Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mandarin Demand is Discriminatory

Najib, please tell me you're joking

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.

Discrimination, Shmishcrimination

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 .... 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.



Blogger ::Lord Apprentice:: said...

aye! wise words...

10:39 AM  
Blogger Bernard Yong said...

Something tells me that there will be people out there who will read my post, and get all defensive and anal about it.

Mark my words=)

10:43 AM  
Blogger mahaguru58 said...

Instead of harping about such matters, Najib would do better to tell those who can't speak, read or write in Hanyu @ Mandarin, to study it and equip themselves with the language of a billion over Chinese who are the economic backbone of this country and in most parts of the world!

I am working on getting the Malays learn the best Hanyu programs from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai,China.

Instead of complaining about such things, we should go seek Knowledge and improve ourselves.

As it is , Malaysians will do better if they can speak, read and write good Malay,English,Mandarin,Tamil and even Arabic!

Then, no one can say that they are being discriminated!

Email me for more info on the Hanyu programs.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well....u have monkeys as MPs u see...

2:49 PM  
Blogger ::Lord Apprentice:: said...

we should elect Anonymous to be our new PM! he speaketh the truteth!

3:21 PM  
Blogger Bernard Yong said...

mahaguru: It's good that we have people like you who can see the big picture.

I don't see why some other people think that learning a foreign language is un-patriotic, or un-nationalistic. Are we as humans so limited in our linguistic abilities that we can only be fluent in one language at a time?

Anyway, good to see your comment mahaguru.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Samuel said...

It never fails to amaze how the blame could always be shifted to something entirely unrelated to the core of the problem. In speaking his mind, our honourable DPM has shown us the depth of it.

However, hope floats. There are still other broadminded individuals out there who are striving to change the mindset of our 'deep-thinking' politicians.

As Mahaguru says: Dun harp on the issue, instead strive to improve oneself, which is the more important aspect.

Well, if all else fails, I'm just glad that our policiticians could be a constant source of amusement :)

10:24 PM  
Blogger F.O.N. said...

I agree with you and mahaguru. Stop the blame game and get with the programme ler.

Oh and stupidity is a pre-requisite to be a high level politician in certain quarters.

Don't they think before they speak? Oh sorry... they were using their kidneys to think. Bleh!

3:09 PM  
Blogger Atziluth said...

The ministers are known to speak first, think later. If I were to put myself in the shoes of the employers, I think their reasons are well-justified. It's their company, they hire whoever they think is fit.
Perhaps the DPM thinks only those speaking good Malays can become good employees. In contratry, those people can speak 'good' Malays of course, but their English suck. Now the government is splashing money again to educate them in English.
If you ask me, they are too pampered. Probably due to the fact that these graduates came from government universities.
I'm a Malay learning Mandarin (conversation) and half of the people in my class are Chinese. Now tell me, is that descriminatory?

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Well....u have monkeys as MPs u see...

2:49 PM

... but you see these monkeys arent being paid peanuts...

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Gh0St said...

Totally agree with what you've said. And if more of our leaders could see things from mahaguru's point of view, we'll be alot better.

I think the problem with graduates not getting jobs is mainly because the education system sucks! (I can say a whole lot about this topic, but maybe I'll do it when I get myself a blog)

This is what happened when I went for an interview with an accounting firm. (Now you know why I don't have a blog!) We were asked to give a presentation to describe an animal or a mixture of animals which best represents our strengths and weaknesses. Most of us would describe ourselves as bees/ ants(hardworking), bear (strong and powerful), dolphins (intelligent) etc. But to my horror, there were some local grads which came up with really ridiculous answers! You guys just gotta read this.

One guy say that if he was given the choice to chose an animal which best represents him, it would be Mickey Mouse. *.....silence in the room.....* (I swear the interviewer almost chocked on her on saliva after hearing that.) When asked on his reasoning, he replied that it was because he likes to be popular and is quite popular in his Uni. (Now since when does being popular makes you a prime candidate to being chosen for a job?! Hello? We're talking about working as auditors, you don't have any life!)

He further commented that Mickey Mouse is a mouse which is similar to the "mouse" we use for our computing work. Which, implies that he is a very tech savvy person. (Either our friend here has an overly creative mind or is just plain stupid!)

One girl even said "hamsters best represent me because they are cute, just like me!" (I knew I definitely had the job at that point!)

Another girl wrote down all she needed to say on a piece of paper and started reading from it. The only time she looked at the interviewer or the rest of us was when she said "hi" and "thank you". To make things worse, she forgotten which sentence she was reading and started all over again.

Needless to say, I never did see any of them after that.

Just put yourself in an employer's shoe, would you want these people working for you? That's why I wouldn't be surprised if the number of unemployed local grads increases if nothing is done to improve our education system.

Hmmm... Seems like I have written too much :P

*Btw, Chor here (yes, I know, I'm really free today)

2:31 PM  
Blogger Bernard Yong said...

gh0st: hahah, yea...I remember your EY interview story. Amazing man how these people even managed to graduate. I guess miracles do happen after all ;)

10:14 AM  

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