Monday, April 18, 2011

The Chinese Political Paradox

Once again the Chinese Malaysians are in the spotlight, not a place they would want to be. But the near complete sweep of Chinese-majority constituencies in the Sarawak State elections by DAP has refocused the attention of BN politicians on this (for them) vexing problem.

No doubt many in UMNO would like to paraphrase (apparently wrongly attributed to) Henry II when he voiced his frustration with Thomas Becket: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent Chinese?”

Utusan Malaysia came up with a more practical punishment, proposing angrily that
BN ignores Chinese vote after Sarawak polls.

Its editorial (in its Awang Selamat column) states: “The average Chinese voters have rejected BN and supported DAP. Therefore the BN state government can no longer be too generous to give place to representatives from the community. Sarawak cabinet must be reflective of the decisions and attitude of the voters. message must be sent. Taib must show gratitude to those that supported him and BN government.”

“Once again the attitude of the Chinese voters is clear in rejecting BN. Awang believes that sentiment of Chinese voters in the peninsular is also the same. The reality is that after dominating the economy for so long the Chinese community wants to have greater influence and become a dominant political force.”

Kaytee is not surprised at all that Utusan failed to mention a single word about the alleged gross corruption and rampant abuse of power, etc committed by the State government for the last 30 years.

Equally not surprising has been CSL’s pontification that
Supp should not accept any position in the Sarawak state Cabinet as the party had lost the Chinese community’s support.

He explained: “If it takes part in the Cabinet, I feel the Chinese of Sarawak would think it (SUPP) is there only for the seats and not to serve the community. Besides, SUPP’s role in the Cabinet would be limited to only helping to resolve problems within the Chinese community. Even if its leaders are in the cabinet, I can foresee that they can’t solve the community’s problems.”

Was CSL saying that on as a matter of principle, or was he indirectly warning Peninsula Chinese Malaysians that there won’t be any Chinese representatives in the cabinet if they follow the Sarawakians and vote for DAP instead of MCA? You tell me, wakakaka!

But my observation is that CSL has fallen into line with Utusan’s threat, typical of MCA, which calls for another wakakaka.

Again, there’s not one word of corruption, abuse of power, non-accountability, unlike a more gentlemanly George Chan who admitted so as the reason for the SUPP's near annihilation. Even my dear Penang larng, Ah Koon, has wisely euphemized his way through with his comment on the challenge of increasing support for the DAP and the opposition party’s ability to
add more seats in yesterday’s Sarawak state election.

Ah Koon noticed succinctly that “… this did not happen in the blink of an eye but rather a continuation of the political tsunami which started to be felt in urban areas in Kuching in the 2006 state election, and that it has grown more serious, resulting in repercussions for BN going into the next general election."

Well-known UMNO blogger Sakmongkol AK47 commented in his latest post
The Chinese voice in BN politics:

How will these two parties
[MCA and SUPP] operate in future? They have lost ownership as the voice of the Chinese people. The victories of DAP in Sarawak and the MCA's poor showing in the 2008 National Elections signal the rise of more strident voices and demands by the Chinese Community. There are two ways to stem the slide.

First, Chinese leaders in MCA and SUPP will ask the PM, as leader of BN to allow them more leeway to become MORE Chinese. Meaning, they want to behave like how UMNO behaves – as the unmitigated voice of Chinese interests. The more strident and belligerent the better as a means to regain the Chineseness of their political pronouncements.

Second, as anyone can assume, given the accommodative personality of the PM, he will be seen to giving in to more Chinese demands.

Sak then war-gamed around with the two options, pointing out that Najib will have a hard time balancing the repercussions of 1 and 2.

But let me say something about it as well. The recent political phenomenon of the Chinese Malaysians (both in March 2008 and now in Sarawak, and once before in May 1969) has been very much against the political grain of the Chinese community.

Unlike Indians and Malays, it has generally been an ethnic group which prefers to stay out of high visibility politics, only wanting to earn a living, their ‘3 bowls of rice’ and turning up at the election station once every 5 years, or even staying at home to instead play mahjung on that day.

So why has there been this paradox, that of a politically reluctant community suddenly making waves in Malaysian politics?

We can’t expect Utusan to come up with rational, logical and objective comments, so let’s examine Sakmongkol’s question, which is, will it help ameoliorate BN’s prospects in the next general election if Najib gives more leeway (or more correctly, more ‘face’) to Chinese leaders in MCA and SUPP, so they may be seen as the real voice of the Chinese community, for them to be as mucho macho Chinese as possible?

