Bakri Musa confused about Confucianism

The following article is another one from Ktemoc Konsiders. This time, the ever-vigilant Ktemoc takes the prolific and highly intellegent blogger M. Bakri Musa to task for carelessly making assumptions without checking the facts.


Dr Bakri Musa, a surgeon who practises in the USA, and writes prolificly and eruditely on Malaysian and Malay affairs, have penned another interesting article titled ‘Malaysian Malays’ Competitiveness’ as part of his series on ‘Towards A Competitive Malaysia’.

I read it in Facebook but you can see the same article at his blog. However I disagree with one section or rather one phrase of his article. He wrote (note highlighted part):

“By this reckoning, Singapore Malays should be the most competitive. In many ways, they are. Their per capita income and educational achievements surpass other Malays in the region, but compared to their fellow citizens, they still lag behind.

This is so because their government, being predominantly Chinese with their essentially dog-eat-dog Confucian ethics, does not have the willingness or capacity to nurture its lagging minority.”

I felt obligated to reply, as follows:

Dear Dr, though I enjoyed reading your article I am afraid I have to take issue with your phrase “… Chinese with their essentially dog-eat-dog Confucian ethics”.

The first part “… Chinese with their essentially dog-eat-dog …” is generally (though not always) true, and really not unique to the Chinese but a regrettable outcome of a capitalist system, eg like your USA under the conservative Right. Maybe in this, there’s much to say for socialism.

The latter part “… Confucian ethics …” is what it is, a system of ethics. It’s oxymoronic to have a term ‘dog-eat-dog ethics’ whether the ethic system belongs to Confucianism or Islam.


Read the rest of Ktemoc’s piece here.

CPI’s article about another ill-informed person might also interest you.

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