Friday, January 27, 2012

Ugly Truth about Racism behind the Peaceful Malaysia (and what We Gonna do About it)

Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Ugly Truth

I saw a T-shirt that read Racism is so yesterday – I want to believe that, but the truth is; it’s not so yesterday. It’s still very much ‘alive’, ‘breathing’ and grows ‘stronger’ today as it ever was. Racism is a global issue. When I write global, first come to mind is Malaysia. In fact, as a Malaysian myself, I experienced racism firsthand. The ugly truth of racism behind our ‘peaceful’ nation is like the unseen termites behind a wonderful majestic wooden door. Behind the government-promoted façade of unity and peace, racism runs deep in our multi-ethnics nation – some might not agree with me, but you know it’s real.

You know because you and me are racist once in a while, if not – most of the time. Why do dare I say that? Well, try to answer these questions: When is the last time you hang around with someone from a different race intentionally? Which shop would you normally go for lunch or dinner if you want to eat outside? If you want to help a poor family, to whom will you give first? Lastly, when someone ask you who you are, what is your answer; Malaysian or proudly verbalize your ethnicity?

Ugly Facts
Merdeka Center for Opinion Research had asked 1013  randomly selected peninsular Malaysian voters aged 21+ via telephone for their independent survey had revealed staggering facts about racial issue;
·    Only 39% identified themselves as Malaysian, 41% as follower of a religion and 15% as member of ethnic group. (pg 6)
·    A plurality felt that ethnic unity (perpaduan kaum) was superficial. Only about 1/3 felt that ethnic unity in Malaysia was sincere & friendly. 44% thought it was just superficial unity. (pg 10)
·    In 2011, the survey find that 57% of Malays, 58% of Chinese and 39% of Indians agreed that “in general, most of the Malays are lazy”(pg 35)
·    68% of Malays, 50% of Chinese and 59% of Indians agreed that “in general, most of the Chinese are greedy”.
·    63% of Malays, 49% of Chinese and 36% of Indians agreed that “in general, most of the Indians cannot be trusted”.
·    Positively in 2011, 84% have friends from other races but sadly 16% who do not are those who lived in neighborhood with one dominant ethnic group (pg 50).
·    55% says ‘Racial and Religious issues are very sensitive, therefore we cannot discuss it’ (pg 58)

Live Peacefully but Separately
A. Sivanesan, a senior leader of the opposition Democratic Action Party said, “The survey’s findings might be a bitter pill to swallow, but it tells us who we really are behind the façade we show the world.” You who are not Malay or Chinese or Indian – do not laugh! You who thought that there is no such thing as racism in Sabah & Sarawak (East Malaysia) – do not be too confident! We who are the ‘others’ are very much racist within our own communities. If there is such survey ever taken, we, the ‘others’, would be utterly ashamed to our grave! We live peacefully but separately.

After independence, our history in general shows that we are further away from knowing each other than we were started. Now we begin to have separate schools, separate friends and separate lives. Until we see the seriousness of racism in our society, we soon realized that racism is the poison behind the silky snake. By writing this, I don’t seek for agreement but I just want to simply lay the ugly fact of our internal, unseen condition of racism in our country: we live peacefully but separately – slowly.

Time to Build Bridges is - NOW!
Thus, when is the best time for us to build bridges of reconciliation in the midst of our invisible walls of prejudice and racism if it’s not now? Yes, we start now! Be an agents of transformation and reconciliation in the community God had place you. Identity your prejudices, that invincible walls such as thinking your own race is superior than other, making racial jokes and not sensitive toward others etc. then break down these ‘walls’ starting now. In term of your relationship with others; encourage those who make racist comments around you to stop and don't be friends with people that disrespect other races. In term of your communications; try not to refer another race with pronouns like: "them," "they," or "it” and avoid using funny slang terms to disgracing other races.

Hey! Lay down ‘bricks’ of forgiveness, kindness, caring, healing, friendship, brotherhood, love etc. one by one. Take initiative to encourage yourself, your family and friends to respect, understand and learning about other races or cultures. If you have any arguments or problems with others (which you probably will at this part of the world) treat that someone as a person rather than as someone from different race. Yes, lay these 'bricks' one by one. Cement it with time and patience.
Hear this my fellow Malaysians… we should be building bridges, not walls. Oh, “let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation (Malaysia) with all their scintillating beauty.”

Breakdown the walls and start build bridges!

Best Blogger Tips


  1. I read this article, this article very informative and interesting..I refer your blog to many of my friends as well.
    Thanks for sharing knowledge..

    Make Your Own Survey

  2. Yes Shaun :) J.A.M. it is Jambatan Anak Malaysia!
    Thanks Angelina for sharing this - honor and pleasure to serve my readers thru this blog :) Thanks! If it's only for collect information and mere expending knowledge and no actions or at least raise any concern - then my hours of labor writing this article goes to waste. But if it does bless you somehow; a blink of idea, a sense to respond and an arrow of God’s love pierce to your heart: praise be to God. Then go tear down the walls, and make bridges!  Ya ta!


They Click it A lot. [Top 7 last 7 Days]