Overseas Chinese

A dragon dance show during the Chap Goh Meh festival at Singkawang, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. (iStock)

Chinese roots in Borneo, deep and strong

Malaysian academic Goh Chun Sheng gives his impressions of the Chinese in Borneo, scattered in different communities and integrated into the locales where they live. Identity politics still rears its head, but perhaps we can look forward to the day when new narratives of diversity and integration will be told.
Siong Leng Musical Association during a performance of Fantasia Nanyin Reimagined, January 2021. (SPH Media)

Does Singapore still want to play an active role in the Chinese-speaking world?

Lee Huay Leng, editor-in-chief of SPH Chinese Media Group, looks back at Singapore’s active role in the Chinese-speaking world and in the 1980s and 1990s, and whether it can – or wants to – resume such a role in a changing world.
A little girl touches the lights of a Christmas tree in Seville on 17 December 2022. (Cristina Quicler/AFP)

The cultivation of Christmas trees

Former journalist Lim Jen Erh writes of Christmas traditions and the spirit of the season, and the little things that make us happy amid the chaos of the rest of the year. Perhaps it is good to remind ourselves that we also deserve cultivating.
People shop at a public market in Manila, Philippines, 22 November 2022. (Lisa Marie David/Reuters)

Does stoking anti-Chinese sentiment yield political gain in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, digital disinformation campaigns have become central to electoral politics. Unfortunately, their use of vitriolic and socially divisive techniques has become increasingly normalised in the country’s politics, as these techniques are put into play even between national voting seasons.
A mural in Chinatown depicting a letter writer. (SPH Media)

Singaporean Mandarin Database: Recognising the uniqueness of the Singaporean Chinese identity

Associate Professor Tan Chee Lay, principal investigator of the Singaporean Mandarin Database, shares some interesting Singaporean Mandarin phrases and says it is time that we recognise our Chinese linguistic features as part of the Singaporean Chinese identity formed in a multicultural social setting.
A man uses a newspaper against the rain in Chinatown, Singapore, 1 January 2021. (SPH Media)

Of butt lumps, stomachs and heads: Chinese language of the common folk

Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai regales us with anecdotes of various uses of the Chinese language among the general population in Malaysia and Singapore. While grammar and usage might not be the most accurate or logical, somehow one still manages to figure out the meaning, and bonds between people are formed.
People select lanterns for the Mid-Autumn Festival, Malacca, Malaysia, 4 September 2022. (Xinhua)

Upward trend of new Chinese migrants in Malaysia likely to continue

The current population size of new Chinese migrants in Malaysia is estimated to be 82,000. Although the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down the influx of these migrants, it is expected that the pause is temporary and the inflow will continue to increase in the long term. However, while latent anxiety about these migrants has emerged among Malaysians, it has not yet become an explosive issue in Malaysian politics.
Wang Gungwu and Malaysia (2021). (Photo provided by Peter Chang)

Wang Gungwu and Malaysia: Building an intellectual bridge to China

Tracing the evolution of China’s development, Malaysian academic Peter T.C. Chang pays tribute to historian Wang Gungwu and his contributions to the study of Chinese overseas. Wang continues to play a major role in the field as a member of a pioneering class of bridge-building scholars who are adept at explaining China to the world, and the world to China. This is an edited version of the book chapter “A Pioneering Class of Bridge-Building Junzi” from the book Wang Gungwu and Malaysia (2021) published by the University of Malaya Press.
The Indonesian flag flies as people wearing protective face coverings wait to receive a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine dose at Pakansari Stadium in Bogor, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, 14 August 2021. (Yulius Satria Wijaya via Reuters)

How a hoax pandemic donation sparked anti-Chinese and anti-China sentiments in Indonesia

A bizarre case involving a generous donation from a Chinese Indonesian family that never materialised has brought the spotlight on identity politics in Indonesia. When the fraud was revealed, praise for the Chinese Indonesian community quickly turned into a means for the anti-government (and anti-China and anti-Chinese) social media channels to attack the Indonesian government and ethnic Chinese in Indonesia.