Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 21. 5th September 1973
Letters to the Editor should be given to one of the editors, left in the box outside the office or posted to Box 1347.
Courts Etc Here & There
It was interesting to see the reviews of the book 'Prisoner' and to reflect on the NZ penal system as compared to the Chinese which was so excellently described by Cheryl Dimond in her article "From the Courts to the People". Perhaps the most amazing point made in the article about the legal system in China was that it is understood just as well and in the same terms by a professor and by a worker.
Perhaps I might set down a few observations to complement the article.
In China the crime rate is dropping all the time, as is the number of unsolved crimes. And of course the low ratio of police to population has already been mentioned in Salient.
Arrests are usually made on the basis of certainty of proof, not on the basis of suspicion. All arrests must be witnessed by an independent party. Relations must be notified as soon as you are arrested. How different all these things are in New Zealand!
As far as I am aware, jail is usually given only to murderers and rapists. Often they don't go to jail. Of course, spying and treason results in jail.
The Chinese system is based on a series of many communes. The person that commits the crime goes in front of the commune elders who discuss his problem with him and show him alternatives (i.e. positive actions) to the crime.
Often a person will be told to go and read a certain book on an individual's role in society Having done this, he returns and is questioned on it. If his understanding of the book is not satisfactory then he must read it again until he realises what is expected of him.
Another example of People's Courts was given by Cheryl Buchanan, a member of the first Aboriginal delegation to China. "Everything is so different. While we were there a young guy ran into an old man with his bicycle and broke his leg. He was tried right there in the street by the people who saw what happened. His punishment was to look after the old man until he was better, cook and clean for him....Putting people in jail doesn't help anything. The crime rate in China is very low. Almost no crimes of violence, and the majority of crimes are settled out of court." Jails — they can't really be called jails. They're more like boarding houses.
A Chinese 'jail' has no walls, barred windows or guards. The 'prisoners' often work during the day to return at night. At weekends many inmates go home. Families can live with inmates if they wish. If a 'prisoner' escapes it is up to the family to return him and 'no questions asked' applies.
Compare that to the New Zealand system of mouldy cells, separating families and armed guards.
The main point of China's system is that strong heritage consciousness is present in families and each person has a high amount of self discipline. Those things are very rare in New Zealand and this would be where we would fail by having the same type of penal system.
But surely we could pinch a scale from the flaming 'Red Dragon' and change it to run along similar lines. Or isn't that possible?
Yours in revolution,
Two Sides of Malaya
Verity Jones is insulting, arrogant and patronising in the extreme if she is attempting to tell me that, to quote her "social and political inequality" exists in Malaysia. Who doesn't know that? The easiest enterprise to enjoy is to criticise and sit back with a sigh — "see, I am right, your country is rot!"
|1)||Redistribution of wealth. How are you going to do this? By the New Zealand formula, the Russian formula, the US formula or the Chinese formula? If you opt for the Chinese formula, to be true to your promise, you must carry it out in NZ i.e. you must now organise your armed revolution. We don't want any hyper critical pontifical wagging of the tongues only. If conditions in NZ arc different, may it not be possible that conditions in Malaysia are also different. Why discriminate?|
|2)||The social or racial inequality. This, to my mind is a far greater problem that the one above. Solve it if you can. At the moment, there is entrenched in the Malaysian constitution a provision protecting the 'special position' of the Malays and other indigenous races with the responsibility for them resting on the king, (or Yang-di Bestruan Agong, if you know). The rationale for this provision is that the indigenous races in Malaysia would suffer a 'serious and unfair' disadvantage if they are left to compete on an equal basis with the so-called stronger races, viz Chinese and Indians (see Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitution Commission 1957, Rana 163, et seg. Chairman Lord Reid.) Fortunately or unfortunately according as to how strong your racial feelings are, such a principle is now also recognised by the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.|
I should be agreed on all sides that such a special provision is only a temporary device. The problem now is when we should agitate for the deletion of this provision. By what standards are we to use to test the ability of the indigenous races to tend for themselves? (For the sake of analysis, perhaps you may be able to draw some analogies from the Maori situation in NZ.) Quite a few of the non-indigenous races in Malaysia are growing resentful over this provision. It may have been the sole cause of the bloody race riots in 1969, although mind you, a race-riot, by definition, is a conflict based on intense, emotional, uncontrolled racial feelings. No doubt too, some of the indigenous races want the retention of this provision and a few others are "ashamed" of its presence in the constitution. But given the highly explosive climate of the present situation, what is your suggestion?
