We Chinese are deeply proud of our culture and heritage, which dates back 5,000 years ago. In national-type Chinese primary schools, where I was brought up, teachers taught us about how the Chinese were wearing fine silk and the emperors were living in sprawling palaces at a time when the Europeans were running around naked during the Dark Ages.
But I am not here to boast about the traits of those who are so-called descendents of the Yellow Emperor, like myself. As one matures in life, one begins to appreciate diversity and respect those who are unlike us. Chest-thumping becomes frowned upon.
I am still proud of my heritage but I was shocked beyond words when I recently came across assertions that the Chinese community is warming up to ex-PM Najib Razak.
This message was amplified by Najib himself on his own social media, undoubtedly to gain mileage for the March 12 Johor election. Purportedly during his campaign trails, the Chinese who had previously abhorred his administration, rolled out the red carpet for Bossku.
In Johor’s state constituency Perling, where MCA is fielding Nicole Tan as its candidate to wrest the seat from DAP, Najib has been described as MCA’s “secret weapon”.
Seriously, MCA? You are banking on a man who’s been convicted of corruption and abuse of power and sentenced to 12 years in prison and a fine of RM210 million to draw voters in a predominantly Chinese seat?
Do you think that the Chinese have no shame to be associated with a leader whom a respectable High Court judge described as a “national embarrassment”? How about the litany of criminal charges that hangs over his head?
What about the revelations from the ongoing trial of Roger Ng in the US that Najib was one of the key leaders who needed to be “paid off”?
Do you think we have forgotten how Najib failed to rein in the right-wing leaders from Umno who ran down the community during his administration?
As a Chinese, I feel insulted that Barisan Nasional has even entertained the idea of using Najib to woo votes from the community. Do you think that we have no self-respect?
I feel doubly insulted by whoever invited Najib to a Chinese school in Johor recently as part of his campaign trail in the state polls. Chinese schools are one of the three key pillars of the community, with the remaining being Chinese media and Chinese guilds and associations.
I see no reason why we should desecrate the sanctity of Chinese schools by inviting a convict there. What kind of message do we want to send to our next generation? That it’s okay to steal and lie?
This is not about partisan politics. Neither is this about the election in Johor. This is about the temerity of some to rely on a nationally disgraced convict to woo support, which, if given, may yet see his re-emergence as a future prime minister.
I can’t speak for other communities. But as a Chinese, I am sick to my stomach just thinking about how some quarters are trying to control the narrative and desecrate a 5,000-year-old tradition by doing so. If our ancestors knew, they would be rolling in their graves now.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.