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Malaysia's Ethnic Politics

September 11th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Malaysia over the years has been known for its share of ethnic violence against Chinese and other minorities. Most recently, Ahmad Ismail, a district chief in the United Malays National Organization ruling party, has been quoted to pronounce:

I urge the Chinese not to become like the Jewish in America, where it is not enough that they control the economy, but they also want to dominate politics.

Consider this a warning from the Malays … the patience of the Malays has a limit. Do not push us against the wall, for we will be forced to turn back and push the Chinese for our own survival.

I am “surprised” that the plight of ethnic Chinese in countries like Malaysia has not gotten more press coverage in the West.

How should the Chinese all over the world react?

1. Demand that Beijing send in cruise missiles, aircraft carriers, and drone fighters to Malaysia with the mission to surgically remove Ismail;

2. Since Beijing does not have cruise missiles, aircraft carriers, and drone fighters, demand a world embargo of Malaysia until it gives its ethnic Chinese citizens full political rights and voice;

3. Laugh it off as a quirk of local Malaysian politics; or

4. Ask the Chinese brethren in Malaysia to refrain from politics in Malaysia, thus acting as true Confucian disciples and helping Malaysia built a lasting harmonious and peaceful society.

——————–

Sample Comments:

  1. Hongkonger
    September 11th, 2008 at 07:44 | #1

    I’d say, “Laugh it off as a quirk of local Malaysian politics,” although suggestion # 1 is attempting. 😉

  2. Hongkonger
    September 11th, 2008 at 07:45 | #2

    Correction: I’d say, “Laugh it off as a quirk of local Malaysian politics,” although suggestion # 1 is tempting. 😉

  3. jch
    September 11th, 2008 at 09:03 | #3

    there are “quirks” who say those types of things in all countries (see: leader of Iran, comment by a Chinese general of sacrificing all cities east of Xi’an during nuclear war with the US, Jerry Falwell, etc)

    additionally, given the ethnic balance in Malaysia and its current political organization, it is very unlikely that ethnic Chinese will gain any real political power nationally any time soon.

  4. Michelle
    September 11th, 2008 at 10:25 | #4

    The headline of the story, *Malaysia to Punish Official for Racist Remarks*, indicates that this kind of remark was received poorly at best at home (in fact it was unanimously condemned by the ruling coalition) and does not represent any kind of official stance. Considering it *a quirk of local Malaysian politics* is considering it, on some level, an official stance, which is a gross misinterpretation.

    Having lived in Malaysia, I am aware of serious racial tensions, mostly stemming from the ‘affirmative action’ policy. Whether this consitutes a severe enough violation to advocate miliary action from a foreign country, well… i’d say that there are probably more problems in Indonesia than Malaysia for ethnic Chinese, so bomb them instead. As far as violations against Chinese full political rights and voice go, China’s still the biggest violator.

    Through my experience in Malaysia and close personal relationships with people (mostly Indian but a few Chinese) there it it seems that Indian Malaysians think of themselves as Malaysian and Chinese Malaysians think of themselves as Malaysian. They are fighting for what they want in their own country. They have leverage if not full power, and can and will fight for themselves. No need for a foreign coutry to interfere.

    As for the “Western Media”, I’ve read quite a bit about this issue over my years in Singapore in the western and other media. And I could say I’m surprised that the plight of Indian communities in Malaysia doesn’t get more media covereage in China.

    I know this post was written tongue in cheek, sorry for my serious response.

  5. Netizen K
    September 11th, 2008 at 11:16 | #5

    Principally, Chinese Malaysians should punish politicians who causes ethnic divisions by voting against them and their party. Defeating them on the poll is the best punishment. Failing that, sue them in court. It can be useful route as well.

  6. TommyBahamas
    September 11th, 2008 at 14:12 | #6

    @Michelle,

    well… i’d say that there are probably more problems in Indonesia than Malaysia for ethnic Chinese, so bomb them instead.

    I think “they” already did that…

    One of US greatest living geniuses, Dr. Noam Chomsky writes:

    The sordid history must be viewed against the background of US-Indonesia relations in the post-war era The rich resources of the archipelago, and its critical strategic location, guaranteed it a central role in US global planning. These factors lie behind US efforts 40 years ago to dismantle Indonesia, perceived as too independent and too democratic – even permitting participation of the poor peasants. These factors account for Western support for the regime of killers and torturers who emerged from the 1965 coup. Their achievements were seen as a vindication of Washington’s wars in Indochina, motivated in large part by concerns that the “virus” of independent nationalism might “infect” Indonesia, to use Kissinger-like rhetoric.”

    Mr Suharto’s rule relied crucially on US support. [The Indonesian army relied on the US for 90% of its arms] He has been a favourite of Western governments and investors since he took power in 1965. To sustain his power and violence, the White House has repeatedly evaded congressional restrictions on military aid and training: Jimmy Carter in 1978, Bill Clinton in 1993 and 1998. The Clinton Administration also suspended review of Indonesia’s appalling labour practices while praising Jakarta for bringing them “into closer conformity with international standards.”

    http://mondediplo.com/1998/06/02chomsky

  7. TommyBahamas
    September 11th, 2008 at 14:44 | #7

    I found this very interesting article. Do we have any SE Asia Anthropologists or Malaysian experts here?

    Has anyone read the book entitled “Contesting Malayness – Malay Identity Across Boundaries”?
    Aparently, according to Anthropologists, there is no such race as the “Malays”. The original migration of Southern Chinese of 6,000yrs ago to Taiwan, (Alisan), then into the Phillipines ( Aeta) and into Borneo (4,500yrs ago) (Dayak). Then there are the Sulawesi of Java and Sumatera. The final migration was to the Malayan Peninsular 3,000yrs ago. There are also traces of the Dong Song and HoaBinh migration from Vietnam and Cambodia. To confuse the issue, there was also the Southern Thai migration, from what we know as Pattani today. (“Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsular”)

    Of course, we also have the Minangkabau’s which come from the descendants of Alexander the Great and a West Indian Princess. (Sejarah Melayu page 1-3)

    So the million Dollar Question… Is there really a race called the “Malays”? All anthropologists DO NOT SEEM TO THINK SO.

    Neither do the “Malays” who live on the West Coast of Johor. They’d rather be called Javanese. What about the west coast Kedah inhabitants who prefer to be known as “Achenese”? or the Ibans who simply want to be known as IBANS. Try calling a Kelabit a “Malay” and see what response you get… you’ll be so glad that their Head-Hunting days are over.

  8. September 11th, 2008 at 17:23 | #8

    @TommyBahamas – An friend of mine was involved in a study of the genetic history of Malaysia – until they got shut down by local politicians that is, now she studies the DNA of bees – “much less controversial” was her was of putting it.

  9. Daniel
    September 11th, 2008 at 17:49 | #9

    I’d say leave them alone. It is their country and they do think of themselves as Malaysian…the Chinese part is only because of their heritage they were born into and still celebrate in measurable amounts. The Malaysian-Chinese and Malaysian-Indians (mostly Tamil I think) do have the spirit and resourcefulness to tackle their challenges and determine their own paths.

    Studying genetic history is a bit “controversial” in a lot of places around the world. I remember watching a program on the history channel or learning channel when they were talking about the Tarim Basin Mummies. So much speculation and questionable theories and motives “supposedly” regarding that study. In the end, or at least as of now…many people who worked with it are saying the past was a lot more “cosmopolitan” than most people today assume. The Tarim Basin settlers were descended from all over Asia with quite vaguely related to the people in Europe (who also have a very “colorful” background, pardon my words) . At least, that’s what I learned so far.

    I’m pretty sure a lot of people don’t care and the people behind these ethnic politics only see and use the “superficial layer” rather than taking such studies seriously. However, that’s sort of politics for you all. Use whatever you can to achieve your personal goals or as an excuse for the slips.

  10. September 11th, 2008 at 17:52 | #10

    @TonyBahamas – Of course, by the same standard there is no race called ‘Han Chinese’.

  11. tontp4
    September 11th, 2008 at 17:58 | #11

    Be a good citizen in your adopted country.

  12. TommyBahamas
    September 11th, 2008 at 19:35 | #12

    Daniel—” the past was a lot more “cosmopolitan” than most people today assume. ”

    Hey, I think the past is also a lot more advanced in technology than we assume too. I don’t believe the bible is the word of God, but a book of myth, legends and also ancient history of the Hebrews. As a history book, it tells us that indeed once upon a time, after the great deluge, we all spoke One Language – who knows what, maybe it was Babelonese, an artificial language like Esperanto?

    FOARP — You are right. Frankly, I am as confused about Han ren/Tang ren, as I am about the Jews/Hebrews! With the Hebrews there are supposedly 12 tribes, right? God knows how many different tribes there were when Qin united China 2,229 years ago. And, when Han Dynasty came along, it became strong and prosperous, and so I guess for political prestige and other reasons, most of the different tribes became honorary Hans. How ? Did they adopt Han’s fashions – changed to Han clothings and hairstyles?
    I mean, seriously, if it weren’t for the ethnic clothings, I wouldn’t know a Man-chu from a Miao-chu from a Bai-chu etc. in any Chinese cities.

    To me, a Zhong Guo ren is a Hua ren or a Tang ren, I don’t remember ever saying that I was a Han ren before living in the PRC, though.

  13. Daniel
    September 11th, 2008 at 20:28 | #13

    It may sound a little weird for others but personally, the more I learn about Chinese civilization with it’s history, culture(s), etc. the more I am starting to think that it’s almost like a world on it’s own. There are elements within it that can almost relate to many different cultures around the world…past and present.

    It’s understandable if many are uncomfortable reading or discussing such topics like the Malaysian ethnic politics. Some might wonder what place it has in this blog, however, the world is quite interconnected and historically speaking, many Chinese have one of the most mobile and strong networking traditions.
    In addition to the usual empire building tactics of the past, intermarriages, high birth-rates, longer lifespans and “adoptions” (some forced or voluntary) of the non-Chinese people, the mobile-networking traditions is also a strong factor how the realm got so big.

    Also it may be recommended to try not put a “modern bias or romanticized view in whatever spectrum” on history. How we define ourselves today has some significant differences with the past. Knowing those differences is helpful towards understanding and progressing ourselves. It’s not easy for some people due to various, semi-justified reasons.

  14. September 11th, 2008 at 21:12 | #14

    @FOARP

    Of course, by the same standard there is no race called ‘Han Chinese’.

    I wonder if Han Chinese can really be identified genetically – or whether Han Chinese is just a cultural definition of a group of people who has adapted the “Han” culture…

  15. September 11th, 2008 at 21:15 | #15

    @TommyBahammas

    To me, a Zhong Guo ren is a Hua ren or a Tang ren, I don’t remember ever saying that I was a Han ren before living in the PRC, though.

    The only time I heard of the use Han to describe anything related to me is the Chinese language (Han zi) I use. I never ever heard of anyone in my family or relatives or schools describing ourselves as Han people (Han ren).

  16. wukong
    September 11th, 2008 at 22:05 | #16

    During my college days we only identified each other as Northerner or Southerner, Hubei Ren(native) or Hunan Ren etc.

    Only after I came to US, I was reading news reports saying how Han Chinese were oppressing Tibetans and destroying Tibetan culture, it suddenly came to me: holy shit! I am a Han, I am the oppressor!

  17. September 11th, 2008 at 22:21 | #17

    To echo wukong’s experience, when I was growing up in Taiwan, according to our very local/provincial view, the major categorization of people included ben shen ren (native of the province), wai shen ren (Chinese from outside the province), ke jia ren (people from an area at the border between Fujian and Canton), and wai guo ren (non-Chinese foreigners).

  18. NMBWhat
    September 11th, 2008 at 22:54 | #18

    I’m actually a Han Ren from the 31st century. My mission is to observe my fellow brethren in the 21st century.

    And damn, YOU PEOPLE ARE A STRANGE BUNCH.

    Like WTF…

  19. Oli
    September 11th, 2008 at 23:17 | #19

    @NMBWhat/RMBWhat

    I like your irrelevant sense of humour. You ought to be a fan of Steven Chow’s movies (Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle etc.). Keep it up, but watch out for the Men in Black. 😉

  20. BMY
    September 11th, 2008 at 23:51 | #20

    @FOARP #8 “…now she studies the DNA of bees – “much less controversial” was her was of putting it.”

    It was such a good move for your friend

  21. BMY
    September 12th, 2008 at 00:04 | #21

    To echo Allen’s experience of echoing wukong’s experience.

    There were a Mongol boy from Beijing, a Manchurian girl from JiLin and a TuJia girl from Hunan in my uni class. They always called themselves and were called by others Beijing Ren, DongBei Ren, Hunan Ren.

    After I came overseas, I found foreigners sometimes put much more focus on Chinese ethnicities in China than Chinese ourselves do. It’s very interesting.