It is enough initially to give you these two problems. I hope to hear from you soon. But for God's sake, please don't suggest a revolution because you won't know what it entails.
By the way, Verity, is it not slightly unfair to criticise the Malaysian Students Assoc. for showing the good side of Malaysia in a cultural exhibition? After all, I would hardly expect you to show the bad side (if any) of New Zealand when you came to my country.
An Educative Concert
I wish to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and heartiest congratulations to the Otago Chinese Language Club for putting up this excellent Eastern Cultural Concert. Their performance is definitely up to professional standard if not better. I am deeply moved and highly respect the effort put in by the members concerned. Being students themselves, they are not intimidated by the bourgeoise educational system, but courageously sacrifice and devote their time to put up this highly educative concert for the benefit of other fellow students from Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah.
One of my flatmates said that too much stress is placed on the sorrow and life of the working people. He went on to say that a concert should be staged solely for entertainment. However, I find myself to agree more with the aim set by the Otago Language Club, that is to reflect reality, the life and work of the majority of the people in these regions, so that fellow overseas students and the NZ people will have a better understanding of our motherlands. To show fishermen, rubber tappers, padifarmers, etc to be full of happiness and joy when they could hardly eke out a living for themselves and their families in this discriminating society would be far from reality and very misleading to those who are not acquainted to the real facts of the Malayan, Sarawak and Sabah societies.
Finally, I will confidently conclude that the Eastern Cultural Concert is a great success in all aspects, The performance itself is first class: the message is healthy and realistic; each and every audience whether a Malayan or Kiwi or Maori or Fijian, etc had acquired a better understanding of the people of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak after the performance. Thus, I sincerely hope more of this sort of cultural concert will be put up in the near future.
Yours,Ex MSA Member
In Search of Buck$
Its about time some sanity was brought back into the content of Salient. Lets give the proletariat something to live on now while waiting for the revolution to descend upon them. With the next bursary payment this week how about a few quiet bets on the race horses. Let your money work for you and enjoy it at the same time.
For those of you who are not avid punters let me give you the inside word on likely winners in the next few weeks:
For a small but sure dividend Furys Order is a must. Charger is bound to improve on his first up Tauherenikau effort. Master Morgan (no relation to Syd) a prominent three year old last season must be near winning after running good races at Riccarton. Ragham is assured of winning on the second day at Wanganui. Diamond Pal a promising hack from down South must go close to his hat-trick in the seventh race at Asburton this Tuesday. The outsider that will pay a fortune before long is Zerox a speedy class 3, 8 year old trotter now trained at Addington. He has a great deal of trouble getting away but when he does, must run into the money.
For the last $100 of the bursary how about a few Australian Loloma shares. With rumours rife that they are ripe for a takeover and at 72 cents they are a bargain.
On the local scene NZ Steel must in their half yearly result report a profit after several years of losses.
Good punting, will be back with more tips next week.
Hurrah for that whirling wanker A. Rimbaud (whoever the fuck he/she/it is). At last the causes of the notorious campus apathy have been exposed. I have personally known about these centres of apathy for years but as a commerce student I have been too apathetic to publicise it or do anything about it. But now...we have fearless Rimbaud to the rescue! All commerce, law and Asian students are to be driven out! At least I think that's what is about to happen. You see Rimbaud (dear soul) is not apathetic, he/she/it is a "creative, aroused, bubbling" person who is going to do something about the problem. Already, the apathetic massers are quivering in fear of the "bubbling" hordes led by the mighty Rimbaud. Where are you Rimbaud? When do you launch your campaign to heave us out of this noble ivory tower? I suggest that you are about to do fuck-nothing (as usual). You will sit on your own apathetic arse and grizzle and bitch all day about the commerce, law and Asian fuckwits, yet do nothing to remedy the situation. Come on, you pious fucking hypocrite, come and get us...... we're waiting.
