include("cmp.php");

Chinese Privilege

Why does it seem so difficult for Chinese Singaporeans to acknowledge there is such a thing as ‘Chinese Privilege’ here?

The reason is simple. There’s too much superficial assumption with regards to this term, so much so that conversation ends before any proper historical and social contextualising.

Chinese Privilege doesn’t mean there will never be poor Chinese people among Singaporeans, that being Chinese means you will never need worry about having to collect cardboards in the streets when you are old and frail.
Chinese Privilege doesn’t mean every Chinese person would have a rich dad who studied in an elite school, giving one an extra advantage during Primary 1 registration and hence a head start in life.

Chinese Privilege doesn’t mean just because you know your Confucian classics or Tang poetry upside down, you will be deemed the ideal government scholar for jobs in the civil service, and can easily switch to the business sector if you choose to.

Chinese Privilege doesn’t mean just because you are born Chinese, you are likely to grow up with tendencies of racism, whereas if you are a racial minority, you will never end up as a politician who serves to perpetuate social inequality by going along with the status quo.

Being Chinese alone does not guarantee that one can climb the social ladder easily in Singapore. A lot of us may complain that after studying so hard in the university or accumulating so many years of working experience, there still seems a glass ceiling above us. But we have to pause and think: if there are so many hurdles in life even for someone belonging to the Chinese majority here, how much harder would it be for those who belong to an ethnic minority here?

There are different policies which may have had a negative impact on the lives and opportunities of ethnic minorities here, that the Chinese never need to be bothered about, like how ‘Ethnic Integration Policy’ complicates the buying and selling of houses. Or think about the exclusion of Malays from the army in the early years of Singapore’s independence. On a more micro level, think about how much job discrimination we are letting pass when employers specify that jobs like delivery drivers must be bilingual in English and Mandarin, or exclude potential employees who wear tudung.

Chinese Privilege may not account for all forms of social inequality in Singapore, but that does not mean we do not need to examine it as one concern of faultlines in society. And tackling Chinese Privilege does not mean having to deny people the right to practise their traditional Chinese culture or learn about their history and heritage. It may mean rather to support the use of some lingua franca among Singaporeans, which used to be Malay and maybe Hokkien but is now English, and delinking Chinese education from an elitist system like SAP schools.

Unlike the history of colonisation in America, the Chinese community did not come to this region armed with weapons and forcing their language and religion on others. So in that sense Chinese Privilege cannot be understood the same way as White Privilege. But we may be complicit in an unequal system simply by failing to acknowledge and address issues of inequality stemming from a different historical legacy.

It is not exactly helpful to deflect the attack on Chinese Privilege now by saying the Chinese community made sacrifices with the closure of Nantah and so on. Of course there is one huge segment of the Chinese community that was sacrificed, when one could possibly have phased out more gradually or given school leavers of the Chinese stream other alternatives. Likewise one could also have given more support to education in the Malay and Tamil streams.

SAP schools by the way did not stop the general decline of Chinese standards in Singapore; we end up having to rely on students and teachers from China to prop up the standard. So are we justifying the system now based on the idea of cultural transmission, or based on needs of a new global economy?

So let’s not keep harping on this part of the history to deny there is Chinese Privilege today, as if we are fearing a potential riot and have to tell others: don’t shoot me now, I am not a Chinese chauvinist, I can’t even write in Chinese, you can go for my neighbours who are ‘Chinese helicopters’.

The thing is, Chinese Privilege in Singapore is not about your choice of affiliation or rejection with whatever Chinese heritage. It is the fact that you have a luxury of choice whether to go to a SAP school or an elite English school, and you have the possibility of a good life either way. Like that you win liao lor.

 

* Facebook post by Z’ming Cik.

 

 

yyy
READER COMMENTS BELOW

21 Responses to “Chinese Privilege”

  • kannan:

    I see it this way. Chinese privilege is an assumption by the minorities that being Chinese it is a privilege that the minorities did not have that made the Chinese more successful. In a way it is true, but not the whole truth. The minorities also have their share of minorities privileges.

