e the Chinese in particular? Leaving the ports and towns meant leaving business and educational opportunities…the Chinese could not speak Malay then but today they are very fluent not only in Malay but also English unlike their counterparts in mainland China. And while we, the Malays, today are still struggling to learn English and very few are fluent in Chinese or Tamil. By the way, you may not agree to this, but Chinese Schools from those days until today offer better system of education, especially in maths and science. The Chinese who were and are today controlling the economy of the country came as labourers (coolies), started small businesses with their small savings and grab every good opportunity that came their way. Suddenly in the 50s the Malays woke up and realised that they had been left behind in this lucrative business world where once they were the ‘Rajas’! The Chinese did not have it easy to be what they are today. Their business acumen and resilience were beyond words. They should be praised for what they had achieved today….through all the sheer hard work, endurance and ‘KOW TOWS’ to survive in this very competitive business world. Who can blame them for adopting such an attitude. On your point that the Chinese are protectionist and selfish in guarding their ‘Ketuanan Cina’ in business and commerce you can only understand the underlying factors for developing such an attitude if you had the opportunity to work in a Chinese family business or a small Chinese Enterprise.

  7. 7 ninitalk
    March 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Tokman a.k.a Tok Man

    You are right in saying the Chinese have succeeded in business through their “business acumen and resilience”, “sheer hard work, endurance and “KOW TOWS” by which I assume you mean giving bribes, and buying titles and privileges from the greedy and corruptible Malays holding the reins of power!

    You are right again – it takes two (private sector businessman and public sector government)to play the survival game and if your priority is to enrich yourself and your family then you jolly well kick the ball at your feet – and kick it hard. If your end all and be all is to make money you can justify every business move that you make, however unethical. Nothing to be proud of really!

    What must happen for Malaysia to survive as a nation with integrity is for all parties to synergise their strengths, skills and expertise in positive, honest and ethical ways instead of blaming each other for the things that go wrong and even for their own shortcomings and failures.

    The Malays have always admitted their weaknesses from the time the British branded them as lazy natives and the Chinese called them “malai kooi”. The rural Malays were treated with disdain and condescension by the affluent town dwellers including the British and Chinese.

    The town Malays were the Jawi Pekan or Jawi Peranakan most of whom resided in Penang and were successful trading competitors and partners of the Chinese there. They gave the Chinese a run for their money as they too were opportunistic and unscrupulous in their business dealings. The Jawi Peranakan turned their high noses down at the kampung Malays whom they considered as uneducated natives. In the other towns the educated Malays were mainly teachers and government servants and, thus, were better respected.

    Do read my earlier postings on the Penang Malays and IMAGES OF THE JAWI PERANAKAN OF PENANG (2004) which substantiate what I’ve argued above.

    The Malaysian races must introspect sincerely and honestly for attitudes to change and prejudices to be wiped out. This is what I’m asking the Chinese to do! Success in business is not the most important measurement of a decent, honourable life!

  8. 8 Gopal Raj Kumar
    March 11, 2010 at 6:57 am

    I will reserve my comments on what other posters have to say about this article which themselves raise issues that need a response. Instead I will comment on the general theme of your article the Chinese. It is a taboo subject that although very much on the minds of many who feel either too intimidated to comment on it as you have or simply feel it is politically incorrect to do so.

    The threat of the Chinese today is best summed up by what Ira Winkler, a former National Security Agency staff and security consultant, said about Chinese intelligence operatives. “They work by approaching ethnic Chinese by reminding them of “Chinese heritage, telling them they must help”. It works everywhere. It works everytime. Their loyalties in the defence and scientific communities of the US have been brought into question on more than one occasion.

    To their credit it is a belief based on their cultural and community structure that creates a virtue of betraying a “Gui” (foreigner or devil) (note the similarity to the Jewish word “Goim” for the same derogatory reference to a Gentile). Wherever they aree they remain Chinese first. And the concepts of forgiveness and mercy, loyalty and love (individual weaknesses) and do not exist outside of that rigid communal cultural construct. Democracy on the other hand is anathema which is why even Singapore struggles with that concept. “where there is order tis wise to obey”.

