Guan Eng as Dong Jiao Zong’s linguistic role model

MUST READ: Eh, Guan Eng belum ajar Dong Jiao Zong lagi ke?

Perhaps the Dong Jiao Zong decision to align with DAP comes from a belief that some of Lim Guan Eng’s “shine” could rub off on the Chinese education movement.

To understand why the Chinese educationists should think so, we need to revisit the Chua Soi Lek-Lim Guan Eng debate on Feb 18 that was organised by the Asian Strategic Leadership Institute (Asli).

As everyone knows, the great debate on our two-race system was held in Mandarin. Asli director Michael Yeoh told a press conference that the language medium “was changed to Mandarin following Lim’s request”.

On Feb 23, Guan Eng released the English translation of his debate speech.

Speaking to the packed hall and televised audience nationwide, Guan Eng accused BN of dividing the rakyat into Malays and non-Malays.

Guan Eng also told his listeners:

“In BN, Umno only takes care of the Malays, MCA only takes care of the Chinese, MIC only takes care of the Indians, Gerakan… I don’t know takes care of who???…. That’s BN with their “you take care of your race, I take care of my race”. That is a two-race system! Conversely, in a two-party system, we are all brothers and sisters, we take care of each other; every Malaysian is part of one big family!”

Guan Eng’s claim that Malays, Chinese, yadda yadda “are all brothers and sisters” is the type of vocabulary reflecting his party’s Christian evangelist thrust. As is his preaching “every Malaysian is part of one big family!”

Never mind that the family members attend different schools, eat in different places (halal / pork served here), practice different religions (ummah / kafir dzimmi*), possess different psyches, etc. etc.

Guan Eng’s self-proclaimed success

Replying to a participant during the debate’s Q & A session, Guan Eng told the floor:

“After March 2008, everyone can see, touch and feel the changes that have happened. In Peninsular Malaysia, the first dual lingual road signs in Chinese were erected in Penang.”

Please applaud Guan Eng’s achievement for “the first dual lingual road signs in Chinese [that] were erected in Penang” after Pakatan took over the state.

If we were to go by Guan Eng’s yardstick, countries like Germany, France and the rest that do not have bilingual signs for their road names would be disgracefully lacking in national ‘Firstness’. [In Berlin, I saw road names carrying the word ‘Strasse’ (Jalan) monolingually and in Paris I saw they are ‘Rue’ (Jalan) monolingually too.]

Guan Eng, unlike Umno only taking care of Malays, made his sales pitch “we [Malaysian Firsters] take care of each other” in the Astro live telecast. According to our country demographic, three-quarters of television viewers would not have understood the language in which he spoke.

The DAP secretary general could have elected for the debate to be in Mandarin because he speaks bahasa kebangsaan rather poorly. The MCA president, on the other hand, is a fluent speaker of Malay and hence either BM or English would not have been an obstacle for Dr Chua.

What takes the cake is Guan Eng’s logic-defying challenge to his opponent:

“Chua Soi Lek’s refusal to release his own debate transcript in Bahasa Malaysia and English will only prove to non-Chinese speaking Malaysians that he focused on making personal attacks, lies and adopted divisive tactics during the historic Mandarin [debate].”

In the first place, if only Guan Eng had not insisted that the debate be conducted in Mandarin, then his quibble about Dr Chua failing to translate – in order to “prove to non-Chinese speaking Malaysians” – would have been a moot point.

So why didn’t Guan Eng remember about the “non-Chinese speaking Malaysians” to begin with?

In truth, Guan Eng’s nimble antics surrounding the above debate is merely characteristic of his party’s duplicitous approach to policy and political affairs.

He makes the accusation that “BN divides the people into Malays and non-Malays” but his own party since obtaining power has been boasting non-stop that it gave the bumiputera a larger quota than the ruling party ever did.

Aren’t the categories of bumiputera and non-bumiputera similarly “dividing the people” into two separate categories akin to the BN coalition formula that Guan Eng criticizes?

