What more do we want from the Chinese?


I find myself in a strangely odd position – an Indian speaking up for the Chinese. It has recently been asked of them: “What more do the Chinese want?”

If it were merely rhetorical, I will defend the right to ask questions of such a nature in the name of free speech and healthy discourse. Unfortunately it is not a question. It is a blatant threat. The politicians behind the threat have clearly identified themselves. They have also now shown their hand. They are shamelessly indulging in the gutter politics of communalism.

A demonstration 10,000-strong had been planned for May 13 in Terengganu. We should reject this threat for the same reason we reject a bribe. Racial politics and corruption are slowly and surely destroying the very fabric of nationhood. A country that was put together carefully with effort, toil and sacrifice deserves better.

We must therefore entirely reject the threat and answer the question only in its rhetorical form: What more do the Chinese want?

Post-May 13

Since 1969, the Chinese have seen the New Economic Policy (NEP) at work and not at work. But for all its faults, the NEP has distributed great wealth and provided unheard of opportunities to create a Malay middle class and super-rich elite of Umnoputras.

It has also allayed the fears of the Malay man-in-the-street that he/she will be ‘lost in the world’ (Tak akan Melayu hilang di dunia).

The Chinese with much public grace and equally much private grumbling have largely accepted the pain of economic restructuring. They still account for easily 80% of the income tax revenue of the country. But in this same period, true to their kind, they have girded their loins and redoubled their efforts.

Ever so quick to seize new opportunities, they have continued to prosper in spite of the excesses of the NEP. Surely there is nothing in this world and no religious or secular law that prevents a man or woman from prospering economically through the sweat of his brow or the straining of his sinews or the mental acuity of his business dealings.

We may not like the Chinese trait of applying themselves diligently to the task at hand and to the exclusion of all others; or their fiercely competitive nature; their kiasu-ness; their calculative frugality; their risk-taking; their business shrewdness; their culinary indulgences and their relentless pursuit of investments, returns and wealth in all its myriad forms.

But remember, they too may not like our traits of indifference, impracticalness, lebih kurang-ism … the list both ways is endless.

But we must respect them for their singular ability to create new wealth and not be merely consumers of old wealth. We must respect them for their resourcefulness and for their incredible pertinacity in the face of adversity. We must compliment them their innate understanding of the importance of personal savings in the economic life of an individual and of the investment opportunities that arise out of deferred gratification. We must thank them for showing us in practical terms what self-reliance and self-sacrifice really means.

Planning for the future

Surely, they more than anyone else have shown that the secret of capitalism lies in its unsurpassed ability to promote capital formation that fuels ever more new ventures and so ad infinitum.

They have shown us also that wealth has a generational purpose and that it is linked to a vision of the future we have for ourselves, our families, our society and the country we live in.

To me they are the least nihilistic of people. There is much we have learnt from the Chinese economic model based on hard work, perseverance and skills development. True, the pursuit of wealth and economic success is often accompanied by greed and avarice. Which race in the world is free from such follies and frailties?

The fact that the Chinese migrant is a prized economic asset is indisputable. That this prized asset cannot be got for free is also indisputable. It is also indisputable that he comes with the political rights of a human being – the right to prosper with dignity.

But No! All this is not ‘what more the Chinese want’. It’s more, much more than that!

I have every reason to believe that the Chinese, who so often go about their tasks with one eye on the future, have come to the inevitable conclusion that if left unchecked, the politicians of this country will be the ruin of us all.

The Chinese are not Neros to helplessly fiddle while Rome burns.

‘What more the Chinese want’ is for the rot to stop.

They can clearly see with eyes teared by 5,000 years of the painful tide of relentless history. A history filled with upheavals, turmoil and revolution has given them an inbuilt ‘antenna’ that warns them when a society is approaching decay, decline and disaster.
They know that a rotten tree will not bear good fruits for long. They know there will be nothing left to share with or without the NEP and its sketchy successor, the NEM.

They know that zero, simply put, is indivisible.

The Chinese have sounded the alarm bell for all of us. What more do we want from them?

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 8:47 am

    Even if we don’t go down this debate and stick with the traditional description that the Chinese ‘are practical’ what is being demanded by the Chinese now is PRACTICAL. DAP is not demanding the end of assistance to the Malays. It is socialist irrespective of race. Its priority is to stop corruption, inefficiency. They voted for PAS which means while they may be against the Islamic state, they are not against Islam or the values of Islam. THAT is all PRACTICALITY.

    The shift of vote of the Chinese is a signal to UMNO/BN that they are the ones NOT practical – lost in politicking and cynicism instead of doing their job. All the Chinese is asking from UMNO/BN is to do what THEY are suppose to do rather than indulging in pretension of their duties like the stereotypical civil servant better at excuses than their job we know all too well..What the Chinese are asking is not because its better for them BUT that its better for EVERYONE.

  2. #2 by chengho on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 9:02 am

    Nothing else but to support 1Malaysia , 1school and BN…..the indian hmm ..what do u think ,uncle Sam still around till 2012

  3. #3 by sotong on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 9:32 am

    Like others….they want to get rich quickly without having to work very hard for it.