    The Chinese do have certain core values that are at variance with those core values of many of us. By many of us I refer particularly to those who subscribe to the Judeo Christian values of Islam, Christianity and even Hinduism considering the impact of nearly 300 years of Anglo Celtic domination of the sub continent. European and Islamic values have influenced and shaped Indian thinking in an indelible way to render it consistent with what I refer to the Judeo Christian consciousness.

    Even though there are Chinese who subscribe to the doctrines of the Westminster system and those values of modern western societies imbued with Judeo Christian values, these are but token and cursory and for convenience and are reduced to an insignificant minority.

    The Chinese who now have a stranglehold on the economy and politics even in places like Australia where nearly 700,000 of them are illegal do possess the very characteristics you allude to in your article. Its an all or nothing game for them. The Australian government fully aware of the great hoards invading them have a Sinophile for PM and are petrified of tackling such an issue for fear of being accused of racism again. The Pauline Hanson phenomenon is still fresh in their minds and the Chinese and Chinese government will use it as it has to gain as much advantage as they can with that card.

    Historically the Chinese have never tolerated or benefited from a democratic system anywhere. Taiwan of the last 2 decades have entered into an experimental stage of the concept under enormous US pressure. Hong Kong was a free market economy under British rule and not a democracy. Of its 88 or so seats in the legislature a mere 15 or so were by the ballot. The rest were appointed on the recommendation of the governor.

    The structure of Chinese societies is such that they are geared to living under benevolent and brutal dictators and authoritarians. In the more liberal societies they tend towards using the power of money to steer even the most liberal and principled politicians and systems to bend to their own objectives.

    No other group is so driven by the power of money and material success. And I am glad you have correctly pointed it out in your article on the subject

    There is a plethora of material on the subject but space and time will not permit me to indulge myself here on the subject. Suffice it is to say that their money has found its way
    into the hands of many a so called liberal Malay politician in more ways than one.

    The Malays have nothing to be ashamed of for wanting to dominate Malaysia in every respect. They are the balance we need that has kept the other races motivated to achieve all the greatness they have in a place so tolerant of the diametrically opposed states of existence between them.

    To those who complain amongst the Malays I say this:

    Lest we forget the betrayal of Singapore. The truth remains the truth regardless of who speaks it and for what reason.

    Gopal

  9. 9 Ben
    March 11, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    What used to be described as Overseas Chinese is now referred to as Chinese Overseas.
    That says a lot doesn’t. Thanks Gopal.

  10. 10 nini
    March 12, 2010 at 9:54 am

    FROM GRK

    A NEW WORLD ORDER WHILE THE WORLD SLEPT

    Whilst the world miscalculated and were foolishly driven to the narrow obsessive focus of the US on Islamists, Jihadists, the war on terror (read war on Arabs and Islam) as their new bette noir, creating as many ghosts for their new fictions of shadows behind every tree, the Chinese began a massive mobilisation and break out into the great vacuum created by this madness.

    Whilst the world slept on a new world order even the creators of that concept did not understand and had not adquately prepared for, the Chinese cultivated and set root in Africa the last frontier. They cleverly displaced the Brutal French, The Cruel Belgians, the Oppressive British and Spaniards and their legacies with a modern day equivalent of glass beads and missionaries – Money and Trade.

    With their glass beads, education, stability, cheap loans, the Chinese built railways and ports, other infrastructure and tourist complexes all to be patronised by visiting Chinese tourists and business delegations. They even offered scholarships, military hardware and training to these former European colonies in Africa.

    In return China was welcomed to the raw materials of Africa paid for in Chinese currency and a mix of foreign credits. China had become the new hub of the Africa Trade with the west. It had become indispensible and an inalienable part of the African economic and political landscape. Four centuries of European domination and arrogance was gradually relegated to the rubbish heap of history.

    AN ECONOMIC WAR AGAINST THE CHINESE

    It is widely believed by economic observers that the oil crisis of two years ago was engineered by the parties that control oil, its demand and supply routes and its production. The US that is.

    Seeing as the Chinese would not float their grossly under valued currency (their advantage) and play fair by open market standards, the US decided to engage in some strategic and destructive market manipulation of its own to regain control of massive US dollar stores held in Chinese reserves.

