Chinese The World Over

Paul Chong

A Chinese By Descent . . . An Australia By Consent
24 September 2020

Chinese are everywhere in the world. It’s said that where seas or oceans touch land, there you’d find them. They are most enterprising & assiduous in their economic pursuit. They would rather “die on their feet than live on their knees”. Such is their nature & character. They built the US railroads, responsible for the urbanisation & commercial enterprises in Malaya (present Malaysia) & most of the Southeast Asian countries. Wherever they are they contribute positively to the land of their adoption. They adjust, adapt & even adopt to foreign life quite naturally. However, their cultural lives remain distinctly unchanged. There are Christians, Muslims as are also present in China itself.

In China everybody speaks Mandarin including the 55 minority ethnic groups . . . this being the national language well serving unity in diversity.

Besides Han Chinese, who make up over 90% of China’s population, there are officially 55 minority ethnic groups living in China. Their costumes, festivals, and customs can be unique and colorful and are some of China’s unique attractions.

Uniquely in China, the Chinese speak a variety of dialects like Hokkien (in Fujian), Cantonese (in Canton (Guangzhou & Hong Kong), Hakka (Hainan), Wu Chinese Dialect (Shanghainese), just to mention some. In Taiwan they speak a dialect similar to the one in Fujian known as Minnanhua.

According to the latest United Nations data. China 2020 population is estimated at 1,439,323,776 people at mid year. China population is equivalent to 18.47% of the total world population. Every 5 people in the world one is Chinese.

There are approximately 50 million ethnic Chinese people living outside of China’s mainland (Oct 1, 2014).
The statistics do not include Chinese who have adopted citizenship of the countries where they are residing.

Most of them are living in Southeast Asia where they make up a majority of the population of Singapore (75%) and significant minority populations in Thailand (14%), Malaysia (23%), Indonesia, Brunei (10%), the Philippines, and Vietnam 823,071.

South Korea: 1,643,611. France: 700,000. Chinese Australians & Chinese Canadians are getting larger in number.

South Africa is the Country with the largest Chinese population outside China estimated to be one million.

Chinese in Indonesia, Thailand & Philippines have to have their names change to the countries of their adoption.

In a recent announcement by President Xi JinPing, China Card will be made available to all Chinese born outside China, certainly a most welcome & gratifying news for those who wish to return to the motherland.

Our Kirkby College Love Memorabilia

By Paul Chong Monday 21 September 2020

Our Love Memorabilia
A Classic Needlework Table (1960)
Kirkby College, Liverpool, UK

Yes a genuine handcrafted
teak furniture Needlework Table.
The art of woodcraft – all well fitted joints (no nails) entwining
two young college lovers . . . younger than springtime!
It’s structured in teak with a special lining of rosewood & a sliding compartment tray within for all the threads, pins & needles.

Now in our twilight years (octogenarian), who will treasure & cherish it as much as we do?

Paul & Lilian Chong
Perth Hills, Western Australia (2020)

Our World of Woes

By Paul Chong Saturday 13 June 2020

We are all living dangerously – what with the trade war, cold war, endless wars here & there, economic shutdown, protests & chaos under the guise of freedom & democracy, families lockdown, brutality & atrocities, insanity, spread of racism & no less the CoronaVirus pandemic. We are but sheltering from the pandemic storm, prayerfully & waiting for it to pass, who knows two years or three. Heaven forbids if it lasts any longer than that.

Unfortunately, to further aggravate the mayhem, we have at the helm this mad “Donald Duck” Trump who likes to shoot his index finger blaming others (especially China) for his own shortcomings, forgetting that consequently that three other fingers are pointing back at himself. He’s no doubt the cause of all evils.

He’s been called an idiot by his own mother & also by a lady reporter, a perpetual liar, cheat, a racist & a host of other undesirables. He expects & threatens all his ally leaders to follow him in all his quests. In his administration, he’s aided by his State Secretary Mike Pompeo & a strategy advisor Steve Bannon, both with foul mouths & evil hearts.