Tommy Gun (Esq)
A Fairy Tale for NZ Children
"Wake up Whitey" they cried, but Whitey wouldn't wake up. He kept on dreaming his "We are one people" dream. That oppressed a people. So one day they stole his "we are one people" dream and split it down the middle with an axe. And because there were now two peoples in whiteys world, and all the power belonged to those who spoke both the brown and white language, whitey was left — culturally disadvantaged. And would you believe it, they had to put whitey in a special class with a special programme for the culturally deprived. And every time whitey said, "but we are one people" a great big stick would hit him on the head and say "there's some who's ya can't change what's in their heads, ya gotta change the shape of their heads" and that was Tama.
Will whitey make it? Read on next week with "Whitey wake up".
French Club Weekend
Bridge Lodge, Otaki, September 7—9. Transport arranged. Non-students $10, students $9 for full weekend. Reduced costs if staying only part of weekend. Register Studass before September 5.
The Rot of a Puny Mind
Might I first express my appreciation for the flattering remarks directed at the Overseas Student Officer by your correspondent A. Rimbaud in Salient (Aug 29). I am informed that the letter was directed at me and the 'Asian Students' apparently as a means of providing some kind of response by way of correspondence in the Salient. No doubt, Rimbaud sees himself as performing an usefull role in this regard, in provoking 'Asian Students' out of their present state of 'apathy'.
Among other thing Rimbaud's xenophobia extends to believeing that some 200 to 300 odd Asian students, by their very presence, inhibit 5000 odd other from achieving 'a truly stimulating creative, aroused, bubbling campus', and 'clearly act as an anchor to all attempts of the University to make progress in any direction.'I am not quite sure of the logic (if any) inherent in Rimbaund's assertions, but I have been assured that such a capacity for logical thinking does in fact exist the dirt-clogged sewers of Rimbaud's feeble mind.
To spout mane jokes now and again is, I imagine, quite all right, but to make such pucrile jokes constantly about any one subject, is to suggest no 'liberation' but rather, a form of subconscious enslavement seeking vainly to prove itself as freedom on a conscious level.
Rimbaud's sentiments reveal quite clearly certain facets of the syndrome of ethnocentrism. Thus, for eg he typifies an universal aspect of the syndrome in his tendency to blame a particular group (outgroup) for the troubles and deprivations of in group members, Again, one finds evidence of a very naive 'phenomenal absolutism' the tendency here being to assume that the world is exactly as one sees it, and that all other persons (groups or cultures) really perceive it in the same way but behave the way they do of a perverse wickedness or incompetence.
These sorts of assumptions and the tendency to syllogise inevitably leading to placing students from different cultures and environments into inclusive categories such as 'foreign' or 'overseas' or 'Asians' are quite commonplace. As a result, very little effort is ever made to understand, and consequently much of the expectations behind all orientations and induction is the belief that there can be no communication until these groups conform, become 'I ike us'.
The symptoms of such prejudice (as Rimbaund expresses) at this University are hard to discern. One inevitably finds oneself looking not for scars in one's own body, but for an attitude determining the behaviour of one's fellow students. At best, there is, after the suspicion, an unprovable certainty that there are numbers of people at the University who do assume white superiority and its corollary. Over against this and acting as a kind of foil to it, is another certainlty — the presence of those who do not share these views. All this leads to a mood which is mainly despair, but one can only think of the few and clings to the hope.
