Isnin, 4 April 2011

Who are the Chinese of Malaysia?

Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle
Who are the Chinese of Malaysia?Some of them whom we would identify as Malaysian Chinese will call themselves Chinese, but a good percentage would prefer to be known as Malaysian.
Regardless of what the Malays or other races call them, why is there such mistrust between the Malays and the Chinese? A few Chinese would claim that the Malays fear them. The Malays would say that they loathe the Chinese. Why is there so much animosity between the two?
We are told that each time BN gets less than the expected support from Chinese voters at an election, the general consensus is: “Why are the Chinese ungrateful?”
The Chinese have the same as what any other Malaysian should get. They may not be entitled to the various handouts of the affirmative action policies doled out by the government. Many contend that they achieve success, through hard work and determination.
The Chinese will tell you that they believe no one owes them a living. They have also come to expect nothing and because of that, they are perhaps not easily disappointed.

They have leant that they cannot depend on the government to grant them scholarships for their children. They know that only a handful of places will be available so they learn that if they do not try their best, they will not be eligible. That is what makes them try that little bit harder. Success is all the more sweet.
The Chinese have learnt to live with what they have and they place a high value on education because they know that is what will lift them out of the abyss.
They realise how government run educational establishments are out of reach for many, if not all of them. Privately owned colleges are available but it comes at a premium. Without the knowledge, the skills and the technical support, their lives are not improved. That is why they make sacrifices just so their progeny will benefit.
Some Malays will admire the Chinese determination to work hard but then gets confused when the Chinese is able to afford material goods, and calls this ‘living in luxury”.
That is wrong, for there are scores of poor Chinese in Malaysia despite the fact that 8 out of ten of the richest people in Malaysia are Chinese. The richest Chinese are prudent, grab opportunities and acquire sharp business skills, as they move on in life.
Not all get to be like those in the rich list but they all know that they have the same and equal chance at the business and economic pie.
Just like everyone else, the Chinese want a government that is not corrupt, that tells the truth, that follows the rule of law and that upholds the country’s sacred institutions.
No more, no less.
So if BN does not fit that description, the Chinese will refuse to vote for it.
It is not what only the Chinese desires. It is something that every sensible Malaysian, regardless of race and religion and station in life, wants. Is that too difficult to understand?
When the Chinese did not vote BN, it is not that they are being disloyal. They are merely exercising their democratic right to choose the party they think best represents their interests.
For in the end, the Chinese, just like any other Malaysian does not want to be insulted and called a ‘pendatang’ or to be told in no uncertain terms, that they have to be grateful for their citizenship.
The Chinese will contend that they have been loyal citizens, who dutifully pay their taxes and who respects the country’s constitution and its institutions.
They will tell you that their forefathers came to this country several generations ago to help open up and build the country. They helped Malaysia prosper and all that the modern Chinese wishes to do, is to continue in this great tradition of contributing towards the country’s growth and development.
So perhaps all that remains is to ask, which party best represents their interests?
Has any party taken a firm stance and stood up for the Chinese when they were disparaged by the more extremist Malay elements in Malaysian politics? Or have certain parties neglected to do so?
Just like any other Malaysian, the Chinese in Malaysia want to be treated like decent human beings. They want self-respect and a sense of belonging.
Malaysia is home. Not some far-flung country which their forefathers may have travelled from, when in search of better opportunities and a new life.
The Chinese wants no more and no less what the other Malaysians are entitled too. So which party best represents them in Malaysia? MCA? Gerakan? DAP? Or is the modern Malaysian prepared to ditch race-based political parties once and for all?   -  Malaysia Chronicle

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