The Overseas Chinese

The South China Sea
Image via Wikipedia

The Overseas Chinese

(With particular reference to Malaysia)

KLsunriseSunrise Over Malaysian Capital KL

The Overseas Chinese, a term first came to be used with reference to the pioneering Chinese who for hundreds of years, have emigrated across the South China Sea seeking fortune & exploring unknown lands. Most came through sheer economic pressure at home with the expressed desire & hope of returning home one day.

The home returning never materialised. While many sent for their loved ones or arranged brides, others settled down inter-marrying with the locals. My grandparents were both from Fujian Province in China. The majority of the Overseas Chinese remain ethnically & distinctively Chinese, except for a minority who married the locals, such as the ‘Babas’ of Malacca. My wife’s grandparents were both from China. Her maternal grandfather was a high government official.

This writing is to set the record right in the history of Malaysia. History cannot lie, though vain attempts have been made to eradicate the horror of the Holocaust & the war atrocities by the Nazis & Japanese. Turning back the pages of history, the following facts are borne out lucidly:

  • While the Malays, less competitive in their lifestyle, were mainly &

    traditionally in the rural areas, the Chinese were concentrated in the urban areas engaging in trading & business activities, rubber & tin mining, building factories & townships.

  • The generations following the pioneering Chinese were all born

    in Malaysia – so rightly & legally can claim their birthright in the

    land of their birth.

  • The Chinese, past & present, are a definite asset to Malaysia. Whatever wealth & fortune accumulated by them are spelt with sweat & toil, strictly meritoriously.

The Chinese are very independent, most resilient & tolerant in nature. They are more individualistic than communal. They are certainly not religiously fanatic. They are known to be most assiduous in their economic pursuits, with the courage, strength & tenacity to face all adversities. Despite claims & illusions deliberately created about the Chinese expansionist myth, the Chinese with all their secret societies are definitely not politically inclined, at l;east not in the Western concept.

The Malaysian Chinese are much to be blamed for the present political woes in the country. With their weighted concentration in commerce & industries, they neglected the political arena, leaving it to the less competitive Malays to wield & seal their political clout. As it turned out, with political power, everything else fell unto their lap – with the Chinese & Indians tolling the line. As way back as 1970s, Datuk Musa Hitam, then the Deputy Prime Minister, confirmed this truth when addressing an ADMO (Alliance Direct Membership Organization – now non-existent) assembly.

People should be respected & accepted as they are. Every human being is the same the world over. They have the same hope, dreams & aspiration in life, though they may differ in colour, culture & language. There is no such thing as royal or elite blood, otherwise the procedure of blood donation & transfusion would be difficult. The main blood groups & composition are scientifically or racially undifferentiated.

Historian Arnold Toynbee emphasized the Chinese migrational trend as “peaceful penetration”. The feared “Yellow Peril” just does not exist, nor will ever be. There is no threat at all, either imminently or belligerently. Even China today advocate very strongly a peaceful & harmonious co-existence.

Why all these political divisions? Why such polarisations? Why the sporadic outbursts of racism? Why such persecutions & social injustices? Why all the discrimination & seizing all power to dominate?

Both the Chinese & the Indians have contributed much in the nation building.

They have given much but received nuts. How much more do you want? Enough is enough. Be fair & just.

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent


19 thoughts on “The Overseas Chinese

  1. Pingback: The Overseas Chinese « P21chong's Blog | China Today

  2. Kok Wah Wong

    What is happening here is the result of the inherent character of the Chinese to stay away from politics. They have seen too much of that in homeland China. The early Chinese politicians have sold out the Chinese too for their own personal gains. The sweat & tears of the Chinese in building up Malaya/Malaysia are fruitlessly wasteful economically, socially & politically in the groping darkness of their myopic vision.

    As the years roll by, we see the average Chinese being pushed & retreated more to the back stage. But, as the Chinese character is ever accommodating rather than confrontational, they will choose to leave the land & go elsewhere (as you may have done).
    Others, without qualifications, money or are old will be left to suffer and have to look to God (the Lord) for justice. May the cries of the oppressed go to His ears & may His mercy & justice prevail in the land of the Golden Chersonese.

  3. Linda D. Montalbano

    Instead of thinking as “Overseas Chinese” think of yourselves as residents of the country you have chosen to live and raise your children in. It is the piece of this planet you stand on not where you came from. I am born and raised in the USA and my grandparents are from Italy and Russia. What does this make my granddaughter who’s father, my son who is also Italian and German from his father. The mother is Dutch and Hispanic and does not know who her father is. This makes my granddaughter a citizen of the planet Earth that just so happens lives in New York State part of the country called the United States. We need to look to taking care of our planet and living together as one population sharing a place in the universe. Linda D. Montalbano

    1. Paul Chong

      Rightly, of course, the resident should be considered the citizen of that adopted country, irrespective of the country of origin.

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  8. There is a unreliable analysis based on stereotypes. The Chinese of south east Asia in particular never got their wealth from toil alone. They introduced the style of corruption that is anathema to the type of society we wish to create free of corruption and based on merit. All this because it was always a part of Chinese culture to give gifts and get favours in return.

    The turmoils in China with their warlords and local Mandarins that controlled their populations and became wealthy was always the result of this patrimony and the use of fear and force.

    Malaysia like its neighbours stand as examples of the Chinese enterprises of prostitution, gangsterism, drug peddlling, slavery, extortion and and bribery. Thats not to somee say d not or did not work hard and earn an honest living. The practices of Chinese Triad conduct now menaces the west as well and it won’t be long before there are pogroms in these places to rid themselves of the menace.

    Malayia’s Chinese have always enjoyed a privileged place in that country. It is te attempts to dominate the place and bully like the Chinese dd in Singapore glossing over the misdeeds by jailing and sending into exile those that discovered their fraud that the Chinese complain about.

    The Malays re competitive and it is in the face of this competition that the Chinese now complain bitterly because it does not reinforce their stereotyping of the Malay.

    When one exposes the stereotypes of the Chinese they cal it racism. But to unfairly taint the Malays wit such stereotyping as you have here it is meant to be fact.

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