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…