Racism – A Normal Phenomenon

October 9, 2008 at 1:29 pm 1 comment

Everyone is racist to some extent. It is of human nature. Laws are set to stop racial discrimination. Moreover we have “Kick Racism out of Football” campaign in the football world. After all the efforts, racism is not eliminated. It’s undeniable that racism still exists in you or me.

One could argue that, “Hey I am not a racist what are you trying to say here? I don’t look down on them, I make friend with them. I am not a racist! Definitely not! ” Honestly speaking, I have the same feeling when someone called me a racist, but I really do ask myself, am I really not a racist by any means?

Generalization or “stereotypes” is what we mostly done without the knowledge of our own. When I see a gang of Africans hanging together, my mind flashes with words like “gangsters, crimes”, and I tend to avoid them as much as possible. In fact, they do nothing or maybe they are just having a little chat. Just to mention a personal experience, I was once robbed by a gang of young Malays 2 years ago. So after all this time when I spotted a gang of Malay teens gathering around, the fear pops out and I will eventually run away. Moreover, Chinese has a bad image of being rude, uneducated and impolite in the many eyes. Is it a stereotype? Is all Chinese really rude and do they ever shout at you? It is very hard to prevent ‘stereotypes’ because this is what we are been taught into.

Racial issues have always been the sensitive issues in Malaysia. And yet, it is often been played by government of Malaysia. In the most recently Ahmad Ismail case, he called Chinese in Malaysia as ‘penumpang’ and had evoked the anger of Malaysia’s Chinese. Malaysia’s Chinese demanded an apology but he was arrogantly stated that he would never apologize because what he said is true. He even made an excuse that the media had twisted his words. Ridiculously, the journalist who reported the matter had been incarcerated under the ISA. In the other hand, Ahmad Ismail was given only merely 3 years of suspension in the party.

What I like to say about the racism in Malaysia is, legal. Yes, Malays are given discounts for purchasing their home. There is ‘quota’ or priority for Malays to enter local universities. There must be a 30% of Malay directors in a listed company. Chinese schools are being closed down without any reason; more and more Malay schools are being built. These are the few policies by the government to protect their own race.

These biased policies caused many non-Malays to work and study overseas. Few chose to return. Malaysia is losing many talents because of this issue. One of my friend said, “Why bother going back? I am not going to work for the Malays, my efforts for their fame is absolutely unfair.” Yes, it is what many of us have in mind. Unfairness and unsatisfactory that made us furious, and disappointed.

Racism? Its existence is permanent.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Democracy and Human Rights – Democracy in Malaysia and Freedom Urbanization – Kuala Lumpur

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. sulfikar amir  |  October 23, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    i wonder if you have a sociological explanation of how this sort of “legal” racism got institutionalized. is it because of the structure of power relations dominated by malay elite group or is it rooted in the colonial history of the nation that marginalized the malay?


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