  22. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 00:39 | #22

    “After I came overseas, I found foreigners sometimes put much more focus on Chinese ethnicities …”

    When an American says, “My buddy will be joining us in a minute, he is from California.” Or a Canadian says, ” He is a big mofo, 6’4 and all muscles from Calgary, he will be here in a minute.” 70-90% of the time we think they’re talking about a white person on their way–Even if the speaker is say, a Black American or an Asian Canadian, or an Arab Brit, right?
    THEN, there’s this prhase, “White-wanna-bes,” which I suppose is not a nice term, but why’s that a bad thing?
    What do we call them non-black kids that wanna dress, move,dance,talk like a black rapper or a Jamaican rasta man? And is that COOL and fashionable?
    I know, for me anyways, it is very COOL to see a black man do Kung Fu, or best e.g. Da Shan do XianShen, etc., but certainly not so cool to watch Jackie Chan make a fool of himself speaking English like a clown in Hollywood movies. But, WHY all these double, triple standards?

  23. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 01:02 | #23

    I don’t get it,with you guys. When talking about crooked teeth was in vogue, people would focus on the title of an article without accounting for its content, in order to inflame. Now, you focus on one person’s statement without accounting for the tenor of the article’s title, nor the thrust of the official government response; I’m not sure if the intent is to inflame, or generate discussion. I’m hoping it’s the latter, but sometimes I’m not so sure.

    What I am sure about is that Chinese Malaysians and Indian Malaysians may be Malaysians of Chinese and Indian descent respectively. But they are Malaysians first and foremost, and it would be helpful if they and others considered them that way. BTW, before someone tries to equate that to Tibetans as Chinese first and foremost, the difference is that Tibetans were indigenous in their land, while the Chinese and Indians went to Malaysia.

  24. September 12th, 2008 at 01:40 | #24

    @SKC,

    I think you may have understood this little post. The tone was more tongue-in-cheek than inflammatory. The focus was clearly on one person – with no representation being made on the entire country (unlike the Western media).

    And if you look at the meat of the article (the four options), you will see: 1.) pokes fun at the U.S.; 2.) make fun at China: China ain’t really a superpower (at least not yet); 3.) the term “quirk of local Malaysian politics” was used specifically to suggest that we are talking about an anomoaly of a “local” politician here; and 4.) pokes fun at the CCP (should all Chinese commoners be model citizens of the meek?).

  25. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 01:41 | #25

    I hope your intends too are to generate discussions. Who, may I ask has even hinted on it and why do you bring this up “before someone tries to equate that to Tibetans”, if not to aggravate/inflame? There are already over 450+ comments and debates on Tibet elsewhere on this site, we are here talking about Malaysian Chinese in a country where people are the most multi-lingual and multi-cultural no matter what their ethnicity, and that is something that few countries in the world can celebrate.
    AS for Ahmad Ismail’s threat, it is so ridiculously ethocentric and racist that, apparently there isn’t much to add after Michelle’s and jch’s comments: jch put it well, ” there are “quirks” who say those types of things in all countries (see: leader of Iran, comment by a Chinese general of sacrificing all cities east of Xi’an during nuclear war with the US, Jerry Falwell, etc)”

    “Tibetans were indigenous in their land,”

    And you know this for a fact because…?

    “while the Chinese and Indians went to Malaysia.”

    Yes, we know THAT. Well, actually, I should say who the hell knows, because like what FOARP and Daniel had suggested, it is a can of worms, and not even Anthropologists could agree among themselves. But anyways here’s at least some scientific generalization:
    “According to AnthropologistsThe original migration of Southern Chinese of 6,000yrs ago to Taiwan, (Alisan), then into the Phillipines ( Aeta) and into Borneo (4,500yrs ago) (Dayak). Then there are the Sulawesi of Java and Sumatera. The final migration was to the Malayan Peninsular 3,000yrs ago. There are also traces of the Dong Song and HoaBinh migration from Vietnam and Cambodia.”

  26. September 12th, 2008 at 01:48 | #26

    Had my intention been to inflame, I’d probably have chosen a title such as “Malaysia Goes over the Top in Starting Ethnic War Against Chinese Minority.”

    Then I’d write:

    ———————-beginning of incendiary post—————

    Malaysia over the years has been known for its share of ethnic violence against Chinese and other minorities. But they have gone over the top this time. A top government official, Ahmad Ismail, has been quoted to say:

    I urge the Chinese not to become like the Jewish in America, where it is not enough that they control the economy, but they also want to dominate politics.

    Consider this a warning from the Malays … the patience of the Malays has a limit. Do not push us against the wall, for we will be forced to turn back and push the Chinese for our own survival.

    I am incensed that the plight of ethnic Chinese in countries like Malaysia has not gotten more press coverage in the West. No one cares about us except we ourselves. We Chinese must stand together. We must show the world that such acts are no longer tolerable.

    When are we Chinese ever going to stand up?

    ———————-end of incendiary post—————

  27. Daniel
    September 12th, 2008 at 01:58 | #27

    Most of the comments here are pretty mild and fairly reasonable–give or take, SK Cheung.
    Others have already mentioned, and I’m pretty sure many agree but didn’t type or say so, that this is a Malaysian internal affair. In all seriousness, other than the 3rd option possibly, none of the purposals by Allen are going to happen. Just another one of those topics to dwell about.

    Plus, a lot of these Malaysians were most likely born there…possibly more than 3-4+ generations ago and maybe some family members that immigrated there once in a while. There were already Chinese settlers there since Ming dynasty, although it’s uncertain if a lot of them are descended from those times but speculate. Another idea to dwell on is that there are Malaysians out there who are descended from all 3 major ethnic groups. So, depending on how one wants to define people, some may have a claim to be part of the indigenous history.

    In most cases, others may disagree, this would be their native homeland, ancestorial possibly. They may not be the earliest recorded inhabitants, yet people have been moving around for many millenia. However, I understand the unlikely possibility some might want to make between them and Tibetans or other minority groups. Also as always, politics is a messy, dirty business.

  28. Daniel
    September 12th, 2008 at 02:13 | #28

    Sorry….I need to change one of the sentences of the last paragraph.
    *However, I understand the unlikely possibility some might want to make between them and Tibetans.*

  29. Oli
    September 12th, 2008 at 02:18 | #29

    I suggest people look at the the development of the “Malay” identity during the colonial and post-colonial eras, British colonial policies and how being a “Malay” is different from being a bumiputra (google bumiputra and Malaysia Negrito). Its more ambiguous than the Malaysian government, Malay “chauvinists” or non-Malaysians make it out to be.

    As for Indegenous in their land, well, it depends relatively on how far back in time one goes, If you are an evolutionist then we are all Africans and if you are creationist then we are all God’s children. Either way, we are all just passing through, but must perforce make the best of our time here, unless of course if you are buddhist/christian/moslem then everything is relative and hope springs eternal and every action is justifiable by God/Allah/Yahweh/reincarnation. And if you are an atheist or an agnostic then there is ideology, philosophy and moral codes etc.

    As for human “racial” diffrences, we are no different from pedigree dogs or specialised lab rats, except that the different human racial groups and its distinguishing features (ie pasty skin, slanty eyes, afros etc. and screw PC) are the result of genetic mutations brough on by environmental and social forces, ie social and natural Darwinism. But this never prevents some nutters from asserting racial superiority based on divine preference, “manifest destiny” or some other manifest idiocy.

    Sorry, long day, too much whisky induced circular pensiveness.

  30. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 02:39 | #30

    @Oli,

    Pray tell, what brand of Whisky do you drink, or “tabacco”you smoke? I want to be as good a writer as you, sir/Ma’am 🙂

  31. Michelle
    September 12th, 2008 at 02:52 | #31

    **“Tibetans were indigenous in their land,” **

    **And you know this for a fact because…?**

    Is this really in dispute ??? despite all of the historical evidence that people talk about and agree about concerning contact between people in (non-tibetan) China and people in Tibet across the centuries? And all the conversations about Tibet here, no one ever (to my recollection) ever contested the fact that Tibetan people are from Tibet.

    @Tommybahamas and Allen Re: Thinking of oneself as Han

    It’s very interesting that you guys never thought about yourself as Han. Isn’t it / wasn’t it on your 身份证 under 民族? (I’m guessing you are from PRC, sorry if i’m wrong). I do agree that north americans (especially white ones) cling to ways to differentiate ourselves from others through birthplace, etc. Many don’t want to be identified with the country as a whole especially if our political views jar with those of the rest of the country. This is why NYers and Cali-ians tend to be the ones at the vanguard of this trend.

    @ Tommybahamas

    I’m not sure why you brought up US / Indonesian relations, true as that blurb might be. This conversation is not about the US regardless of what underhanded things it’s been up to. Maybe you can explain the connection better?

  32. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 02:55 | #32

    To TommyBahamas #25:
    “Most Chinese and Indian Malaysians are descendants of 19th and early 20th century immigrants” – copied from the linked article.

    “while the Chinese and Indians went to Malaysia.” – what I wrote. I dunno, maybe some common thread there, ya think?

    I wasn’t talking anthropology. If you’re going to talk anthropology, and went back far enough, we all came out of the oceans, or from the Garden of Eden, depending on your persuasion.

  33. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 02:57 | #33

    NMBWhat / RMB What #18

    LMAF…that was funny.

    So, what do Han Ren from the 31st century eat, wear, speak, look like? Do they have slant eyes, high cheek bones, petite or on average huge like Yao Ming? What language do Han ren speak in in your century, and what do Han characters look like — even more simplified or totally obsolete? Inquirying mind wants to know.

  34. BMY
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:05 | #34

    @Michelle,

    I think neither Allen nor Tommy was born in PRC.

    It’s true that there was a 民族 on my ID . I never really had that strong feelings of my Han ethnicity different from my Muslim neighbor or Mongol neighbor in the building we lived while I was in PRC apart from everyone’s paper ID.

  35. Michelle
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:05 | #35

    “Be a good citizen in your adopted country.”

    Malaysia is not their adopted country. It’s their country.

  36. BMY
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:09 | #36

    @TommyBahamas #30

    Oli loves 二锅头 I think. That’s what 李白drinked I was told. 🙂

  37. Daniel
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:12 | #37

    It’s a bit easier for us sitting behind the computer screen or whatever environment you all feel comfortable and safe in, to discuss freely and somewhat objectively regarding topics such as this. However, it’s a little different than some who have to deal with such concepts, up to the face at times.

    A lot of times, so many times, constantly everytime…I wish many would back off on the racial comments, even if it were meant to be offensive-humor. Sometimes I wonder if such jokes can cause harm since they often be-little, de-sensitize the nature of those words and phrases where people forget why it was bad in the first place. Maybe that’s the point but you all are aware of how twisted some people are. FYI, I can take a joke, it’s just a topic to dwell on.

    Unless one was very young, ignorant, isolated or have trouble with memory, nearly everyone (in the developed societies of North America especially) knows the fact that we all are equal. We all know that the limited stereotypes, assumptions negative or positive isn’t absolute in judging people. We all know that being shallow isn’t reliable and there’s always something beyond the superficial layer. We all know that many that the terms we use to define ourselves aren’t absolute too. We may not have to deal with institutional discrimination, but those feelings and beliefs persists for whatever reason.

    It’s great to express that with such ease and a bit of humor but hard if anyone has to personally face someone, a group of people or individuals with authority who show those questionable sentiments. Whoever said it’s not a big deal is probably out of touch with the reality of how people truly are and can be.

  38. NMBWhat
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:14 | #38

    I suggest we, the obvious superior —-, demonstrate our superiority by lighting a fire on the 68th floor of the P towers and let thermal expansion take it’s course. By the power of kinetic energy the tower will be incinerated… Giving us an excuse to …

    I don’t know what? What shall we do next Pinky?

  39. The Trapped!
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:18 | #39

    It seems the word “Tibet” is like a rolling hot iron ball, wherever it rolls, there is noise.

    Well, if Malaysian Chinese are citizen of Malaysia and still they are faced ethnic violence, then our only way to help them is calling for pressure from all directions on those evil-minded politicians, if that is not violating our government policy of not interfering other country’s internal affair.

    And if we understand the word “Chinese” in term of politic, then it only refers to the citizens of China, not any race or nationality. The only reason why Tibetans can be called Chinese Tibetans is that they are citizens of PRC. So, if one understand the word “Chinese” sames as Hanren, then there is contradiction, because then Tibetans in Chinese has to be called as Hanren Zangren, or Hanzu Zangzu. So, if “Chinese” in Malaysia are citizens of Malaysia, then they should be called Malaysian Hanren or Tangren, because the word “China” these days means Zhongguo and the word “Chinese” means Zhongguoren. And Zhongguo and Zhongguoren are referred to a country and the citizen of the country, not certain nationality or race and their hometown. In short, Malaysian Tangrens/Hanrens can not be called Chinese unless they have two passport, one Malaysian and one Chinese. And same goes to Tangrens in other countries.

  40. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:19 | #40

    Michelle: Is this really in dispute ???
    Nope. I was just playing with SKC there, who inadvertantly helped me with your rhetorical question: “If you’re going to talk anthropology, and went back far enough, we all came out of the oceans, or from the Garden of Eden, depending on your persuasion.” Maybe even from Atlantis, or another planet(s)…;-)

    Hmm, as for my IDs, lemme check. Nope, no mention of 民族 on both IDs.

