Like It Or Not, Mandarin Is Important

I was reading this article (it’s in Malay, and this is Utusan we’re talking about… they’re like the mouthpiece of ultra-nationalistic Malayism in my damn opinion) while having dinner and I almost choked on my food. Basically the whole stupid article slams companies in Malaysia which specifically mentions proficiency in Mandarin to be a prerequisite for any vacancies advertisements.

Before I proceed, let me describe myself first before cries of “You racist bastard!” come up in the thick heads of some people. I’m a Malay guy living in a Malay household (why the hell would a copy of Utusan be in my house anyway… do you really think I like reading that shit? I’d rather read fine prints on pieces of toilet tissue), however, there are also Chinese and Indians in my extended family… in other words, I’m a true blue Malaysian. I see myself as a Malaysian rather than a Malay, much to the chagrin of the more right wing faction of society.

Although my Mandarin proficiency is about the same as my German (in other words, I only know a few words… but not enough to save my own life in an emergency), I know that it is a key business language here in Asia. And when some political dimwits turn it into “an issue of nationalism”, it obviously shows this person lack of business acumen in Asia, and Malaysia in particular. Heck, even if these guys do know “business”, my money would be that a large percentage of their “business” would be via government contracts… or probably inheritance.

Another clown from ABIM mentioned that this denies non-Chinese from getting the position advertised, and is a form of oppression. He was also quoted as saying “As a Malaysian, one must be fluent in Malay, both written and spoken”.

I’d hate to break it to the guy, but our Rukunegara (a.k.a. principles of nationhood) does not include “Proficiency in Malay”… and another thing, not only Chinese people can speak Mandarin. I know of a few Malays and Indians who can speak Mandarin very well… and can anyone explain to me why this is a form of oppression to non-Chinese?

Well, I guess some people would scream and shout nonsense to get their 2 minutes (or 4 lines) of fame, regardless of how shallow they will look like in the aftermath of it.

Anyway, which part of Malaysia do these people live in anyway? Have they not look around and see that “real” economic power are in the hands of the Chinese anyway… Not only the Chinese people, but China the country. China is being tipped to be the biggest economic superpower within the next few decades. Even considering the IQ level of the people interviewed in that Utusan article, it’s hard to see how they can be so thick. We’ve only been trying to form the world’s biggest free trade zone since 2003… and China would definitely be a key contributor in this plan, so what the hell is wrong in speaking the language of your potentially biggest customer?

The thinking that the Malay language is that important is flawed… it really is not. Haven’t these people seen the chaos of being in a Malay language dominated education system? Our graduates are worth shit in the real world because they couldn’t speak English to save their lives. Don’t believe me? Just go outside and pick 10 out of 80,000 of them who are unemployed right now, chances are, their English will suck. Thankfully, the MOE realised this, and came up with the present hybrid system using both Malay and English.

So contrary to the ultra-nationalists, the Malay language doesn’t really get you anywhere, unless of course you’re in the public sector… but then ask Pak Lah himself, what language does he think is more important in business?

…and if you’re feeling ready for some shocking enlightenment, ask him which is the least important in business. The truth may be more scarier than you think…

5 responses to “Like It Or Not, Mandarin Is Important”.

  1. fgserfserf Says:

    You’re a disgrace to your country, you wog, and this from someone in America and not in some pigshit country with people like you who think speaking a foreign language somehow makes you hot shit. Get a grip

  2. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    Well, English is a foreign language to me, and I don’t think I’m hot shit because I can speak it reasonably well.

    And if you actually RTFA, you’d see that I don’t speak Mandarin.

    I’d return your advise, you should get a grip yourself.

    Thanks for commenting, it must have taken you a tremendous amount of time structuring it, considering your IQ level.

    Have a nice day.

  3. Maverick SM Says:

    Hi Azmeen,

    It will take a lot of shit out of many who felt betrayed and a sense of treason.

    I do agree with you and I felt elated to find that you are truely Malaysian. At the same time, it may also be necessary to tone your language to consider the sensitiveness of the majority of blinkered and calcified units.

    It is not wrong to say as Malaysians it would be good to be fluent in Bahasa, at the same time, it wouldn’t hurt or disadvantage anyone if he/she learnt and master more than one language, in particular Mandarin as it would be advantageous to do business with China who is the growing economy.

    There are, those in Utusan and some communal associations and institution who survived by being communalistic and by harping on religious and racial issues. We had seen that these people had benefited and rising up the political ladders at the expense of the rakyat in totality.

    However, it is also necessary to remind everyone that in Malaysia, the Malays form the majority and their interest and weaknesses need to be addressed to keep up with the others within the community. That being said, what we despise is not the need to help Malays in general and the poor in particular; it is the implementation of policies that are suppose to benefit the Malays that was skewed towards a few within the coterie, benefiting a small group at the expense of the vast majority of Malays who are still way backwards.

    What all of us wants to see is that the Malays must progress and prosper alongside the other communities. Then, all the communities can collaborate and deal with external threats and opportunities that benefit everyone and benefit the nation as a whole – then, Bangsa Malaysia can become a reality. Till then, we have to grope in the tunnel and scour for the little light.

  4. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    Hi Mav,

    First and foremost, I don’t write about politics or religion. These are two highly sensitive topics and I don’t see the possibility of discussions involving this two topics to be constructive and open.

    My approach to this particular topic (importance of Mandarin), is constructed purely through the logic of my perceptions of the Malaysian business and economic affairs. I don’t have an agenda. I mention things as I see them, not as what I want others to. What I’m peeved about the Utusan article is that they see the requirement of Mandarin competency to be unfair.

    If I were to hire for my company, and the position involves a lot of interacting with Chinese nationals or those from Chinese ethnic background, I’d definitely state Mandarin competency as a requirement for the position. However, this doesn’t mean that the candidate I select would be of Chinese ethnic background. On the contrary, I don’t care if the person is Chinese, Malay, Indian, Kadazan, Iban, Sikh… heck, I don’t even care if he/she/it is an alien. You meet my criteria, and I’m agreeable to your terms… you’re hired! It’s as simple as that.

    I don’t really care for affirmative action or policies. I believe in social evolution. Nationalism will be part of a citizen’s mindset when he/she has a deep sense of love for his/her country. What makes me sick is seeing some newspaper warping a business decision into something that it’s not.

  5. chloe Says:

    china is booming, the chinese language is becoming useful, instead of taking cheap shots by disgracing anything pro-western, pro-chinese, etc etc… why dont utusan publish something positive like to tell their readers to carve bm a name in the world?

    i am tempted to write to utusan and give them a piece of my mind.