February 13, 2012 Dong Jiao Zong 2 Comments
By: Jolina Tan
After much noise and ‘foot thumping’ by the Dong Jiao Zong over the appointment of non-Mandarin educated teachers in Chinese vernacular schools, it is reported that the 17 teachers involved were only directed to teach Bahasa Malaysia, which is why Mandarin background is not deemed essential.
A friend of mine asked, so what’s the noise and foot-thumping all about? Demonstration of power?
It’s the upcoming election, isn’t it? All the political parties must be made aware of the power of Dong Zong and that whichever party is ready to kow-tow to this organization, would be ‘blessed’ with its support.
Just because the Dong Zong fights for the Chinese, doesn’t mean it represents 100% of us. I am among the few Chinese who is uncomfortable with this unhealthy but upward trend of ‘power-testing’ by our people, championed by Dong Jiao Zong.
We all know that it is important to not lose our roots but aren’t we the ones asking the nation to be Malaysian First, and race second? Naturally, as Malaysian, we must put our Bahasa Kebangsaan first and Mandarin second. But it never seem that way to me and no wonder the Malays are going berserk towards us.
I am one of the many Malaysian Chinese who can’t speak Mandarin and I’m not proud of it. I wish I could, as it is an advantage to know many languages.
But I don’t feel guilty for not being able to speak Mandarin because I believe in being Malaysian First and Chinese Second.
When I go overseas, I hate it when people get confuse of whether I am from Malaysia or China because most of us Malaysian Chinese do not have anything to show that can relate us to Malaysia, except that it is written as so, in our passport. If there is anything that can relate us to our country, it is only our broken Bahasa Malaysia. And yet, we scream if we didn’t get treated as loyal Malaysians.
Whereas, the Thailand or Indonesian Chinese are easy to be recognized when overseas for they usually speak their national language. They also strongly considered the traditional dress and culture of the original Thais or Indonesians as theirs too. For this, the original Thais and Indonesians have no prejudice towards them and accept them as their own.
In fact, in all parts of the world, the immigrants would quickly adopt and practice the original language and culture of the country, in order to blend in and be accepted. Like it or not, only in Malaysia that such cases of ‘alien-citizen’ is common. And I’m pointing out to you that it is as much our fault, as everybody else’s.
I respect Dong Zong for its determination to keep the spirit of our ancestors’ and motherland alive and strong. But I strongly feels that Dong Zong, as an education NGO should help promote unity instead of extremism.
We want the Malays to be Malaysian first and Malay second but are we doing the same? What does it mean to be Malaysian? What is Malaysia, anyway?
I don’t know what the Dong Zong have in mind about Malaysia, but I don’t want to teach my children to lie to themselves about their roots. I want them to accept the fact that even though our ancestors were from China, China is no longer our country.
Our country is Malaysia. Our national language is Bahasa Malaysia, our culture is of a very strong influence of the Malay culture because Malay is the original settlers of this land. Our traditional dress is the baju kebangsaan and all Chinese or Indians just have to accept it or should not claim to be Malaysians. However, as non-Malays, we have the right to uphold our race’s traditional dress too, in respect of our roots.
I bring this matter up because I don’t see any solution to the never-ending prejudice among all the races in Malaysia. Everybody is backing up their own races’ arguments but none would admit their wrongs.
We have always complained of being discriminated in terms of education, properties, government projects and all but have we ever tried to look at it from the eyes of others?
With Dong Zong constantly fighting for separation of our race from others, how can we expect the Malays to not have any prejudice and suspicions towards us? How can we expect them to feel secure enough to abolish the policy that discriminate us when we, ourselves, are still aliens to them?
I believe that only when we truly blend in, that the privilege and special rights of the Bumis can be truly abolished. Let’s not be hypocrites and selfish. Let’s truly fight for unity, for a 1Bangsa Malaysia, for our own sake.
Instead of demanding, provoking and threatening, may be Dong Zong should start offering, giving and co-operating in sharing ideas and working towards bringing the races together. Prove that the Chinese too, can truly be Malaysian First and Chinese Second.