Saturday, May 05, 2007

NST's anachronistic views on Chinese M' sians

In its editorial titled Wooing back the Chinese (Thursday, May 3, 2007), the New Straits Times makes some rather anachronistic and Orientalist observations on the Chinese community in Malaysia: ". . . This is a community that traditionally keeps their thoughts and feelings on issues to themselves. They rarely open up, but when they do, it will be through the ballot box, by which time it could be too late for political parties vying for Chinese support."

After reading these lines, I feel I am further justified in always telling editorial or lead writers, including those in the mainstream Chinese-language media, not to sit in the air-conditioned office too often but should instead go out occasionally to sembang-sembang or yam-char or yam-seng with straight-talking people whose warm affection for you may be expressed in %#@!

After all, sitting in the same office day in and day out with the same group of like-minded kaki leads easily into groupthink and cause the development all sorts of excessively fertile imaginations that lose all senses of proportion in terms of self, time and space.

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Blogger Monsterball said...

Hi James,
The NST has always been close to the "establishment" but it used to have a fairly well balanced multi-racial staff which could keep touch with the current thoughts of every community.
Sadly , these days its mainly an UMNO publication, doesn't even try to pretend any editorial independence. Definitely not qualified to make any accurate analysis of the Chinese community's thinking, especially the working class.

8:47 PM  
Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

yeah as one former NST editor just told me, this first few lines on Chinese Malaysians could be written with foreign diplomats in Kuala Lumpur as targeted audience. These lines really sound like 'intelligence asssessments written by a Straits Settlements' Mat Salleh 'Chinese Protectorate' or a police officer just transferred to tropical Malaya from Metropolitan London.

1:34 AM  
Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

since i'm not paid to be Umno, NST or PM's chinese advisers, i would leave it at that as there is no free lunch in this world.

6:12 AM  

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