I personally don’t believe that’s what the Chinese really want. Sure, the MCA being regularly humiliated by UMNO does not help convince the Chinese that the BN is the party to represent them.

But far more important than 'face', if only Najib can both (i) stop the racist bigoted conduct of some of his UMNO colleagues, Utusan, Perkasa, etc (or for for that matter, Chinese and Indian rightwing utterances), and more importantly (ii) come straight out to reject, on behalf of his so-called 1Malaysia BN government, those inflammatory redneck utterances, I believe that’ll be a great start.

No 2 – will he stop the bloody rampant abuse of power (politically inclined or otherwise) by the BN politicians, Civil Services, Police, MACC.

No 3 – will he stop the gross corruption within the BN ranks (and cronies).

Yes, my take on why Chinese Malaysians have recently become more vocal, and expressing so via the ballot box, is that they have reached a stage when the BN bull, blatant corruption and arrogant abuse of power are suffocating them. The scum has risen way above their nostril levels. Thus they need to speak out or die of suffocation. They have no choice.


  1. bullshit ! the majority of chinese in sarawak are well off.most of the business there practise bribe since the beginning.chinese wants political power now.

    i really dont want this country to run by the chinese,never! .after observing them how they run they business which involves a lot of racism,discrimination and plain greed.
    a non-malay

  2. Anon
    You are them right, this guy talk about corruption in BN but he don't talk about who is bribing the government office/minister if not those Chinese, what to be more vocal my foot

  3. Again stereotyping the Chinese as bribe givers..what a lot of bull...just as it is not right to stereotype Muslims or Indians or any other groups based on the actions of one or two...

  4. 'Once again the Chinese Malaysians are in the spotlight, not a place they would want to be.'

    Kt, I think you misread the sentiments of the Chinese. This is exactly where we want to be. What can the government do to us which they have not already done?

    To get anything done in the civil service government servants OPENLY expect bribes when they see Chinese businessmen. The clean ones are ostracized by their colleagues and eventually transferred if not worse. Care for a refreshing downward 'flight'?

    To Anons 12:12 AM, April 19, 2011 and
    10:31 PM, April 18, 2011. A man who holds to principles of hard work and honesty will resist the devil. Unfortunately, 90% of the civil servants who will not even go near pork see no problem in taking bribes. The person in power is the one to be blamed when he cannot even follow the dictates of his religion which he supposedly holds so dear.

  5. Many people (especially the UMNO & BN government) fail to comprehend the mindset and fail to observe the economic cohesiveness and community of the Chinese.

    Even without any form of citizenship nor having any voting rights, the Chinese community will thrive and mushroom like rats in sewers...., anywhere in this world...! This fact cannot be denied.

    The best example is Hong Kong. This small British Colony was not even a country nor a nation-state at its outset..., and even until its surrender back to Mainland China in 1997..., after its lease to the British had expired.

    Hong Kong did not even have a standard 'National Currency' for its daily transaction but commerce had thrived from its Junk or 'Tongkang' days up till its Metropolis status today.

    This is the attitude of the Chinese community. They can survive and thrive on their own.., without requiring any help or assistance from any external or authoritive quarters. Their attitude for survival and growth is correct.., they can always remain self-sufficient. And Hong Kong is one good example.., as well as the many Chinatowns all over the world.

    From their self-sufficiency they have acquired great amount of wealth through their hard work (also through their wheeling & dealing) and commerce. This attitude and culture is in-built in a Chinaman. It is difficult to find a Chinaman who is idle or keeps his/her money idling.

    In Malaysia, the Chinese are a very close knit community & society compared to the other races. They are natural entrepreneurs and businessmen.

    Thus, even without political power the Chinese have managed to excel in business and commerce..., unlike the Malays & Bumiputras who have acquired political power but have yet to exhibit a credible Bumiputra Business Community.

    However, the Chinese commercial and business community can be said to be a rather 'selfish' lot. They would rather give away their wealth (or bribe) to others rather than share together their skills and knowledge with other races in guiding and sharing in business ventures. That's why we have the 'Ali-Baba' style of doing business.

    This is the major problem. The Chinese are simply not the sharing type, in terms of business and commerce with other races in this country. They would rather 'use' rather than 'help' others to achieve wealth.

