by Phuong Nguyen Thai Hoai and Samantha Ho
Imagined Malaysia currently has its own column space on a newly established local news portal. The purpose of this column is to provide a platform to our members and supporters to speak their mind on issues that are pertaining to society, politics and history. We also welcome our patrons to speak their mind through this platform, and spread information on the cause for improving historical education in Malaysia!
I, Phuong, was enrolled in a French language course back in Vietnam years ago, and decided to drop out after the second class. The reason for this was irrelevant to my initial goal of improving my skills in the language I love. It was because the teacher, who was very much senior in age and claimed to have had a French education under colonial Vietnam, expressed condescendingly his wish for Vietnam to still be under the protectorate of the mother country. Those kinds of sentiments were not unpopular among the people I’ve been acquainted with.
I have, since then, never stopped pondering over the nature of colonialism – whether it was as benign as the colonisers themselves claimed to have been, of civilising and uplifting the lives of the uncivilised.