Syed Jaymal Zahiid, TMI
Chinese voters will hurt their own race if they continue to be “emotional and greedy”, Utusan Malaysia warned today, as it continues with its attack against the community more than a month after the divisive May 5 general election.
Under the headline “Sedarlah Cina (Wake up Chinese)”, Awang Selamat, which is the nom de plume representing the collective voice of the paper’s editors, appeared to suggest that the majority of the Chinese community are overly demanding and ungrateful for voting against a government that has done much to serve them.
The column also described the majority of Chinese as racist because they were purportedly influenced by the DAP to hate other races despite having been treated favourably in Malaysia and quoting academic Dr Teo Kok Seong as saying Malaysian Chinese, especially the educationist group Dong Zong, should instead be grateful as no other country would have allowed the community to preserve its identity and “live as ‘Chinese’”.
“Amid the thick racist sentiment of the majority of the Chinese, as a result of the political game played by the most racist party, the DAP, there are voices from the more open and rational Chinese,” the columnist wrote, referring to Teo, a researcher with University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
“He has openly reminded the Chinese, especially the Chinese educationist group, Dong Zong, that there are no other countries in the world that would have allowed this race to live as ‘Chinese’, except for Malaysia,” the writer added.
The column further noted that Teo’s supposed advice came at the right time. Although the writer gave no explanation, it is believed that he was referring to Election 2013 where the majority of the Chinese were perceived to have voted against the ruling coalition.
Since the results were announced, the Malay broadsheet and Umno’s right-wing elements have constantly attempted to frame the May 5 ballot at a Chinese-vs-Malay contest.
Polls data, however, showed a significant swing in Malay votes towards Pakatan Rakyat (PR), especially among the middle class in urban areas, with many analysts agreeing that the Election 2013 results pointed more towards an urban-rural and class divide, instead of a communal rift.
Utusan has, however, continued with its push to influence the post-May 5 polls discourse with anti-Chinese sentiments, labelling the community as “deserters” and “ungrateful” for voting against a government that has done its best to serve the community.
“In the context of Malaysian politics, Awang would like to (say) that any Chinese who are emotional and rakus (ravenous) will hurt their own race despite having control of the economy,” the columnist wrote today.
The writer further cited Teo’s criticism of Dong Zong’s demands for recognition of its Unified Examinations Certificate (UEC) as “extreme” in what appeared to be a veiled allegation that the Chinese are too demanding.
Awang reminded the community that to continue living in a multi-racial Malaysia, the Chinese must accept the Malay majority as the country’s dominant political force.
Teo was also quoted on his opinion of Dong Zong’s alleged criticism towards ministers who spoke poor Mandarin in a bid to prove allegations of deep chauvinism among the Chinese community.
“This matter is too much when the issue of the Chinese community’s poor grasp of Bahasa Melayu has not once been raised.
“The Chinese themselves have not done anything to rectify this. I suppose this is the time to really discuss, what exactly are the purpose of the Chinese living in Malaysia,” the UKM academic was quoted as saying.