    Chinese privilege is basically derived from being hard working, and of course it is easier when there are more Chinese around, just like in China if you were to sell a pencil for $1 to all the Chinese, you would become instant billionaire. But the privilege stops there. Proportionally there are many rich as well as poor Chinese as in other races.

    Those Chinese that became very rich did not become very rich because they were Chinese but because they worked for it, and with a little luck to go along to be rich. They did not become rich because of Chinese privilege.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • xoxo:

    Chinese sgs only have privilege in ONE ruling PARTY.
    This PARTY ensures only CHINESE CAN BECOME SEC-GENERAL and therefore the PRIME MINISTERSHITTT!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Stupidity Really Cannot Cure:

    Sounds like you are talking a lot of incoherent cock. Ler kong si mi lan cheow?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Gill:

    Put it simplyply,there should not be special treatment for any one.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Born Stupid:

    How to cure? Stupidity is in-born as the writer had shown. Many like them. So no point talking sense with them.

    Stupidity Really Cannot Cure:
    Sounds like you are talking a lot of incoherent cock. Ler kong si mi lan cheow?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Zhenzidan:

    Chinese privileges? Can anyone tell me if I have privileges which the minority doesn’t have? I only know every Friday praying sessions, mosque visitors can park illegally along double yellow lines outside the mosque whereas you can’t do the same when you visit Chinese temples and Christian churches or Hindu temples for prayers.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Which Chinese what privilege?:

    Once Confucius and his disciples were walking on a mountain trail, and they came across a woman weeping beside a grave. He asked the woman what her sorrow was, and she replied, “We are a family of hunters. My father was eaten by a tiger. My husband was bitten by a tiger and soon died. And now here my only son!”
    “Why don’t you move down to live in the valley? Why do you continue to live up here?” asked Confucius. And the woman replied, “But sir, there are no tax collectors here!”
    Confucius said to his disciples, “You see, a bad government is more to be feared than tigers.”

    - told by Dr. Lin Yutang: China’s greatest cultural ambassador to the West & Nanyang University’s first Chancellor

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • One or two more:

    Automatic presidency. Akan datang….can gelek @ workplace w Tudung

    Zhenzidan:
    Chinese privileges? Can anyone tell me if I have privileges which the minority doesn’t have? I only know every Friday praying sessions, mosque visitors can park illegally along double yellow lines outside the mosque whereas you can’t do the same when you visit Chinese temples and Christian churches or Hindu temples for prayers.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • liew mun leong must be jailed:

    Stupidity Really Cannot Cure:
    Sounds like you are talking a lot of incoherent cock. Ler kong si mi lan cheow?

    Agree. We read twice but still caught no ball. Incoherent is the right conclusion.

    maybe the writer is asking pap to institute a non SAP school system.

    but to pap, which says an INDIAN is a malay and so cannot be prime minister because malay INDIAN are not Chinese, non SAP is danger since it means pap is talking nonsense about non Chinese prime minister. hahaha. we are also incoherent here. because no point coherence since whether right or wrong cotton sheep voted pap GE2020.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • @ Zhenzidan:

    Plus school fee 9 dollars right all the way to poly. Degree i m not so sure.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Humiliation Privilege:

    Does this mean only poor Chinese students have the privilege for public humiliation from confiscated PSLE results?

    @ Zhenzidan:
    Plus school fee 9 dollars right all the way to poly. Degree i m not so sure.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Asd:

    I think where got ar you don’t be racist ar

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Soccerbetting2:

    Reported on Straits Times :Quote-”Two sons of former president Ong Teng Cheong face off in court battle over family business

    Mr Ong Tze Guan (left) has sued his younger brother Tze Boon and six other shareholders for minority oppression.PHOTOS: MY PAPER FILE, ONG&ONG

    Selina Lum
    Law Correspondent
    PUBLISHED4 HOURS AGO
    FACEBOOKWHATSAPP
    SINGAPORE – Two sons of former Singapore president Ong Teng Cheong are facing off in court in a dispute over shareholdings in the holding company that controls the family business.

    Older brother Tze Guan, 55, who has a 28.45 per cent stake in Ong&Ong Holdings, has sued his younger brother Tze Boon, 53, and six other shareholders for minority oppression.