Yet DAP refuse to acknowledge their own adherence to the ‘bumiputera and non’ concept which is not dissimilar to the ‘Malays and non’ cleavage Guan Eng slams Umno for practising.

This bipolar personality disorder of the DAP is obviously a necessary playacting to reassure Malay voters that the privileges they’ve been enjoying would not be threatened in the event the community hands over Putrajaya to Pakatan.

DJZ hooking up with DAP

I had posted earlier that Dong Jiao Dong allowing DAP’s involvement in their March 25 rally would only serve to politicize the gathering as confrontational. I also noted that DAP’s unerring combativeness is not likely to yield a negotiated remedy to the DJZ requests.

A reader ‘Lousy Engineer‘ commented that DJZ being confrontational now does not deviate from how this Chinese education movement had always been in the past and even when they had the backing of MCA and Gerakan who are the Chinese representatives within the establishment.

Going back to Guan Eng’s debate speech, he complained that “MCA only takes care of the Chinese, MIC only takes care of the Indians”.

Since he and his party – unlike the “racist” MCA, the “racist” MIC, the “racist” Umno and the “racist” everybody else seen through their DAP speck-free eyes – consider themselves to be Malaysian par excellence, it’s quite strange, isn’t it, why we’ve never heard them promoting the Malaysian First language.

Or is DAP unaware that Article 152 of the Federal Constitution spells out the national language? By the way, this 152 is that very same language that is the least and the one most minimally used by Guan Eng if you were to look at all his public speeches uploaded to YouTube.

Hanyu is the medium of instruction in ‘Chinese school’. [Alongside is the mainline education stream called Sekolah Kebangsaan.]

Various official sources cite the particular statistics that more than 90 percent of Chinese parents send their children to Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina).

DJZ’s data say also that 90 percent of SRJK (C) enrolment comprises Chinese pupils. Taken together, these facts indicate that the vernacular schooling system is a communal vested interest of the Chinese.

Thus it’s perfectly understandable that MCA – the Malaysian Chinese Association – should be concerned about Chinese schools.

When Hindraf voice their grievances about Tamil schools and other race-specific (i.e. Indian) issues, the DAP camp is quick to vilify them as “racists” and “extreme” in possessing such a communal mindset. When Malays just mention the word ‘race’, they’re immediately branded “supremacists” by Chinese opposition supporters.

DAP take pride in positioning themselves as ‘beyond race’ and above the pettiness of the communalists (i.e. those who do not appear to object to the race label). Previously Guan Eng had declared:

“The time has come for all Malaysians to look at each other as fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children faced with similar problems and filled with common hopes and aspirations.

“For this reason, whilst I will meet with any group seeking a dialogue, I am not keen to initiate discussions on my own with organisations based on a purely communal instead of a Malaysian agenda.” (see ‘BN’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde‘ in Malaysiakini)

Err, what is it again that DAP defines as the “Malaysian agenda” — be it in the field of national education, national integration and what not?

How is it that DJZ has been led to believe that DAP, which places paramount emphasis on a “Malaysian agenda”, can be of much help to the education movement’s communal demands being met?

Can anyone refresh our memory on what DAP has ever done for Chinese culture and education?

But more pertinently, what does DJZ expect DAP to be able to achieve on March 25 and thereafter?


* Kafir: Non-Muslims in Malaysia have been categorized as ‘kafir dzimmi’ by the country’s religious authorities in the prepared text of a national Friday sermon, viz. “Berdasarkan pemerhatian mimbar status orang bukan Islam di negara ini digolongkan sebagai ahli Dzimmi kerana pada prinsipnya mereka mentaati dan mengakui untuk tunduk kepada perjanjian kontrak sosial yang diwujudkan di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan.” Source: Jakim, e-Khutbah (22 Jan 2010)



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25 thoughts on “Guan Eng as Dong Jiao Zong’s linguistic role model

  1. I think most European highway signs I’ve seen, especially on german autobahns and french autoroutes, are for the benefit of the road users who frequent those highways. When you get closer to a european border, the signs tend to be provided in “dual language” for places that have multiple names based on language.

    here’s an example:

    Liège is in the french speaking area of Belgium. But it is shown in the german autobahn sign as ‘Lüttich’. Liège is put in brackets in the same sign. This is for the benefit of Belgian or non-german drivers who intend to drive toward Belgium. I ‘ve seen English/French signs near Calais. Dover (in England) is Douvres in French.