On our local scene, our Aussie PM has been blindly led into the mayhem. Ill advised or simply led astray, our spineless PM Scotty is jumping into the sinking American ship, which is being abandoned by the German leader Angela Merkel & other EU leaders. Wonder if silly Scotty realises that he is biting the hand that’s feeding Australian economy. As a safeguard, he should shut up & remain neutral. It would be the wisest thing to do, for though Australia is a big country it is only but a small nation. We have everything to lose & nothing to gain.

Let’s stand together & fight this evil invading pandemic. Let peace & harmony reign.

UK Offering 3 Million Visas to HK Residents

By Paul Chong Saturday 6 June 2020

Unlike the United States of America where they are not lacking in transparency, British politics are most devious & cunning, often with hidden agenda & very shrewd policies serving their own ends. British diplomacy goes a historical way in creating a large empire on the global political landscape. Most countries fell victims including the huge country of India which British ruled for more than four centuries.

In Malaysia where I was born, the British initially came into the country on the pretence of intervention between the Chinese miners & the Malays over the economic wealth of the mining operation. They came & stayed without firing a bullet.

It’s interesting to note the case of Hong Kong . . . a well known historical fact that the British literary stole Hong Kong from China after the defeat of China in the unfair opium war. The British ruled Hong Kong for about one & a half century, milking the colony dry. Further, there was no freedom of election nor the practice of democracy.

On 1 July 1997 the British finally returned Hong Kong to China. It needs to be stressed that the British never made any offer of British visas to the deranged HongKies over their future. The British generosity offered only them restricted visas of temporary residence tantamounting to the status of second class citizens.

Now, according to today’s report, the British are offering 3 million visas to Hong Kong residents. Why? What’s behind this move? What are they trying to achieve?

Hong Kong belongs to China since historical times. Once China has back its sovereignty, no other nations in the world has any right to interfere with its internal affairs.

Events provoked both by UK & US in the later half of last year under the guise of freedom fight, universal suffrage & democratic stand in the series of riots & chaotic protests, have proven the obvious point of their vested interests. For the US, it was a question of containing China in its growth & progress, lest it should sooner take over hegemony of US. The British still has design to take back its golden goose, if at all it can be legitimately claimed.

It’s a great prize to win whatever & however it takes. Both US & UK are involved together in funding the unrest & protests. School boys & girls including other youngsters were encouraged & instigated & paid as much as US$150 including black outfits, gear & training to cause havoc & destruction of public properties. Many of these young rioters were not even born at the time when Hong Kong returned to its motherland China.

It can be speculated the British action will not in any way return negatively. The British know full well that Chinese are the most assiduous people in the economic pursuits, hard & smart working & resourceful beyond all compare. China would probably let them go to UK to let those HongKees to have the taste of western ways & “democracy”.

There was no provisions under No. 23 basic laws of Hong Kong for China to act against intruding foreigners. Now with the proposed & implementation of National Security Law, China can possibly quell the political turmoil.

British diplomacy is well known. A smart English gentleman may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s smooth, plausible & believable in all his verbal convention . . . little would you realise or conscious of being taken for a ride. He’s the greatest salesman, a master with dealing & wheeling.

The Ugly Face of Racism

By Paul Chong Monday, 1 June 2020

A Chinese By Descent . . . An Australian By Consent

All men are created equal . . .

Human beings, according to biological science, are divided into eight blood types: O, B, A, AB (both positive or negative). Thus we are essentially different in terms of blood types. There’s no question of being superior or inferior by birth. No one has BLUE or ROYAL blood. Our blood may be thick or thin, that’s about all, like what people say ‘having a thick skin or otherwise.’ All blood are red in colour . . . either thick or thin.

Since we are all created equal, how does racism arise? We are all wonderfully made, created in the image of God. All of us are equal in the sight of God . . . and should rightly be in the eyes of men.