Jean-Paul Sartre in 'The Reprieve'expresses quite aptly, the kind of feelings that may be evoked; "It isn't good for a man to live on other man's territory, it is very hard to hear; he is grudged the bread he eats. And their suspicion — that supremely......suspicion of us! When I get back to .....this is the vision I shall have of (NZ?): a long dank staricase, a bell, a door half-opened — 'What do you want?' — and then shut again.....What I find hardest to bear is to be a charge on others. Especially when they make you feel it so cruelly."
Finally, I suspect, one will find underneath the facade of concern for the 'amount of apathy on campus', in glorious; living colour; the full-some phantasmagoria of base rot that permeates the very core of Rimbaud's puny mind.
With regard to letter "Give us a fair go mate" (Salient No. 20) we feel that Hugh Duncan Buchanan is Not a product of New Zealand's crapped out education system, yet in fact, he is a product of his self-denied hypocritical pseudo-chrisitian attitude.
A true Christian does not feel suppressed implying that H.D.B.'s attitude is due to his own inability to face the world in a mature manner.
P.U.K.E.(Pitifully Understood Khristian Experience)
Eastern Cultural Concert versus MSA's Malaysian Cultural Show
Through months of preparation, by sacrificing precious time for study, the workers of Eastern Cultural Concert have successfully presented to the audiences a clear picture of the livelihood in Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah, where the rich are becoming richer, and the poor poorer. The great gap between the rich and the poor is the result of exploitation by local and foreign capitalists and unjust governments.
The MSA's Malaysian Cultural Show, on the other hand, merely displayed a false picture of the Malaysian livelihood mainly enjoyed by the rich. For example, the palace dances of the Malay and Chinese aim only to entertain the rich government officials and business men during some formal functions which the ordinary some formal functions which the ordinary and poor rubber tappers, mining workers have no chance to attend. Some of the items on display such as rubber shoes are the products of factories (eg Bata and Dunlop Co.) owned by principally foreign capitalists. In fact the presence of few pairs of shoes signifies nothing but foreign exploitation. The two films that were supplied by the Malaysian High Commission were worse still. One of which displays a major tourist attraction in the beautiful Penang island: the spinnning of a sexy belly dancer in a night club (what a disgrace to Malaysian culture!) The MSA'S cultural show not only fails to present to the New Zealand people a true face of Malaysia but also reminds us that the present executive members of MSA are nothing but the running dogs of the Malaysian High Commission. These executive members of MSA will be ashamed if they still remember their committed stand — to remain totally independent from the High Commission in their last year's election manifesto.
The overwhelming and heart felt reponse' from the audiences (both Malaysian students and New Zealand friends) during the Eastern Cultural Concert at the Memorial Theatre shows that the concert actually reflects the social reality of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah. The opening group singing song — Bersatu' is a Malay song which appeals to the people of our motherland — Malay, Chinese and Indian and others — to unite and fight for a prosperous future. 'The Anguish of Life' and the 'Pineapple Harvest Time' show how the Malay fishermen of the cast-coast and the pineapple farmers of Johore are being exploited by the rich Chinese and Malay middle men and the pineapple processing factories (one of which is owned by stale capital), respectively. The three short plays. 'We want to live', 'Books! Books! Books!' and 'The Rich and the Pour' were all entertaining and ed ucation. In short, I and most of the audience would agree that the performance is highly successful and of a high professional standard, although it was only a first attempt. The workers of the Eastern Cultural Concert should be warmly commended and encouraged for their enthusiasm in promoting this interesting, realism education and entertaining concert in New Zea land. Perhaps the New Zealand friends may find it useful to put out a performance of a similar nature to reflect the reality of New Zealand society.
Lost anyone think that the Council did something worthy of praise or remotely based on principles in deciding to sell shares in New Zealand Insurance and South British Insurance. Let me correct them.
Most Council members sitting around that table just wanted to get rid of a contentious matter.
The headline should have been "University Council sells out Apartheid". Most members couldn't have cared less about the obscenity of racism.