    Oil is after all a commodity denominated in US dollars. China is the world’s largest consumer of oil. It drives its massive economy. The US controls the routes through which oil flows. It produces and controls the vast fields of most oil producing countries in the middle east, the Gulf of Mexico (not to mention its own vast reserves), indirectly Nigeria, Algeria, Indonesia and non OPEC producing countries as well. Venezuela still has only Texas to rely on for refining its vast deposits of heavy crude. So there too it still has agency and clout.

    A year of US$150 Bbl oil prices sucked several billions of dollars in foreign reserves out of Chinese treasuries. As if that were not enough, the US allowed its hopelesssley bloated housing mortgage market, securitised and sold to China and Chinese companies (state owned) with US dollar surpluses. It grew unabated and without adequate regulatory supervisison. US companies and individuals benefitted from the housing bubble for a while in jobs and creation of surplus housing. China held the time bomb which exploded in its hands in 2008.

    When the music stopped an angry China felt the burden of the outflow and the ignominious distinction of holding on to worthless mortgage backed securities in their billions. It turned out not to be as sophisticated as its glass and brass skyscrapers might suggest. In addition and to add insult to injury the largest and the biggest of US finance houses from Morgan Stanley, Citi Corp and even Lehman Borthers all had Chinese money tied up within when the crash came about.

    The US is not a trusted friend and the Chinese know it. But they have what’s now known as the “string of pearls” policy of choking the Indian sub continent. It is where they believe their real threat lies. They will not directly confront their large neighbour. Instead they have cultivated “friends” in places like ASEAN and Australia where they already dominate via the Trojan Horse of the local Chinese communities and apologists to spread their philosophies which come with economic strings attached.

    Australia’s last defence minister was found to have acepted over $200,000 in gifts from a Chinese agent in Sydney who snared him in her honey trap.

    A MALAY LESSON

    In the heat of all of this, Islam al la Malays style has the potential to balance the aggressive expansionsism and false philosophies of those nations from India, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China All of who try to emulate the US and old Europe in their attemts to fill the void left by a faltering US and Europe in colonising Asia and the Pacific.

    The Chinese in our midst in Malaysia are a prime example of the devil we think we know who we really do not know well enough. A life without balance that values material wealth at the expense of anything and everything that moves. From the snake and cockroach to the liberal treatment of prostitution as not a vice but a necessity, from which there is no relief.

    THE GREAT HOARDES

    What we are witness to is the Tsunami of what Robert Gordon Menzeis once referred to as the “invasion of the great yellow hoards”.

    Mao once gave an unelightened and vain Henry Kissinger a glimpse into his thinking. Kissinger boasted to him of the values of freedom of movement of Americans. He also went on to let Mao know that in the west Power is considered the greatest of aphrodisiacs.

    Mao said to him in reurn words to the effect that, China had a lot of beautiful women. He could have 10 million immediately if he wished and that would also show that China too would be happy to allow freedom of movement of their people. He offered Henry Kissinger his choice of 10 million most beautiful women to take back to the US. I don’t think Henry Kissinger quite recovered from that offer.

    CONCLUSION

    The Chinese are enviable for what they can achieve and their ability to work as a community. The Malays are even more enviable for eschewing all of that Chinese corruption and money politics can bring in spite of its being at the expense of pleasures, and temporary not temporal power.

    The fact that they don’t see it is as such is dangerous. The Chinese believe non Chinese do not achieve their standards and dizzy heights of wealth and fame from ruthless dealings because we are weaker and lesser than they are. Little do they know it is because non Chinese despise those traits or do not give them the same level of priority the Chinese do.

    In our midst the Chinese is someone to emulate to a point. The exception is that trait of betrayal. One merely has to read about the extents to which a former leader in the south east Asia region went to pacify the Japanese and gain their patronage in World War 2. Whilst many Chinese men of his age were taken to slaughter for simply being Chinese, he went on to run a Japanese propaganda magazine for the Kempetai. An indulgence of his own desires for power and money at the expense of those he considered lesser beings. It is very typical and not merely an exception to the rule.

    Gopal


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