Friday, October 06, 2006

Apathetic Chinese marginalising themselves?

Academician Tee Boon Chuan, director of the Malaysian Centre for Ethnic studies at New Era College, participated in a forum last night jointly organised by the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSAH) civil rights committee and Oriental Daily (obviously a Chinese interest forum) and has this to say about Chinese Malaysians with regards to claims of their ‘marginalisation’.

Tee reckoned that the Chinese community in Malaysia are being marginalised not from a racial aspect but from a religious one.

However he averred that the Chinese are actively marginalising themselves by being apathetic to social problems.

“Whenever there is a problem affecting the Muslim or Malay community, the common reaction from the Chinese community is that they don’t care. By doing this, they are marginalising themselves.”

“The Chinese must change this attitude. Whatever problems affecting the Malay community for example, will eventually affect the Chinese community. Anything that happens in the land is also a Chinese problem.”

KTemoc opines that while Tee’s assessment about the Chinese ‘marginalising themselves’ has been spot on, his recommendations for Chinese to be more involved in Malay affairs failed to recognise that the Malays or rather the Malay leadership don’t tolerate non-Malay involvement in their affairs unless it’s of the 'kami sokong' variety.

Just look at the recent debate, just a mere debate, on bumi equity, and the PM himself has emerged from his usual elegant silence (undoubtedly after advice from his advisors) to pulverise ASLIs’ report as ‘irresponsible’. That’s a very harsh word for the PM to use against an independent think-tank, based on advice from parties of interests.

By using such a harsh term to criticise ASLI's study on bumi equity, the PM has disappointingly adopted an aggressive defensive attitude. He could have used his experts to shoot down ASLI’s report per se with facts, if they have any, without the need to resort to such disparaging and threatening choice of words.

Whenever an UMNO leader uses such disparaging words, you may assume he's either running out of patience or running scared of facts. Hornets and keris may yet follow.


  1. logically, then, it cannot follow that the Chinese are marginalizing themselves, as the good professor puts it. a Chinese who tries to involve himself in Malay matters gets shunted, and therefore, it is not from a lack of trying.

    it therefore also follows that if avoiding marginalization means an active interest in Malay affairs, and it is the Malays who block such an interest, then it is the Malays who are marginalizing the Chinese.

    Is that not logical?

    And outside partisan politics, isn't this also the case in the civil service?

    I remember reading an article about the Indonesian massacre of Chinese a few years back, and the author, a sociologist I think, lamented the fact that the Chinese and Malays in Indonesia had become estranged, not so much because of the wealth disparities, but because of a complete and utter lack of participation by these Chinese in government and civil service. Maybe our fearless leaders should look into this matter?

  2. yees how on earth will the chinese get involved in the matters of the malays when the malays doesn't allow them to? look, when non malays were talking about islam, they (the malays muslim) already accuse us of nonsense talk ("don't talk about islam if you are not a muslim!")

    i do agree though that the chinese seems to be an apathetic community.

  3. forget chinese, think non-malay.

    any issue will be sensitive issue. any comment will be branded with racist(traitor if u are malay). anyone attempt to do so will be rewarded with few years of free ISA coffee.

    this is how the world goes round in malaysia.

  4. well said, my friend... chinese folks in msia are more or less 'irrelavant'... rather difficult to agree with Prof Tee...

  5. The best the Chinese and the non-Malay can do is to withdraw their support from UMNO/Malay.

    It is easier say than done since a few non-Malays are part of the crony system in UMNO/Malay especially Samy Vellu of MIC and selfish/greedy MCA leaders.