Mat­ter of re­spect for Aus­tralian val­ues

We love our Aus­tralian cul­ture and re­spect our coun­try’s val­ues, write mem­bers of Tas­ma­nia’s Chi­nese com­mu­nity

Mercury (Hobart) - - TALKING POINT -

DEAR fel­low Tas­ma­ni­ans, we are Aus­tralian Chi­nese who live in the greater Ho­bart re­gion. Many of us are third and sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Chi­nese im­mi­grants, just like the Ital­ians, Pol­ish and Greeks who live in Ho­bart.

We love our Aus­tralian cul­ture, re­spect our Aus­tralian val­ues, we pay tax and obey Aus­tralian laws.

Many of us are vol­un­teers who are in­volved in many lo­cal com­mu­nity events in­clud­ing the pro­mo­tion of our own cul­tural events such as the Chi­nese Lu­nar New Year and Lantern Fes­ti­vals.

Our aim is to pro­mote an un­der­stand­ing and in­ter­ac­tion with all eth­nic groups.

We study hard, we work hard, we strive for a happy life as all Tas­ma­ni­ans do.

Re­cently there has been

neg­a­tive news about Chi­nese and as a re­sult our com­mu­nity is now ex­pe­ri­enc­ing forms of racism.

Sev­eral of us have heard slurs such as, “Why do you Chi­nese en­dorse a can­di­date re­lated to the Com­mu­nist party?”

Four years ago, there were two can­di­dates from the Chi­nese com­mu­nity stand­ing for al­der­men of Ho­bart City Coun­cil. No peo­ple crit­i­cised or ques­tioned them of their loy­alty to our Aus­tralia, or any hid­den agenda with the Com­mu­nist party, be­cause they never had any­thing to hide.

It is im­por­tant Ho­bart vot­ers un­der­stand that Chi­nese can­di­date Yong­bei Tang does not rep­re­sent the ma­jor­ity of the Chi­nese com­mu­nity in Ho­bart.

We do not ac­cept this can­di­date ask­ing Chi­nese stu­dents and mem­bers of our com­mu­nity to do­nate cash.

We do not en­dorse her hid­ing of ti­tles of many or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing her as­so­ci­a­tion with the Chi­nese Govern­ment.

We be­lieve it is in­ap­pro­pri­ate to reg­is­ter her name twice on the Gen­eral Man­ager’s role, one as Yong­bei Tang, the sec­ond as Tang Yong­bei.

We will only en­dorse a can­di­date who re­spects the Aus­tralian life and its value while con­tribut­ing to our com­mu­nity in a pos­i­tive way. Thank you so much.

The 10 sig­na­to­ries have asked that their names be with­held. The Mer­cury has taken a prin­ci­pled stand in re­cent years to re­quire the pub­li­ca­tion of opin­ion writ­ers’ names. But in this cir­cum­stance, we be­lieve there are higher prin­ci­ples in­volved that take prece­dence.

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