    “Many don’t want to be identified with the country as a whole”

    I did not know that. Interesting. What do you call that?
    I guess there are those who’d put bumper stickers on their cars that says,”Proud to be an American,” and those who are perhaps fans of George Carlin and the likes, huh?

    “This conversation is not about the US regardless of what underhanded things it’s been up to.”

    Oh no, of course you are right. This conversation is not about the US, neither is this conversation about Indonesia, but since Indonesia came up, I thought I’d throw in Noam Chomsky’s (hardly mentioned in world MSM) views on the Indonesian atrocity under Suharto which had caused so much bloodshed and misery for its people for so long.

  41. Michelle
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:19 | #41

    BMY:

    After reading this thread yesterday I thought about my experiences over many years in my Chinese workplace. I know a bit about who is what ethnicity, but I do know where *everyone* is from because this is what people dwell on and make the most stereotypical comments about. (He’s from such-a-place so he’s xyz.) It’s interesting.

  42. BMY
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:21 | #42

    @S.K.C #23

    everyone agrees they are Malaysian first and Malaysia is their country. same applies to Indonesia or other

    That’s why PRC and ROC governments didn’t really do anything last time when there was the violence against ethnic Chinese in Indonesia(and Malaysia)

    But what happened to some other governments after there were violence from black Zimbabweans against white Zimbabweans.

    I am not able to judge which reaction is right or wrong. I only see the difference

  43. September 12th, 2008 at 03:23 | #43

    Just a survey for all: if anyone think this post was written in a poor taste – please let me know. I don’t mean to demean Malaysia or the Chinese experience in Malaysia. But I did think this was an important issue to discuss (class warfare that takes on ethnic dimensions) and – maybe even test the Chinese notion of nonintervention (do most Chinese truly feel this is Malay’s own internal affairs (I had assumed most would feel this way) – or do some feel an inkling of anger and want some sort of intervention?).

  44. BMY
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:26 | #44

    @Michelle #41

    you are absolutely right about the stereotype among different origin of Chinese people. There are lot’s of jokes.

  45. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:34 | #45

    NMBWhat Says: “demonstrate our superiority by lighting a fire on the 68th floor of the P towers and let thermal expansion take it’s course.”

    BUT, first how do you suggest we, the superior ones, “Ninja” a bunch of implosive experts without tripping the alarms? Oh, I forgot, you are a time-traveller from the 31st Century. Now make sure all the VIPs are informed to not go to work on the designated day, ok?

  46. Daniel
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:40 | #46

    I want to disagree with Trapped but the more I think about it, your statement can be right. However, the word “Chinese” means more than just being a citizen of the PRC. For the sake of others, I understand the reasoning behind why it should be refer just citizenship but it’s not quite how many around the world view it.
    Maybe if there was another word in the other languages to use other than Chinese, Chino, Chinoise, etc. Or be like France where the way they define demographics is mainly foreign born or native born.
    Would the entire world be ok to accept the term Hau Ren in their languages?
    It leaves little space and opportunity for some to exploit it for political or nationalistic purposes, on the other hand, it could do that as well. The other issue is like others said the other traditional non-Han groups under PRC definitions.

    I don’t think this article was written in poor taste. It could have been better but you know, we can’t accomodate for all the little grievences others have or else, why bother typing at all. So far, most of the comments generated are in response to each other.

  47. Wukailong
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:40 | #47

    @Allen (#17): In PRC now, people seem to divide people up as follows:

    Zhongguoren – Han Chinese, mostly.
    Waiguoren – White people.
    Heiren – black people.
    Ribenren, Hanguoren.
    Minorities.

  48. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:52 | #48

    Waiguoren – White people,

    Actually any foreigners especially if we don’t know their Nationalities including our asian neighbors, folks from the philippines, Malaysia for example.
    .

  49. Michelle
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:54 | #49

    Tommybahamas:

    Thanks for clarifying. Just for fairness, the quote: “If you’re going to talk anthropology, and went back far enough, we all came out of the oceans, or from the Garden of Eden, depending on your persuasion.” came from SKC.

    “Many don’t want to be identified with the country as a whole” – well, maybe i overstated it. But there is a siege mentality in some groups which makes them not identify with the whole.

  50. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:57 | #50

    To BMY#42:
    Agreed. Mugabe gives democracy a bad name.

  51. Wahaha
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:58 | #51

    “Actually any foreigners especially if we don’t know their Nationalities including our asian neighbors, folks from the philippines, Malaysia for example.”

    Very few people from southeast Asia in China,

    I agree with WKL that Waiguoren means white people, but not from East Europe, lot of chinese in America classify them as “Russians”.

  52. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 03:58 | #52

    It must be my poor writing, but I did (intended to) credit SKC:

    “I was just playing with SKC there, who inadvertantly helped me with (answering ) your rhetorical question: “If you’re going to talk anthropology, ..”

    Cheers

  53. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:03 | #53

    Allen Says:
    Just a survey for all: if anyone think this post was written in a poor taste –

    Like Oli said, “Screw PC.”

    Poor taste? The only thing that taste bad is Ahmad Ismail’s racist BS..

    I agree with Netizen K’s “Defeating them on the poll is the best punishment. Failing that, sue them in court.”

  54. NMBTroll
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:04 | #54

    I dunno man. But when I’m with my cousin when we visit his cousin in Tianjin we can’t help but point our fingers at Tianjin Ren and laugh. HAHAHAHA…

    (No offense to any Tianjin Ren)

  55. wukong
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:06 | #55

    @Allen # 43

    I don’t see anything wrong with your post. On the other hand, I am annoyed with whoever is nitpicking you about it. haha.

    By any indication, average Chinese care a lot about how oversea Chinese are treated by their own adopted country. Any anti-Chinese incident easily becomes hot topic on internet forums, if not on printing press.

    As for China government, my opinion is it will hanker down and do nothing about it. It’s strictly Malaysia’s internally affair. But that doesn’t mean China is indifferent to the issue, it’s just the government has learned to hold its tongue better. This Chinese government doesn’t have a big stick, so it has to speak softly.

    But that doesn’t mean China hasn’t or won’t do anything to improve oversea Chinese’s condition in their native country. On the contrary, ethnic Chinese’s situation in SE Asian have improved a lot during the last decade, and this has a lot to do with China’s behind of the scene work, like signing the Code of Conduct with ASEAN, bailing out their financial crisis, singing free trade treaties, and increasing trading relations.

    Chinese in SE Asia countries are now more vocal in demanding their rights and protesting racial discrimination, where they would just grin and bear it 20 years ago. This is the progress of the time, but also because of China’s successful diplomacy in her neighborhood.

  56. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:07 | #56

    To Allen #43:
    you get the benefit of the doubt with me. My personal difficulty with blogging is that peoples’ tongue in cheek sarcasm style humour is hard to grasp, without knowing that person’s baseline writing style. And adults should have a daily quota of smiley faces that they should not exceed. So it’s something I’ll have to work on.

    But i think any talk of intervention is way off base. If PRC citizens in Malaysia were being systematically discriminated against, then China SHOULD intervene. But if it’s one Malyasian to another (regardless of ethnic descent), there’s no role for PRC/ROC in sight.

  57. Michelle
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:09 | #57

    “Mugabe gives democracy a bad name.”

    Just because something is called a democracy, doesn’t mean it is a democracy.To take the argument further, would you say that Kim Jong Ill gives democracy a bad name? It is the Democratic People’s Republic after all. While Mugabe’s Zimbabwe may be closer to what a democracy is than the DPRK, they are both pretty darn far off the mark.

    Mugabe gives Mugabe a bad name, not democracy.

  58. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:14 | #58

    To Wukong #55:
    “Chinese government doesn’t have a big stick” – I would’ve said China does have a big stick…bigger than most countries in the world. But if she doesn’t have an aircraft carrier (I didn’t know that), then that stick isn’t going to travel well.

    I wonder if that’s on their to-do list. For as the Americans say, an aircraft carrier allows you to project power.

  59. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:16 | #59

    To Michelle:
    good point.

  60. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:19 | #60

    I agree with WKL that Waiguoren means white people, Wahaha.

    Oh, Ok. I stand corrected. Thanks

  61. wukong
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:25 | #61

    @SKC:

    But if it’s one Malyasian to another (regardless of ethnic descent), there’s no role for PRC/ROC in sight.

    Maybe you could convince those NED funded NGOs and Hollywood hippies to lay off Tibet? after all, there is no role for them in China’s internal affairs either.

  62. Wahaha
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:30 | #62

    TommyBahamas and anyone,

    Does anyone know how chinese call those Russians in China ?

  63. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:38 | #63

    I don’t speak Mandarin, so I have no idea of what I speak. But doesn’t the “wai” part just mean “outside of”/”external”? So isn’t any “foreigner” a waiguoren?

    On the other hand, I look like a zhongguoren, but clearly I’m not, since I’m Canadian. I think the whole labelling of what kind of “ren” you are is very confusing, since there doesn’t seem to be a universal frame of reference.

    The other eye-opener for me is that, before coming thru this blog, I’d never even heard of people being referred to as Han ren. I was a HK ren. Now I’m a Canada-ren. Or my dad might refer to us as Tong-ren (sorry, don’t know the Mandarin phonetic on Tong). Chinatown is Tong-ren street. So all this Han business has been a bit of an eye opener.

  64. Wahaha
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:42 | #64

    SKC,

    Before 1990s, there were very few foreigners going to China, except several white people from US, France and UK.

    I think Chinese decide if you are a zhongguoren by your genetic, if you cant speak a single Chinese word.

  65. wukong
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:43 | #65

    @Wahaha

    Russian: 俄国人 (E Guo Ren) or 老毛子(Lao Mao Zi as oppose to Lao Wai)

  66. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:43 | #66

    Does anyone know how chinese call those Russians in China ?

    东欧人, 俄罗斯 ren????

  67. wukong
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:48 | #67

    @SKC # 63

    People in China would call you a “banana” (香蕉人).

  68. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:55 | #68

    To Wukong:
    this is just rich! I make a BTW reference to Tibet in #23 to nip the potential witty come-backs in the bud, and Tommy B has a small bird about me linking stuff to the big T.

    So I make another point without a cover statement this time so Tommy can rest easy, and Wukong takes a swipe at it. Maybe Tommy B can similarly give Wukong a piece of his mind this time.

    Anyhow, I was referring to consular role, as in protection of your own nationals. Since Malaysians even of Chinese descent are not Chinese nationals, there is no role for the PRC. But if the PRC sees a humanitarian role, that’s a whole different ball of wax. And that last point, you can apply to the big T.

  69. Oli
    September 12th, 2008 at 04:58 | #69

    @TommyBahamas & BMY

    I am partial to 12 yrs old single malt Glengoyne or Cardhu served at room temp. and for God’s sake, NO ICE.

    Alternatively, a sweet after dinner wine, esp. for the ladies, Ice Wine or Eiswein, served very chilled are VERY good. For N. Americans, Inniskillin, Niagara-on-the-Lake, produces one of my favourite, along with those from Germany.

    PS Don’t smoke, tried it, but like Clinton could never bring myself to inhale 😉

    (OK this is becoming an embarrasing lovefest with all these smilies….)

  70. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:00 | #70

    To Wahaha:
    genetics is certainly one frame of reference. But in that case, I wonder what would constitute Canadian (or American) DNA.

  71. Michelle
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:03 | #71

    I often wonder how to call slags against americans (or canadians) – can’t say racist… can you? Anyhow, off the point.

  72. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:03 | #72

    Wukong # 67

    I have never understood why overseas Chinese are called “竹升”???
    BTW, I’ve always thought “Banana,” came from America, wrong?

    SKC # 68

    LOL…Don’t you feel loved? 😉

  73. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:06 | #73

    To Wukong #67:
    well, aren’t you a classy dude.
    Actually, I look like a zhongguoren, and if I’m in HK, I can sure sound like one too. And no one would know differently unless I broke into the Queen’s finest.

  74. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:07 | #74

    Oli # 69

    Thanks for the tips….Inniskillin, Niagara-on-the-Lake…hmm, kinky.

  75. wukong
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:10 | #75

    @Tommy

    “竹升”? that’s the first time I ever heard of it.

    are you sure you typed the right word?

  76. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:15 | #76

    Thanks to Wiki, now I know:

    竹升
    出自維基百科,自由嘅百科全書
    跳去: 定向, 搵嘢
    竹升係指海外出世嘅華人,中國大陸就叫佢地做香蕉人。「竹升」其實即係「竹竿」咁解,因為「竿」讀音好似「降」一樣,唔好意頭所以要避忌。竹竿係空心嘅,比喻佢哋個心冇中華文化嘅思維。

    男仔叫竹升仔,女仔叫竹升妹。

    佢哋自細就受外國文化影響,唔多認識中華文化。諷刺嘅係,外國青年會認為佢哋唔係自己友,好少會同佢哋做朋友,但同響大中華地區出世後先至移民當地嘅華人思維方式又唔同,一樣唔易同佢哋做朋友。呢種兩頭都唔通嘅情況,亦係「竹升」嘅解釋,因為竹有節,喺節嘅中間,就兩頭都唔通喇

  77. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:15 | #77

    To Tommy B:
    what, no venom for Wukong? Come on! I was so waitin’ for it.