With due respect & without prejudice to our Western friends, who may by virtue of their general build & stature, have the tendency to consider themselves more superior.

In the US, the Afro American have long suffered humiliation under the elite American. The days of forced slavery, though long gone when Abraham Lincoln brought on the Policy of Emancipation, cannot easily be erased. Fast forward to this modern era, they went through segregation & discrimination more than any human being could bear. They totally lost their ROOTS without hope of returning home to their mother land.

There is no known official act of RECONCILIATION or an Official Apology made like what Kevin Rudd, a former Prime Minister of Australia undertook with the Australian aborigines. (They should rightly be called “Ausgines” without the stigma & connotation of the usual common term.

Ausgines simply means the original inhabitants of Australia. CONTRARY TO WHAT CAPTAIN COOK’S DECLARATION 0F AUSTRALIA AS “TERRA NULLIUS.”

The legal concept of terra nullius allowed British colonists to disregard Indigenous ownership of Australia, to regard Australiaas an empty continent and to take the land without ever negotiating a treaty.

In this connection, the red Indians of American deserve the same reconciliation treatment. They are all marginalised & pushed off to unwanted Indian Reservations. Complete extermination & genocide were practised.

The Afro American have proved themselves to be valued citizens. Many of them are top professionals. They shine in the field of entertainment & sports . . . Carl Lewis, Flo Jo, Nat King Cole, Joe Louis, Mohammed Ali . . . just to name some. These people are/were not by any means stupid or inferior.
American like to classify people by the colour of their skin. Afro American are black. Native American are red. Mexican or Latin American are said to be brown. Asian or Chinese American are yellow. So, the elite American must have the best of all colours . . . splashing themselves with rainbow colour. Surely they are not just plain white or orange as Donald Trump is claimed to be.

Trump is known to ask “How do I look?” He might want to retract & tell the four Congress women to stay & not to “go back”.

Racism is never acceptable nor should it ever be tolerated!

As an Australian by consent I am saddened by the ugly face of racism in Australia . . . an unexpected move in the footsteps of the western hemisphere particularly the mighty threatening power of Donald Trump. From being a lapdog, PM Scott Morrison has taken on to be the barking dog of US, dragging down the good relationship with China, after all the past years of good relationship. China has never threatened Australia. Quite the contrary, China is our economic partner stretching its hands to feed our economy. I am no politician nor an economist to understand that this a senseless & silly move . . . biting the hands benefitting us by billions of export dollars. US can never be expected to replace China as Australia’s export partner

What’s needed is a concerted positive action on a unilateral basis transcending all political differences to show to the world at large that there can be unity in diversity. Then & only then multiculturalism will take on meaningfulness. Political leaders must lead & stand tall in the face of adversity. Our PM seems to think that all this mayhem will fizzle out in time. Unfortunately, such negativeness is strong & enduring & will create scars in the peaceful & harmonious atmosphere in the community. It’s easier to destroy than to build.

Allow me to voice, foster & inculcate goodness in our hearts. Let’s discard the negatives & foster the positives. Australia is a BIG country, but unfortunately such BIGNESS is not reflected in the hearts & minds of our politicians.

Racism does thrive upon your silence & apathy . . . Doing nothing gains nothing, but doing something does aqchieve something. It’s all a question of simple logic. I guess that’s why the Afro-American are protesting & making their stand that “Black Lives Matter”. Enough is enough. May I say not to let the corrosive effects of injustice hinder your dream, hope & aspiration, for racism is like the deadly terminal cancer . . . scary & absolutely destructive.

Chaos shall reign . . . disintegration prevailing.

The Question of Opinion

Paul Chong – Saturday 30 May 2020

Opinion is invariably defined as a view point or judgement relating to any subject. When in doubt, you are often advocated to seek a second opinion.

Remember though that opionion is about the cheapest commodity in the world. It is freely & abundantly available. Opinion can differ from person to person. Oftentimes conflict of interest & personality without exception will show up in the final delivery or in the changing of opinion.