    And they are self-sufficient even though they have no political power whatsoever. And they know they can survive & thrive even without having such power. Thus, as mentioned by the ist commentor in this column here, as quote:-

    " I really dont want this country to be run by the Chinese, never! After observing them how they run their business which involves a lot of racism, discrimination plain greed - a non-malay " - End quote.

    One can only imagine if these type of people have both money and power in their hands..., in this beloved country of Malaysia.

    I shudder to imagine.

  6. So what do you want non-jibaok? Do you want the government, the military and extremists to exterminate all Chinese in Malaysia, and drive them into exile like what happened during the Holocaust and in Rwanda? Give us your stand! You either learn to understand and work with a sizable group of people who have called Malaysia their only home for generations, or exterminate them! And please, don't blame others when you and your community have faults.

  7. chinese are born racist and selfish people ,why bother?

  8. Errr.....the little red dot down there is rule by Chinese and is so success?

  9. "Bullshit ! the majority of chinese in sarawak are well off. most of the business there practise bribe since the beginning...."

    LOL. If you notice others are well off and you're not....better do some soul searching and look at your own attitude. Money don't drop from sky and jealousy won't make it happen too.

  10. amidst this outpouring of racial stereotypes -- simple question: what percentage of chinese are businessmen and what percentage are salary-earners? -- the one by @non-jibaok on chinese as close-knit community takes the cake.

    that this notion of "close-knit community" is a universal racial/ethnic epithet -- just add in "unassimilable" -- can be seen by spotting the places and times across the world and in history that it occurs.

    in many "western" countries today, and in singapore, it has been said that muslims are a "close-knit community". not so far away, in kalimantan, where dayaks or malays were slaughtering madurese, it was said that the madurese were a "close-knit community", "unassimilable", not to mention kasar, etc.

    in fact, in sarawak, hokkiens will say of foochow that the latter are a "close-knit community" against whom you can't compete.

    and so it goes.

    well, for malaysia, for a "close-knit" community, the chinese have sustained at least three political parties -- mca, gerakan (in its later incarnation) and dap. some might be tempted to throw in the mcp as well.

    as for sarawak -- who should be grateful to whom? if it weren't for the chinese in 1987, taib and the then bn might well have fallen. indeed, even in 1991, when dayaks were still in revolt, chinese handed more than 2/3's of their vote to the bn, and they did so again in 1996 and 2001. they started to shift in 2006 and made it all too clear in 2011. thus, kaytee's thoughts are relevant, right or wrong: why did the chinese turn?

    well, reasons aside, one facilitating factor -- and this is thanks in no small part to bn policies -- the chinese have long assumed, rightly or wrongly, that they cannot and do not depend on the bn government for their livelihoods, even services (smell the drains around kuching!). thus, threats of withdrawal of projects, services, etc. could cause little fear, once hope that, however slowly, reform would come, had evaporated. one reason for that -- take a closer look at the domination of the sarawak economy by a family and its associates, and a coterie of companies with close links to that family and associates. go around bintulu and read all those signs that this road is maintained by cms. go elsewhere and see as project by ppes construction -- acronym for perbadanan pembangunan ekonomi sarawak -- but owned by... yes, you guess it. it all got a little too much.

  11. Considering the statement from mr otak lembu aka william cheng (kapitan cina peniaga
    ) ,the chinese are getting to cocky and arrogant,and yes, they want everything! their greed,racist and selfish behaviour will eventually destroy this country if given the chance to rule.

    Now,if a malay would say the same thing ,my god ! imagine the massive uproar.

    A fact "you can never be more racist than a chinese"

  12. The comments on this page is centred on Chinese and Malay doing this and that. Firstly, do you not agree that corruption takes two hands to clap? Secondly, Msia has been ruled by UMNO for few decades and continuing and the Malay population is ever increasing. So, how on earth can the chinese take over. Even PAS and PKR in the opposition will not allow that to happen with the Malay population coming to 70% or more. Therefore, I do not understand why the Malays are so worried and have such inferior or negative thinking. Perhaps they believe the politician more than their own intelligence. Should'nt UMNO, PAS and PKR have a round table talk? If you can address this issue among you Malays, then I am sure you don,t have to the label the chinese as racist.

    If UMNO can't solve the above, then don't let it affect the people in general. Afterall, even the Malays voted for DAP and MCA. So, what would you call these Malays.