Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chinese successful, marginalised & compliant?

This in essence has been what Lee Kuan Yew said:

Chinese minorities are systemically marginalised because they are successful and hardworking. The attitude of both Malaysia and Indonesia towards Chinese-dominated Singapore has been shaped by the way their own Chinese minorities behave under the constraint of their government’s systematic marginalisation, namely being ‘compliant’. Those two Malay-dominated governments want Chinese Singapore to be equally compliant.

Let’s examine his points more closely, but with regards to Malaysia only (because we live here):

(1) Chinese citizens of Malaysia are successful and hardworking

(2) They are systematically marginalised because of that

(3) Malaysia sees their Chinese minorities as compliant

(4) Therefore they want Chinese-Singapore to be equally compliant

There are 3 factors in his statements on Chinese Malaysian – (a) successful & diligent, (2) systematically marginalised, (3) compliant

However, these three features are not automatically related nor flow from one to the other, though in some cases they may be. Let’s look closer:

(1) The MCA and Gerakan members are generally successful but not all are diligent

(2) They are compliant but not necessarily systematically marginalised

(3) The poor Chinese (non-BN members), poor Indians (could well be BN members), poor Malays (usually though not all non-BN members), many non-Malay bumiputeras and most Orang Asli are obviously not successful though could well be diligent

(4) They are marginalised but not necessarily compliant.

(5) The DAP and PAS members are definitely marginalised but far from being compliant

(6) Most are generally hardworking and some are even successful

I could go on and on with all sorts of combination but basically what I wanted to show was that, in LKY’s couple of sentences that were tossed around, those words involved so many factors which may not automatically be related to one another, or the consequences of another.

BTW, what does LKY meant by being ‘marginalised’? KTemoc knows he had been ‘marginalised’ (personal experience) but that doesn't mean Vincent Tan, Patrick Badawi or Ananda Krishnan are.

And what is meant by ‘compliant’? Well, Raja Bodek is certainly ‘compliant’ but then, he is an extreme case so we won’t be able to use him as a clear example of that LKY-alleged characteristic.

Hmmm, let’s see – how about Lim Keng Yaik and Ong Ka Ting, or their predecessors like Dr Lim Chong Eu or Ling Liong Sik or even Tan Siew Sin?

What about former DAP strong man Lee Lam Thye? Now, this bloke would provide an interesting case study - please be fair on him!

What about the Malays in Singapore? Could LKY’s words about Chinese Malaysians be applied equally to them?

What are your views?


  1. The thought of being 'marginalised' would be unthinkable to Malays in Singapore til some politicians from Malaysia goes all the way to incite them and feed them with lies about their Malaysian breathen enjoying benefits exclusively for them.

    Even that doesn't cloud the judgement of Singaporean Malays as they themselves knew Singapore Gov cracks the whip on everyone and equally rewards any of their 'compliant' citizens regardless of race and religion. The racial card doesn't work there as an average Singaporean knew they have to sacrifice for the betterment of Singapore as a nation. Nationalism/patriotism are the keywords to Singapore compare to Malaysia's 'compliant' and 'marginalised'.

    Too bad we're stucked with such 'negative' statements but let's face it when the buffalo doesn't move forward, the miracle wheel does nothing.

  2. The citizen is marginalised when there is gerrymandering and he is not allow to vote at local elections.The citizen is compliant when he shows political apathy.Consequences follow naturally.

  3. What about former DAP strong man Lee Lam Thye? Now, this bloke would provide an interesting case study - please be fair on him!


    I am a Malay & a Muslim. My late mom used to tell us, if Lee Lam Thye were to contest in our area, her vote would definitely go to him.

    To her, he was the most sincere and hard working politician.


  4. What I find amusing in Malaysia-Singapore relations is that we are so worried about a little rock of barely five million people to the south that is enveloped by the southern coast of Johor. Comparisons of Singapore to Israel has been made, although Singapore has never launched a military attack upon Malaysia.

    Meanwhile, there is a much bigger country of over 200 million people to our southwest and southeast who attacked us before in the 60s. Even today hundreds "invade" our shores across the straits. But the Malay politicos don't seem so paranoid about this country compared to their fears on Kiasuland.

    Singapore's has advanced more than us in terms of socioeconomic development since its independence in the 60s (can't say the same politically). To Umno's leaders, the image that a small rock of unsubservient Chinese can develop themselves to become more advanced than Malaysia and Indonesia puts a huge hole in their notion of Ketuanan & Keunggulan Melayu.

    And that's what pisses them off...