While attending the Gay Liberation Front dance in the union cafeteria on Sept. I, I was interested to see a well-known Auckland fashion model Judith Baragwanath among the merry makers. I was even more interested to see about half-an-hour later the same young lady and her two escorts (male) creating a stir at the entrance to the function. They had decided that the function was not to their liking and in a most boorish fashion we re demanding the return of the price of their tickets. One of the escorts was maintaining that he was a member of the police force and generally threatening the two young ladies who were selling the tickets. When the trio heard that a photographer was on his way down to take a picture of these celebrities on our campus they left in quite a hurry.
While one does naturally, expect arrogance and unpleasantness from the so-called "Jet Set" it was quite an enlightement to see such a dis play by these bourgeoise opportunists on our own campus.
Potatoes up Rimbaud's' Arse
I'm 'insidiously apathetic' to ' A Rimbaud's pathetic, juvenile, racist and unwarranted attack on Asian students. I have never read anything so absurd as his statement that we a small minority of the total student population can be blamed for the apathy (to what ??) at this university. May I ask how this ignorant person arrived at his/her incredible conclusion?? 'Rimbaud's letter merely confirms my theory that racist minds think along incredibly stupid lines.
The suggestion that apathy among Asians and the majority of white students may be cured by sending the former home needs no other — answer than to tell 'Rimbaud' to crawl back into the hole be came out of. The Indians have a phrase for it' Madrae Chug'. Also be can stuff unboiled potatoes one by one up his hairy arse.
On my own behalfAsian Law Student.
I challenge A. Rimbaud to produce one iota of proof to substantiate his (I will assume A. Rimbaud is male for the sake of convenience) absurd prejudiced allegation that Asian students "act as an anchor to all attempts of the university to make progress in any direction". To attribute even part of the apathetic atmosphere- which pervades out campus to the insidious apathy of Asian students in the commerce and law faculties is as unenlightened as it is incorrect.
From a purely numerical point of view, to allege that a minority group of less than 500 can instil such a stifling, paralytic impotence into a 6,000-strong student body is totally beyond my conception. In addition, if Rimbaud had bothered to investigate the situation at all to lend any vestige of credibility to his misguided allegations, he would have found few Asians in the Law Faculty and in fact, would only be able to point to the commerce faculty as having any sizable Asian representation.
Any knowledge of Asian student activity would reveal a distinct lack of apathy and quite a vital concern and awareness in social and political matters. The MSA election, for instance have generated within the Asian community more interest and participation than our recent exec elections with position being keenly contested by there principal parties and about 30 candidates. Sporting and cultural activities abound and recent proposals for the sale of Asian food on campus point to vital partecipatory concern one which I doubt wether A. Rimbaud of any of his fuck-witted cronies could possible be endowed with.
Of course I may have misunderstood the type of apathy Asian students are being accure of. If A. Rimbaud is referring to Asian non-participation in such grandiose social events as ski-club piss-ups. I would suggest the reason lies not in disinterest or indifference (either would probably be indicative of apathy) but from an essential feeling within the Asian community of isolationism and non-belonging obviously generated by such prejudiced bigoted views so clearly exemplified by his imitable self.
With regard to non-participation in campus politics, I must say, first of all that to my great surprise I have vet to see A. Rimbaud's name up for presidential candidate, just as he, no doubt is taken aback by the absence of Asian candidates. Rimbaud is obviously unaware of the restrictions imposed on overseas students they do, in fact have to sign a document which expressly states that they will not participate in political affairs. If they do as IIT Lee did, they soon feel the fool of our fascist government.
I suggest that A. Rimbaud has become so observed with racial paranoia he was taken to frenzied abuse of a seemingly quite, but far from apathetic, minority on this campus. In so doing so he has merely created a scapegoat for the real cause of apathy — our twisted capitalist society and its advocates (Rimbaud?) who place selfish materialistic concerns and values over and above any essential apparaisal of political, social or racial injustices or inequalities.
To conclude, I demand A. Rimbaud descend from his momocultural pedestal and issue an immediate retraction of his disgustingly ethnocenric, racist views and extend a formal apology to all Asian students.
Your in something anger and speechless disgust.