Mandarin Demand is Discriminatory
I read something funny in The Star today. You can check it out here. Apparently, our Deputy PM Najib thinks that it is preposterous that private companies which are hiring put fluency in Mandarin as one of their criteria. Najib likens this to discrimination, and it is a practice which must STOP FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND PURE!!
What about poor lil ol' me?
I'm a Chinese, and my Mandarin vocab is limited to phrases such as 'Wo Ai Ni' (I Love You), 'Ni Ai Wo' (You Love Me), 'Che Shuo Zhai Na Li?' (Where is the loo?) and 'Wo Bu Hui Jiang Hua Yi' (I can't speak Mandarin). Sad huh, somemore I actually went for Mandarin tuition during my primary school days. 2 years of it in fact! Money down the drain me thinks...sighhh.
Anyway back to my point, I can't speak Mandarin well, and when I see such job ads stating that they are looking for a Mandarin speaking candidate, I simply just turn the page and continue with my job browsing. I don't give it a second thought. Zip, nil, nada.
Not even once did I suddenly pause to think, "Bugger, I am being discriminated against! It's racism! It's lingualism! Its...its....(insert your own victimistic statement here)"
Najib went on to imply that this was the reason why the number of our famous jobless graduates has increased rom 45,000 in 2000 to 85,000 in 2005.
If only it were that simple.
What next? Would asking that a job seeker has a degree be discriminatory if Najib were to have his way? How about those job ads for the position of a cosmetics sales promoter, where it clearly states that they are only interested in female candidates? Is that considered discrimination against males?
What about companies who are looking for people to manage their operations in say, India, and are looking for a person who is fluent in hindi/tamil? Is that discrimination?
Dear readers, let me tell you what discrimination is.
Discrimination is ....
...you apply for a position in a local university, only to be told that all the available places have been allocated for bumis.
...tenders for government projects are only open to bumi companies.
...the heads of GLCs HAVE to be bumis, irregardless of the competence and skills of competing non-bumi candidates
I could go on and on. All the above scenarios can be considered discriminatory, but we non-bumis accept it with our heads held up high because we want to see Malaysia progress as a nation. Hell, somebody has got to sacrfice if Malaysia is to succeed.
Please note, I am listing down the above scenarios just as examples of what discrimination actually is. I am not bitching about it in any way.
I am not anti-Malay
Before I get postings lambasting me for being unpatriotic and a racist, let me clearly state that I am not anti-Malay in any way. You can check out my prevous posts here, here and here. I do believe that serious efforts have to be undertaken in order to reduce the income gap between the poor and the rich, the Malays and the Chinese/Indians.
What I AM against however, is stupid politicians coming up with inane statements which put the blame for their races' lack of progress on unrelated and irrelevant factors. To put it simply, I am against stupidity.
C'mon Najib, the Chinese and the Indians have long sacrificed so many things to the Malays because we too, want to see Malaysia progress and see the Bumis take their majority-given place as the engine of growth for this country. We are not out to 'sabo' the bumis. The number of jobless graduates worry us just as much as it does you. However, to blame this on the private companies just flat out infuriates me!
Seek the root cause of the problem! Use your capacity as a Deputy PM to do something about it for crying out loud. I'm getting so sick of the blame game politicians play.