Not every opinion can be taken as the gospel truth, for the value or wisdom must be judged based on facts, expert knowledge or the credentials & experiences of the people expressing them. There is also the question of their vested interests or hidden agenda. How often human mindset is determined by preconceived ideas without available facts, proper/expert knowledge, or strictly on hearsay or nearsay.

Whom would you believe? If the issue at hand is controversial? All the more confusion & complexity set in.

In today’s world there is such a lot of media with fake news, propaganda, misinformation to sway you left & right like the pendulum. Most people are easily swayed while a category will stand firm by their own belief.

So, is there any compromise or cooperation in matters that are controversial? Will memorandum of understanding come into play?
Polarisation always happen which the majority will take advantage of & win the day. Argument always seem to favour the majority, the strong over the weak, the rich over the poor. There is no end in sight except in calamity & catastrophe as seen historically.

Is there no consideration on moral ground? What about the question of humanity or compassion? There exists too much of greed, self-contredness & gross individualism the world over. Peace & harmony will only come about when newly acclaimed “win-win” policy becomes deeply entrenched in humanity.

With God’s grace & mercy, let the era of international bullying, intimidation, exploitation, political or economical threats pass us by for peace & harmony to reign.

Morning Walk in Mundy National Park (Lesmurdie Falls)

By Paul Chong
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent

Monday 27 January 2020 Time Taken: 6.00 – 7.30am

The leisure & pleasure are all mine with the Mundy National Park right at our doorstep. Our home is sited on an elevated block of land (2,613 sqm) with panoramic view of Perth City. Perth Hills & the Park.

The beautiful part about walking in Perth Hills is the conducive weather, which permits outdoor activities throughout the year – spring or summer, winter or fall. The air is fresh & exhilarating, no sweat or perspiration at all. No worry about pollution. Walking is undoubtedly the best form of exercise for senior citizens. I enjoy the fresh morning breeze, birds chirping & the rays of sunshine piercing through the dark sentinels of bushes & trees.

Walking trails are paved, though some small parts may not but cleared. For safety railings exist. Concrete tables & benches are well provided for picnickers. On weekends & public holidays the Park is teeming with crowds.

Summer of 2019/2020 has been hot & dry. Hence the gurgling stream is silent, billabongs (stagnant pools) are dry & not a drip of water cascading down the Lesmurdie Falls.

A picture is better than 10 thousand words. I was trigger-happy with my smart phone & thus ended with a whole sequence of pictures for your viewing pleasure.

The Chinese Zodiac: Its Difference From The West

By Paul Chong
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent
25 January 2020

This Chinese New Year or preferably known as Spring Festival in China happened to be the Rat Year as the beginning of the 12-year Animal Zodiac Cycle. It’s timely for me to point the essential differences between that of the West & China.

Some years back this comment was made to the late Chinese Premier Mr. Zhou Enlai: “You Chinese people use the common animals like pig, dog, mouse as zodiac signs! Unlike us, we take after the stars like Taurus, Leo, Virgo.” It was said (Dec 27, 2017) that the late Chinese Premier, Mr Zhou En-lai once shared this to clear the air.

You’d see that the significance of the animal representation. Quote: “ Westerners see the dragon as a fire-breathing evil being. Greek mythology had a 100-headed dragon that was slain by Heracles. Similarly, Heracles slays another dragon called Lerneaen Hydra. In ancient China, the ‘Chinese Dragons’ are legendary creatures that are benevolent. Dragon for the Chinese is “strength and good fortune”. Dragon brings on good omens.

Chinese believe that they are the descendants of the Dragon. While ‘Western Dragons’ lived in castles and caves the Chinese dragon lived in the sea, rivers, and lakes. The Western Dragon breathed fire, the Chinese Dragon brings rain.

