Monday, September 27, 2010

Bananas 2 - The man who hates bananas

Continuing from my previous post Bananas where I wrote:

The sins of a non-Chinese educated Chinese must be exposed and punished, not unlike what someone (who knows, maybe a kinfolk of the Jiang Qing-ish headmistress) has been doing to Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Hannah Yeo and most of all, Josh Hong wakakaka.

Bananas must have their ‘yellow’ skins peeled back to expose their ‘white’ and thus non-Chinese core ........

I narrated how I became a banana when I could have well turned out to be either an amazing Teochew (Chaozhou) opera star, or alternatively I could have become a world renowned Chinese scholar famous for his love poems wakakaka.

And I did also threaten to reveal how a banana-hater woo-ed and stole my banana sweetheart from me. But before I come to that sly sneaky (but sweet to her) dog, maybe I need to share with you my thoughts on what is a banana because there exist several views on this quite common species of Chinese Malaysians.

Yellow on the outside means we’re Chinese but white on the inside, implies western (English) education, western values and even western habits. From here, further descriptions begin to vary, where those which blogger Shuzheng has adopted reach outrageous dimensions, alleging that bananas are all too ready to or even have disowned their Chinese heritage.

In a letter to Malaysiakini, Shuzheng accused Lim Kit Siang of wanting to “emasculate the Chinese identity and then subvert it by the replacement, 'Malaysian'” as in DAP’s Malaysian First concept. He then condemned Lim as someone who has jiancao chugen.

The Chinese proverb literally translates into ‘cut the grass by severing its roots’, asserting if one does so, the grass will sprout no more; it means destroying something totally and thoroughly by eliminating any of its potential for comeback.

Shuzheng used the proverb to lambast Lim for turning against his ancestral past.

Does Shuzheng make sense here, or has he allowed his invincible bias against DAP leaders who are Chinese, western educated and Christians, especially those of the sweet gender who have the brazen shame to marry a non-Chinese, and worst of all, if she is at the same time a sweet smart cutie wakakaka, to indulge in such histrionics?

Did he also refer to a Chinese idiom hao hua cha cai niufen shang (= sticking a good/gorgeous bloom on a pile of bovine poo, which means wasted beauty) when he excoriated DAP sweetheart Hannah Yeoh? Wakakaka again - he's just jealous of Hannah's husband.

Let’s see where my personal experience as a banana has taken me.

One morning, a few years after I left for good the private Chinese school because of the Jiang Qin-ish headmistress, I met sweet Dimpled Cheeks in Paya Terubong – she was then thirteen, 2 years younger than me. More gorgeous than ever, she was unfortunately accompanied by her parents, obviously a Sunday family outing to the Ayer Itam village market.

I thought her dimpled cheeks grew more rosy, probably flushing on seeing me, the dungu for whom she wrote those sweet innocent words, mind you, just to improve my Mandarin ;-) I suppose she must have regretted her sweet innocent impetuosity.

At that particular moment three short lines from Li Bai’s Changgan Song sprang to my mind:

At fifteen, my face lit up
in your company, I was willing
to have my ashes mixed with yours

Li Bai was China’s greatest poet and a Godzilla boozer. For years, under the influence of one of my uncles, I tried to imitate Li Bai’s lifestyle (the boozing part) until I found out he drowned in a vat of wine. Mind you, it was not a bad way to go wakakaka.

Of course I couldn’t read much Chinese save a few words, like those three which Dimpled Cheeks wrote for me ;-), but I could learn/absorb Chinese tradition, culture, myths and folklore and history from my elders. Being banana was never a socio-cultural disadvantage though of course we can always do better.

An uncle was good enough to buy me the English versions of the 300 Poems of Tang Dynasty and various other classics, including the Big Four – Romance of the 3 Kingdoms, Water Margin, Journey to the West and Dreams of the Red Chamber. But damn, Unc refused to let me have a copy of the Plum in the Golden Vase because I was then not yet an adult :(

Dreams of the Red Chamber

Though I struggle somewhat with Mandarin, I speak other forms of Chinese, Hokkien and Teochew, and some naughty-saucy Canto words, and gasp occasionally Mandarin too - so, how to 'emasculate' the Chinese identity?

