“Stop Meng Chee’s scholarship!” Federation of Peninsular Malay Students cried. And the Minister of Higher Education warned the students who study with government scholarship to behave themselves or else their scholarship will be terminated. These statements make me laugh. Those who came out with these statements seem to be naïve about other ethnic groups’ struggles in the country. We have been living 50 years together, and yet, we are so divided.
After 50 years living together, yet the Chinese come to realize that their Malay friends do not know that Chinese who study in Taiwan are not quite possible to be supported by our government. And equally sad, our dearest Malay friends are yet to find out that their Chinese and Indian friends are not as lucky as they are.
I share the same anxiety with a reader who wrote to Merdeka Review, “Do they know we have private secondary school?” Yes, do you know we have private secondary school which is not so “high class” in terms of its hardware facilities as private schools used to be? Do you ever know that local Chinese community pours in millions of ringgit to support Chinese education just because our government does not recognize mother tongue education?
“Chinese are rich”, you believe so, because you have not come across Chinese private secondary school students in their school uniform asking for donation from one table to another in restaurants and supper spots just to help their school to build a hall or a small stadium.
“Chinese who study abroad are using government money”, you believe so, just because you do not know there are plenty of rubber tapper families sell their land and properties to support their child who is holding a high school certificate which is not recognized by local universities.
“Chinese community is affordable, since the community itself is rich” yes, Chinese community possesses the economic strength to support Chinese education, so Chinese schools are still working, they are just a bit old and only killed a teacher up to the day. However, if you argue it this way, what about our Indian friends who are left behind economically?
Put aside your mainstream media, and start looking around, capturing some actual facts about your friends of different races who have been living together with you for 50 years. If you do, you must be able to understand why Meng Chee, the creator of “Negarakuku” who studied in private Chinese secondary and high school put the song that way.