Over the centuries, the Chinese Dragon was associated with the Emperor of China. Only Emperors and high Mandarins were allowed to wear robes depicting Dragon motifs. For the Chinese, dragon festivals with dragon boat races, and dragon dances are part of their culture. Children are named dragon, actors such as Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee were given Chinese names as dragon. Incidentally, Chinese movies named “Enter the Dragon”, “Way of the Dragon”, “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” were popular.

The West took awhile to understand the difference. The West and East saw the same dragon differently.

In the Chinese zodiac calendar there are 12 animals for each year, in a cycle of 12 years. In the Western zodiac calendar each animal is for a month with 12 zodiac signs for a year.

The story of the Chinese zodiac animals
There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac calendar, starting with the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each animal has its own unique characteristics.

The fable goes that the Jade Emperor wanted to invite the animals for dinner and another story says that he wanted to select 12 animals to be his guards. He sent an immortal being into man’s world to spread the message that the first 12 animals that went passed the heavenly gate, would be selected.

Once the news spread across the animal kingdom, the rat got up very early. On his way to the gate, he encountered a river. He had to stop there, owing to the swift current. After waiting a long time, the rat noticed the ox about to cross the river and swiftly jumped onto the ox’s back. The amiable ox did not mind.

The cat too lazily walked up to the ox and jumped. Once upon a time the cat and rat were good friends; so all three of them were on the way to the heavenly gate. In the middle of the river, the cunning rat kicked the sleeping cat off the ox’s back. The cat fell into the river and since cats are poor swimmers never made it to the heavenly gate.

Ever since, the cat has never forgiven the rat. After crossing the river, the rat swiftly jumped off the ox’s back and dashed to the feet of the emperor. The rat won first place and the ox was second.

The tiger and rabbit came third and fourth because both are fast and competitive, but the Tiger was faster. (The rabbit got across the river by hopping on stepping stones and a floating log also with the help of the dragon.)

After the ox, came the tiger, panting away while explaining to the emperor just how difficult it was to cross the river with the heavy currents pushing it downstream all the time. But with powerful strength, it made it to shore and was named the third animal in the cycle.

Coming in fifth place was the gallant dragon. Of course the Emperor was deeply curious as to why a strong flying creature such as the dragon should fail to reach first. The mighty dragon explained that he had to stop and make rain to help all the people and creatures of the earth; therefore he was held back a little. Then on his way to the finish line, he saw a little helpless rabbit clinging on to a log so he did a good deed and gave a puff of breath to the poor creature so that it could land on the shore.

The emperor was very pleased with the actions of the dragon and he was added into the zodiac cycle. As soon as he had done so, a galloping sound was heard and the horse appeared. Hidden on the horse’s hoof was the slimy sneaky snake whose sudden appearance gave the horse a fright thus making it fall back and gave the snake sixth spot whilst the horse took seventh.

Not long after that, a little distance away, the sheep, monkey, and rooster came to the shore. These three creatures helped each other to get to where they are. The rooster spotted a raft, and took the other two animals with it. Together, the sheep and the monkey cleared the weeds, tugged and pulled and finally got the raft to the shore. Because of their combined efforts, the Emperor was very pleased and promptly named the sheep as the eighth creature, the monkey as the ninth, and the rooster the tenth.

The 11th animal is the dog. His explanation for being late although he was supposed to be the best swimmer amongst the rest was that he needed a good bath after a long spell, and the fresh water from the river was too big a temptation. For that, he almost didn’t make it to the finish line.

Just as the emperor was about to call it a day, an oink and squeal was heard from a little pig. The term “lazy pig” is due here as the pig got hungry during the race, promptly stopped for a feast, then fell asleep. After the nap, the pig continued the race and was named the twelfth and last animal of the zodiac cycle.

These 12 animals became guards of the heavenly gate and entered the Chinese zodiac signs.

The Chinese zodiac sign based on the year one is born signifies your character. This is the Chinese belief.
By the way, Chinese New Year is well celebrated not only in China but throughout the world by all of Chinese descent . . . also not just for a day but for 15 days ending in Chap Goh Mei, the fifteen night of the Lunar Calendar. Chinese work hard throughout the year & really celebrate their well earned rest & holidays at this time of the year.