I observe Chinese festivals, and at mum’s insistence (just to please her when she was alive) religious or traditional rites.

For example, I celebrate mid Autumn festival, CNY, Chap Goh Meh, and all the festivals that Penangites love, and even (for moi, an atheist) religious ones like 7th Moon (Ghost) festival and its saucy Koe Tai (Ge Dai) wakakaka, the very stern Kew Ong Eah birthday rites and the trek up cheng ji chan (1,200 steps) to the 9-Emperor Gods’ temple on the hill, various Tua Peh Kong birthday celebrations in Penang and the inevitable Teochew operas.

When I was in Malaya, I observed (together with my mum while she was alive) Cheng Beng, visiting and cleaning my grandparents’ and father’s grave. In Penang, one cannot but help know when Cheng Beng arrives because the Angsana blooms would be scattered all along Scotland Road and Western Road. The Angsana trees (Pterocarpus indicus) are known as pokok sena in Malay.

Penangites called the magnificent golden blooms Cheng Beng hua or flowers of Cheng Beng. The name also carries an ominous significance as the blooms on the roads during or after rain had proven to be perilously slippery to motorcyclists, like kaytee in his younger days.

I have no doubt Lim Kit Siang and his son and families (notwithstanding their Christian faith) observe and celebrate at least the non-religious Chinese customs, culture and traditions as well. So how dare Shuzheng make such outrageous MCA-Gerakan-ish claims that Lim Kit Siang has deliberately destroyed his Chinese roots and heritage?

Mind you, I can tell you why he did so. Shuzheng has been fond of putting words (of his slanted choosing and perception) into the mouths of his various Nemesis’s. He also does this by grasping on flimsy straws and extrapolating them along the gutter-route of his prejudice. That is his weakness, borne by his illiberality, twisted animosity and lazy scholarship.

He hates Lim and son so much that he has even turned his take on Teoh Beng Hock’s so-called ‘final note’, a document of questionable provenance, into a blame game, of course with Lim Kit Siang as a target – that’s his sickness but in doing so, he may have, either unwittingly or deliberately, given the MACC comfort.

I was prepared to accept his bilious eccentricities in attacking Christian Chinese DAP leaders as just a bias, but in exploiting the tragedy of a young man for his own base motives, Shuzheng has crossed the last line of decency. His talent in penmanship has degenerated into vindictive malicious pomposity.

Yes, I know a few Chinese educated may sneer at or look down on bananas, but none has ever shown the degree of hatred and the guttersnipe tactics as Shuzheng has done to Lim KS, GE, Hannah Yeoh and other Christian Chinese DAP leaders, and Josh Hong.

Just wondering, had Josh Hong spurned him?

F* Shuzheng, let’s return to someone pleasant, like my memories of sweet Dimpled Cheeks. I thought of her at the market, then a sweet 13. If I could turn the clock back to then, I would dedicate 3 of Du Mu’s lines on Parting to her:

Slender, supple, she’s just thirteen,
The tip of a cardamom bud
In early spring

In my next posting I’ll talk of my banana love, and how Lee Lam Thye (yes, the former DAP pollie whom many of you hate) ‘introduced’ us, not that Tan Sri Lee even knows about that wakakaka.


  1. Thanks for 'speaking' up for us bananas...

  2. we are malaysians for good sake!

  3. Ah, yes... the ShuZhengs. You'll find quite a number of these uber-Zhongquo-ren-wannabes always eager to prove they're more Chinese than the Chinese next to them. Even to the point of insisting you Mandarinise your name... Mandarin being a northern language hundreds of kilometers away in distance and culture from Fujian.

    With their superiority complex and victim mentality (a paradox, yes, but these two traits are always present in any racial/ethnic supremacist... see Ibrahim Ali), they think that China... more specifically Beijing, is the center of the universe, their crap doesn't smell, and borrowing from other cultures is a Most Unforgivable Sin that can be done by any Chinese.