    There is a safety aspect to the implementation of dual language signs. The faster the highway user can identify the place name, the less likely he is to abruptly change his driving pattern. This minimizes the possibility of endangering other drivers.

    I doubt there is a safety aspect to DAP’s implementation of chinese characters on road signs. It’s for obviously chauvinistic purposes.


    Thanks for the info. I made an apple to apple comparison, i.e. two European cities to George Town. Nothing to do with borders with another country in the case of that small, insular island now the kingdom of the Lims. — Helen

    1. DAP thinks that Malaysia is now bordering China.

      Of course, DAP can always argue that they made the change for touristic marketing purposes (ie they are trying to appeal to chinese tourists). However in most countries, tourist signs have a different background color. Even in malaysia, they are brown, I think.

      DAP could say by including chinese script they want to continue the tradition of portraying Penang as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’. As I wrote before, “Orient” in the western and international context means chinese malaysian. Malays don’t qualify.

      To win in an insulting way, non-chinese malaysians could argue with DAP followers are illiterate; they can’t read roman script because they are all chinese educated.

      I and most Penang malays know how the chinese argue. Helen should also know. They argue to win and they will twist and turn to get their final word in.

      Most malays just let it happen, especially if it is a small matter. Malays are too tolerant in that sense.

      1. The argument of LGE at that time was to reflect the cultural heritage of the area the roads are located. But this was laid bare as a lie when he did not do the same for Little India (Market Street area) where he also used Chinese road signs with just a few in Tamil. And the Tamil wordings were wrong and poorly translated.

      2. And, LGE would say, remember, Penang is the ‘Pearl of the Orient.’

        I forgot to add that the Orient doesn’t include Tamils either.

        I brought a Thai Chinese friend to Malaysia. She insisted on visiting Penang island.

        Sad to say, but even a foreign chinese think that penang island is like their mini colony. She was happy she could practise her mandarin in Penang– something she couldn’t do often in Thailand.

      1. That’s a picture of Theresa Cock (my transliteration) pointing at jawi street signs. You know how this picture is used by UMNO cyber-supporters? They use it in the most racially charged way to stoke the emotions of Malays. I don’t even know the context of the pic, but it looks damning.

        If DAP doesn’t want anything to do with race, then they should stop highlighting racially sensitive issues.

      2. Dave, you are not making sense, Perhaps working at KOMTAR and being a part of DAP;s cyber army has affected your sense of perspective.

        Can you pray tell us why does DAP always bring up racial and religious issues all the time ? Why even DAP involved in the DJZ’s rally which is an ethnic agenda?

        Why do we even need road signs in Mandarin and Tamil when all Malaysians are supposed to read Malay and English ? Isn’t having road signs in other languages will encourage Malaysians to skip learning Bahasa ? Isn’t this akin to dividing the nation ?

  2. Jumpa lagi….Jika berjaya mengadakan “dual-lingual road sign” dengan penambahan tulisan Cina diakui oleh LGE satu permulaan yang membanggakan, banyak yang patut difikirkan oleh orang bukan Cina terhadap LGE dan DAP, banyak perlu difikirkan oleh rakyat Malaysia terhadap orang bukan Cina yang menyokong DAP. Banyak yang rakyat Tanah Melayu ini perlu fikirkan……

  3. You asked, Can anyone refresh our memory on what DAP has ever done for Chinese culture and education?

    I think probably none, or maybe there is, I can’t recount :) Oh maybe DAP Teratai Jenice Lee’s fight for a Chinese school to be built in Pandan Perdana can be count as one? Yes?

