How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

My take on Umar Mukhtar's response to Malott's critique

Umar Mukhtar's letter in response to Malott's is an example of someone who does not understand the diversity among the Chinese, for instance.

He mentioned about 'Mandarin speakers only' requirement in job advertisements but he failed to realize that for those Chinese educated in national schools who understand only Bahasa Malaysia and English, such jobs are unsuitable to them. Besides, if analyzed further, the old Hokien, Hakka or Hainanese boss would prefer someone of the same dialect to avoid problems in future communication!

I could not believe it when I read about his 'In my lifetime, I have yet to hear of any Chinese leader asking that the Chinese to join in and contribute towards the betterment of national schools.' Can you imagine in situation where the national budget for education provides 98% to national schools and only 2% to national type schools, Umar expect the Chinese to contribute to national schools? It is like 'bringing coal to Newcastle'!

As to his 'I have yet to hear of one calling for Chinese businesses to assist or at least not to gang up against their fellow non-Chinese businesses or to not practice discrimination in their employment policies', I shall explain the myth about the 'success of Chinese businesses', while the latter part of the statement should be referred to my earlier comment on diversity.

Many non-Chinese have the impression that Chinese are all good at running businesses. This so untrue and to me, it is laughable. For example, speaking for myself, I was responsible for selling my father's company, liquidating my mother's company, and finally de-registering my own company simply because I realized my siblings and I could not cooperate in the first two instances, and I knew my wife would rather invest in her own name than incur extra expenses and hassle due to compliance under the Companies Act. There are Chinese like myself who prefers 'peace of mind' over material wealth.

If only Umar took the trouble to note the many start-ups and close-downs of small businesses like coffee shops and stalls run by Chinese, then he would not get the idea that Chinese are really great in business. Many Chinese start their businesses like everybody else, some with no business sense as to whether a business is viable (even to the eyes of a lay person), about what is gross profit and what is net profit (if any, after all the necessary expenses) in the way they tend to spend takings without providing for expenses, and so on.

As to cooperation among the Chinese, I can tell him that business rivalry is very much alive! Oh, by the way, even siblings could be their own worse enemies! Many people thought by dropping names of sibling could help in getting a job or contract but turned out to be otherwise!

As to other rivalry, I wish to give an example. Two very good friends (even call each other 'brother') were sharing premises in a restaurant business. One of them teamed up with another to open a bigger one. On the opening day, the original restaurateur did not attend. To confirm his displeasure, he did not set foot in the new restaurant since opening! I am sure there are countless examples where rivalry exists among a race, besides among different races.

Politically, there are ample examples like UMNO (Malays) and PAS with PKR; MCA (Chinese) and DAP (predominantly Chinese); MIC (Indians) and many offshoots competing with each other for their communal votes.

I have selected parts of Umar's letter to Malaysiakini, 'Malott painted only half the picture of racism' and a selection of comments to illustrate:
Umar Mukhtar
Feb 10,11

"Official and overt discriminatory policies can easily be criticised as institutionalised racism but covert racial discriminations by their very nature are harder to pinpoint. That does not mean they don't exist or any less invidious than the former."

"When a “Mandarin speakers only” requirement is stated in job advertisements, even for jobs which do not conceivably require much language skills, that surely is equivalent to saying “Chinese only”. But you will be hard put to find any Chinese who would admit that the practice is racially discriminatory."

"In my lifetime, I have yet to hear of any Chinese leader asking that the Chinese to join in and contribute towards the betterment of national schools."

"I have yet to hear of one calling for Chinese businesses to assist or at least not to gang up against their fellow non-Chinese businesses or to not practice discrimination in their employment policies."

"Hopefully, I have managed to redress that and allow a better understanding of why things are the way they are in Malaysia."

Some comments:

Myop101: I find it funny that many attributed their inability to set up business is because the chinese will slaughter them. Really? As a Malaysian of Chinese descent, I too have concerns on competition but without competition, how can users get competitive pricing on their goods? To say the chinese have such might to slaughter others is laughable. At least Malays can access to entities such as MARA to secure start-up funding and entrepreneuring skills training. Do you think the chinese are given such support? In fact, most of the time, the only training they get is on the spot training. I have seen many who had nothing and ventured out because they either succeed or die trying. Do you think fellow chinese owned competitor businesses will be kind to welcome extra competition even from their own kind as how some of the commentators here alleged?
(continued) The chinese are very practical people. Do you think they will not want to send their children to top schools if it is nationally funded? But the fact is, the best schools in this country are reserved for only bumiputras and these are the best funded with the most complete faciliy schools in the country. MARA, MCKK and such are offlimits to non-malays. Umar asked why don't the any chinese leader contribute towards making a good national school? He must have forgotten Yap Kwan Seng and Loke Yew's contribution towards building Victoria Institution, an English medium secondary public school. But where is SMK Victoria today in terms of standard and performance? I was from this school and I have seen how the best Malay students are skimmed and sent off to MARA.

BestPM_truly_Malaysian1st: Umar, it is not true that job advertisement with ""mandarin language " requirement are reserved only for Chinese. There are many Chinese who are english educated and do not write or speak mandarin as well.
Broken Foot: If the national schools are of a decent quality, I am certain all other races will send their children there. It is a known fact that the schools have deteriorated so badly that even the Malays are complaining. This, again is a product of the government politicising the education system. The Malays have been complaining about flip flop policies and the government is not listening and you expect they will listen to the non-malays. Its all about mind control and you don't even realise that. This is to pepetuate their grip of the Malay mind and to keep them in power. Education is about expanding the mind but that will cause them to loose control of the Malays as it is happening now. I say bring back English education.

Rick teo: I forgot to mention that up to 60,000 of malays are now registered in vernacular schools in Malaysia.In some schools many chinese and malay schools could not enrolled in the school of their choice because it was so popular that the schools were full to the brim. Infact some schools even gave preference for malay students over chinese students. If the chinese are racists would they have opened their doors to such a huge influx of malay students to their schools? This alone refutes what the writer said that the chinese opt to study in chinese schools in order to be racially segregated.

Rick Teo: During my time, vernacular schools were so unpopular among the chinese that most voluntarily closed for lack of srudents. Most chinese and indians were all in favour of National schools. The medium of instruction was english and bahasa was one of the main language. Many of us chinese grew without learning a word of mandarin. We proudly wanted to master english because it was the language of commerce and science. To have a bright future we knew we had to master english and not chinese or Bahasa malaysia. Then why the exodus of chinese to vernacular schools? It was not the learning of Bahasa or the desire to be racially segregated as espoused by the writer but because of the gradual introduction of religious practice which was absent before. In addition all the teachers were replaced with only one race and many of them were religious bigots. I suggest the writer examine what I have said and see if it is true. I rest my case.

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