  4. LOL @ ShuZheng who talking about his "root", he even tried to bend the fact that Teoh Beng Hock is born Hokkien by naming him "Zhao MingFu" which is the mandarin (Northern Chinese) way of pronouncing TBH's name. Removing the real root of Teoh Beng Hock.

    And as for ShuZheng himself? He's probably also descendant of Southern Chinese. And the name "ShuZheng", is a product of Northern Chinese.

    Southern Chinese is in many way very different from Northern Chinese. So ShuZheng may want to explain why he choose to eradicate both himself and TBH's root, and go lelong himself to the Northerners...

  5. @Johnny T "Mandarin being a northern language hundreds of kilometers away in distance and culture from Fujian."

    I think it's definitely more than a thousand.

    In fact linguists suggest that Cantonese can no longer be categorised into the Han language due to the strong influence by non-Han aborigine in the region. I believe Hokkien too got influenced by the locals :) Even till now, people from Fujian and Guangdong/Guangxi provinces don't speak good Mandarin (These people really standby with their roots!).

  6. Shu-Zheng = (to me) Book on Governance , a fantastic & wonderful
    analyst !!

  7. Bentoh, Among the Chinese-educated set -- as Teoh Beng Hock was, their names in common usage are indeed Mandarinized, i.e. pronounced according to hanyu pinyin. So your allegation that it is Shuzheng who "bent" TBH's name to become Zhao Mingfu is baseless and unfounded.

    Johnny T, on your comment about "uber-Zhongquo-ren-wannabes always eager to prove they're more Chinese than the Chinese next to them", you sound to me like an uber-Malaysian-Firster-wannabes overly eager to prove you're more Malaysian than the Malay next to you. I find your complex just as distasteful.


  8. KT,
    I had been reading your blog regularly (in fact bookmarked) in past 2 years.

    I stumbled onto Shuzheng's blog recently and read most of his articles. To be fair, he writes pretty well in English language. But I think he thinks too highly of himself. My bet is command of Chinese Language is so-so only. Please tell him it is 斩草除根 , NOT 剪 草除根 。 In any case, judging from what he wrotes about the Bananas, my guess is that he is INMATURE. I attended English medium secondary mission school after 6 years in SRJK(C) . Most of my schoolmates then were 'Bananas', many can only write/recognise 3 Chinese characters : their Chinese names. However, inability to read/speak/write Chinese do not make many of them less 'ethnic Chinese Malaysian'. They speak dialect and many of them are more ' Asian' in value then I was/am.
    I am proud of my good command of two most important languages in this part of the world : English & Chinese. (Oops, sorry...... my Malay is rusty now even though i studied very hard and got a C3 in MCE). Unlike Shuzheng, I do not 'despise' the bananas, I emphatise them, especially when they go KTV in Shenzhen/Shanghai/Guangdong/zhuhai etc etc.. While people like me can communicate with these SWT KTV girls comfortably, these bananas are not able to. Most KTV girls do not speak Hokkien/Teochiu/Cantonese. There is only one point I am in agreeement with Shuzheng, i.e. China is NOT a bad place to 'return' to. Ted

  9. Thanks for the info Ted. Actually I recognize Shuzheng's prowess in penmanship but he has allowed his talent to be corrupted by his frightening hatred of DAP leaders who just happen to be Christian Bananas. For some reason he hates Josh Hong most of all with an invincible prejudice.

    All above are still acceptable but he crossed the final line of decency when he exploited the so-called 'final note' of Teoh Beng Hock to continue his attacks on Lim Kit Siang - it's not Lim KS I'm concerned about but the family of the late Teoh Beng Hock who are still reeling from the year-old tragedy - how low can Shuzheng go.

  10. KT

    “The sins of a non-Chinese educated Chinese…”
    The amusing part is that Josh Hong Chinese is anytime superb than Shuzheng while his English is the other way round, therefore I guess the “exposed and punished” has nothing to do with stream of education, but have everything to do with values system.

    Your mentioning of both Mao and Jiang in that particular context is an indication of patronizing manner toward something Chinese, which may due to your Western-centric mindset that you are not aware of.

