I categorize the Chinese in peninsula Malaysia into three types. What about the Chinese in the other side of forgotten Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak), please read on.
The first type is those Chinese who join the MCA. They can be die-hard MCA members and the memberships are generational. Meaning, their parents or grandparents are (or were) also members of MCA. The first generation of MCA members (mostly leaders) do not speak Mandarin Chinese and their TV interviews in Mandarin are jokes. The utterances of Mandarin were basically worse than any primary school children in Malaysia. But allegedly, they “fight” for the Chinese causes and gave big buck to Chinese education!
The second type is those who joined the DAP. These people have fought for the so-called equal human rights and democracy in Malaysia for more than 50 years. Most of them and their parents do not actually get any benefits from the cause they are fighting. Many new generation members (still) are lawyers, some Christians and majority are urban professionals. They are constantly threatened by the ruling government and the police forces. But they hold on to their faith while once in a while silence in other human rights issues.
The third type is those Chinese in Peninsula Malaysia who are not members of these two parties and neither are they members of any political parties. There is actually nothing wrong of not joining any political party. But the one common thing that group this third type together is that they constantly make noise in coffee shops, in private gathering, and whine about their second class citizen situation in Malaysia. The whining is bugging still there is nothing wrong with being whiny aside from annoying. They whine but do not bother to vote or even bother to register to vote. So they are the third type of Chinese in Malaysia. They constantly whine that they have been treated unfairly but are too happy to treat themselves unfairly – by not voting or don’t even bother.
I am sure, like many, these third type of Chinese in Malaysia are touched by the way Americans has voted in a Black president and will read from the newspapers (hard copy or online) when Obama is inaugurated. This third type of Chinese in Peninsula Malaysia is as disappointed as other types of Chinese in Peninsula Malaysia but they don’t vote and don’t care to vote, not even to register to vote. But they will be happy to tell you they are disappointed with the government, democracy, equality, and all. By not voting or don’t even bother to register, they declare themselves as second class citizens and are happy to whine about it.
This third type of Chinese in Peninsula Malaysia prefers to lay low during any serious political issues. Many are professionals who make some serious money. They shop in KLCC or overseas. Once in a while they will go to SS2 to perform their Chineseness. They use the latest cell phone and speak English plus Mandarin. Some of them believe in God but most of them believe in money and the banking system! They think they are “truly” Chinese because they whine.
The “half” type of Chinese are those from Sabah and Sarawak. They are the half type not because of their statistical number. They are half type because they do not share the same experiences with the other three types of Chinese in Peninsula Malaysia and they are constantly left behind or being marginalized when the first three types of Chinese in Peninsula Malaysia voice their concern for the Chinese “causes”. Many of them seek refuge oversea in Singapore and Australia. They cannot be blamed because they’re marginalized in the so-called Chinese grievance in Malaysia.
So which types are you?