    By the way, most Chinese seems to slowly forget that MCA’s past contribution such as KTAR ; KTAR is important in my opinion because it at least provide a cheaper college education route to a lot of not well-to-do average Chinese who couldn’t make it to public universities and also couldn’t afford expensive private colleges. Cina mudah lupa?

    Finally, you also asked, But more pertinently, what does DJZ expect DAP to be able to achieve on March 25 and thereafter?

    I think DJZ can probably expect none from DAP; in fact it’s going to be even more difficult to even achieve anything meaningful. If in the past, it’s already so d**n hard to fight for something with MCA and Gerakan fellows in between, what’s more if there are no more Chinese representatives in the government. If the next government is formed by BN, with MCA and Gerakan representatives being wiped clean slate, DJZ is probably having zero Chinese middle men at the negotiation table with MOE officials. I don’t know how DAP leaders are going to position themselves into the discussion if they’re in the opposition side.

    In a discussion, you have negotiators. DAP are streetfighters. And DAP is disliked, even hated, by establishment Malays. How to negotiate like that? — Helen

    1. lousy engineer, ask any tarcian that is not a mca member if ktar a symbol of contribution or failure? hey, we never forget.

  4. Nunggu debat MCA-DAP 2. Kalipah Guan Eng nak pakai bahasa apa pulak?


  5. Wahhhh…..Now DAP Guan Eng is talking Chinese First…..look like UMNO…now we can call Neo DAP as DAPUTRA lohh…

    1. “I believe that only when we truly blend in, that the privilege and special rights of the Bumis can be truly abolished. Let’s not be hypocrites and selfish. Let’s truly fight for unity, for a 1Bangsa Malaysia, for our own sake.”

      i dun know what this jolina meant by ‘truly’ blent in, however do u agree with this assertion?

  6. See? Always pusing2: people say “blend” they say “blent”! Macam ayam cakap dengan itik lah! Never going anywhere.

    Good luck with DJZ/DAP all the HuaYongs out there.

  7. no one is pusing and no society is stagnant, but that is beyond the understanding of kid, especially to one that have a duck eyesight stuff with brain similar to size of chicken, btw, we dun believe in luck but thanks anyway.

  8. It is interesting how DJZ and DAP are spinning the issue. First they say there is a severe lack of teachers in SRJK and this is due to BM/UMNO’s agenda to kill Chinese education. And when MOE sends other teachers as stop-gap measure to fill the places until the trained ones graduate,they acccuse the govt of not sending Mandarin educated teachers.

  9. Nice to see chinese fighting against each other about non-mandarin speaking teachers. If you have a problem – talk about it and turn it into an opportunity without having to drag other races and lingos into it.
    This is what I call bodoh.
    And the biggest bodoh is getting this issue hijacked by the supremely chinese racist leader..from Bapa to menantu. DAP reminds me of the North Korean leadership….passed from one generation to another.
    Not sure why UMNO’s called a racist party when UMNO -the ruling party insists and gives the responsibility to the MCA and MIC to manage the races that they represent respectively.
    Or maybe LGE want a malay to manage chinese interests, a chinese manage indian interests and indian manage malay interests?
    Tarak otak lah ini LGE… though he looks intelligent, speak intelligent and the problem I think is that LGE thinks everyone around him is bodoh.
    Infact…he is the one looking the most BODOH!

  10. The easy way out to solve this non-Mandarin speaking teachers in Chinese medium schools is to,turn these Chinese medium schools into 100% CHINESE SCHOOLs, teching CHINESE HISTORY, CHINESE CULTURES and to think CHINESE first and to regard CHINA as my beloved country rather than MALAYSIA.

    Let DAP pay the teachers salaries. This is what DJZ/DAP is fighting for, breeding Chinese exremism on the expense of Malaysian unity. The Chinese in Malaysia are ungrateful lots, Just compare to your brothers in Indonesia and Thailand, yourare very much better of, free to do anything, including smuggling, immoral avtivities, etc etc.

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