    We can only comprehend and learn the Chinese writing system through a Chinese language, be it Mandarin, Teochew or Cantonese, and it is too bad that the Northerner Mandarin has now become a relatively more popular and common language, just like English.

    I think Shuzheng successfully bring out the viewpoint of certain Chinese voice that was unheard in the English speaking community, and for that, I salute him.

    Finally, my view on DAP is that they are no more a mosquito or powerless party, they could be on the track to become federal government, and their leader like LGE is already a government officer (官), so spare us the freedom to F*** them whenever we think they “deserve” it.

    PS/ 剪草除根 - 比喻除去祸根,不留后患。出处 - “为国家者,见恶,如农夫之务去草焉……绝其本根,勿使能殖。” 近义词 斩尽杀绝、斩草除根。So Ted, stick to the KTV gal, this is what people at your level can do.


  11. ... but only if they deserve it ;-)

  12. Mr KT,
    I remembered you wrote a couple of articles on why DSAI’s ultimate goal is to become PM via UMNO route. I did not buy the ‘speculation’ until now.
    It is reported that DSAI would not accept nomination to contest the post of PKR president.
    Any comment?


  13. Mr HuaYong,

    Thanks for information on 剪 草除根。 I admit I had not heard anyone using the phrase it in conversation.
    I have many Taiwanese & Mainland colleagues with whom I communicate regularly in Mandarin.
    As far as I know, they use 斩草除根, which I believe is more commonly used in modern era.
    Anyway, I was wrong and Thanks.

    Regardless, Shuzheng had gone overboard in his personal attack against the Anglophile-Christian-banana. 言论 太 偏激了。

    I consider myself more ‘Chinese educated’ then ‘ English educated’ and I have many banana friends/colleagues.
    The value-system of many of these’so-called-bananas are more Chinese than Western even though they can’t read/write Chinese and speak Mandarin.
    Many of them have the virtues of 忠孝仁义 礼仪廉耻 , even though they may not heard of these 8 Chinese characters. At least they are 中庸 , unlike Shuzheng’s 偏激 writing.

    I do not know LKS/LGE/Hannah Yeo/Eli Wong/Josh Hong to comment whether they are ‘thoroughly banana’ as described by Shuzheng or they merely do not understand Chinese language.
    In any case, it is wrong to label every ethnic Chinese who do not Chinese language as banana.
    What he wrote is simply his personal opinion. He does not speak on behalf of all the non-banana, definitely not on my behalf.

    BTW, Mr HuaYong,
    You do not what you had missed if you had never set foot in China KTV. It is a great place to close business and male-bonding among colleagues.


  14. Ted, you think Shuzheng tak tau 'cutting grass ' or 'chopping grass'
    in the Chinese Proverbs ah .... are you 'rotten wood cannot be carved'!?

  15. 90% of Chinese youngsters attend chinese primary schools. Malaysian Chinese evidently speak with a one voice, and have stated their case. The political leadership representing the chinese must represent the interests of these 90%, including their language, culture, values, businesses and religion, and not just the political goals. They cannot be representing just the interests of the 'other' (banana) 10%'s political goals.

  16. Hi Ted,

    偏激, 新华字典解释为思想、言论等过火,不适当。您可指出书正那一句话,那一篇文章犹如你形用般吗?我个人认为,比较正确的说法是书正笔调尖酸刻薄,用词锋利泼辣,文笔倾向嘲讽挖苦,可大义还是中肯且经过慎重思考。

    Dichotomy is not on Chinese or English educated, Shuzheng seldom use the term “banana”. The bone of contention is that some of us don’t accept in absolute sense that everything from the West equate superior, noble and represent true. We think this is perhaps the right time to relook into our ancestor values and philosophy, their wisdom and way of life could possibly lead us into a new chapter.

    I agree we seldom use 剪草除根, however, I prefer to do some checking before drawing conclusion especially if it involve critical remark, so I hope we learn from each other.

