MALAYSIAN CHINESE DILEMMA
by Joshua Phua Pei Xing
It has been more than five decades since we have achieved independence together in our beloved motherland, Malaysia. The Chinese first came from China as tin-miners, traders and so on to ply their trade and skills in the newly colonised Malaya.
Fast-forward to the 2013, Malaysians have since gone through 56 years together as a multi-ethnic nation and have come a long way since her inception. We have gone through ups and down together as a nation. Despite what we have collectively achieved, the Malaysian Chinese have not always been contented with the achievements so far. Well, this feeling of discontent is understandable as Chinese are known the world over for their competitive fighting spirit. This competitive spirit of the Chinese people, combined with their ability to adapt in any given situation has made us successful the world over.
In the recent Forbes’ list of Malaysia’s richest, Malaysian Chinese account for more than 70% of the wealthiest Malaysians. It is an achievement to be proud of, in view of our relatively short struggle of over 5 decades since independence. The feat is even more astonishing when we realise that we are only the minority in Malaysia, yet control most of the industries.
With that being said, there are still issues that the Malaysian Chinese perceive as improvable. Take for instance the perceived issue of the Chinese not being represented in the civil service.
Well, let us not forget that the Chinese themselves prefer not to work in the public sector. It is only in China where one can see a larger majority of Chinese in the public sector because they are the majority race in China. So we being the minority here, it only makes sense that we have less representation in the civil service.
There are also Malaysian Chinese that have claimed that the present government forced them to send their children overseas. First things first, if the grim picture painted of Malaysia was true, parents would not be able to afford sending their children overseas. We must always remember that the grass is always greener on the other side. By going to Australia, do you think the Whites there do not look down on us Chinese and despise us for coming to “steal” their jobs?
Malaysian Chinese being very much involved in the economy of the country are also very much upset with the despicable disease of corruption. Well, to being with, corruption is a disease, no country is totally-free from. The United States of America for example is even more corrupted than Malaysia or even Indonesia but the only difference is that it is legalised corruption. The cases in point here are the Lehmann case and many other “scandals” to plague them. Corruption is wrong by all accounts but running a country is SO MUCH MORE than pointing out corruption. Corruption being the disease that it is, takes two hands to clap. Let us put things into perspective, when you bribe a police officer, regardless of who asks for the bribe, you and the police officer are guilty of corruption So as much as I want corruption to be weeded out, the job of the ruling government is so much more than that. Please advise.
The middle class Malaysian Chinese are really dissatisfied and jump at the chance to blame the ruling government as they want to be decked in the latest Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and so on. Is it all the fault of the ruling government that they are not trying to live within their means? If you are a middle-wage earner, spend like a middle-income earner for once.
Do the Chinese really have a tough life living in Malaysia? Is it really such a torture? The Chinese dilemma is that they need is to learn to live within their means. We have to learn to live with whay we need not what we desire.
If you are earning RM3,000-5,000 per month, why must you be dining in Marini’s @57 every other day? Will the food you consume in the local restaurants make you any less of a Chinese or Malaysian? Why must you be dressed up like celebrities of the West? Why must you drive your dream car when a simple Japanese, Korean or local car gets you from point A to point B as well? Y must you be travelling in business class when budget flights bring you to the same destination?
It is not wrong to dream big and strive to achieve our dreams but if at the moment you can only afford so much, then we must only spend so much and not try to impress the people who do not care an ounce if you have incurred overwhelming debt just trying to buy their goods? At the end of the day, we the Malaysian Chinese have achieved so much together and we will only be able to achieve more in this land we call our home, if we continue to ensure the stability granted to us by the fathers of our Independence. Let us continue making Malaysia a better place!