Preserving Chinese culture is just a euphemism for many parents not wanting their child to be educated in an environment where their cultural traits are treated as second-class, says Nicholas Chan.
Mustafa K Anuar argues that civilised and uncivilised behaviour defies labelling western or eastern; in fact such behaviour whether positive or negative cuts across national boundaries. If, as some argue, demonstrations are ‘western culture’, does that mean that butt exercises are ‘eastern culture’?
Like many autonomy movements, the insurgency in Southern Thailand is fuelled by a combination of nostalgia for the past, anger over the present and the deep-rooted desire for recognition and respect. But how do you show respect to a villager when you stare at his face through the scope of a machine gun on top of an armoured car? And that, in a nutshell, is the problem, says Farish Noor in this despatch from Southern Thailand.
‘Waving the keris is very normal in Malay culture,’ so stated an Umno MP defending Umno Youth leader Hishammuddin, who had unsheathed and wielded his keris at the last Umno general assembly. Another Umno leader had also chastised the MCA leader for having stated publicly that Hisham’s histrionics might have contributed towards the drop in support among Chinese in the recent Ijok by-election.