    I entirely aware that many English educated is anytime more “Chinese” than those that read and write Chinese, see our KT how observant he is when come to festival, however, the point is more on their worldview with regards to language, culture and self-assurance. And do they have a clear definition of what constitute “Chinese” and “Malaysian”.

    PS/ Oh, karaoka, I love it, the short skirt, the reveal body and the expose chest, 这个湖北的,那个云南的,站在中间嘟起嘴带出羞花闭月之感是我们的台柱,蒙古女郎!! Come on, bottom up, take whatever ecstasy you wish, to get rich is glorious. So how dare we blame our politician?


  17. Interesting discussion we have here.

    Bentoh, I had relatives who went to Fujian on tour last year. Between towns, the dialect and culture changes. From one town to the next its like crossing national borders.

    As Malaysian Chinese, its important we dont lose track of the Bigger Picture. Forget about pandering to the Ibrahim Ali's, Mahathir's, Perkasa people and the ultras. They will always see the bukan-Melayu, moderate Malay, and even yes.. the BBM (Bumiputera Bukan Melayu) as a foreign menace. Any amount of trying to convince them is wasteful. Seperti memandikan itik. Just leave them be and damn them to hell.

    The trick is to work with the Malaysians both Chinese and non Chinese who are interested in promoting multiculturalism & acceptance of other races n religions. Of these, there are many.

  18. yup Johnny, even in Malaysia, once past Taiping southwards, (as in Ipoh) Hokkien gives way to Canto and Hakka. The local cuisine also changes from nyonya-ish to more orthodox Canto-Hakka (anyway, thus so in my days).

    Even Hokkien speaking Alor Setar-ans differ slightly in their Hokkien from Penangites - see my post in my other blog KTemoc Kongsamkok -

  19. “As Malaysian Chinese, its important we dont lose track of the Bigger Picture.”

    Everyone have their own perceive right track to the bigger picture, however, I don’t think Malaysia First would be the one. What the peoples want to see is less corruption, less rhetoric, less talk on race but more in term of action and governance. Hence the urgent task moving forward for the Malaysia First base political party is to work harder and commit less mistake, and don’t try to be a hero.

    One wrong move, lose the whole game. (一招棋错,全盘皆输)


  20. Mr HuaYong,

    It is 书政 ( 书生 论 政 ? ) , not 书正 。
    His writing is more than 嘲讽挖苦 , it is偏激.

    Below are a few sentences from his article << Doing a Ridhuan Tee in the DAP >>

    << Ridhuan and Kit Siang are in the same class not because they are by birth Chinese but for the reason they share a common enmity: their Chinese identity

    Ridhuan’s motive may be religious (although this is debatable), Kit Siang’s political; their outcomes are the same – both deny their ethnic births.

    The tasks – first the abandoning, then the conversion – don’t require a blind leap of faith. Half or more of the DAP leadership top echelons are already Anglophiles, Chinamen converted to Anglo-Saxon culture. And they (the Teresas and the Thomases) also have Christianity, a conversion that makes them nearly identical to Ridhuan Tee in their mutual rejection of the old life as heathens, infidels, and kafirs. >>

    Ridhuan Tee ….. 不值得 我 浪费笔墨 批评 的一 个人 。He does not deserve my comment.

    This Ridhuan guy 滥用 < Kiasu/ultra kiasu > , as Helen Ang pointed out in one of her articles. This word appears in practically every paragraph of his articles.
    He is an embarrassment to the Uni that ward his PHD, to Islam and to ethnic Chinese Malaysian.

    书政 likes to use the word Anglophiles, but I would not equate him with Ridhuan.
    Neither would I equate those people Anglophiles书政 mentioned with Ridhuan.
    所谓 中庸之道 。

    BTW... I am an Agnostic and I do not use Christian name. (In case you think I am defending Anglophiles.
    I am an ethnic Chinese Malaysian. I have no issue with my identity and I have no hidden agenda. (I work in Electronics industry )

    My take is : There is no future for the average Chinese Malaysian in Malaysia until there is a large segment of Malay leaders who are selfless & enlightened enough to reverse the course.