    I think your overseas Chinese reference is to height. More milk, better nutrition, more exercise, better air, mix it all together = taller people.

    I think banana applies to Canadians too. No biggie…I like my fruits.

  78. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:26 | #78

    SKC # 77

    What? Me, venom? No, me good man, me nice man. Peace first, run if can, aaderwaise infrick minimum injury on foe(s), Grasshopper.

  79. Oli
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:27 | #79

    @SKC

    Chill. I think Wukong didn’t mean anything by it. 香蕉人 means yellow on the outside, white on the inside, ie a westernised Chinese person or an Overseas Chinese. Its just a reflection on Chinese love for word play, ie 海龜 or sea turtles being used to describe Chinese returning from abroad to re-settle in China. Btw. 龜 also usually have a negative connotation as in 龜蛋 (bastard) or 龜公 (pimp). By such definitions, perhaps even 孫中山, Sun Yat Sen/Sun Zhongshan too can be described as a 香蕉人 and a 海龜.

    Its only an insult if you let it get to you and if you own it then its no longer an insult.

  80. Wukailong
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:37 | #80

    Yeah, technically waiguoren is just “person from a foreign country”, but when people use it, it mostly seems to mean “Caucasian person”.

    It can be a bit more complicated though… A friend of mine of Chinese descent residing in the Bay Area took some friends out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant one night. One guy was Caucasian, the others were Asian. Suddenly the Asians burst out laughing, and the white guy asked why. The reason was that the waitress had asked:
    – What does the foreigner want?

  81. Daniel
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:43 | #81

    I’m sort of surprise you didn’t knew what the term Banana applied to, SKC…is it different for the Canadian Chinese community?
    Every time I go up there to visit my relatives, the impression I get is that Canada is quite multi-cultural and the CBCs up there seem more “fobbish”-like than us Yanks. I think that’s the first time I used the word Yanks to describe us.

  82. Oli
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:49 | #82

    @SKC

    Btw 香蕉人 was actually coined by HKers and 竹升 is not refering to height or that Overseas Chinese are taller, but rather that some Overseas Chinese kids have difficulty establishing friendship with both non-Chinese and Chinese from Asian countries with larger Chinese communities, hence they end up being hollow inside, just like bamboos.

    @Tommy B

    Wow, didn’t know that there is a Cantonese version of Wiki, interesting, but reading written Cantonese Chinese always make me wince because of all the colloquialism clearly written out.

  83. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:51 | #83

    “fobbish”? Never heard of this word before. I am sure you don’t mean, like, fob, as in to cheat and deceive. Now, does Yanks refer only to Americans in the northern part of AMerica? But then, Brits always seem to like to say “the/those yanks.”

  84. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:54 | #84

    So Oli, You read Cantonese too? My goodness, you are a talented man!

  85. wukong
    September 12th, 2008 at 05:59 | #85

    @SKC

    I thought you were honestly confused about what you should be called since you said

    I look like a zhongguoren, but clearly I’m not, since I’m Canadian.

    I am just telling you there is a Chinese term for people in your situation.

    I didn’t pass any judgment and I didn’t mean any either.

    In fact, I had a line “Not that there is anything wrong with it” at the end of the original post, but I erased it because I thought it might imply a hint of negativity and you are very proud of being a “banana”.

    so if you are a tiny bit bothered, (belatedly) not that there is anything wrong it.

  86. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 06:02 | #86

    To Oli and Daniel:
    didn’t know the bamboo reference. Thanks, learn something everyday.
    Quite familiar with the banana reference…use it myself, in fact, with the boys. A little different when a stranger says it than when your buddies do. But no biggie.

    Canada is very multi-cultural. But I’m not a CBC, and I came off the boat many moons ago, so i guess I’m a bit of a tweener.

  87. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 06:04 | #87

    To Tommy:
    FOB= fresh off the boat

  88. Daniel
    September 12th, 2008 at 06:07 | #88

    Oh my goodness…I am laughing pretty good here.
    Not in a mean, condescending way so please oh please don’t take offense.

    Before someone jumps in with the answer, I used fobbish with the word fob as in F.O.B. —Fresh off the boat. In a way, it’s a friendly insult but some ABCs can be pretty mean about it.
    I think many will know what fresh off the boat means, but let me say what a lot of the ABCs see the words as. A lot of behaviors, antics and such of many recent immigrants, especially of the younger teenage-college age students, exhibit seem a little funny and stands out. For example, sometimes when you are bored, most people will say I’m bored or I’m so bored, but some fobby people will say with their accent “I am so boring” in a way that makes some people laugh.

    However, things change. In the beggining the peace sign many Asians do in front of the camera was consider fobby, yet overtime many of us Asian-Americans adopted it as our sign as well, with the occasional stud using the middle finger instead. Nowadays, well it depends but it’s sort of coming true, more and more of the ABCs are getting into the pop-cultural antics from Asia as well. It’s not the same, but you all might not know how famous or annoyed people are of Jay Chou and other Mando-pop stars is here. Of course, it really depends ok, so chances are you might run into some ABCs who are not like that at all but more and more are becoming to. With the globalized environment, the future looks more cooler in a weird sense. Oh btw, I usually include ABCs with those born in Asia but grew up in the States since very young, like before 3. The attitudes are about the same.

    I used the term Yanks because I realize I am commenting in front of many others around the globe. So far, it doesn’t seem to be many Americans here, or maybe. Usually, we will never use that word because it’s so old-fashion.

  89. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 06:09 | #89

    # 87
    FOB, OIC, Mucho Gracias, SKC.

  90. Daniel
    September 12th, 2008 at 06:14 | #90

    After reading so many comments here, I’m starting to wonder what generation you all are in. Not like it truly matters, but just something interesting to know. I’m guessing most of you all commenting were born before 1980?

  91. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 06:16 | #91

    To Daniel:
    I agree. If you are/were a FOB and referred to yourself as such, it’s almost a statement of identity. But if you’re not, and refer to someone else that way, more often than not I think it has derogatory connotations.

  92. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 06:20 | #92

    To Tommy,
    ok, that’s 3 languages. What’s your other 2? I’m very impressed with the 5 languages thing, BTW.

  93. Oli
    September 12th, 2008 at 06:23 | #93

    @Daniel

    HOW RUDE! One should NEVER ask the ladies about their age! You Yanks are just so typical. :0

    One is aghast

  94. Malaysian Chinese
    September 12th, 2008 at 06:26 | #94

    I must thank Allen for noticing & bringing up this little news here. I am, however, saddened by your tinge of playfulness on your suggestions on measures that can be taken to help your Chinese brethrens in Malaysia. Worst, I am totally appalled at you guys’ seemingly total ignorance on matters in Malaysia in particular & S E Asia in general (through the comments posted here).

    While not indulging in the long history of Chinese migration in the previous century, there are however some distinctive features in the Malaysian scenarios:
    .There are about 6 million (25% of the total population) ethnic Chinese comprising of majority Fujianese (we call them Hokkien), Cantonese (include sizable Hakka, Teohchew & Kwangsi (Guanxi), Hainanese dialect groups
    .Most of them are 2nd or 3rd generation Chinese & are already Malaysians citizens
    .90 % of Chinese go to Chinese language primary schools, so speaking & writing of the Chinese (Mandarin) language is widely understood; majority speak also Cantonese & Fujian dialects
    .Most are middle class private businesmen, entrepreneurs, professionals, skilled workers, hawkers etc but they are barred from becoming civil servants, army, police & other strategic government positions by govt decree
    .Chinese voting rights are deliberately undermined by gerrymandering in the voting system thus rendering Chinese balloting strength to only 10% through shifting the electoral weightage to the predominantly Malay rural heartlands
    .Racial discriminations are officially sanctioned & are so rampant & pervasive that life has become increasingly difficult & intolerable for ethnic minority
    .There is a deliberate attempt by the Malays to overwhelm the minorities by importing same-stock Indonesians & Phillipinos from its neighbours
    .Chinese population reduces from more than 50% (with S’pore still in the Federation) in 1957, 37% in 1969 (during the slaughter of Chinese in KL) to the present 25% in 2008
    .Chinese Malaysians fought hard to retain their distinctive Chinese heritage ~language, school, culture, amidst an extremely hostile environment
    .Malaysia has the most comprehensive Chinese heritage outside China, including HK, Macau & Taiwan
    .Malaysia ranks as the 2nd most notorious in its treatment of ethnic Chinese in S E Asia, superseded only by the evil Indonesians
    .Chinese & Muslim Malays are so diversed in all respects of lives that there is virtually no social interactions between them. Hostility or even mutual hatred are all so pervasive & entrenched
    .There is a slow but steady stream of disillusioned Chinese emigration to greener pastures abroad mainly to S’pore, Australia, N Zealand, Taiwan, HK, China etc
    .Most local Chinese retain a strong sense of pride as Chinese & there is huge goodwill & affinity towards China~Mainland cultural troupes, delegations, Olympics Torch Run etc arouse strong support & the Sichuan earthquake sympathy (donations are torrential)
    .Most will not stop shy of cheering for the Chinese team even when the opposing side is the local one, thus arousing displeasure from the Malays, who consistently question the Chinese allegiance
    .Deep sense of disenfranchisement with the corrupt, incompetent, medieval, racist Malay rule
    .Deep sense of insecurity as being surrounded by huge sea of hostile, jealous, barbaric & backward Malays
    .Deep sense of lost opportunity of historic proportion ~ it would have been a Chinese majority nation had China not been weak in the 1950s, grasped the historic moment to influence events leading to the establishment of a Chinese-controlled sovereign nation at the verge of British withdrawal, Lee Kuan Yew would have ruled over the entire Malay Peninsular instead of being kicked out to tiny S’pore, many times more prosperous than present day S’pore etc considering the abundance of mineral wealth in this region
    .China has lost a potentially important friendly Chinese-majority state controlling the strategic Malacca Straits
    .Malaysia can easily take on 100 million population, thus providing an emigration outlet for over crowded Mainland Chinese
    .It is just too bad we have missed the boat & history will not forgive us & our future generations for this missed opportunity

  95. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 06:26 | #95

    BMY,

    二锅头 That’s what 李白drinked I was told.

    Let me get this straight, this is, like, the 5kuai a small bottle of “fire-water” you are talking about here, right?
    BUt seriously, what’s a good 白酒 that’s either sweet or vodka like WITHOUT the rubber/eraser fragrance in them that so common in expensive chinese rice wine? I remember somewhere in a remote village in Guangxi, I tried some local rice wine served in bamboo recepticles — didn’t have the “fake” fragrance and rather smooth. So smooth that when I got up to go to use the bathroom, I couldn’t walk straight. That stuff hit you without your knowing it, dude.

  96. Daniel
    September 12th, 2008 at 06:46 | #96

    My apologies Oli.

    Sorry for being insensitive.

    My apologies to Malaysian Chinese for my comments. We’re doing our best to not be-little the situation here, and don’t mean to treat it as not serious, but it’s hard for us who don’t deal with it physically.

    BTW, on one of the facts on your list regarding another Chinese state. If history played out differently in the past, for example had Koxinga live longer or more stability on the Mainland, there is speculation that there would have been many more Chinese-cultural states or Confucian societies like Vietnam and Korea around Asia.

  97. September 12th, 2008 at 06:57 | #97

    @Malaysian Chinese #94,

    I must thank Allen for noticing & bringing up this little news here. I am, however, saddened by your tinge of playfulness on your suggestions on measures that can be taken to help your Chinese brethrens in Malaysia.

    I personally do not know too much about Malaysia or the Chinese experience there.

    Therefore I especially appreciate your thoughtful comments and insights.

    Please understand that my “tinge of playfulness” was only one meant to prevent people from getting too roiled up in emotions. There was nothing playful about the quote I gave though…

    I hope comments from you and others who know about Malaysia will help to open up the eyes of people on this board and around the world about the Chinese Malaysian experience in Southeast Asia.

  98. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 07:09 | #98

    Malaysian Chinese,

    It is just too bad we have missed the boat & history will not forgive us & our future generations for this missed opportunity

    Chinese really missed out on ruling the world and possibly sparing the Native American Nations their ill fates when our Chinese Muslim Admiral Zheng He 郑和: 三保太監下西洋 / “Zheng He to the Western Ocean”, from 1405 to 1433, NO THANKS to Hongxi Emperor. Admiral 郑和 generally sought to attain his goals through diplomacy, and his large army awed most would-be enemies into submission. But a contemporary reported that Zheng He “walked like a tiger” and did not shrink from violence when he considered it necessary to impress foreign peoples with China’s military might. He ruthlessly suppressed pirates who had long plagued Chinese and southeast Asian waters. He also intervened in a civil disturbance in order to establish his authority in Ceylon, and he made displays of military force when local officials threatened his fleet in Arabia and East Africa. From his fourth voyage, he brought envoys from thirty states who traveled to China and paid their respects at the Ming court.
    In his book 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, former submarine Lientenant Commander Gavin Menzies claims that several parts of Zheng’s fleet explored virtually the entire globe, discovering West Africa, North and South America, Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica and Australia. However, scholars in China do not accept Menzies’ assertions.
    Then When Mao ruled China and if Liu Shao Qi and Deng’s revisionist policy were allowed to flourish, I wonder if China had a stronger economy, say, in the 60s would have taken an expansionist course? And if it did, what kind of war and casualties would have resulted? And if the Brits and its Allies wouldn’t resist with their full mights to stop China from ruling Malaysia/INdonesia? We know that the two Atomic bombs were basically to warn the Soviet from marching into S.E. Asia.

