I mentioned that the Sin Chew editorial published yesterday was worth reading, mainly because it had Rohingya and Vietnamese boat people on its radar.
Regular readers of my blog would, of course, be aware that I’ve been covering Rohingya extensively and I’ve also brought up the topic that Vietnamese boat people were actually ethnic Chinese.
BELOW: Comment by Robert H. Miller, the American ambassador to Malaysia (1977-1980)
Methinks Sin Chew doth protest too much
Sin Chew’s Feb 23 editorial is headlined ‘We’re not pendatang!’ The ‘we’ pronoun refers to Chinese in Malaysia.
But why the need to protest ‘Cina bukan pendatang’ at this juncture?
Sin Chew is taking the stance that “The Chinese people are always citizens of this country” and “are just as Malaysian as everyone else” and moreover “very very few would ever think of ‘going back to China’ save to visit their relatives there”.
It’s clear that the Sin Chew editors have on their mind the “pi balik Tongsan” taunt, and terkilan dan terkesan rasanya.
Flashback to January 2021
Last month, police raided a Mao Zedong-themed restaurant in Penang — see Utusan news report above.
Sin Chew‘s own regular Malay columnist sees no problem with the Mao wallpaper and communist motifs.
Other Malays – as reflected in their public comments (screengrabbed below) aired in Malay-language forums – feel differently.
They believe that the restaurant’s communist-inspired decor was inappropriate.
Some Malay commenters said on Facebook that those Malaysian Chinese who defended the restaurant should return to their Motherland jika masih begitu teruja dengan fahaman komunisme.
Bangla from Bangladesh are Bengali
This “Chinese go back lah” goading is a sensitive issue with Sin Chew.
In its editorial, Sin Chew recounted that some years ago (2015?) when the paper’s reporters were on the ground at street protests, they were yelled at as Cina babi and were told to balik Tongsan.
(Note: Dongshan is the place of origin of Lim Kit Siang’s father.)
Sin Chew lamented that “for the many law-abiding Chinese Malaysians who have worked so hard to make a living here, such abusive remarks are extremely disheartening”.
When Sin Chew affirms that Chinese Malaysians are law abiding, and many do indeed work very hard and only want to make a living, it nonetheless shows at the same time that Sin Chew is incapable of understanding outside its ethnic bubble.
In the process of making a good living, the Chinese here are not free from blame — though you will not detect this shortcoming from reading the Sin Chew editorial.
Take the Chinese towkays who have imported hordes of Bengali (‘Bangla’) to work in their factories.
And now Malaysia has got an unmanageable number of both documented and illegal foreign workers. Last year, a quarter of our Covid cases were foreigners — refer graph below, details HERE.
Bringing Bangla here now is like British bringing Rohingya to Burma
Sin Chew’s proclamation about the Chinese ‘Work Hard-Make A Living’ outlook is something self satisfied and smug.
To the Chinese, their business ethos is nothing but praiseworthy. And blameless.
What about the cost to the country though?!
How different is the act of Chinese towkays bringing Bengalis to Malaysia today compared to the act of the British bringing Bengalis to Burma in the past?
Importing cheap foreign labour into Malaysia to profit business owners presently is akin to a form of neo colonialism.
This imported labour must needs transform the demography of the host country population. Such a diversity highly is problematic.
The Burmese ethnic majority still blame the British for the presence of ‘Rohingya’ in their land.
Myanmar’s citizenship law which sets eligibility on a baseline year of 1823 (the British first invaded Burma in 1824) is deliberately targeted at undoing the colonial legacy.
Sin Chew ini memang tak tau ke atau hanya buat tak tahu?
The Sin Chew editorial further asked:
“Why on earth has a nation that has all this while enjoyed harmonious coexistence among its diverse communities suddenly labeled the Chinese here as ‘pendatang’?”
Is Sin Chew really so clueless as to ask the disingenuous question above.
There is nothing at all sudden about the backlash.
If Chinese are again called ‘pendatang’ in 2021, it merely means that the group doing the name-calling reject the ‘diversity’ mantra being sold to them.