Are the english-speaking Chinese more egalitarian?

The following is a statement by a commenter on the neo-nazi site, Temasek Review beneath the article, 'If Indians are having more babies, then is it our mistake?'. (comment link) (Her/is caps lock must be jammed.  I don't understand why some people do this.  Perhaps they think they'd get more attention by capitalising everything.  That wouldn't be achieved as it just makes it more difficult to read.  Silly gits. But quite good points though.)

"Till this day, There is still widespread discrimination by Chinese companies (Thankfully, not The English-Educated Chinese)."


Not true. The 'English-educated chinese' are 'educated' socially to not bother about any perspective that is not 'chinese' in origin - reinforced by the English and chinese media, cultural celebrations, SAP school system, not having a problem with singapore being turned into a chinese state, etc, etc, etc. Look at the Syed Alwi Tourist Board. It ignores the non-chinese in all 4 languages, not just Mandarin. You can say that they ignore difference in English. That is an inevitable consequence of the government’s policies over the past few decades. Any race, ‘favoured’ in such a manner will tend to become self-absorbed. The chinese, be they ‘English’ or ‘Chinese’ educated are not insusceptible.

If you want to talk about 'English-educated Chinese', you'll have to look at the English-speaking Chinese of the 70s who didn’t think it ‘cool‘ to speak mandarin, and didn’t see it as an ‘advantage‘ either. Those ‘Chinese’ would certainly wonder why on earth a statue of a Chinese Premiere-cum-mass murderer - Deng Xiao Ping - was erected in singapore not too long ago; why Mandarin is promoted as ‘cool’; why one has to ‘Speak Mandarin, it’s an advantage’; and would wonder why there has to be a ‘mother-tongue’ policy that advantages the chinese at the expense of the other races or why people should study their ‘own’ language (want to do that, they should bugger off back to their respective countries of doesn’t promote fusion mate.); why much money was spent reorienting the Singapore Flyer to keep it line with the dictates of so-called feng shui ‘masters’...charlatans would be more apt. These English-speaking ‘Chinese’ were truly 'English-educated' in their appreciating difference, not bothering so much about 'chinese culture', and viewing all chinese who stick to their traditions ‘because its our culture mahhh’ as 'chinamen', 'ah bengs' or 'cina' - i speak from personal experience with these English-speaking Chinese in church. (Risen Christ, Toa Payoh) They did not ‘take pride’ in ‘their’ culture because they saw themselves as Singaporean and a fusion of singaporean cultures as ‘their’ culture, and preferred a more 'western' identity as this enabled them to look beyond what was supposed to be 'their culture'. (Part of the reason why they thought in such away was also because of a more individualistic western/american 70s and 80s culture that had swept the world unlike the more conformist American culture that emerged thereafter.)

A racist, passive or active, is not known by what s/he says, but what s/he fails to say, whatever the language they say or don't say it in.
That doesn't apply to most of the singaporean Chinese of today, be they 'English' or 'chinese' educated, they have been, and are taught to view singapore as 'chinese' in persona. And this can be seen by what they fail to appreciate and notice (what tends to skip the attention of both the chinese and english-speaking chinese in singapore would cause a public furore if the same events occurred in the UK. Think about that. Something wrong with the people in the UK, or something wrong with singaporeans?) A racist, passive or active, is not known by what s/he says, but what s/he fails to say, whatever the language they say or don't say it in. With regards to the ‘comedy’, ‘Serves You Right’, it may be for ‘English-speakers’, but it’s most certainly created by ‘Mandarin-thinkers’ who can’t see beyond their own racially-defined self. I sometimes wonder after how singapore, with its more vibrant Indians, Eurasians, and Malays, are now occupying a disadvantaged and less developed position compared to the relatively backward chinese in the past. It may not be nice to hear, but it’s certainly the truth given the critical abilities, wit, and creativity of the non-chinese in singapore past.

(passive racist: one who isn’t a racist but who has reaped the benefits of racism because they are ‘preferred’, given added motivational/educational experiences not available to the non-chinese. active racist: one who is racist. We cannot appreciate racism solely by intention and attitude (active), but by consequence (passive) as well. passive/active racist - author’s terms.)

