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Old 12-25-2012, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
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I've finally gotten around to reading Haing Ngor's A Cambodian Odyssey, how he survived in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, being half-Chinese, and how much of the hatred back then was leveled at the Chinese and even the half-Chinese.

I've read, in the past, like an uprising in Indonesia where they targeted the Chinese, Chinese-owned stores/companies.

Given the times today, is there still lingering racism in the SE Asian countries directed at the Chinese, and was curious to know how comfortable the Chinese feel today in those countries, not worrying there could be another uprising in one of those countries, and they're targets once again.

Is that all in the past, or does the friction/animosity still exist?
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:20 PM
 
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As for the Khmer Rouge some of their top leadership was chinese

Nuon Chea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ta Mok - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kang Kek Iew - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The chinese have suffered discrimination, and riots in many southeast Asian countries, most recently in Indonesia

May 1998 riots of Indonesia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I wonder why the PRC did not step up and do anything.

But in most parts of the region, they are the economic bosses.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:23 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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It varies by country. I wouldn't be surprised if the Khmer Rouge targeted the Chinese, since the Chinese represented the capitalist elite in the country, and they basically wanted to exterminate rich business-owners, professionals.etc.

That's the same reason for much of the anti-Chinese rioting in Indonesia. The Chinese, which have a long history in Indonesia but started really coming after Dutch colonisation, make up a small minority of the population yet control over 50% of the GDP or something. I believe it's similar in the Philippines. I'm not sure to what extent the Chinese re-distribute a lot of their profits, but on the other hand they could just be used as scapegoats.

In Malaysia there are policies like affirmative action for the 'Bumiputra' or 'Sons of the Soil' which largely put in place for the same reason, in response to Chinese dominance in education, the professional sector and in commerce. A certain number of places in university were to be reserved for Malays, for instance. This also disadvantaged the Indians in Malaysia although they are seen as less of a threat since historically they were on a lower socio-economic level.

Many if not most Southeast Asians probably aren't racist, but not being an expert I can't gauge the level of hostility in those countries. I do know many Indonesians, many of full or part Chinese descent, have migrated to Australia. Many of them are Christians too, which drives another wedge between them and the majority Muslims.

Thailand, Vietnam.etc are different cases. The Chinese in Thai are much more integrated. Most of the politicians, kings.etc are at least part Chinese. The Thai themselves come from South China (as technically do most Southeast Asians), although they are distinguished by later Chinese immigrants because they speak a Tai-Kadai language. Originally, at least. Now all Thais speak Thai and have Thai names.

Since relations between Vietnam and the PRC have soured I'm not sure if that has affected how the Chinese, known as the ethnic 'Hoa' people and the Viet Kinh get a long. There are also Chinese in the northern border, the 'Ngai' or Mountain people.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:22 AM
 
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I have a number of Chinese Indonesian friends and the sentiment seems to be that such riots will not happen in the foreseeable future and those who migrated in 1998 are visiting Indonesia or running their businesses in Indonesia again. A lot still retain their residences and citizenship overseas though, as the riot happened as recent as 1998, so there is still some friction. The situation is similar to that of the Jews in Europe.

In other SE Asian countries, IMO, the less assimilation/integration/intermarriages there are, the more likely there are problems. Due to religion, Indonesian Chinese do not intermarry with native Indonesians, and it is easy for them to tell who is Chinese and who is not. Malaysia pretty much has the same segregation, but the Chinese constitute a high percentage so riots probably won't happen. Discriminatory (bumiputra) laws are already in place there though. Thailand has a very high assimilation and intermarriage rate, with most politicians having some Chinese ancestry. It is difficult to determine who is purely Thai, so there is almost no friction among "natives" and Chinese there. The Philippines fall somewhere in the middle although it has fewer Chinese than the other countries. This has more to do with the Spaniards not wanting Chinese immigrants to settle in the country when it was still a Spanish colony. Not much friction/animosity either as it is also difficult to tell who is pure Chinese or who has part Chinese ancestry or who has absolutely no Chinese ancestry. The current Philippine president has some Chinese ancestry and so do a number of politicians.

I know some Vietnamese who may also have Chinese ancestry, so I think the situation there is almost like the Philippines. I am not sure with Laos, but probably it is similar to Thailand. In Cambodia, it probably is like Vietnam and the Philippines with whatever the Khmer Rouge did being a thing of the past.

I am unsure how relationships with any SE Asian country and the PRC will affect people's perception of their Chinese minorities, but probably not much. Actually, many SE Asian Chinese do not feel that mainland China is their homeland and there is definitely no allegiance to the current PRC government.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:28 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Your last point is interesting. I think prior to the 1940s, a lot of Chinese in places like Singapore felt more Chinese than Singaporean. Many sympathised with the Communist cause in China and returned to China, even those that were born in Singapore. The remaining Communist elements were crushed, like the Insurgency in Malaya of the late 1940s, by very nationalistic, anti-Communist governments. In Singapore, the People's Action Party (PAP) led by Lee Kwan Yew fostered a sense of Singaporean national identity, and that was that. Getting off topic but a lot of Singaporeans are becoming resentful of foreign migrants, who now constitute 36% of Singapore's resident population of 5 million, from countries like Bangladesh and the PRC.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:55 AM
 
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I have always pondered why a small minority can be so disliked, yet still be able to make so much money off the indigenous people. Do the chinese and Jews in europe, have some control over something that the indigenous cannot take from them?

