Home Civil Society Voices Malaysia needs a holistic fight against racism; let’s denounce hypocrisy

Malaysia needs a holistic fight against racism; let’s denounce hypocrisy

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Pusat Komas strongly calls all Malaysians to embrace the common principles of humanity – to respect one another in the spirit of equality.

Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim’s uncalled racist-cum-sexist slur in the Parliament sitting on 13 July 2020, in telling Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto to apply powder because of her dusky skin colour is totally unacceptable and must be reprimanded to prevent the repetition of any similar incidents.g

The gruesome death suffered by George Floyd at the knees of racists is a mirage of a society that silently endorses and brews the ideology of racial supremacism – us vs them. This rhetoric has created an imaginary distinction between human beings on the grounds of ethnicity, religious beliefs, language, sexual orientation, gender amongst many others. Sparking an international outcry, the resistance emerged as a clarion call to the world community to demand that the chains of discrimination be ended.

Dismayed Malaysians have expressed their solidarity against racism under the ballooning #BlackLivesMatter’s social media campaign. Apart from that, Malaysians have also criticised Lim Kok Wing’s “King of Africa” billboard for projecting himself as the saviour of Africans. Locally, insensitive remarks by an ex-Miss Universe of Malaysia against the black protesters received a tirade of backlash from netizens.

One would have thought that Malaysians are now aware of the negative impacts of the ideology of racial supremacy by joining hands to denounce such acts; however, the inter-ethnic solidarity was seemingly ephemeral and applicable to international hostility against a minority only. A cursory reading would reveal to us of many devastating incidents in close proximity that need severe attention. Apart from the Baling MP’s uncalled statement in Parliament, Selangor markets have now adopted a regressive step in prohibiting migrant workers in these premises under the blanket of combating Covid-19.

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This outburst was preceded by some xenophobic and race-motivated events in the last few weeks when the government suggested the banning of foreigners and refugees from mosques – a holy place that is supposed to be free from bias, prejudice, hatred and social status. In addition, the sudden cancellation of appointments of an advisory council appears to be a decision taken to appease conservative religious groups.

Pusat Komas strongly calls all Malaysians to embrace the common principles of humanity – to respect one another in the spirit of equality. Mere sloganeering at the political level remains a hollow shell that does little to undo existing systemic racism.

As Malaysians, let our voices be that power to strike out racism from our midst – from the halls of Parliament, from online social media platforms and from our private homes.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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loyal malaysian
loyal malaysian
26 Jul 2020 8.02am

It will be a call in vain, Pusat Komas.
Please excuse me for the pessimism.
If one is honest and looks at our nation with unblinkered lenses, the fact of the matter is that there is institutionalized racism pervading all levels of society.
Yes, on a personal level, each of us can and must not condone racism of any form. Perhaps, when enough rakyat “ respect one another in the spirit of equality”, we can then talk about ending racism in our country!!

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