Duncan McCargo. Fighting for Virtue: Justice and Politics in Thailand

Khemthong Tonsakulrungruang
Southeast Asian studies  
Portuguese realm, an underprivileged province of Indonesia, and a young nation in the twenty-first century-each with its own challenges and opportunities for Chinese to adapt, live with, and participate in. It also highlights the important, and in some cases pioneering, roles Chinese played at different times-in trade, local administration, education, and struggles for independence-despite the fact that Chinese made up not more than 1.5 percent of the population (p. 8), which is comparable to
more » ... inese Indonesians, estimated at about 1.2 percent of the population (Evi et al. 2017). Beyond the "process of creolization of the Chinese in Southeast Asia" (Skinner 1996), becoming Chinese Timorese-in the past as well as now-is a challenging experience: whether the markers are based on proficiency in the Hakka language, the celebration of a common origin/ ancestor, a shared history of migration, citizenship of a certain nation-state, or the hopes for a safe life wherever they wish to build their homes. The authors accurately conclude that "it would be a mistake to reduce this experience to one of identity politics, minority status, or the role of economic middlemen" (p. 177). Bearing in mind a similar conclusion on Chinese communities elsewhere in the region, we see how Chinese Timorese shape their lives and continue to be "Chinese" over other identities. With its fresh analysis and detailed description, this monograph is an important contribution to the scholarship. I sincerely hope the authors will consider its translation to Tetum, Indonesian, and Chinese in order to reach a wider audience.
doi:10.20495/seas.9.3_485 fatcat:myuxstgdknaofcvim36kfxevsm