Friday, August 2, 2013

The Chinese dilemma: Dr M

Screen capture of the posting by an administrator of Dr Mahathir’s Facebook page, who identified himself as ‘KN’.

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’KONGSI’ CONCEPT: Each side has to sacrifice something so that the other can gain something

IN response to the emergence of a Malay political party,  Umno and its success in rejecting the British inspired Malayan Union, the Chinese community of the 1940s saw the need for a political party of their own to present their views to the British government.
Thus was the MCA conceived and born, led by Malacca's Sir Cheng-Lock Tan. Although it was intended to counter the influence of Umno and protect the interests of the Chinese community, events changed the strategy and role of the MCA.
In 1952 the Kuala Lumpur Umno leaders and the Kuala Lumpur MCA branch leaders decided that in the Kuala Lumpur municipal elections, they should not contest against each other, but instead should support each other's candidates in their respective constituencies.
The results startled them as they defeated almost all the non-racial parties. Realising the political advantage of cooperating with each other the Tunku (Abdul Rahman) and Sir Cheng-Lock Tan, and senior leaders of the MCA and Umno decided to formalise their cooperation by setting up the Alliance, a coalition of MCA and Umno.
The basis of this coalition was the idea of supporting each other and sharing the power gained. Buoyed by the success of the Alliance party in the 1955 elections, in which the MIC had joined, the Tunku looked more kindly at the proposal of Sir Cheng-Lock that citizenship should be based on jus soli (citizenship by being born in the country) and not jus saguinis (citizenship based on the Malaysian citizenship of the father or mother, i.e. citizenship based on blood relation).
The Tunku did not quite agree but he nevertheless decided to give one million citizenships to unqualified Chinese and Indians.
With that the confrontation between the Chinese and the Malays changed into positive cooperation.
It was a classic kongsi that was set up. The essence is an undertaking to share. Sharing involves a give and take arrangement, in which each side has to sacrifice something so that the other can gain something.
As the Malays made up the majority of the citizens they naturally led the Alliance. But the Chinese and Indians were not without adequate power. In any case Malay political power would be mitigated by Chinese and Indians' voting and economic power.
The Tunku saw immediate benefit from the "kongsi" as he believed Malays only wanted to be government employees and the Chinese wanted to be in business. There would be no conflict or tussle between them.
The Indians would fill up the professional posts. He did not foresee the days when government could not create enough jobs for the greatly increased number of Malays.
The kongsi Alliance worked well. But in 1963 Singapore joined Malaysia.
 Immediately the PAP tried to gain Chinese support by condemning the Alliance kongsi for being disadvantageous to the Chinese.  Malaysians, said the PAP, were not equal.  There should be a Malaysian Malaysia where all the benefits should be based on merit alone, with the best taking everything, irrespective of race.
Without saying so in so many words the PAP was inferring that the Malays did not deserve their positions. The best people should rule the country. In the eyes of the PAP, Singapore was ruled by the best qualified people. That they happen to be almost all Chinese is incidental.
In the 1964 elections the MCA and Malaysian Chinese generally valued their cooperation with the Malays. They rejected the PAP and its chauvinistic appeal, giving it only one seat.
The Tunku realised what the PAP was up to and decided that Singapore should not be a part of Malaysia. But the PAP was not done. The remnant of the party in Malaysia set up the DAP to carry on the Malaysian Malaysia meritocratic formula for undermining Chinese support for the MCA.
Harping continuously on the so-called Malay privileges and the unfairness to the Chinese, the DAP slowly eroded the idea of kongsi in the multi-racial coalition of the Barisan Nasional.
Despite the fact that the Barisan Nasional supported Chinese education and the use of the Chinese language, the DAP convinced many Chinese that the Chinese, their culture and language are not given proper treatment by the Barisan Nasional coalition.
The MCA was attacked for not doing enough for the Chinese.

Realising the political advantage of cooperating with each other, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Sir Cheng-Lock Tan and senior leaders of MCA and Umno decided to formalise their cooperation by setting up the Alliance, a coalition of MCA and Umno.

Read more: The Chinese dilemma: Dr M - Columnist - New Straits Times

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Facebook removes Dr M’s ‘Chinese Dilemma’, cites violation of community standards

Screen capture of the posting by an administrator of Dr Mahathir’s Facebook page, who identified himself as ‘KN’.Screen capture of the posting by an administrator of Dr Mahathir’s Facebook page, who identified himself as ‘KN’.KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — An article by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on “The Chinese Dilemma” has been removed by Facebook for allegedly violating its community standards, according to the former prime minister’s Facebook page’s administrator.
The column piece, originally published in English daily New Straits Times (NST) and then posted on Dr Mahathir’s Facebook page, painted a portrait of Chinese Malaysians in a dilemma, caught ostensibly between their thirst for political control while retaining their economic clout and the decades-old power-sharing formula.
“Today, Facebook has informed us that the article was removed for violating its supposed community standards. This means there were many who were disturbed and opposed, and complained to Facebook against what Tun wrote,” said a posting by an administrator who identified himself as “KN”. The original posting had received more than two million likes.
KN had urged fans of the page to read the online version of the article on NST’s website and decide for themselves whether the article violated Facebook’s Community Standards or was just an “unpleasant truth”, as he called it.
Facebook users can anonymously report any posts that they believe violate the social network’s community standards by clicking on a link on each post.
A post which receives enough complaints will then be investigated by Facebook’s User Operations team, and it will then be removed if the team decides that it has violated the standards.
It is believed that Dr Mahathir’s article may have been removed for promoting hate speech, which according to Facebook includes attacks on people based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease.
“We do, however, allow clear attempts at humor (sic) or satire that might otherwise be considered a possible threat or attack. This includes content that many people may find to be in bad taste,” Facebook explained in its “Help” page.
Other categories under Facebook’s Community Standards include violence and threats, self-harm, bullying and harassment, graphic content, nudity and pornography, intellectual property, and spam.
In his column, Dr Mahathir said that the Chinese community had reaped the fruits of the power-sharing formula for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s race-based components, adding that the community that makes up about 30 per cent of the country’s 28 million population was better off today than before independence in 1957, when it was shackled by colonial British rule.
The majority of the hundreds of commenters on KN’s post defended Dr Mahathir for writing his column, labelling him as one of the few Malay leaders “brave enough” to criticise the Chinese community.
Many of the comments were also laced with racial slurs and name-calling towards the Chinese community, especially towards the Chinese-majority opposition party DAP, which Dr Mahathir had slammed in his column.
“To the Home Ministry and authorities, please be strict and not be afraid to punish them like Chin Peng,” said a user named Zieyla Idzam Joys, who compared the content in DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang’s blog to the long-time Malayan Communist Party leader.
“I’m a Chinese but I support Tun, I’m more willing to have Tun rule our country ... Tun, please take this opportunity to rule Malaysia again. Malaysians need you,” said a comment by one Eugene Ooi, which was one of the most popular comments.
“Malays have never questioned the rights on non-Malays to build their business empires in Malaysia ... Why are the non-Malays questioning the rights of Malays?” asked another popular comment by a user called Vides Espaces.
The DAP won 38 federal seats in Election 2013 while the Chinese-based party MCA won only seven. Other Chinese-majority parties in BN also suffered major losses that led the ruling coalition to win only 133 federal seats in the May 5 general election against the 140 it won in Election 2008.
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