Whose ancestors came first not the issue

This letter is in response to M Sahaja's Non-Malays clouded by own insecurities.

For someone who seems as educated as he is, I am surprised to read such backward views. For if I understood his points correctly, he implies that because his ancestors stepped foot on Malaysia before mine did, and because this land offered an alternative to the 'famine' he claims existed in China, centuries and many generations later, M Sahaja deserves more than I do. Although we both presumably were born on the same soil.

Blame my ancestors and blame the British, are his answers.

This narrow, backward, and totally unfair thinking really belongs in the 19th century. Man should be judged by what he has done in life, not by the colour of his skin or the God he calls his own. I am saddened to read that many do still bear Sahaja's mentality, the feeling that other races owe it to him just because his ancestors came before mine.

And his claim that Chinese-Americans do not dare to claim to be equal to Caucasian-Americans because they are still marginalised and are thus 'holed-up in Chinatowns' just bears proof that Sahaja still lives under his own (very small) shell.

His description is not only inaccurate, but was truly offensive to all the Asian and Caucasian American colleagues I showed his letter to. I have spent the last nine years in North America, and am saddened to say that as a Chinese Malaysian in the US, I feel less like a second-class citizen in America (where I am truly accepted for my skills and accomplishments) than I do in my own native Malaysia. And for this reason I fear, the brain-drain phenomenon will continue.

It is interesting to note that almost all of the hundreds of Malaysians I have met working at world-class institutions outside of Malaysia are not of bumiputera origin. While one can blame this on lack of patriotism, I blame it purely on the unfair treatment we receive in the country we call home, on precisely the type of mentality like Sahaja's.