”Tibetan and Uighur minority language schools have mostly been eliminated since 2017 and replaced by Mandarin Chinese instruction, in tandem with a Beijing crackdown on dissent and mass detention of protesters and opponents,” the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported yesterday.
In its report titled ‘Language rules for Inner Mongolia another step to erode ethnic groups in China’, SCMP quoted a Mongolian dissident as saying Beijing is implementing policies that could result in the “total destruction of language, culture and identity of all ethnic minorities” within China.
BELOW: The Chinese way — just quash ‘em
Ethnic Mongols make up about 17 percent of the Inner Mongolia population. Phasing out Mongolian as the medium of instruction in the schools in its autonomous region is part of Beijing’s “assimilation policy to achieve national unity” through a Mandarin cultural identity.
New Mandarin textbooks replacing Mongolian ones are planned to be made compulsory across all grades by 2022. China’s national-language policy to promote integration is being carried out so that its Uighur, Tibetan and Mongol minorities can live harmoniously in the People’s Republic of China.
BELOW: Tibetan children have to trek to India or Kathmandu, Nepal to receive their education in the Tibetan language
Chinese invoking ‘meritocracy’ to keep their superior SJK(C)
Meanwhile here in Malaysia, the Chinese minority are exhorting the Malay government to allow parents to decide their children’s future.
Sin Chew Daily’s editor-in-chief lamented a few days ago that, personally, he is much concerned “about which way Chinese Malaysians, and the country we all love so much, will be headed”.
So … we hear this admission by Sin Chew newspaper’s top editor Kuik Cheng Kang – pictured below – that the current Malay grand unity is causing the Chinese to “feel an increasing sense of insecurity!” Well, at least Chinese media can be trusted to be more honest about minority community sentiments, unlike the hyper hypocritical DAP some of whose leaders are still licking Mahathir’s Dilemma toes.
In his op-ed on vernacular schools headlined ‘People will decide based on merit’ (Oct 9), Kuik voices his concerns about “the increasingly Islamized big environment” and how in parallel, PAS has increasingly gained more clout in government.
He also says that PAS’s “ulterior motive is to set up a veritable Islamic state”. Here Kuik is being disingenuous. An Islamic state is not PAS’s “ulterior motive”, it is the party’s open and avowed raison d’etre’.
(Note: According to Collins dictionary, ‘if you say that someone has an ulterior motive for doing something, you believe that they have a hidden reason for doing it’. There is nothing hidden at all about PAS’s unwavering Islamic state aspiration; it was only duplicitous DAP which hoodwinked Chinese voters about PAS’s vague ‘welfare state’ back when the evangelical party and the Islamist party were both still in Pakatan Rakyat.)
“The feelings of local Chinese” … aww, the poor babies
Kuik further writes: “PAS is waiting for Umno to keep rotting in corruption to take the reins with the pretext of saving the nation in the name of Islam.”
Forgive me but I can’t resist to interject the Sin Chew boss Kuik’s lamentation with a mirror imagery of how in 2018-2020, the DAP was impatiently waiting for Mahathir to go play mahjong in the sky so that they could take the reins with a pretext of saving the nation in the name of Chinese moral righteousness.
Kuik adds that the various players in Malay politics are all advocating “Malay supremacy” and as a result, the Malay “moderates will never get into the mainstream”.
Sin Chew’s idea of who constitutes a ‘moderate’ are its own Malay columnists such as DAP member Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi, Londoner Mariam Mokhtar and Azmi Sharom (see pix below — #Solidarity4AzmiSharom) who is a firm fan favourite among the ‘LOVE’ Chinese girls.
Against such a backdrop of conservative Malay dominance, “Who will bother about the feelings of the local Chinese?“ asks Kuik. (Rhetorically?)
Excuse me while I roll on the floor laughing.
Chinese 95% Harapan voters reaping what they sowed
Whinging about Chinese insecurity over the continuance of vernacular schools, Kuik implores:
”Will the government and Malay leaders ever try to understand the basic needs of the Chinese – whose population ratio is seeing a gradual decline over the years – instead of allowing the Malay supremacists to keep taking on our multi-stream education in the name of ‘unity’?”
Kuik moreover declares, “It is sheer bullshit to claim that Chinese Malaysians don’t speak BM, and are unpatriotic”.
He alleges that its “excessively Islamized” milieu is what’s deterring Chinese parents from sending their children to national schools.
He suggests that if Sekolah Kebangsaan “concentrated more on improving the quality of education”, some Chinese parents might be persuaded.
“Even some of the Malay parents are beginning to send their children to Chinese schools today,” Kuik highlights.
BELOW: Screen capture of Kuik Cheng Kang’s Sin Chew online op-ed page featuring a sepia-toned photograph of Malay children in a Chinese school
(Note: Before I respond to Kuik’s comments, I just want to say something briefly about the photograph above that has been milked to death for publicity.
It first appeared five years ago in The Star on 2 Oct 2015 in a story ‘Chinese primary school with an unusual student ratio’. The school concerned is SJK (C) Choon Hwa Batu 18 in Hulu Langat, and it was a very small rural one with a total of only 32 pupils.
If the kids in the photo were around 10 to 12 in age, they would be teenagers today and almost old enough to vote. Below is the Star original in colour. Cukuplah Sin Chew, please give this five-year-old photograph a rest.
Addressing points raised by Sin Chew editor-in-chief
(1) Kuik says that the Chinese population ratio in Malaysia has seen a gradual decline over the years. He asks that Malay politicians stop blaming Chinese education for “creating inter-community divisions in the name of promoting national unity”.
Helen: According to the latest projected figures from the Department of Statistics, Chinese at present make up 20.6 percent of our Malaysian population. If China is dismantling the vernacular school of its Mongol ethnic minority – who are 17 percent (and declining) of the population of Inner Mongolia – then why shouldn’t Malaysia similarly insist on having one mainstream language for minorities here in the name of ‘unity’?
In fact, I’m quite sure that many Malaysian Chinese would say it is wise and beneficial for China’s minority Uighurs and Tibetans to ditch their native tongues and be educated in the important Mandarin lingua franca instead.
Not only school-going children but adult Uighurs are put in Xinjiang’s ‘reeducation’ camps to learn Mandarin.
(2) Kuik states: “It is sheer bullshit to claim that Chinese Malaysians don’t speak BM, and are unpatriotic”.
Helen: Jolly good! If Chinese are already speaking excellent bahasa Melayu, then there’s little problem in switching to Sekolah Kebangsaan. And what can be more patriotic than attending satu sekolah untuk semua national school rather than the divisive schools currently catering to separate groups of vernacular speakers.
(3) Kuik and the rest of vernacular school supporters believe that SJK(C) provides a higher quality education.
Helen: Even better!! The efficient Chinese teaching staff and seasoned school administrators must be redeployed to ‘technology (knowledge) transfer‘ their greater know-how and help lift education standards in Sekolah Kebangsaan.
This is in fact a wonderful opportunity for gotong-royong and nurturing muhibbah multiculturalism under one roof — as the overkill of Malaysia Day ads now playing over our airwaves keep exhorting us to do.
Go for it, all you Malaysian Chinese super patriots. If China can do it, so can we!