  99. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 07:13 | #99
  100. NMBWhat
    September 12th, 2008 at 07:53 | #100

    Wha wha, rep you hood. I’m foobulus gangsta bitches.

    What’s wrong with being a FOB gangsta? Absolutely nothing (just don’t get thrown in the slammer tho)

    If I weren’t such a dirty (not to mention paranoid about FBI tracking my activities) FOB with no job I’d join you TB… The new revolution…

    What what…

  101. NMBWhat
    September 12th, 2008 at 08:36 | #101

    On a serious note, as for 竹升, please don’t make judgments. Because some of you just don’t know what is up, having grown-up in a chinese community and all that. 竹升 on the other hand may not have had a life like you. Like me for example, where I went to school I was like the only Asian kid in the entire school.

    Of course, some grow up to be perfectly okay, you know, they over-come whatever adversity (real or perceived). But others, they may have other problems, such as being introverted, etc. So some don’t fit in… Due to many varying circumstances. Dont knock 竹升, they’re human beings too, with feelings.

    That’s the price you pay for being an immigrant.

  102. NMBWhat
    September 12th, 2008 at 08:36 | #102

    Extreme example that comes to mind: Cho.

  103. NMBWhat
    September 12th, 2008 at 08:37 | #103

    Wait, but Cho grow up with a bunch of Asians around… Oh well… disregard that one.

    If you are psycho to begin….

  104. NMBWhat
    September 12th, 2008 at 08:40 | #104

    It’s like why are Chinese people hating on us? We didn’t choose this life, this life choose us.

    What is that? Defeatism? Yeah yeah, bite me.

  105. Michelle
    September 12th, 2008 at 08:43 | #105

    TommyBahamas:

    “Chinese really missed out on ruling the world and possibly sparing the Native American Nations their ill fates.” Erm… That’s a pretty big “”possibly””. Playing the game of historical ‘what if’s’ is pretty useless.

    It seems that there are quite a few who would denounce Western imperialism and collonialism while bemoaning the fact that China didn’t conquer the world.

    “History will not forgive us & our future generations for this missed opportunity.” I can respect that fact that Malaysian Chinese has a far better handle on the situation while still pointing out that this quote is basically saying that China should have conquered / should conquer the “hostile, jealous, barbaric & backward Malays”.

  106. Malaysian Chinese
    September 12th, 2008 at 08:55 | #106

    Thank you fella for your concerns & kind comments. It is refreshing indeed that many of our kins over the ocean, so to speak according to aged-old Chinese saying, do care about what is happening to Chinese around the world. It is however one thing saying that he/she cares but entirely a different thing that he/she can do to help. Malaysian Chinese will really appreciate if overseas Chinese netizens or other benevolent communities can bring pressure to bear on the power-that-be in the Chinese leadership to recognise the fact that persecution of Chinese minority simply for the fact that they are being Chinese is indirectly an affront/insult to Chinese dignity/pride & intervention on behalf of the victimised,helpless & oppressed community is permitted under the ‘prevention of racial genocide/ethnic cleansing’ preview of the UN Human Rights Charter, hence it does not constitute an interference in the internal affairs of another sovereign state. China must shed its shyness & start to show its raw muscle at the appropriate time & apportunistic place to reestablish its big, resposible nation status among all those mickey-mouse states around its peripherals.

    Most Malaysian Chinese, though these are such ‘dirty’ words & really unthinkable to say so openly at this partucular historic juncture, genuinely, do earnestly, feverishly but quietly wish that one day, just may be, we may somehow live long enough to have our own independently-run sovereign state or an autonomous region incorporated with S’pore. This is our dream!

  107. Michelle
    September 12th, 2008 at 09:02 | #107

    On a related point, I might also point out that there is some institutionalised racial discrimination in Singapore – I’m familiar mostly with examples in education (A friend is much better versed in this, I’ll ask her for details) but have seen things in workplace / hiring discrimination as well. They are not huge problems, but neither are Malaysia’s (according to Malaysian Chinese’s account), and as someone above pointed out, it’s no USA or South Africa.

    I think the reason it doesn’t rise to the surface too much is relative economic prosperity. And the strict limitations on political expression in Singapore.

  108. Chops
    September 12th, 2008 at 09:27 | #108

    Malaysian Chinese said “Most will not stop shy of cheering for the Chinese team even when the opposing side is the local one, thus arousing displeasure from the Malays, who consistently question the Chinese allegiance”

    Is this the chicken or the egg for the viscious cycle of mutual hostility?

    There is a subtle difference in being a “Malaysian Chinese” or being a “Chinese Malaysian”.

  109. Malaysian Chinese
    September 12th, 2008 at 09:46 | #109

    Mitchelle

    You are absolutely wrong on this count. Chinese are supremely competitive at all levels of human endeavours & therefore do not require institutionalised protection from any quarter. Care to click on S’poe Govt’s official website & find out how many Indians/S Asians there are in senior positions in the govt hierarchy. On an individual level, however, you may get some Chinese who may not like your ordour, your ethnic dress, your strong curry/incense flavour, accent etc…., these are unavoidable sometimes as everyone has one’s preferences & prejudices. These instances are never official-sanctioned policies. Lee Kuan Yew was booed, chastised & eventually kicked out of Malaysia in the 1960s fighting exactly this kind of naked racism & he hated such nonsence deep in his heart. Do you think he would allow such nonsence to happen in S’pore? In Malaysia, there are govt decreed quotas on housing, college admittance, scholarships, business licenses, school/cultural/religious activities fundings, employment opportunities, in fact all aspects of everyday lives….skewed heavily in favour of the Malay community. So, the comparison between Malaysia & S’pore is just like apple & orange & therefore highly malicious.

  110. TommyBahamas
    September 12th, 2008 at 11:34 | #110

    Michelle,
    Erm… That’s a pretty big “”possibly””. Playing the game of historical ‘what if’s’ is pretty useless.

    Of course, it goes without saying, you are absolutely right about that. I was merely responding to our Malaysian Chinese friend’s anguish about missing the chance to be managers instead of collies, so to speak, with some reminders of mutually familiar historical facts of glorious splendors and catastrophic failures. History being what it is, belongs to the past, playing the game of ‘what if’ in ANYTHING is absolutely useless, UNLESS, of course, it is incorporated in the process of strategizing, with the added value of hindsight lessons learned, for that which hasn’t happened.

    It seems that there are quite a few who would denounce Western imperialism and collonialism while bemoaning the fact that China didn’t conquer the world.

    It is precisely because of all the priviledges that the citizens of Western imperialism and collonialism deservedly or undeservedly enjoy and flaunt, such as the ease with the linguistic upperhands at school and at work and career opportunities, & the greater endowment of political rights etc, that subjugated and oppressed people who, having witnessed for generation after generations practically the world over, many in their own ancestral lands, that we denounce its continuation and bemoan our ancestral’s failures insaving and protecting against such ill fates to befall upon their posterities. Bemoaning China, having had centuries of administrative & technological headstart, and with the greatest navy fleet in the 15 Century, that we should have been defeated by complacency & sophistry. BUT, alas, China is back! We know we are not yet there, but some of us are here on foolsmountain, and we it feels so good that we dare to once again —dream. (Ops, sorry, I guess got carried away….bowing out…) 😉

  111. Zickyy
    September 12th, 2008 at 12:09 | #111

    All ethnic Chinese around the world have gained more confidence as China gets stronger.

    Chinese government shouldn’t interfere with Malaysia’s politics directly but all sorts of support should be given to Chinese Malaysians from individuals and organizations.

    However, if anything like the anti-Chinese aiolence in Indonesia happens again, there will no reason that the Chinese government shouldn’t interfere, even by force.

    In the mean time, China’s door should be open to every ethinic Chinese in the world. They should be able to have Chinese nationality if they want.

  112. Hongkonger
    September 12th, 2008 at 12:09 | #112

    NMBWhat,

    In Hong Kong, perhaps in Taiwan too, but especially in Hong Kong — 竹升s ENJOY near stardom preferences in the HK job market esp. if you can also speak Cantonese/Mandarin!

    Look at the HK entertainment business, 竹升仔 and 竹升妹 are enjoying quick successes!

    Most beauty Queens and even 香港先生 since forever have been dominated by 竹升仔 and 竹升妹 s.

    So, who knows, you could be the next 竹升 star artiste / DJ / model / CEO of a Headhunting Co…, whatever.

  113. Zickyy
    September 12th, 2008 at 12:23 | #113

    Michelle

    There is absolutely no institutionalised racial discrimination in Singapore. If you don’t agree, name one!
    Even the president of Singapore is an ethnic Indian.

    When I was in uni in the UK, I had both ethnic Malaysian and Chinese classmates from Malaysia. The ethnic Malaysians were funded by their government to study in the UK but Chinese Malaysians had to pay for themselves. But you know what, all Chinese Malaysians were all top students in the class but most of the ethnic malaysians were at the bottom.

  114. Oli
    September 12th, 2008 at 16:04 | #114

    @Daniel
    Relax, I’m not really aghast, my skin is like leather anyway. I was simply yanking your chain. Peace.

    @NMBWhat
    I take it all back. You don’t need anymore encouragement….

    @Malaysian Chinese

    Apa Khabar and pardon my asking, but are you really a Malaysian Chinese or are you just an agent provocateur trying to stoke up some kind of rabid Chinese chauvinism/nationalism? The very last thing that China should do is intervene in Malaysia, we’ll leave that to Singapore or Thailand (if Thailand can get its act together that is) The people on this forum are actually quite moderate and sane, with the possible exception of NMBWhat that is 🙂 but we love him anyway because he is our FOB gangsta.

    Btw, I’m actually quite familiar with Malaysia and alot of what you said is waaay off in the extreme with regards to the nature of Malaysian ethnic politics and the social interactions between the races. Its alot more complicated than Malays baaaad, Chinese and Indians gooood. Lets not forget that the Chinese MCA and Indian MIC political parties themselves are complicit together with UMNO, the dominant Malay party, in the current state of affairs with regards to the corruption and ineptitude of the current Malaysian political class, be they Malays, Chinese or Indians.

    Malaysia’s current situation is NOT, I repeat NOT a matter of race conflict between Chinese and Indians on the one hand and Malays on the other. Its about the common Malaysian people, the rakyat, as a whole, irrespective of race, being fed up with Barisan Nasional (the ruling Malay-Chinese-Indian coalition government) corruption, nepotism and blatant incompetence.

    While not dismissing the fact that there are extremists on all sides (are you one?), to assert otherwise would be simply falling into the barefaced machination of UMNO in its attempt to recapture the political and popular leadership of the majority Malays from the Malay opposition party PKR led by Anwar Ibrahim, who is also supported by the DAP, a Chinese dominated opposition party, PAS, a Malaysian Islamic party and HINDRAF, a Malaysian Indian umbrella organisation.

    The majority of Malaysian Chinese, Indians, Malays and other bumiputras have actually already clued on to what UMNO is doing. So why don’t you sit back have some teh tarik, roti canai or mee goreng and drop the act. And if I am wrong about you, then I apologise in advance.

  115. Oli
    September 12th, 2008 at 16:20 | #115

    On another note the current Malaysian Prime Minister is actually 1/4 Chinese whereas its previous PM is actually half-Indian I believe.

    While in Singapore, the government there too has a much joked about quasi-eugenic program to matchmake professional Chinese/Indian men and women to get married and produce little geniuses or at least little professionals due to the falling Chinese/Indian birth rates vis-a-vis its Singaporean Malay community. Consequently the Singaporean govt. too also promote migration of professional and semi-professional Chinese and Indians from China and India.

  116. wuming
    September 12th, 2008 at 16:28 | #116

    Southeast Asian nations are extremely sensitive to even a hint of Chinese intervention in their affairs. China is wise to stay out of this entirely, otherwise it maybe endangering the lives of ethnic Chinese in these countries. If China is strong, and bilateral relations with these countries healthy, Chinese communities will be respected to the extend they deserve to.

  117. Zickyy
    September 12th, 2008 at 16:38 | #117

    Re Wuming

    Yes, if China is as strong as the US, that will be a different story.

  118. Zickyy
    September 12th, 2008 at 17:11 | #118

    Allen

    China is not in a good position to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs so it is to China’s best interest to keep low profile. But it doesn’t mean China doesn’t want to.

