Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Back off from ‘Allah’ debate [Straits Times]

Not directly linked to China, but an insight into how the diasporic Chinese are faring in their assimilation into local cultures and in this instance, Malaysia. There are more than 7 million of them in Malaysia, and make up amost 15% of the total Chinese diaspora which stands at more than 40 million today. 40 million of course, means there are more Chinese scattered around the world than all of the people of Canada (for a sense of scale) put together.

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Back off from ‘Allah’ debate
DPM asks MCA and DAP to avoid triggering strife
Source – Straits Times, published August 03, 2010

PUTRAJAYA – DEPUTY Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday told the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) to refrain from reviving the debate on the use of the word ‘Allah’.

The matter was still being pursued in court and should be resolved amicably, Tan Sri Muhyiddin said.

The ‘Allah’ controversy raised temperatures in Malaysia when it was debated openly earlier this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Culture, Environment, Malaysia, Overseas Chinese, Population, Social, Straits Times, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Chinese Malaysians asking for too much [Straits Times]

A review of the Chinese in Malaysia and Singapore by Zaini Hassan. In some measures, the author is quite right. The Chinese in the region were originally boat people, and unlike Singapore where the Chinese took over the lands, the Chinese in Malaysia landed up in a slightly different (maybe no less luxurious) proposition. It is not hard to discern what this author is alluding to in his reference to the Malaysian Chinese.

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Chinese Malaysians asking for too much
By Zaini Hassan
Source – Straits Times, published Apr 30, 2010

WHAT else do Chinese Malaysians want? Let us put aside the reasons why they do not support the current government in Kuala Lumpur. Let us study first what else they want.

For that, we have to go back to history. The Chinese came to Malaya to seek opportunities. They had lived a hard life in mainland China for hundreds of years. Like the whites who migrated to the American continent because it was the land of opportunity, the Chinese migrated to Malaya to make their fortunes in this bountiful land.

The strategy of their forebears has borne fruit. The Chinese have attained what they wanted. They now live in the lap of luxury in this land of opportunity called Malaysia.

In fact, it is not only in Malaysia that they have attained what they wanted. They have even gained full control of Singapore.

Singapore is not their original country. The Singapore Chinese and the Malaysian Chinese were originally boat people. The difference is that those who landed in Singapore managed to gain full control of Singapore, but those who landed in Malaysia did not manage to control Malaysia.

In Malaysia, the Chinese live in peace with the Malays, the indigenous people and the Indians. In comparison, in Singapore, the Chinese control politics and the Government. In Malaysia, the Malays still control politics and the government.

The systems of both governments are the same, but it is vice versa: The Malays dominate in Malaysia while the Chinese dominate across the Causeway.

In contrast, the Malays in Singapore and the Chinese in Malaysia are very different. The Malays in Singapore lead ordinary lives while the Chinese in Malaysia lead lives that are ‘more than ordinary’.

In fact, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad once stated that if all the Chinese-owned buildings in Kuala Lumpur were lifted from the map, only the buildings in Kampung Baru, a Malay area, would remain in the city.

All the other buildings are owned by Chinese Malaysians. The well-known shopping centres in Malaysia are owned by the Chinese.

The Chinese Malaysians are fantastic. They control all the cities and major towns in peninsular Malaysia, as well as Sabah and Sarawak.

They produce the largest number of, and the most successful, professionals. The school system of the Chinese Malaysians is the best among similar school systems in the world.

The Chinese account for most of the students studying in the best private colleges in Malaysia. The Malays can gain admission into only government-owned colleges of ordinary reputation.

With regard to corporate and private organisations, it is the Chinese who dominate. The Malays number just a few; most of them are low-level employees.

In fact, knowing Mandarin is a pre-requisite for applying for jobs in these organisations.

Finally, an annual survey by the Malaysian Business magazine has found that eight of the 10 richest people in Malaysia are Chinese. The following is the list of the 10 richest people in Malaysia:

Mr Robert Kuok Hock Nien
Mr Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan
Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng
Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow
Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay
Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan
Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary
Puan Sri Lee Kim Hua
Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King
Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun
This is the reality in Malaysia, my beloved country. Is the current government, which has been in power for 52 years, cruel and totalitarian? What else do the Chinese Malaysians want?

I think I know, and I think you know too.

Filed under: Chinese overseas, Culture, Greater China, International Relations, Malaysia, Politics, Straits Times

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