Also, I thought the Khmer Rouge was against intellectuals. Many of there leaders had degrees from esteemed Unis though.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
1 posts, read 1,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I've finally gotten around to reading Haing Ngor's A Cambodian Odyssey, how he survived in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, being half-Chinese, and how much of the hatred back then was leveled at the Chinese and even the half-Chinese.

I've read, in the past, like an uprising in Indonesia where they targeted the Chinese, Chinese-owned stores/companies.

Given the times today, is there still lingering racism in the SE Asian countries directed at the Chinese, and was curious to know how comfortable the Chinese feel today in those countries, not worrying there could be another uprising in one of those countries, and they're targets once again.

Is that all in the past, or does the friction/animosity still exist?
I am learning about Cambodia, so thanks for the info. I am not Chinese but history is nice to know.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:00 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,361,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
I have always pondered why a small minority can be so disliked, yet still be able to make so much money off the indigenous people. Do the chinese and Jews in europe, have some control over something that the indigenous cannot take from them?

Also, I thought the Khmer Rouge was against intellectuals. Many of there leaders had degrees from esteemed Unis though.
Well in SE Asia the Chinese did get a head start by the colonial government. At first, many streamed in as labourers, but gradually they filled in niches as shop-keepers.etc while other immigrants, such as those from India and the locals, filled in this niche. If you go to Malaysia today you will see few Chinese working labouring or construction jobs. Of course, enterprising merchants from China have long traded in many port cities in Southeast Asia for centuries, from Hoi An, to Melaka, to Pontianak (a river port), and Java even prior to the Dutch.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:16 PM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
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Like being mentioned in the previous few posts, it depends on where you are. Perhaps I'm generalizing, but religion is a factor too, and Muslim-majority countries tend to view the Chinese population with suspicion. Speaking as a 4th-gen Chinese in Malaysia, our racial/religious harmony is quite superficial at times. Granted, most of the population has now matured and would not riot or get easily provoked like they had been before (1969 May 13 racial riots in Malaysia, between the Malays and Chinese), there're still the occasional provocations and offensive remarks from the ultra-nationalist politicians and fringe groups, who called the Chinese population as "pendatang" (newcomers) despite the fact that we are mostly of 3/4/5th gen. And then there's this threat of a repeat of the May 13 riots or "soak the Chinese blood with the Malay keris (sword)" should the Chinese challenge the Malay rights etc. And many Malays, even kids, have been taught to address the Chinese as "Cina babi" (Chinese pigs) among themselves, esp those who are under the hallucinations from a perpetual siege mentality ("Pigs" and "dogs" being taboo animals in Islam, and pork being a main feature in Chinese cuisine, thus are often used in verbal insults against the non-Muslim Chinese community). On the other hand, those Chinese who are brought up in a climate of hatred or fear of the Malays, would call the Malays "pigs" in private.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:43 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,361,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyh View Post
Like being mentioned in the previous few posts, it depends on where you are. Perhaps I'm generalizing, but religion is a factor too, and Muslim-majority countries tend to view the Chinese population with suspicion. Speaking as a 4th-gen Chinese in Malaysia, our racial/religious harmony is quite superficial at times. Granted, most of the population has now matured and would not riot or get easily provoked like they had been before (1969 May 13 racial riots in Malaysia, between the Malays and Chinese), there're still the occasional provocations and offensive remarks from the ultra-nationalist politicians and fringe groups, who called the Chinese population as "pendatang" (newcomers) despite the fact that we are mostly of 3/4/5th gen. And then there's this threat of a repeat of the May 13 riots or "soak the Chinese blood with the Malay keris (sword)" should the Chinese challenge the Malay rights etc. And many Malays, even kids, have been taught to address the Chinese as "Cina babi" (Chinese pigs) among themselves, esp those who are under the hallucinations from a perpetual siege mentality ("Pigs" and "dogs" being taboo animals in Islam, and pork being a main feature in Chinese cuisine, thus are often used in verbal insults against the non-Muslim Chinese community). On the other hand, those Chinese who are brought up in a climate of hatred or fear of the Malays, would call the Malays "pigs" in private.
My father is Malaysian and although I've been to Malaysian many times, and have heard of some tensions, it's interesting to hear about things like that that only someone living in Malaysia would really know. When I visit Malaysia I don't really think of things like that too much, everyone seems to be fairly friendly, although I visit as a foreigner. It's kind of sad parents are teaching their parents hatred...but do you think relations between the different 'races' in Malaysia have improved or worsened since the previous generation? Actually last time I was in KL we had a get-together lunch with some of my dad's old school friends, many of whom were Malay, and they were talking about how everyone just got along better back then. This was in Penang though, which I think has always been a bit different to other parts of Malaysia. My grandmother was Peranakan, which I think was a really interesting culture, it's a pity that traditional culture is dying out. They make some delicious food I hope people keep the tradition alive and well. It's one example of how there was indeed harmony and intermingling between Chinese and Malay
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