Chinese tsunami or Malaysian tsunami?

Utusan Malaysia published articles condemning the Malaysian Chinese with the headline ‘Apa lagi Cina Mahu?’ and Najib Tun Razak’s speech after the election stating the ‘Chinese Tsunami’ has further sparked agitation among Malaysian Chinese who have exercised their democratic right by supporting Pakatan Rakyat.
The Malaysian Chinese played a prominent role in development of Malaya since the Malacca days. The Chinese diaspora occurred from the 19th century to 1949. The major reason for Chinese emigration is because of starvation, war and political corruption in mainland China. The Chinese migrated to various parts of world as coolies to replace African slaves. A British Guinea planter quoted that the Chinese labourers are strong in their physique and eager to earn a living.
The Chinese in the past suffered because of the exploitation by the Europeans. The first wave of emigration occurred in 15th century during the Malacca sultanate. Diplomatic ties were established between China and Malacca and Sultan Mansur married Puteri Hang Li Po (subject still debated by historian). Puteri Hang Li Po was accompanied by a senior state minister and five hundred youths and maids.
The inheritors of these people, mostly from Fujian province, are called the Baba (men) and Nyonya (women) or Cina Peranakan. The culture integration between Malay and Chinese dates back from the 15th century. The Straits Chinese adopted the Malay culture into their lives in the context of language, food, clothing, etc. Most notable Peranakans are Tan Cheng Lock – founder and first president of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), Tan Siew Sin – third President of MCA, Lee Kuan Yew – first Prime Minister of Singapore and Lee Hsien Loong – third Prime Minister of Singapore, son of Lee Kuan Yew.
In response to Ali Rustam’s comments published by Utusan Malaysia, based on historical facts, MCA was formed by Tun Tan Cheng Lock and he understands the cultural integration and unity between Chinese and Malay has been the core strength for the coalition. The founding father of Umno recognises the Chinese contribution to this country and forged ties with Chinese to build Malaya. On that note, as a leader you should recognise the contributions of a community that has worked along with other Malaysian.
If the Chinese community has rejected your leadership, accept your defeat and work on building your reputation back with the Chinese community. A mark of a true leader is his ability to accept defeat and prove to the people that he is a leader capable of handling the defeat. Mahathir and Lim Kit Siang have lost in the past. They did not blame anyone but took it as part of a democracy system and worked harder to win the hearts of the people. Please do not make any further racial remarks because it sends a wrong message to the people and the modern leadership in Malaysia requires a leader to lead based on liberal thoughts rather than communal thoughts.
Malaysian has progressed towards a multiracial political ideology instead of communal political ideology as introduced by the British. Being a former Chief Minister of Malacca, you should possess greater knowledge in Chinese-Malay relationship dating back to the 15th century and the progression of the two communities in building Malaysia. The common folk of Malaysia have moved on from the communal ideology to multiracial ideology.
As a politician, in agony of defeat, issuing an official statement of blaming a community does not promote harmony and is not in tandem with 1Malaysia programme introduced by your party. As a Malaysian, we desire for a leader to build a stronger bond between the communities not dismantling the ethnic relationship. On that note, please go back to the drawing board and rework on your leadership ideology.
According to Sir Frank Swettenham, K.C.M.G. (1850-1946) in his book, ‘British Malaya – An Account of the Origin and Progress of British Influence in Malaya’ stated that the Chinese played a major part in developing the economy of British Malaya. The following are the contribution of the Chinese community under British Malaya:
a The Chinese were responsible for half of the world’s tin supply during that period because of the hard work, law abiding and capability.
b The Chinese were the miners, traders, planters and fisherman way before the British made way to Malaya. Before the British invasion, it was the Chinese energy and industry that paid for the infrastructure projects in British Malaya.
c The Chinese were the pioneers in tin mining and went into remote jungles, cleared the forest, took the risk and made profit for their hard work.
d The Chinese built the schools, government buildings, roads, railways, water works, etc.
e The Chinese invested their capital and brought in Chinese labour to develop British Malaya when the British were afraid to invest.
f The Chinese labour and enterprise were the reasons for the evolution of British Malaya.
The above reflects the contribution of the Chinese community in Malaysia. The ‘Chinese Tsunami’ comment does not recognise the hardship that the Chinese community endured towards building this country. It was not a Chinese tsunami but rather a Malaysian tsunami as stated by Lim Kit Siang. However, passing a racial remark on a community that has been an integral part of this nation destroys the Malaysian sentiment in Chinese community. The political leaders should take the responsibility for the defeat in the election, instead of passing racially provocative remarks towards a community that has suffered building this country.
Relating to the historical evidence and role of Chinese community in socio-economics activities, they have contributed significantly. Their participation in socio-economic activities has uplifted the country. These contributions must be recognised and as a democratic nation, it is their right to choose leaders. MCA and Gerakan have failed in addressing Chinese community issues and the component parties of Barisan Nasional should tackle the issues delicately without stirring racial sentiments.
Relating to comments from Saravanan (MIC), in a democracy the people have the right to choose. No one put a knife to your neck and asked you to serve the community. The choice of career in politics in decided by the individual, and part of the political career is ability to accept the people’s choice. Despite the blunder at the electorate, Barisan Nasional is still the government and the leaders are required to deliver the manifesto promised during the election.  We request political leaders to commence activities that have been promised in the manifesto instead of making harsh remarks on Chinese community.
The Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban and others have decided that the way to move forward is through multiracial cooperation. The new generation identifies themselves as Malaysian first before anything else. The election has proven our desire to be governed by liberal leaders with progressive thinking instead of traditional communal backwards leaders. The political ideology by PKR, DAP and PAS has captured the hearts of the young Malaysian. The popular votes have proven the rise of Generation Y in deciding the direction of this country.
We urge the coalition leaders to stop these racial remarks on our Chinese brothers. We stand united to defend the rights of every Malaysian regardless of his ethnicity. As a Generation Y representative and on behalf of decent Malaysians, we require the coalition leaders to nurture the Malaysian spirit in their political agenda. We have rejected two racist leaders from Perkasa and if the racial propaganda continues, Malaysian will not hesitate to reject race based leadership. The people have trusted the coalition with another mandate and we require the leaders to deliver it open heartedly.
To the Chinese and Malay community, we appeal for you to ignore the remarks on ‘Chinese Tsunami’ and ‘Apa lagi Cina mahu?’. We have rejected racism and a paradigm shift has taken shape in mind of the Malaysian. History has proven that the Chinese and Malay community share a close bond since the Malacca Sultanate. Let’s continue to foster the relationship instead of falling for a racial political ploy. The British invented the ‘divide & rule’ system to segregate the Malay, Chinese and Indian in the past, we have matured as a society and the system is no longer applicable.
History has proved the role and contributions of Chinese society in this country.  The Malaysian public has sufficient knowledge and understands the importance of racial harmony. The real power is with the people and no one can take that away from us. We continue to exist and fight for our rights regardless of the condition. We have come a long way to give up on the Malaysian dream. The Inikalilah spirits lives on with us and it was a Malaysian tsunami not Chinese.

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