    The suit, filed in April, was first reported by Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao on Thursday (July 1).

    Mr Ong Teng Cheong, who served as Singapore’s first elected president from 1993 to 1999, died in 2002 at the age of 66.

    In his court filing, Tze Guan alleges that Tze Boon, who holds a 70.43 per cent stake in the family’s architecture and engineering business, has conducted the affairs of the group of companies in a manner that is oppressive and unfairly prejudicial to him.

    The conduct included Tze Guan’s removal as a director from nine companies in the group between June 2018 and January 2019, as well as other financial matters.

    Tze Guan is asking the High Court to order the defendants to buy him out, either at an agreed price or at a price fixed by an independent expert.

    However, Tze Boon and the other defendants contend in their defence that Tze Guan’s allegations are factually and legally baseless.

    Tze Boon has made a counterclaim against his older brother, seeking the repayment of an outstanding personal loan – with interest – he had given Tze Guan two decades ago.

    According to court papers, Tze Boon lent Tze Guan a total of $700,000 in 2002 and 2003. Tze Guan has repaid $219,983.56.

    Tze Boon has also counterclaimed against Tze Guan for defamation.

    He contends that various allegations of minority oppression set out in letters sent to them by Tze Guan’s lawyers on April 21 last year amounted to defamation.”Unquote.

    Response :There is also another chinese privilege thing called brother sued brother !

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • PAP mandate strong:

    So who say Mr Lee cannot / shouldnt sue his brother or nephew or sister in law.

    50 steps 100 steps or 200 steps.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Temusik Patriot:

    We are born human and created DIFFERENTLY it is Bigotory & Racist to think otherwise

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Wang Sha Ye Fong:

    I wonder whats behind this sudden Racism issue when Covid and Economy should be the focus?

    Is it:
    1. A distraction?
    2. To use racism to defend against influx from india having the Delta Variant?

    I also seen this topic coming some time ago when pritam singh agree with shanmugam when the conservative christian topic was mentioned.

    At that time i felt puzzled.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Cry "Wolf!":

    The enemy cried “there is racism in sg!?”

    This is a joke!

    1. Does the enemy imply sg had eradicated racism until recently? Its logical to suggest that there has Always been certain level of racism since day 1. Its called human nature.

    2. To say it as if they suddenly discovered sg has racism is a bit insincere and ridiculous. Its too much of a stretch. Too exaggerated.

    Racism was suppressed by it always existed.

    If non Chinese were the majority similar issues will exist. To cite a few incidents to say SG has racism is like accusing that most singaporean majority are racist??

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Understanding people:

    China is now most powerful country in world, more powerful than US. If don’t respect China, then you respect who? West countries now all poor and borrowing money from China. China now is more democracy than US. President Xi already say if US want giving trouble to China, China will make sure US broken heads and flowing blood.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • momo cha cha:

    Chinese Privilage? Got such thing meh? Where? How come i don’t have one ?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • jia zulut:

    A person’s son went for NUS/NTU Medicine interview… but alas. He scored AAA?A for his A-levels with outstanding CCA, etc (this is a given for almost all medicine applicants).

    His father jokingly told him, if he were to be born a minority, he will stand a fighting chance. As he heard that there are quotas reserved for minorities in the medicine faculties so as to attain a better representation of ethnic proportions.

    He was fortunate to be reincarnated as a Chinese Singapore.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • The Reality:

    Regrettably, significant policies impact the minorities here negatively. In particular the EIP institutionalised in HDB housing policies. The chinese quota for a flat fills up fast leaving minority Singaporeans having to sell their flats only to another minority. This results in longer waiting times and monetary losses of $60 000 at minimum. Unless the minority address these issues by speaking out on matters that affect them, the marginalisation will continue as a matter of policy.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...

Leave a Reply

 characters available


Scroll Down For More Interesting Stuff


Member Services
Self-SupportMembers LoginSelf-Support
Sponsored Advertisement
Search On TR Emeritus
Sponsored Advertisement
Announcement
Advertisements
Visitors Statistic
Latest Statistic

UA-67043412-1