    If you are really powerful, your neighbours will listen
    If they don’t, you will have a thousand ways to punish them, be them softly or aggressively, cleverly or stupidly, intentionally or non-intentionally……..

    When that day comes, I hope we can do better than the American.

  119. lee
    September 12th, 2008 at 17:19 | #119

    I am a Malaysian Chinese, and Oli is right. It is true that there is widespread discontent among non-Malays due to the affirmative action policies in this country. However, this particular incident of Chinese-bashing by Ahmad Ismail needs to be seen in the context of the current political situation in Malaysia. Here is an alternative interpretation of the situation (it is just a theory, but one many believe in – see link below):

    The ruling party coalition is under great duress as they suffered what could be called a devastating defeat at the polls last March, losing many seats (the Chinese party in the ruling coalition lost almost all its seats; its Indian counterpart lost all of them) and their traditional two-thirds majority in Parliament. Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister (before Mahathir Mohamad kicked him out on allegations of sodomy) has returned to Parliament after winning a landslide victory in a by-election last month. His new party coalition, the Pakatan Rakyat, claims that it will seize power by September 16th through the crossing-over of MPs who are currently members of the ruling party. No one knows whether Anwar can actually become Prime Minister by September 16th (most people don’t believe it IMHO) but these developments have certainly rattled the ruling party coalition, especially UMNO, the dominant Malay party in the coalition.

    It is possible that these inflammatory comments by Ahmad Ismail were a desperate attempt to drum up support for UMNO among the Malays. Malay support for UMNO has waned ever since Anwar returned to the political scene, as they now have a viable alternative party to vote for. Also, many Malays have realized that most affirmative action policies in this country have only benefited a select few, resulting in severe income inequality. What we need are policies to help the poor, regardless of ethnicity, not policies to help the elite (and not just Malays – many Chinese businessmen have benefited from the NEP through the handing out of government contracts!).

    For more info, check out this article written by one of Malaysia’s most famous political bloggers, who incidentally was arrested today under our version of the Patriot Act because of this article he wrote insinuating that the ruling coalition was behind the racial riots of May 13, 1969 (the most violent racial riots in our history).

    http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/12512/84/

    BTW, I have yet to come across a Malaysian Chinese who cheers for China when Malaysia is playing against them. Even my Chinese school-educated friends don’t do this. Some of our athletes are Chinese (eg Lee Chong Wei who lost to Lin Dan in the badminton finals at the Olympics), so it would be rather strange to cheer for China when one of ours is playing!

  120. Daniel
    September 12th, 2008 at 17:44 | #120

    Hmm…I was hoping you weren’t too serious Oli, sort of like really joking or what…
    because for the moment I really thought you were aghast. I met some people before who were that sensitive.

    NMBwhat and Hongkoner,

    In a sense, quite a few ABCs, depending where they grew up or how they were raise, had phases in life where the 竹升仔 definition was true. I had some moments like that as well. It is very lonely and can be depressing. I know about the entertainment world in Asia but that’s really a very small sample, and some of those stars had a well-connected background to begin with. Not everyone has that luxury. However, things are changing so we’ll see how the generations after us are like.

    Tommy,

    I know that book by Menzies and read through it. He also had another book as well. I read them in the same section in the bookstore but there were more books by other authors than his work regarding China’s exploration. I went online to read some of the commentary and background. It seems that many scholars, both in China and elsewhere, aren’t taking it serious and treating it as sort of like a big theory. Zheng He’s travels were remarkedble for that time but as for the speculation by others if he had travel more than what was recorded is still up for analysis and debate. However, on some of these history t.v. shows, the people said that many records and pieces of evidence were destroyed as was done many times in Chinese history. So who knows, until time and more work is done.

    Reading the other comments, this topic does seem to be what many of us are assuming this is, another political tactic.

  121. NMBWhat
    September 12th, 2008 at 18:16 | #121

    No what I’m saying is mofos don’t need to make judgments on other people, don’t label people.

    I’m not really like THAT. I could care less about what others think about me, I’m a FREAK, and I’m proud. I’m just telling you dudes to not make any judgements.

    Actually I don’t even know what the heck I’m talking about most of the times. And most of the time I say shit just to freak people out. A lot of my comments are designed to freak with people, LOL. Although I’m not sure whether it works or not, and perhaps it just makes me look dumb. But either way… hahaha.

    NMBWhat!!! HAHA.

  122. NMBWhat
    September 12th, 2008 at 18:31 | #122

    Back on topic:

    I also read partially Menzies book (in the end it was too dry for my taste. Plus I was busy with other things). I don’t remember much of it but his evidence consists of:

    * Latitude navigation can be done precisely by observing the stars. On the other hand, longitude east-west navigation requires precise measurement of time (I think), and at Zheng He’s time, this problem was not as well understood. So what it means is then the map they made at the time has imprecise east-west projection. So Menzies (he has a lot of naval experience, since he was a submarine captain) went over some maps, and reprojected these maps, which he claimed showed several things such as: Cape of good hope, coastline of the Americas, and Australia.

    * He had other archaeological evidences. Such as: evidence of Muzi (the Chinese goddess of sea) statues. And a few I don’t recall.

    * Supposed Asiatic chicken in the Americas.

    *And other evidences.

    I don’t know. Not sure. Don’t really care. It’s interesting as alternative history I guess.

  123. NMBWhat
    September 12th, 2008 at 18:38 | #123

    Plus, if I recall correctly, Menzies claimed that Columbus had the maps of the Americas in his possession. Menzies claimed that this map originally came from Zheng He’s expedition.

    This is interesting because it ties back to some conspiracy theories. The brotherhood of darkness/babylon mystery religion/summerian alien hybrids/evil satanic catholics/Illuminati/Fore-runners to the NWO conspired to get to America. To start a NEW empire…LOL..

  124. Hongkonger
    September 12th, 2008 at 21:37 | #124

    Daniel,
    (phases in life where the 竹升仔 …had some moments ….very lonely and can be depressing.)
    NMB What,
    (Like me for example, where I went to school I was like the only Asian kid in the entire school. )

    I remember my mom asked if I wanted to do begin my junior high in Toronto. Thank goodness, I said no.
    I might want to retire in say, Hongcouver, because a lot of my relatives are there. But to be stranger in a strange land between the age of 12 – 15, away from friends and family, speaking broken English, cook ya own meals, do ya own laundry and having to deal with racial crap at the same time and all? Hell no. The grass ain’t greener nor the moon rounder elsewhere, but they sure are nice to touch and see as a visitor.

  125. S.K. Cheung
    September 12th, 2008 at 23:47 | #125

    To Malaysian Chinese #106:
    I sympathize with the plight of your people in the way you have described. At the same time, the Malay society you describe seems to have eschewed peaceful inter-racial coexistence for some form of self-imposed racial isolation. That seems unfortunate. I know nothing of Malaysia, so will have to take your word, although it is interesting that Oli paints a substantially different picture.

    But in that vein, as Chops asked, do you consider yourself Malaysian of Chinese descent, or Chinese residing in Malaysia? Your characterization might give some insight into your people’s willingness towards reconciliation with your fellow Malaysians, or perhaps point towards a lack thereof.

  126. Malaysian Chinese
    September 13th, 2008 at 02:24 | #126

    lee & Oli

    While I do respect your point of views, you must also respect the fact that there is a substantial portion of local Chinese holding my so-called more extreme point of view. It all depends on your social upbringing, the people you make buddies with & most of all your educational background. There is a huge proportion of us who really wish Lee Chong Wei, the eventual badminton silver medalist, never win his match against Lin Dan, which gladly he indeed failed, because we know if he did, he would have been made used of politically by UMNO & its cohorts to parade around the country drumming up a false sense of euphoria for the ruling elites. Many of us hold the view that, what is the point of local Chinese winning all those international honours if these achievements only benefit the material persons while the larger persecution continues unabated. On another instance, many of you might not have noticed that there was a time when Zhou Mi, the almost retiring female Chinese badminton player, comtemplated whether or not to join the Malaysian female squad under intensed lobbying by Li Mao, the then Malaysian coach from China. This aroused a heated debate on the Chinese blogglersphere & a lot of Malaysians did chip in to add our piece arguing against it for we believed that this country does not deserve any support in its quest for such empty glories.

    I believe that our community’s greatest weakness is our extreme tendency bordering on sheer madness to compromise & to tolerate unreasonable abuse from external forces without the will to fight. May be many of you are beneficiaries of the current status quo & thus feel comfortable to sing, dream & drift along with the current sorry state of affair. I believe, with or without Anwar, the situation will remain pretty much the same as it is internally, the only difference being that the tide of progress would have passed us by & never look back once & for all.

    I still have a dream, never mind if this dream will never be realised, dreaming of a separate state, where we don’t have to play second class any more.

  127. CM Lee
    September 13th, 2008 at 02:30 | #127

    To Malaysian Chinese #106,
    I think your last statement may touch some raw nerve and freak out certain Chinese in this blog. According to some bloggers in other post (What does it mean to be Chinese) that Chinese have been emigrated to SE Asia since Tang dynasty. Your ancestors saw, came and conquered their new world; they toiled the land, they built their communities. But now you find yourselves men without land, identity. You better get start learning a thing or two from the Tibetans…You should start by laying claim that you have a distinct culture and language from the Malay. I suppose the ‘T’ supporters will be glad to aid you in your effort to achieve independence. Any one has the hot-line to Dharamsala?

  128. Daniel
    September 13th, 2008 at 03:50 | #128

    I’m not sure if you all read and remember all the comments on the topics in this blog, which would be tiring for me as well.
    The conditions of the overseas communities in S.E. Asia differs place to place. Though there are similarities. Maybe the Malaysian and Indonesian experience have their own unique reasons like the Islamic culture, certain legacies left behind by their particular colonizers, etc. From what I read, Thailand, at least a large portion, Chinese community is living fairly decent. My family from Vietnam, I still have relatives there, is doing ok. Might be due to the confucian philosophies are stronger there. Other nations has their own stories to tell too. However, I know it’s not that simple and of course ethnic tensions have occured in the past, and there have plenty of ups and downs, not everyone prospered.
    In a way, it’s a little strange for some to make comparisons or draw lessons between the experiences of some of these communities with “T”.

  129. lee
    September 13th, 2008 at 03:57 | #129

    @ Malaysian Chinese:
    ‘I believe that our community’s greatest weakness is our extreme tendency bordering on sheer madness to compromise & to tolerate unreasonable abuse from external forces without the will to fight. May be many of you are beneficiaries of the current status quo & thus feel comfortable to sing, dream & drift along with the current sorry state of affair. I believe, with or without Anwar, the situation will remain pretty much the same as it is internally, the only difference being that the tide of progress would have passed us by & never look back once & for all.’

    If there are indeed a substantial number of Malaysian Chinese who believe this, then I am genuinely afraid we will have another May 13th, because it will be so easy for BN politicians to stir up racial unrest, as they are already trying to do with the arrests of Raja Petra (Malay blogger), Teresa Kok (Chinese MP) and Tan Hoon Cheng (Chinese journalist). Another bout of racial riots will do us Chinese no good – BN could declare martial law, declare the results of the last election null and void and we would be back to square one, with no opposition parties to champion equal rights for all in Parliament.

    No, we are not comfortable to ‘sing, dream & drift along with the current sorry state of affairs’. We voted against BN in the last elections. We demanded for change through the appropriate democratic channels – not by trying to incite racial hatred and calling for a separate sovereign Chinese state – honestly this is the first time I have heard of this and the very thought is horrifying. If you think that even the opposition parties now cannot bring about change (even after the 2010 elections which they will probably win), then leave the country, as so many Malaysian Chinese have already done. Didn’t our ancestors leave China in search of a better life? Well, why can’t you do the same? Don’t play into the government’s hands by taking to the streets and rioting – that is exactly what they want.

  130. September 14th, 2008 at 02:01 | #130

    Malaysian Chinese brought to our attention this article on the “Malay race.” Thanks Malaysian Chinese.

  131. Michelle
    September 14th, 2008 at 04:00 | #131

    Tommybahamas: “we dare to once again —dream.”

    Yes, I think it’s great that you feel that way, but dream the right dream. Western imperialism / collonialism was pretty horrrific, and it’s nothing to aspire to. Too many times I it seems people here (in China, on this blog) make comments which boil down to “the west did it, when is it our turn to do it?” (not that this is what you were trying to say, but i hope you can see my point).

    As for Singapore, like i said, it’s nothing terrible, but there are some policies which could be defined as rather benign institutionalised racism. I have to get details, but I remember an SEAsia / EAsia education conference I attended in Beijing about 5 years back where a Sinaporean presenter was talking about the public school programme for promoting Mandarin in Singaporean schools, the rationale being that Mandarin is becoming a lingua franca in asia and kids with a good command of Mandarin would have better chances in Business. They were starting pilot programmes for intensive Mandarin-medium classes. The problem was that this programme was only (and was going to be only) open to students who were ethnic Chinese (as defined on their ID cards). I asked if Malay and Indian kids (again, as defined on their ID) would also have this chance, and was told that they could study their own languages in public schools. I asked a few follow up questions – what about mixed race kids? If the father is Chinese, the child is considered Chinese, if the mother is Chinese but the father is Indian, the child is considered Indian.

