Category Archives: Published Articles

This category serves to aggregate all my articles that have published in third-party websites and journals.

Chinese Philanthropic Response to COVID-19 in the Malaysian Context

A working paper I co-wrote with other amazing lecturers and presented at the International Symposium on Global Chinese Philanthropy on April 9, 2021, has now been published in UCLA Asia Pacific Center’s Working Paper Series.

Abstract

The novel human coronavirus disease COVID-19, first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and subsequently spread worldwide, has evolved into a global health and socioeconomic crisis so serious it has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As governments of the world are battling the pandemic and the rising number of COVID-19 cases, it is at this critical juncture that such a humanitarian catastrophe of unprecedented scale and impact has put charities and philanthropy under the spotlight. In Malaysia, the Chinese community has long been known for its philanthropic contributions. From the second half of the 19th century to Malaya’s independence in 1957, the country witnessed the active philanthropic roles played by a considerable number of key businessmen and influential leaders in the local Chinese community, such as Yap Ah Loy, Chan Sow Lin, Cheong Fatt Tze, Tan Kah Kee, Loh Boon Siew, Robert Kuok Hock Nien, and Lim Goh Tong. Post-independence Malaya (Malaysia in 1963) too saw the likes of Teh Hong Piow, Tiong Hiew King, Jeffrey Cheah Fook Ling, and Vincent Tan Chee Yioun in the pursuance of various philanthropic endeavours. In the past years, several Chinese Malaysians from different business sectors have been listed by Forbes Magazine as the “Heroes of Philanthropy”; many of these figures own corporations and businesses that make financial contributions to charitable organisations as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives. Meanwhile, since the outbreak of the first cases of COVID-19 in the country, many local Chinese individuals, businesses, and organisations have remained committed to philanthropic efforts to fight the coronavirus and help those affected by it, regardless of ethnicity and religion in multiracial Malaysia. It is within the aforementioned context that this paper aims to explore Chinese philanthropy in Malaysia, by taking as a point of departure its response to the COVID-19 crisis. By using the content analysis technique, the researchers examined various news sources in the period between March and December 2020 for data on local philanthropic activities aimed at battling the coronavirus. The research outcome shows that although various philanthropic efforts rendered during the COVID-19 period cannot be directly comparable to those done in the past in terms of value, Chinese Malaysians’ passion for and commitment to philanthropy remain evident.

Link: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/30g7n9bh

Feature image credit: Zukiman Mohamad (CC0)

Jawi-Khat Introduction in Vernacular Schools: Malaysian Chinese Newspapers’ Coverage

My paper with Dr. Chin Yee Mun, Chairman of Tun Tan Cheng Lock Centre for Social and Policy Studies, is featured in this Volume 24 of the Journal of Malaysian Chinese Studies.

Abstract

The Malaysian government’s move to introduce Jawi-Khat in the Malay Language curriculum in Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools has been met with much tension and controversy. Being the second largest ethnic group in the country, the Chinese Malaysians’ response to this initiative, to some extent, has generated implications to the socio-political order of this country. In general, they have reacted negatively to the initiative, but their opposition to the move was quick to draw displeasure from members of the Malay community, who mostly supported it. Sin Chew Daily – the first newspaper to break the news – was also accused of stirring fears among the Chinese community. Such an accusation and the manner in which the whole Jawi-Khat move unfolded have raised questions over the roles of the Chinese newspapers, in reporting a policy that impacts on an area concerning the Chinese community the most – Chinese education. Thus, this study sets out to examine the ways in which three leading Chinese newspapers in Malaysia, namely, Sin Chew Daily, China Press and See Hua Daily News, reported on this racially-sensitive issue. The news sources, news frames and valence of the reports were analysed. The research findings reveal that the Chinese newspapers were merely performing their role as a platform for discourse on an issue considered to be vital to the Chinese community in the country. The Chinese newspapers were also law-abiding, created room for disagreement and attempted to de-escalate the Chinese community’s dissatisfaction over the Jawi-Khat issue.

Jawi-Khat Introduction in Vernacular Schools Malaysian Chinese Newspapers’ Coverage Kenneth LEE Tze Wui, CHIN Yee Mun
Journal of Malaysian Chinese Studies, Volume 24, 2020
Jawi-Khat Introduction in Vernacular Schools Malaysian Chinese Newspapers’ Coverage Kenneth LEE Tze Wui, CHIN Yee Mun
Journal of Malaysian Chinese Studies, Volume 24, 2020

The journal is available in hardcopy. More information about it can be found here.

This is the second part of the “Jawi-Khat project” I took on in year 2019.

Part 1 of the project, entitled “Framing Jawi-Khat Move: A Comparative Analysis of Chinese, English and Malay-Language Newspapers in Malaysia“, has been published in UKM’s Jurnal Komunikasi: Malaysian Journal of Communication.