That said, I don't know what you mean by 'English-educated chinese' as everyone take English as their first language in schools. Ask yourself, how many of the ‘English-educated chinese’ commenters in Temasek Review are egalitarian? Is Temasek Review being run by ‘chinese-educated chinese’? And how many of the ‘English-educated chinese’ bother to comment about related issues highlighted on a2ed, or write about it to as deep a degree or interest in their blogs? Or how many of these ‘English-educated chinese‘, or those of other races, in the opposition bother about this as much, or have no problem placing Mandarin over the other languages in their banners or sidebars, etc. How many of the ‘English-educated chinese’ sit laughing at the racist English-language ‘Serves you Right’ ‘comedy’ without realising its grossly racist? Being racist, or not noticing it when it happens makes both part of the same problem. And with the concerted efforts and silence of both, the children of the future grow accustomed to the thus-created hierarchy of ‘preference’. People are developed and underdeveloped accordingly and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In that, even the non-Chinese whom are used to the status quo are part of the problem.

English might bridge the gap between linguistically disparate peoples, but where one race if given an ascendant position, English can just serve to transmit their preferences.
We cannot lower the standard for egalitarianism by excusing English-speaking chinese just because we can order a prata (Indian 'pancake' dish' of high cholesterol content which i personally stay away from) in English.
It seems that if most are vocal in English, it is only when it comes to picking on ‘foreigners’, or talking about interests that mainly affects the chinese. When you pair this xenophobia with their not bothering about matters not chinese, than we can only, and very plausibly, say that they are just seeking to maintain chinese advantage as they’d learnt to do so via the government. The English-speaking chinese have to be prodded to prove themselves as not being part of the problem by their standing up and saying more about these matters. If not, whilst they may not be racist themselves, they are still certainly reaping the benefits of the racism of others via their discounting, ‘everywhere also got racism one’, attitude. Let's not forget that one can be self-absorbed and racist in any language. English might bridge the gap between linguistically disparate peoples, but where one race if given an ascendant position, English can just serve to transmit their preferences.

The point here is not to vilify the english-speaking Chinese, but to make the most of their potential to be egalitarian by reminding them that moving on from bothering about their own interests to bothering about the rights of homosexuals and lesbians or the birds and the trees is not evidence of egalitarianism. It can be nothing but their moving on to those interests that still impacts on the interests of the Chinese even though it may have positive effects on the non-Chinese whom share similar interests. That is a coincidence of interest, and not a conscientious direction of effort for the interests of the non-Chinese per se. It is good that more Chinese, english-speaking or otherwise, are becoming involved in homosexual and lesbian interests, and becoming environmentally conscious as well. This is good, and is evidence that they are moving beyond group interests. That should be worked on to making them more egalitarian. They should be given the chance to do so, and hence, this article, amongst others, serves as a reminder of the greater potentials of their currently narrow egalitarian drive.



  1. I agree with you. One organisation for One people. That turns, as i stated a long while back, all 'races' into 'dialect' groups of one singular singaporean race. The chinese never bothered with that idea as it did not deliver more benefits to them, and, if one was to think about it, they would be receiving competition from non-chinese others. Their method, amongst a host of others, to get around governmental financial pressures, is to cut off a sizable portion of the population from opportunities to which they would thus be able to help themselves first. This may not be intentional, but it is irrefutably the consequence. That is the unstated part of 'singaporean' 'meritocracy' - both one's qualifications and one's ability access racism to get ahead.

    My companion 'V' (chinese girl from singapore) herself admitted that if it wasn't for discrimination in singapore, she would not have achieved the regional status that she did. She never discriminated, but in respect of that fact, she does her best to give the Malays and Indians a leg up whenever she can - whilst giving me quite a bit of credit for her achievements, though some of which is undeserved on my part. In my personal experience, i've had chinese coming to me for advice on their business to their jobs. At the end of the day, they get the credit, and i get a cup of tea. Not very nice is it.

    The above division which you mentioned, has to be appreciated in the wider context of 'divide and conquer'. The HDB quota system, the SAP school system, media discrimination, mother tongue policy, division of cultural channels, etc. Not only does it keep the races apart, it also facilitates the domination of a racially/culturally defined 'majority of all the others, and through it, their assimilation and underdevelopment. The Malays and Indians not only become similar to the confucianised chinese, but also become lesser via the absence of equal opportunities and motivational influences, i.e. via the media.

    That said, I hope you don't mind my candour, but I wish you'd said a bit about the issue highlighted in this article as well. As your comment is completely off-topic, it doesn't do its significance justice, nor the idea of reciprocal interaction. I'm sure it is unintentional on your part, but it is quite typical of my interaction with the confucianised singaporeans of today - they think what they want, but hear not that which you think, unless it coincides with the former.

    But thank you for the above information as it's certainly interesting. Keep it coming mate.


Post a comment

The Inquisitive venture is a collaborative one. Let's collaborate.

Ad hominem is fine so long as it is accompanied with an argument, as opposed to being confused for an argument. In the latter case, deletion will follow.

Popular posts