    Anyhow, why not open this programme to anyone who is qualified, as the stated purpose of the programme was to get children exposed to an up and coming lingua franca of asian business?

    Any Singaporeans/others here who know about Singaporean educational policy? Would love to know what happened with this. If I have time in the next few days, i’ll see if I can look it up. Anyhow, it’s this kind of stuff that I was referring to.

    “Even the president of Singapore is an ethnic Indian”. The logic here is a shakey. It’s like saying there is no descrimination against women in Pakistan because Benazir Bhutto was prime minister.

  132. Michelle
    September 14th, 2008 at 04:13 | #132

    Sorry about my crazee Caps and poor proofreading, I have had too much coffee today.

  133. Hongkonger
    September 14th, 2008 at 04:56 | #133

    (not that this is what you were trying to say, but i hope you can see my point). —-Thanks, Michelle, I’m glad you noticed this line:”having witnessed for generation after generations ….., that we denounce its continuation…”

    (in China, on this blog) make comments which boil down to “the west did it, when is it our turn to do it?”

    —- On the contrary, I see most in China do not wish the same on our fellow human siblings, to denegrate to what we abhor of what others have are still trying to do to us and many folks in the world. Confucius says…Um, nevermind…China says, non inference; all the best, cheers.

  134. TommyBahamas
    September 14th, 2008 at 05:03 | #134

    OPs, sorry, that was me, in response to Michelle. We, HongKonger & I, share the same computer. I forgot to change my ID .Cheers. Tommy B.

  135. Michelle
    September 14th, 2008 at 05:10 | #135

    Tommybahamas – yeah, didn’t mean to insinuate, and people don’t actually ‘say’ such things, but I get hung up on statements like “Chinese really missed out on ruling the world”, which sometimes seem to belie protestations about love for fellow humans and a belief in non-interference.

  136. Michelle
    September 14th, 2008 at 05:18 | #136

    Re: All of the above – I wonder if the best thing China could do is institute a right of return policy? That avoids the ‘interference’ issue.

  137. anonymous
    September 14th, 2008 at 05:24 | #137

    Are you an agent provocateur urself, Oli? :-p
    I find Chinese Malaysian’s list of grievances read more like cliches in the mind of The Other about Chinese antagonism towards their “special privileges”.
    Ditto the claims about secession and lebensraum for mainland Chinese, which again sound more a Special Branch police id kit of a Chinese bogey.
    A Chinese “extremist” fights for social justice and a system of meritocracy that will benefit all, people such as Penang Chief Minister Guan Eng or Tian Chua.
    Malaysian Chinese are multilingual and hardworking (“competitive” seems an odd choice of word, because how competitive can you get in a quota-and-race based system?)
    The world is our oyster, and you will find the most talented in New York, London, Sydney, Shanghai, etc. Like Hong Kong people in a way, we are pragmatic people – why bang the head against the wall?
    Many vote with their feet. Like Lee, it’s the first time I heard anyone talk about a separate state. lol.
    Malaysian Chinese empathise with China in matters of ethnic and cultural pride, but in matters of national and economic interest, Malaysia comes first.
    Where were you on the night of the big badminton match? If Malaysian Chinese had supported China in the showdown, there would have been cheers across the country to watch Lin Dan crush Chong Wei (“ a sapling before the Chinese storm”, said a friend) so easily, wouldn’t there?
    Of course, there are supporters of Lin Dan, but for him as an individual player.
    As Oli says,no offence,but are you really Malaysian Chinese? :-p

  138. TommyBahamas
    September 14th, 2008 at 05:53 | #138

    I understand. No worries.
    Just to be clear, the said statement “Chinese really missed out on ruling the world”was in response to Malaysian Chinese’s lament “It is just too bad we have missed the boat & history.” My guess is Malaysian Chinese feels that if China had remained a power to be recon with all those lost “sick man of Asia” centuries, the Chinese population in Malaysia would have a fair share and positive influences in the nation’s multi-cultural/racial policy-making. If that is however not what Malaysian Chinese’s sentiment, it was mine. Finally, the said-statement was also followed by the summary of the examplary characteristics of Chinese entrepreneurial spirit and mentality being consistent to even the 15th Century as shown by the Chinese Muslim Admiral ZhengHe, who “made friends and influenced people” with his non-invasive and holistic foreign policy approaches.
    I hope you had a lovely Moon festival, Michelle. It is such a romantic Chnese fesatival. I love what I see in the parks, the jolly children with candle and battery lanterns and couples serenating the heavens and functional families out dinning, shopping and celebrating life.

    Here’s Wishing you a happy Mid-Autumn Festival.

  139. Michelle
    September 14th, 2008 at 05:53 | #139

    Allen: Not to nitpick – but –

    “Had my intention been to inflame, I’d probably have chosen a title such as “Malaysia Goes over the Top in Starting Ethnic War Against Chinese Minority.”

    Actually, that would be libel. I agree with SKC #23 that we must be careful about how we present information – there is quite a dischord between your angle and the article you source. Like I said before, i know you wrote tongue in cheek (to be honest, i was guessing), but i think its’ better to clearly state that you are being somewhat humorous to avoid miscommunication, especially since we are all coming from different perspectives, cultures, language backgrounds…

    TonyP4 does this on his comment on the new post about US elections, and his humour was received well…

    Anyhow, like i said, don’t mean to nitpick. Its just a bit of a pet peeve of mine.

  140. Michelle
    September 14th, 2008 at 05:59 | #140

    Thanks Tommybahamas. The man got me working today, but i’m about to sneak out!

  141. Daniel
    September 14th, 2008 at 06:39 | #141

    That’s a little hard to imagine how a right of return policy will work for China. We’re going back to the question of what does it mean to be Chinese. Plus, when Israel created that law, the reasons to do so at the time were important, with some justified-some questionable.

  142. September 14th, 2008 at 07:37 | #142

    @Michelle #139,

    In what sense is “Malaysia Goes over the Top in Starting Ethnic War Against Chinese Minority” libel?

    I am a lawyer. If that’s libel, then I’m going to get really rich going after all the Western media news outlets for the garbage and false sensationalizations they have put out this year.

  143. Michelle
    September 14th, 2008 at 07:48 | #143

    ah, I sorry was too harsh. I’m having a bad day. I’ll shut up now.

  144. Michelle
    September 14th, 2008 at 07:48 | #144

    erm, i mean i’m sorry i was too harsh….

  145. September 14th, 2008 at 07:58 | #145

    Ok Michelle – but don’t be too harsh on yourself! 😉

  146. Oli
    September 14th, 2008 at 16:57 | #146

    @anonymous

    Bugger Me and Boshe Moi! You’ve just outed me! Yup, mea culpa, I am an international man of mystery cum (no pun intended, cough!) agent provocateur (extra)ordinaire ohne vergleich. I work for the trans-cultural, supra-national ueber-organisation known as the SDG (formally The Super Duper Group Inc., Ltd., PLC, SdnBhd, LLP etc. ad infintum).

    We are tasked with the onerous chore of rooting out infestations of trolls and their faecal residues on the net wherever and whenever we find them and to safeguard the net for all users so that we may all build a more “harmonious” net and to pave the way for the rise of a glorious future internet! And so on and so forth etc., accompanied by much heel clicks!, Jawohls!, Sieg Heils! and shouts of Vive Il Duce!. 🙂

    @Malaysian Chinese

    Dude, I’m not Malaysian. Its just that I know Malaysia very well because of a misspent youth and an unsavoury past. And as other, more credible Malaysians here have pointed out, much of what you said just don’t correlate to the facts on the ground, based on my semi-regular visits there and from what my Malaysian Indian, Chinese, Malay and other Bumis friends says and whom I am in regular contact with.

    This is the first time ever that I’ve heard of any mention of Malaysian Chinese wanting their own homeland (hello! Singapore anybody?). I’ve never heard of such issue raised even on those very popular Malaysian blogs mentioned by others here and which I also visit semi-regularly. You just don’t strike me as someone who knows Malaysia or even Malaysian Chinese/Indians/Malays/the other bumis very well.

    Au contraire mon ami, you and CM Lee sound all too much like an independent “T” tag team desperately trying to draw a parallel between Tibetans in China and Malaysian Chinese in Malaysia, which is frankly ludicrous, not to mention blatantly demonstrating that certain je ne sais quoi, but nevertheless endearing naiviete I have come to recognise as the hallmark of independent “T” proponents.

    Apologies in advance if I sound arrogant or patronising, I simply despises mind f*cks, especially inept, transparent mind f*cks that lacks panache. I mean seriously, if you are going to do somebody, at least have the common courtesy of doing it properly.

    With much love and best regards
    Signing off on this thread
    Oli

  147. TommyBahamas
    September 14th, 2008 at 20:31 | #147

    The last time I spent a week in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, was probably the last time I had the most fun. Fantastic food, wonderful cultural diversity, and a very attractively and friendly female population, I must say 🙂

    “I know Malaysia very well because of a misspent youth and an unsavoury past.”????

    Oli, that sounded very intriguing. Now, pray tell, what did you mean by that? Were you sent to Malaysia by your parents as punishments but it turned out to be paradise for ya kinda of experience you had?

  148. TommyBahamas
    September 14th, 2008 at 20:41 | #148

    And oh, speaking of a very attractively and friendly Malaysian female population; here in China, I can stand it, I am falling head over heels with China’s CCTV International’s very own Malaysian Chinese-Aussie ( VJ for Culture Express & Traveloque) Michelle Lean. What voice, what looks, what poise….

    http://www.cctv.com/program/travelogue/20080416/104022.shtml

  149. TommyBahamas
    September 14th, 2008 at 20:51 | #149

    And oh, speaking of a very attractively and friendly Malaysian female population; here in China, I can’t stand it, I am falling head over heels for China’s CCTV International’s very own Malaysian Chinese-Aussie ( VJ for Culture Express & the best host for Traveloque) Michelle Lean. What a sexy voice, what looks, what poise….Awooooo~

    http://www.cctv.com/program/travelogue/20080416/104022.shtml

  150. TommyBahamas
    September 14th, 2008 at 21:21 | #150

    So can democracy be the solution to Malaysian ethnic problems? I’d have to say NO. Not if the treatable cancerous issues of racial discrimination / polarization remains an unresolved social growing tumor !

  151. Daniel
    September 14th, 2008 at 21:52 | #151

    Oh Tommy,

    since you posted it twice, I had to click on the link you posted. I agree!

  152. Anon
    September 14th, 2008 at 22:12 | #152

    @ Michelle

    I think the reasons being given for teaching Mandarin is more targeted at Singaporean Chinese because the government is reversing a decades-old plan of phasing out Chinese education in favour of a more Westernised English education and they feel a need to justify such an about-turn. Having had studied Singapore Law and its Constitution, I’d have to say that one reason the educational policy is structured in that way is because the minority (i.e. Malay and Indian) political leaders themselves would rather it that way. If I am not wrong the policy of forcing students to learn their own mother tongue is one of the concessions made by the government to the minority populations.

    Moreover, discrimination on the basis of race without good reason is unconstitutional. While the application of law with regards to the ruling PAP as a political party is often questionable, judicial review can apply to instances of racial discrimination in educational policy if it can be proven. In fact, there is even Constitutionally mandated affirmative action (on a mild scale) on behalf of Malays, their religion (Islam) and their culture.

    Disclaimer: I’m actually Malaysian but I’d studied in Singapore for a while and have picked up some of its politics.

  153. September 14th, 2008 at 22:25 | #153

    The book, World on Fire (http://www.amazon.com/World-Fire-Exporting-Democracy-Instability/dp/0385503024) deals with this various issue in many countries, including Malaysia. The thesis of the book, which I found very convincing yet depressing, is that in countries like Malaysia, democracy may end up being more dangerous for its minorities, like the Chinese, than a benign dictatorship.

  154. TommyBahamas
    September 14th, 2008 at 22:58 | #154

    Daniel,

    Ain’t she da kine. Me no talk stink, yah?

    We talk bumbye, meantime, Shaka bro.

  155. S.K. Cheung
    September 15th, 2008 at 03:44 | #155

    To Oli:
    “desperately trying to draw a parallel between Tibetans in China and Malaysian Chinese in Malaysia” – it seems Malaysian Chinese has mentioned no such thing. So you seem to be the one verbalizing such a parallel. And it is curious that such a parallel would exist in your mind…I wonder why…

  156. Michelle
    September 15th, 2008 at 05:15 | #156

    @Anon
    Thank you for that – My knowledge of Singapore and Malaysia policy is limited to my friendships with Malaysiand and Singaporeans. Having never studied the system, I know that I don’t have a clear picture. What you’re saying gives me a larger picture, thanks.

  157. Malaysian Chinese
    September 15th, 2008 at 07:03 | #157

    @lee,

    Your concerns for another blood bath is naturally understandable but your illusion of bringing about change through the peaceful democratic process is naive to the hilt. If you care to scan the entire human history, both Occidental & Oriental, you will find that no party currently enjoying the vested interest will ever give up even any small portion of it willingly unless it is under duress.