  4. #4 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 9:57 am

    “What more do the Chinese want?” –

    Things money can’t buy.

    Like doing the right things, justice, dignity, equality, independence, happiness, freedom, graciousness to name just but a few.

    Come to think of it, they are universal values, applicable to all. Not just to the Chinese. Won’t others join them in their pursuit?

  5. #5 by Bunch of Suckers on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 10:26 am

    chengho :
    Nothing else but to support 1Malaysia , 1school and BN…..the indian hmm ..what do u think ,uncle Sam still around till 2012

    Yes, Changehole! 1Malaysia, huh? Please tell your mama, one changehole or customer only!! Got that, Changehole?

  6. #6 by artemisios on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 10:41 am

    Thanks dear writer, thank you for speaking up. I can go on & on but you know how much Malaysia needs open minded people like you to speak up & inspire other like minded people, regardless of race, to do the same, & ultimately inspire the rakyat, regardless of race.

  7. #7 by k1980 on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 11:29 am

    “What more do the Chinese want?”

    Well, different Chinese want different things.

    For instance, YB Lim wants PR to take over the federal govt in the 13 GE

    But CSL just wants his cuddly Angela Yam.

    Bintulu Tiong only wants to multiply his billions .
    And Koh TK only wants to remain a minister without being elected.

  8. #8 by ktteokt on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 12:45 pm

    Having been suppressed by “Special Malay Rights” since independence and molested by the NEP for so many years, the Chinese in Malaysia wants to see EQUALITY among the races! Given more than 4 decades of uncontested opportunities, these Malays still cannot stand on their own feet today. They have to be aided in every respect, and in doing so, they not only deprive other races of opportunities but they have actually caused Malaysia to sink in terms of development. How can these group of “jellyfishes” make it in the open oceans full of predators? Is anyone outside Malaysia going to give them 30% handicap?

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 1:17 pm

    Do pls realise n distinguish between ball-carrying Chinese M’sians who r willing serfs, thieves, beggars, n prostitutes of UmnoB [ie, all Chinese members of BN component political parties] and Chinese M’sians who hv enuf of d evil UmnoBputras who r destroying this nation
    We tend 2 generalise too easily n too much
    Similarly, no all Malays r UmnoB Malays n they suffer 4 dat 4 true national unity n advancement

  10. #10 by HJ Angus on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 1:26 pm

    A well-written article.
    The world does not owe Malaysians a living and those who still cling to the 30% handicap need to undergo the “cold turkey” treatment.
    The next GE may be crucial as if we do not change the government, the chance to save Malaysia may be lost….
    Here’s why: http://malaysiawatch4.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-happens-when-vital-state.html

  11. #11 by Jamal Malik on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 2:39 pm

    I congratulate you a very well written article.

    We can talk until the cows come home. Unless the current lot are voted out, the non Malays will be force (not by choice) to limp along with those already with crutches for the past 40 years. Of course, those Chinese who has benefited over the years from their mate-ship with UMNO will want to retain the alliance. They would have taken all necessary precautions to safeguard their ill-gotten wealth.

  12. #12 by 9to5 on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 4:28 pm

    What the chinese want is what all Malaysians want! A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. It’s only that the chinese are first in taking this first step. Other Malaysian will follow soon to rid the country of this arrogant and corrupt BN Government!

  13. #13 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 7:06 pm

  14. #14 by johnnypok on Thursday, 20 May 2010 - 8:51 pm

    “Ketuanan Cina”



    Big contract

    and if possible to be the King

  15. #15 by life is not a fairy tale dude on Friday, 21 May 2010 - 2:53 am

    Don’t try to act as if the Chinese in DAP are so pure and good. They will oppress the Malay just like PAP had done in Singapore.

    DAP will relinquish the special rights of the Malay

  16. #16 by writecom on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 3:27 am

    Malaysia isn’t for one race or religion, it’s not what Chinese wants but what the other communities wants. The way the country are rule under UMNO, is getting scary day by day. Especially when they just top-up their coffers in form of the legalization of sports betting. UMNO cronies seem to be in the war path to protect their personal gains and making the Chinese as their scapegoats. Most of the major issues are pin point at the PM such as the Mongolian case with the submarine linkage, weaponry purchases, oilfields, even our recent by-elections. Is he protecting himself from legal suits or out selling our country’s assets. Billions and billions of dollars are in the hands of the cronies as such they need to protect and make scapegoats.

    Looks like we are heading towards a war path rather than a general election. It isn’t a simple task to overcome such cronies when they dominate everything. What also puzzle me is, why all their component parties are weaken or turning to be irrelevant are not rescued or indirectly sidelined by UMNO.

    My biggest hope is that DAP & PAS could salvage the country from total destruction before our country is turn insolvent. Hopefully we get Putrajaya at all cost and jail all the crooks and recover back the billions from the cronies.

    It’s a long order and a dangerous path ahead for the opposition parties. We need to be in the offensive by getting the Putrajaya under ‘PEOPLE’s POWER’.

    Things don’t look rosy for Malaysia and the stock market & economy can collapse if they are in the war path on or before the coming election.

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