The West Can Learn A Thing Or Two From China

The West Can Learn A Thing Or Two From China

By Paul Chong
22 January 2020

A certain wise old man from the village was confronted by a fresh young university graduate who challenged his wisdom. “Hey, old man, I understand you are well renown for your wisdom in the village. Tell me, I have this little bird in my hand. Is it dead or alive?”
The old man simply replied, “It’s up to you.”
“What do you mean?”
Here wisdom, age & experience, rather than knowledge & youth, had the better of the day’s challenge, “ Its fate rests entirely with you . . . dead or alive depending upon you squeezing it or releasing it & the little bird will fly away.”

China with a civilisation of more than 5 thousand years would diminish a younger country with only a couple hundred of years history. In the process of human growth, a child needs first to learn how to sit, crawl, toddle, walk & then run. By the same token that would be the process of growth of a nation.

From the page of the short history, you learn “How the West Was Won” of war atrocities, extermination & exploitation of the lesser Red Indians who had but bows & arrows. Among themselves, their struggle for survival was essentially based upon “Fastest Gun Alive” or “Quick On the Draw”. Throughout its short history the American have always been saying “If you are not with us then you are against us.” Its bullying syndrome, threats, destruction, conquests & intimidation ever present. The Americans have nothing to fear but fear itself. There is no country on earth strong or stupid enough to confront the US. Evidently, US goes about its world affairs under the guise of democracy & hidden agenda.

China is a big civilised nation with a big heart. Right from its Dynasty days, all that China wanted was trade. China never planted flags on foreign shores to lay claims of ownership nor engaged themselves in wars against foreign lands or claiming so-called “terra nullius” such as Australia.

China is now standing tall & economically powerful. The benevolent reposing dragon has gone through more than a century of humiliation by some eight western nations. China is reviving itself to its past greatness. Its benevolence extends to establishing the Belt & Road Initiative 一带一路 (Yi Dai Yi Lu) whereby China is sharing its high level of technology, building infrastructures, opening up communications & extending its economic arms in all its win-win deals. A new world will be born bonded in close cooperation instead of confrontation. Peace & harmony & of course prosperity would prevail.

With the rise of China (economically) & the decline of the West, and though still harbouring its secret agenda in containing China, I believe the West is beginning to want to learn from China, for example governance and innovation (with Chinese characteristics), Wildlife Conservation, the assiduous nature of Chinese working hard, Chinese cultural value, the deep sense of patriotism, its language & essentially what made the Chinese tick.

The process of learning never cease. Knowledge is ever expanding & changing. What we know today maybe obsolete tomorrow. Let’s learn, share & grow together. There is no question of theft. An “artificial sun” is being built & would be commissioned by China in 2020. Think what this could mean . . . clean controlled energy through nuclear fusion with a core temperature 7 times that of the natural sun.

To end here, I pose this question: Is it wise to hurt your own self, consciously or otherwise, by hurting others?

How It All Started

How It All Started

By Paul Chong
18 January 2020

Yesterday gathering at Sommerville Restaurant in Winthrop was a tremendous success. We had for the first time a full quorum with our spouces. The years may roll by but memories such as this will remain evergreen.

With the oldest octogenarian to the youngest septuagenarian, it seems like yesterday when we first started . . . assembling at McDonalds for free coffee before adjourning to our chosen restaurant for lunch for that day.
We even celebrated each other’s birthday in respective homes feasting away roasted suckling pigs. Somehow good things never last & our named group Senior Fraternity Initiative (SFI) took a slow dying path.

Clearly Raymond & I initiated the group in 19..? Raymond introduced Peter & Tony while I initiated Heng, Tommy, Frances & Richard. Some others were in our guest list but never got to stay.

Such is the origin of the Lunch Group. If your memory serves you better, please correct me if I am wrong.