    Lots of Chinese are feeling so hopeless about their future in Malaysia that they are willing to cling onto any slight sign of a life boat, so to speak, for salvation/relief. They may have now found one in Anwar Ibrahim & his rag tag band of Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance). I really hope they succeed even though I am skeptical about its viability in the long run. My gloomy view is based on the fact that, Anwar himself was part of the vested interest not so long ago that ex UMNO members have bad tendencies to relent once the going gets tough & they generally do not possess convictions to persevere till the end; the most uncertain contradiction between the secular DAP & the fundamentalist Islamic PAS is their diametrically opposite political ideologies. Still, I must wish them ‘good marriage’ even though it is a marriage of convenience.

    For those who still hope against all hopes that Chinese still have an equal chance under the Malaysian sun in the current context, you guys must be day dreaming for you simply will have no constituents left in time to come~Chinese population is projected to decline to 15% by 2020 & it will further diminish (at a fast rate) to a negligible number further on. Think of the time when there will be insufficient Chinese majority constituencies for the Chinese-based DAP to contest, insufficient Chinese staff to man your office/store, insufficient Chinese students to attend your Chinese schools etc.(some of these scenarios already happen right now) …

    So, Chinese continual existence & survival in the Malaysian context must be linked with the wider geopolitical conditions in S E Asia & Asia & it is in China’s self interest to incorporate all the S E Asian Chinese in its geopolitical calculation. I can see some subtle yet significant changes taking place in its foreigh policy posturings already:
    .during the anti Chinese riotings in the Solomons Island couple of years back, Hu personally despatched civilian aircrafts to evacuate both Chinese nationals (including Taiwanese, HKongers etc) & naturalised local Chinese. This was a far cry from those uglier years when only empty protest notes were sent to deaf ears.
    .Asean+3 represents attempts to first integrate the regional economies with the Mainland with the view to extending political & cultural influences in the long run
    .Greater Mekong Delta economical integration will bind the Indochinese region including Thailand & Myanmar into the Sino economic sphere
    .May be, just may be, there might already be plans to develop the Kra Canal ( I read this in a blog on China International strategic & Geopolitical Studies Institute) on an area near Ranong (between Thai & Myanmarese borders instead of the Patani region) which will firmly lock up Thailand & Myanmar onto the Chinese economy & at the same time apply pressure onto S’pore & Malaysia to toe the lines, so to speak.

    So, for those who ask us why not we just migrate & never look back: yes, lots of us are already out in S’pore & lately in China. But we (even while outside) will never stop dreaming & bringing about a change in Malaysia not confined only to the internal conditions but in reflection of the greater change in the wider Asian region. Just care to browse all the military portals on the Chinese webs to try to understand the strategic considerations & thinkings of the PLA & what they have in store for us in the 21st century. What is unthinkable or even absolutely radical ( bordering on extreme & you may laugh all you want) now may one day become tenable in perhaps 50, 100 years from now.

  158. Oli
    September 15th, 2008 at 12:57 | #158

    @Tommy B

    Something like that, but lets just say I was what a Cantonese speaker would call a 早熟老人精 and the curse started when at the tender age of seven or so and whilst looking for the little boys’ room, I accidentally “stumbled” into the female actresses’ changing room at a thatre in Taibei, Taiwan. Ever since then, that particular traumatic incident and what happened in that changing room caused me to have a certain weak spot, located nowhere near the frontal lobe, for the fairer sex. 😉

    As for Malaysian food, I absolutely agree, especially the local traditional Malaysian Kueh or desserts made with coconuts, sago, gula melaka (palm sugar refined in the traditional way) etc. Its heavenly and gotta be the first fusion cuisine ever.

    @SK Cheung

    May I politely suggest that you re-read my comments and those of Malaysian Chinese and CM Lee @127 again before you try to psycho-analyse me. Cheers, ta ta and many a raspberries with the friendliest of intentions, goodwill and love for all mankind etc.

    Btw contrary to what CM Lee said, the Chinese never arrived in Malaysia as conquerors but as traders, specifically for tin, palm sugar, swallow birds’ nests, local spices as well as incense, cedar and other produce that were also brought over to Malaysia by Middle Eastern and Indian traders arriving in Malaysia for trade with the locals and with the Chinese. Formal political relationship was established with the marriage of a Malay Sultan and a Chinese princess in the 15th century, whose retinue and later immigrants also intermarried with the Malay nobility and commoners, thereby giving rise to another ethnic group known as the Peranakan in Malaysia today (Wiki Peranakan).

    The Chinese and Indian population in Malaysia only substantially increased after Malaysia became a British colony, because the Brits couldn’t get the local Malays, who preferred to farm and live an eden-like lifestyle in their gambongs (villages) and the jungles thank you very much than to mine the tin mines or tap the mosquitoes infested rubber plantations at 38 C with 70%-80% humidity AND under a blazing sun. So the general Malay response to the Brits’ call for labour was unsurprisingly, Screw That!

    Unfortunately for the Brits and with the advent of WWII, the Chinese after two generations ended up owning the mines and the plantations, the harbours and the shipping, the factories, the restaurants and the shops etc. Such that on the eve of Malaysia’s independence, Malaysian Chinese owned the wealth and the means of producing that wealth, while the majority of Malays on Penninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia) remained in the farming countryside, while a minority of British educated city Malays became increasing nationalistic in the very best of Western tradition and were generally pissed off at both the British and the Chinese generally and certain Chinese political parties (the DAP etc.) specifically. This set the stage for the race riots of May 13th 1969, which also saw the expulsion of Singapore from the Malaysian Federation.

    Subsequently, an uneasy accomodation was reached in which the Chinese would continue to dominate the economy, while the Malays would oversee the government and in the meantime the Chinese would wait for the general living standard of the Malays to catch up under the NEP program in order to maintain racial harmony. Unfortunately, the NEP has only benefited a minority of Malays, particularly in Peninsular Malaysia so that the majority of Malays are again getting pissed off, but now at their own Malay elites, whilst the Indians and the Chinese are loosing patience, thereby resulting in today’s impass. Thus end a much abbreviated history of Malaysia and of the Chinese in Malaysia.

    Consequently, the current Malaysian political situation has nothing to do with race, but all to do with corrupt and inept government, whereas race is only the card the incumbent government use to try to stay in power and the Malaysian people irrespective of race are obviously no longer afraid of the bogeyman.

    PS Contrary to what CM Lee said about Malaysian Chinese learning from the Overseas Tibetans, I am more inclined to believe that it is the Overseas Tibetans who need to learn from the Malaysian and other Overseas Chinese. So there’s some food for thought. 🙂

  159. Hongkonger
    September 15th, 2008 at 15:17 | #159

    “the local Malays, who preferred to farm and live an eden-like lifestyle in their gambongs (villages) and the jungles thank you very much than to mine the tin mines or tap the mosquitoes infested rubber plantations at 38 C with 70%-80% humidity AND under a blazing sun.”

    GOOD FOR THEM.

    “has nothing to do with race, but all to do with corrupt and inept government,” Sooo, there’s hope when Anwar takes over and started kicking asses then?

    YEAH… “Malaysian Kueh or desserts made with coconuts, sago, gula melaka (palm sugar refined in the traditional way) etc. Its heavenly and gotta be the first fusion cuisine ever.” YUMmy~! Allah be praised~! Oh, Buddha and Jesus too.
    You better believe it — Malaysian Kueh, they must be the best desserts in S E Asia. Their great variety of ice shavings (sweetened with palm Molasses & FRESH coconut milk – mmm, heavenly)cold desserts are the summer’s best! Then there’s Rojak, Cha KuehTiao, tender juicy chicken Satay with peanut-curry sauce and Laksa vermencelli, etc are incredible. BTW, Indonesia coffee / Java, in Malaysia are twenty times cheaper than Starbucks and just as aromatic.

  160. Oli
    September 15th, 2008 at 23:30 | #160

    @Hong Konger

    “Sooo, there’s hope when Anwar takes over and started kicking asses then?”

    Nope, not quite. The reality is that unfortunately, there probably will be more political horse trading among the different ethnic/religion oriented political parties. The saving grace and the most important point of the whole exercise is that the Malaysian people, irrespective of race, will have gained more political confidence and tolerance through their peaceful, patient, but above all smart co-operative, inclusive actions.

    Often it is the things that cannot be perceived that are of the greatest significance and permanence, the rest such as formal constitutional and legal declarations, governmental and political structural reforms etc., whilst important in their own ways, are merely window dressing by comparison to what people think, feel and believe in.

    The great white hope is that this confidence in these values will provide sufficient public oversight of the political horse trading and to allow for more considerate give and take.

    As for kicking ass, the worst thing that Anwar could do is kick all the asses who ever crossed him before, but he should nevertheless, kick a few of the worst ones, ie Najib etc. in full accordance with the spirit and the letters of the law, just to warn the rest of the monkeys off.

    On Malaysian food – Ever tried stir fried crab with Marmite?

  161. Hongkonger
    September 16th, 2008 at 02:36 | #161

    Oli,

    Speaking of political horse trading, someone posted this earlier on:

    “How about taking a cue from the Chinese South-Africans? ”

    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1828432,00.html

    HOWEVER, a multi-generational South African Chinese back in his ancestral home, China, writes:

    Yes I saw this a few months ago. The whole thing is being challenged by the
    black population because according to them we were not disadvantaged enough
    Such a mess, I don’t care anymore. (A SA Chinese.)

    And Freddie goes from Ah..to..Oohh….:-(

    “Sooo, there’s hope when Anwar takes over and started kicking asses then?”
    Nope, not quite.”

    And again Freddie of HK weather report, goes from Ah…to …Ooh…
    And the weather girl, she goes, do, do-do, do-do,do-do, do-do, do-do, take a walk on the wild side…
    get the hell out of my sight, ya filthy monkeys! Stir fried crab with Marmite, huh? I love Marmite,
    Vegemite and I love Crab too, nope, but I will remember to look for it next time I visit Malaysia,
    which could be as soon as this October, next month~! Thanks for the tip.

  162. Oli
    September 16th, 2008 at 02:59 | #162

    @Hongkonger

    Yup, pretty f*cked up it is too, but that’s the way the world spins and Ah Q would be very proud.

    For stir fry marmite crabs in Malaysia go to Petaling Jaya, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur which the locals call PJ for short and ask around. There are a few Restaurants on that street which do a similar dish, but look for the one with the waiting que outside. That’s the real McCoy. Enjoy yourself.

  163. Hongkonger
    September 16th, 2008 at 03:05 | #163

    Oli,

    Wow, thanks so much. If you were a girl, I wanna …but since you’re a bloke, please kiss the
    next chantak perumpuan (that’s beautiful girl in Bahasa, right?) on my behalf, will ya?

  164. Oli
    September 16th, 2008 at 03:52 | #164

    HongKonger

    Yikes! You are so freaking me out now! Dude, I’m 100% hetero straight, but appreciate the sentiment.

    Its cantik perempuan, but I usually get by with a Hi!, A smile. Can I get you a drink? And how are you today?

    Direct and simple is best.

  165. S.K. Cheung
    September 16th, 2008 at 04:47 | #165

    Oli:
    CM Lee 127 seems to be poking fun at Malaysian Chinese. So nope, still not sure where you’re getting that M C is drawing parallels to T. But as I always say, whatever floats your boat.

  166. Hongkonger
    September 16th, 2008 at 16:37 | #166

    LOL~Don’t worry pal, Saya also 100% hetero straight; only interested in cantik perempuan, tidak suka Lalaki (men?). Anyways, stir fried Marmite Crabs, Mee Goreng, Satay Ayam, Kali Ayam, Ice Kachang, Anchor beer, Kopi O, here I come~!

  167. Orang Utan
    September 22nd, 2008 at 16:01 | #167

    This race thing is so over-emphasized in Malaysia. What is wrong with us that we can’t seem to move beyond this “race” thing which I believe does not even exist in the first place because mankind evolved from Apes……..think about it. If the so-called “bumiputeras” want to be called that and expect special treatment, why don’t we just leave it at that. Just like in alot of families with multiple children, there are bound to a practice of favouratism by the parents to a certain extent anyway. Why would a normal so-called non-bumi person who can run would want to expect the government to teach him to walk in crutches….So the point here is “Moderation”. I would personally prefer to run thru personal effort than to crawl with the help of the government.

  168. Karma
    September 22nd, 2008 at 17:57 | #168

    Orang Utan,

    I share with your dismay over the hyper-steroid focus we seem to all have on ethnicity/race/religion. I’d rather focus on economic issues and working on policies that help to create a more equitable society (objectively measured). In the U.S., domestically, what was so inspiring about Obama’s message was his effort to look beyond race.

    Of course, now with the race card played so many times on all sides, I am not so sure anymore.

    Identity-based politics may be useful in certain contexts in certain eras, but today’s primordial reflex across the world to resort to such politics is causing much more harm than good – in my humble opinion…

  1. June 19th, 2018 at 23:14 | #1
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