Sang Kancil Forum

There was a forum in Malaysia, back in the nascent days of internet comms, which the late MGG Pillai used to contribute to. Someone mailed me a link which said this, almost 12 years ago!:


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Re: [sangkancil] Malaysian Dilemma

Thanks Mr Teh and very well said.

>From: Bala Pillai 
>Subject: [sangkancil] Malaysian Dilemma
>Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 13:46:46 +1100
>--forwarded message--
>Date: Sat, 11 Mar 00 10:30:00 +0800
>To: (Adnan_xyz)
>Cc: (Bala Pillai)
>Subject: Malaysian Dillema
>Dear xyz,
>I refer to your email to sangkanchilers dated 10 March 2000. I am a
>Chinese and can therefore safely condemn the Chinese race's shortcomings.
>I make the following observations:
>1. The primary school teacher incident.
>i. I am inclined to believe one can find a vernacular school where when
>the race factor is eliminated, one finds a similar pattern of car
>ownership or qualification for an assistance scheme, between wage earners
>and entrepreneurs.
>ii. Perhaps the families which did not own cars had better furnished
>homes or were better clothed. My personal visit to homes of my malay
>friends and chinese friends tell me that malays in general place more
>importance on home furnishing than chinese. Down my street there are a
>couple of beemer owners, but their single-storey terrace units are in
>absolute shambles. My double-storey terrace unit looks like a palace in
>comparison, but my Iswara parked in front is somewhat of a giveaway
>iii. More pertinent may be why malay parents were more likely to be wage
>earners than chinese parents. Can one not turn it around to suggest
>employment opportunities unfairly favour malays? I know many small
>business owners who would not have chosen to start those businesses had
>they had better employment opportunities. Is there unfair treatment here
>and by whom?
>2. Special class during Friday Prayers
>Assuming the students who were praying did not know about the classes and
>would have attended those classes had they known, or assuming those
>classes were not specifically requested by those students not praying,
>the teacher was wrong
>3. Students Abroad
>I studied abroad. When I left home my father gave me enough money for
>three months. I started looking for part-time work on the third month.
> >From the fourth month on, I worked part-time and continued doing it until
>I left for home 6 years later. At the worst of times (during semester) I
>had one weekend job, working 10-11 hours starting at 5am on both
>Saturdays and Sundays - manual labour in fish markets. At the best of
>times during summer breaks I had four jobs simultaneously. Paper runs on
>weekdays at 5am-7am. "Regular" work as a cleaner/porter in a hospital
>from 8am-4pm weekdays. Ad-hoc work at university faculty in the printshop
>and moving furnitures, after 4pm. Fish markets weekends. Often I did
>paper runs and fishmarkets during semester. All this while, a family of
>malays live one floor above me. A married couple, both sponsored. Neither
>worked. They had children while I was working. Two of them, one after
>another. They had a good 10 years head start in raising a family.
>Assisted. I wasnt abroad because I was rich. I'm no Einstein but neither
>am I an intellectual slouch. I was in a top university in a top faculty.
>It now requires a near 99% percentile for admission. The family man was
>in a university a few suburbs away. In a faculty my cousin whose mother
>wished she had me for a son instead, would have gained admission if he
>tried harder. Merit? Deserving? Sigh ...
>I have another cousin whose father was schizophrenic. Left home when my
>cousin was only 2. My auntie became a seamstress to bring him up. There
>wasnt a year through primary and secondary school when he wasnt the top
>student. Guess who fished him out of the poverty cycle? The Singapore
>Of course, apart from my family man neighbour, I knew of another rich
>malaysian kid in my faculty, who was of the indian race. He drove a big
>Japanese car. Spent weekends on some waterfront hangout with local kids,
>sipping beers. Goes skiing during winter break, and out deep-sea fishing
>(read : sailing in some classy yacht, no doubt champagne laden) during
>summer breaks. He chatted now and then with me. I envied him whenever I
>do. I wished somebody had fished me out of my fishmarket routines. I know
>the malaysian government didnt. It plonked instead for that family man.
>And his wife.
>Also, the rich kids that malay student you mentioned spoke to? Maybe they
>had money because they worked. Not in fishmarkets may be, but maybe they
>worked. Certainly their parents did. Perhaps their parents were given a
>break from the vicious cycle by someone, huh?
>4, 5 & 6. Business cheats
>A pure, unadulterated truth - businessmen consider it a job well-done
>when they can squeeze maximum profits out of a deal. All businessmen do
>that. The fair ones try to give the party squeezed, some benefits so that
>they feel they have been fair. They squeeze some harder than they do
>others. Bases for differentiation? Anything. Race is certainly one way. I
>have been taken for a ride by a chinese, just because I speak a different
>dialect. Racist? Almost certainly to a large extent. Many chinese are
>racist. But that su
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Australia Day

Australia Day yesterday brought perfect weather to Melbourne. A top of 24 deg with a slight cool breeze and picture perfect sunny conditions saw a few of us sitting by the poolside of Gerry and Jesslyn’s new home, sipping a crisp white and nibbling at fruits and Chinese New Year biscuits. It was a little farewell party for Jesslyn’s mum, who was returning to Singapore after spending close to a year helping them with their beautiful 2 year old. The mum is affectionately known to all of us as Poh Ma Ma and we’re all better for having known her this past year.

We were there from noon, after Tress and I spent the morning grocery shopping and preparing a salad – with yummy barbequed chicken breast marinated in lemon pepper, paprika and tumeric. We only left after 7.30pm, got home and took Scruff to the park for a little bit, before settling down to watch the Federer v Nadal semi-final of the Aussie Open.

It was a perfect day in so many ways.