Sunday, August 14, 2011

Memahami pemikiran prejudis orang Cina tentang `Pengusiran di Chinatown'

Ada sesuatu yang menarik (menakutkan?) mengenai artikel Pengusiran Chinatown yang ditulis oleh blogger shuzeng. Artikel ini membolehkan pembaca di kalangan orang Melayu memahami prejudis yang bermain di pemikiran orang Cina. Walaupun artikel ini bermula dengan logik pembangunan, tetapi tulisan seterusnya disulami rangkap-rangkap prejudis dan perkauman yang tebal. Untuk manfaat pembaca, saya telah menghitamkan ayat-ayat yang saya anggap sebagai merbahaya dan diselubungi prejudis perkauman yang amat tebal.

August 14, 2011 by shuzheng

Chinatown? Wrong. Almost all of KL was Chinatown until
it was burned, seized and given away…

The idea of a transport system running below ground is to disturb as little as possible the things above – structures, land, buildings, people, livelihoods. If not for that objective, an above-ground rail network would be cheaper, faster and less problematic to build. This is why, for its money, an underground mass commuter system is most practical in populated urban centres from which it has to draw income and passengers anyway. In spite of it all, Prasarana’s MRT works the exact opposite to the intent of an underground system, uprooting 34 shoplots in order to dig below them.

This Prasarana decision is even more bizzarre considering that a station’s entrance/exit takes up the equivalent of half a shop front. From there elevators take people underground while everything above stays the same. So why clear an entire street? No, two streets….

The answer from Prasarana’s representative Ooi Lean Hock is that the shops would be easily distabilized from hollowing out of the karstic limestone soil underground. Those old shops were constructed without thick foundation mats because they were a mere two storeys high. This is just part of the problem. Worse, karstic soil erodes easily from heavy rain seeping into what we see today as mountain caves, underground streams and sinkholes.

This justification, Ooi’s, for the demolition still makes no sense. After Prasarana has completed its Jalan Sultan MRT station, it can’t possibly leave the entire length of two streets an empty, unusable tarmac. Something else in place of the old shops must rise to sit on top of the station. This means that if karstic soil is dangerous to old shops, it would be equally dangerous to new ones and dangerous as well to the station.

There is another problem with Ooi’s piece of airy excuse: Around the world, underground rail systems regularly construct on far more unstable soil conditions; in Singapore, in marshy land; in Japan land filled sea; in Hong Kong below sandy ocean beds. A common remedy to such conditions is to dig deep, very deep, especially since excavation of karstic soil would be relatively easy. After that concrete is poured to stabilize the site and act as a foundation to both the shops and the station. Above ground, any future building modification has only to be limited by height and mass.

Because, after the station’s completion, old shop occupants are not permitted to move back in, this adds to the questions raised in Ooi’s justification. What is Prasarana’s actual motive?

The company employs the political term ‘development’ to explain the need for eviction, so whatever is its motive has to be the government’s as well.

Because the Chinese are the first settlers in KL, ‘development’ hits them time and again and they end up the worse for it as if ‘development’ was never meant to serve but to displace them.

This mass eviction of the Chinese from Kuala Lumpur is not new. For example, it is no coincidence that the progrom of the Chinese on May 13, 1969, included the burning of Chinese shops, a form of forcible eviction.

In the name of national unity (that magic word, ‘unity’), rural Malays were encouraged to move in, helped by municipal zoning laws that made house sale mandatory to ‘bumis’ on up to 25 pct discounts.

Mahathir Mohamad leads in the philosophical justification for these anti-Chinese acts by insisting the Malaysian state is exclusively ’Malay’ state. Hence, like many ‘Malays’ arriving in KL for the first time, he couldn’t stand to see a capital of a Malay state that was overwhelmingly Chinese populated. After which, came the naming of the area around Jalan Sultan and Jalan Petaling as ‘Chinatown’ although nearly all of KL was and still is Chinese populated.

But calling it ’Chinatown’ inferred that the Chinese were recent immigrants rather than first settlers of KL, today lodged in enclaves which the latter generation, personified in the Anglophile anti-Chinese Christian named Lisa Ng, would call an urban ghetto, less politely a shit hole. This provided the moral justification for ‘development’.

Against these odds, the eviction of the Jalan Sultan/Jalan Petaling occupants is as good as a done deal. Consequently, these occupants appeal to the only defence – ‘heritage’ – they could muster, which implies a challenge to the notion that the Malaysian state is an exclusive Malay state. Below is the pertinent report from the inane and vulgar online paper that calls itself Free Malaysia Today:

Chinatown’s Hotel Lok Ann co-owner Judy Lam said the Klang Valley My Rapid Transit (KVMRT) project builders have said some property owners will be forced to make sacrifices. “But tearing down Petaling Street is like tearing down the Chinese community,” she said. “The sacrifice of development does not mean destroying our heritage.”

Judy Lam was, of course, being presumptuous to invoke ‘heritage’ as if Prasarana or the government doesn’t know what’s heritage or that KL has indeed a heritage. This presumption makes her defence completely trite, and so naive to the political reality that the Chinese was never known to be, and still is not, a part of the Malaysian heritage. (Even the idiot editors at FMT see the Sultan and Petaling streets as Chinatown; “Death Knell for Chinatown”, reads the title.)

The political party to which ‘Chinatown’ residents regularly vote into parliament, the DAP, has conceded just as much – that Malaysia has no Chinese heritage. DAP’s Malaysian First recognises no Chinese primacy as equal to the Malay in the Malaysian political status quo.

So, by seeing all things Chinese as second, and last, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang effectively rendered Chinatown secondary to Malaysian mainstream development and onwards to mainstream Malaysian life. Malaysian First makes the justification for eviction even more persuasive. Idiots, the Father and Son, they didn’t know what they were getting into, selling that inane idea.

Burning both ends of the candle now, the ‘Chinatown’ Chinese look to the MCA to save their hide while calling on an ineffectual DAP to raise a ruckus. Still, in the end, the shops will come down, and the Petaling Street arch that the travel brochures sell as Chinatown might as well be send to Cheras or Kepong where Chinese heritage long ago moved, along the way infected then corrupted by Christian evangelism (think Hanny ‘Sham’ Yeoh), by DAP Anglophile values (KTemoc KongSamKok) and by DAP thugs on the loose in Malaysia Today (Sebastian ‘Loony’ Loon, Lee ‘Kiasy’ Kee). [Note: Ini saya tandakan kerana ini perkara baru yang saya percaya menarik minat ramai]

Not all is gloom though: sell the property, take the money, put 2 million into Guangdong real estate and balik China. But, before all that, call up that long-lost uncle that Judy Lam had wilfully neglected and had regarded with contempt and scorn. She will need his help, commission rates applicable, of course. Turning a crisis into an opportunity is a peculiar Chinese trait; the Anglophiles and Malays, so much poisoned by gweilo Christianity and Arabian Islam respectively, could never do that.

1 comment:

puterifisyah said...

terjemah bahasa melayu.......

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