Wednesday, April 20, 2005
its ALL about the race
Ok..this post was long coming. Labels: malaysia
A couple of months ago, there was a big shout about that LRT advertisement. To refresh your memory, there was an advertisement about an uncaring Malaysian who sat on the LRT and refused to give up his seat to old people and pregnant women. I didn't manage to watch it for obvious reasons, but apparently, there was this politician guy who wasn't too pleased with it.
All because the uncaring man in the advertisement was played by a Malay guy. The fuss was that that advertisement portrayed Malays in a bad way. Luckily, sense prevailed and that advertisement was not banned. A lot of people reasoned (rightly so) that it was a Malaysian thing, and not specific to any race.
That gets you thinking......it was so obvious that the advertsiement was not a racial attack. Its just that some people wanted to make it such. With the government constantly stressing for racial tolerance and all that crap, you wonder.....what have we achieved as a country in regards to that issue? What sort of mentality do we have as a community if a politician - one who was voted into office by the people - can link such a harmless advertisement to a racial issue?
There are loads of things which are never issues of race, but more of mentality of the people. Yet, we bloody Malaysians choose to take the easy road out. Blame the race. Its as simple as that. That's just us, ain't it? Everything we do has gotta do with our race, doesn't it? I've written about that before...you can check it out here (Racial Hoo-hah)
When I wrote that SPM article, I expected a very mixed reaction. It generated loads of shockwaves through the Malaysian internet community, and people have been talking about it loads of forums. Below are an almost complete list of forums where it was discussed extensively. You can read if you have time. The links open up a new window which take you straight to the thread in which it was discussed :
4) Malaysian Bikers
5) Hell Storm Raiders
7) Hanoverianapostates (not really a forum)
I would say that its an even split of 50-50 between the people who agree with me and those who don't. More distressingly, and even on my own blog, there was something I never expected. I expected flamers talking about me, blasting me personally. Sadly, a lot of people chose to bring race into the equation.
In one of the earlier comments on my blog, somebody commented,"I guess kiasuism is not limited to the Chinese race." I replied,"Kiasuism spreads through one race - bangsa Malaysia"
The first line of this post stated that this was long coming. Its a result of a series of pissing off events. The first maybe was more amusing than it was pissing off. It came from the Cari forum (number 2 on the above list). Some dude posted this :
Someone responded in my favour by copying my Racial Hoo-hah article and pasting it there. The earlier guy, the same idiot who brought the issue of race into the argument then responded by :
That matter served more to amuse me than to piss me off - cause that guy was obviously more stupid than he was malicious.
The next occurance, however, was definately a racial thingy. About 2 weeks after I wrote that SPM article, feedback had obviously slowed down to a trickle, and forum activity had almost ceased. Then, my site counter suddenly registered loads of hits from the MalaysianBikers forum where one of their forum members had stumbled upon this site. That coincided with A LOT of very fucked up comments on my blog, some of which I deleted due to the seriously racial nature of them.
However, I am the type of person who is easier to amuse than to piss off. Again, I wrote that off as a bunch of clowns riding bikes. I mean...its a biker forum..what are they doing discussing SPM results? So, instead of getting pissed offed, I decided to humour them by writting this. I even took the liberty of taking the piss out of the guy who asked me whether I "terlebih makan babi".
The final straw came the other day when my site counter registered hits from a Haloscan comment from this site called Hanoverianapostates (number 7 on the above list). My friend Byn had posted the link of my article and asked the other people to check it out. One anonymous dumbass replied :
How the fuck did he know that I didn't make fun of the Chinese girl last year, or the Chinese guy the year before that?? Fuck wait....why do I even have to defend myself against that anonymous dude?
As a country, you know you have serious problems with racial harmony when your politician can somehow relate an advertisement as a racial issue. As a citizen, you know that all the racial tolerance make-believe is rubbish when some people find it possible to equate exam results to a racial issue.
Its times like that I really fucking hate my country. Its times like this I really fucking hate calling myself a Malaysian.
You must realize that your present race is the one into which you were born, in your terms in this place and time.
Also remember each of you have been members of different races and so each of you have shared in both the advantages and ignominies attached, in historic terms, to such conditions of birth.
The significance of each race is highly meaningful and represents different aspects of humanity as a whole. Each race has a symbolic meaning to mankind’s psyche. The outside experience and structure of any given race’s experience may change but the inner symbolism will still remain
It is impossible to separate our daily experience in any of its aspects from our beliefs and those judgments we place upon them. The beliefs boil down to our ideas of right or wrong and involved all our attitudes concerning illness and health, wealth and poverty, relationships of the races, religious conflicts and our daily reality.
Individuals holding these beliefs feel very uncomfortable when they mingle with others of a different race, creed or color.
i bet dat 85% of d viewers didnt bother 2 notice d race of d ppl acting in it but more of d msg dat was bein conveyed.
so d other 15% r juz sensitive pricks n probably got d same attitude s d uncaring malaysian in d advert...
btw,d 'uproar' dat d malay girl recieved this year was d same 'uproar' s d chinese girl last year n d chinese guy last 2 years...so wat 'uproar'??
I agree with you that when people start mixing their emotions with this racial thingy, things don’t look that pretty. I’m part Malay/Chinese, and I had my fair share of not so nice experiences from both Chinese and Malay. I’m not inciting anything here, just that I don’t really wanna look at how bad this race thing is, because the reality is IT IS.
We Malaysians are good at one thing that is we simpan our taring, you don’t see people mistreating each other racially, but behind the scene, it does occur. We build invincible walls around us, accumulated through the mindsets of our parents, surroundings, experiences. The bits and pieces that grow along with us results in the coming of subconsciously implanted seeds of racism. The amount of infusion may differ from one individual to another, but heck it is there. This I see the wall as something nearly impossible to break down. Despite all the campaigns and slogans the government may have up their sleeves to unite the people. I may contradict myself here, but I think it’s hard to point the finger at anyone, each and everyone of us may be guilty of being racist at some point in our life, even if the amount was little, but we related what we felt to the races.
I don’t think it’ll be in our generation that the racial divide would be smaller, because the reality doesn’t permit so. So lets look at the bright people, I still go to mamaks for my roti canai, the Indian barber for trims, Malay fisherman of ikan bawal, Chinese uncle for groceries. Can’t you find other instances of how the different kind of people you interact and depend upon? Look upon those and hope that one day it will be for the better.
Somehow or someways, some people can be just so overly 'creative', 'far-sighted' and 'visionary' enough to relate the point of our discussions to matters beyond imagination. It only serves as a problem not when these matters become negative, but when they become derogatory, offensive and has someone or something responsible to blame over.
The LRT advert is a pretty good example of this. And then, somehow these 'creative' and 'far-sighted' people who earlier related the main point of the advert to a matter of racism, suddenly become the most myopic and narrow-minded people in that context.
On the other hand, regarding above discussions on racism and society, agreed. Our various mindsets of various levels, shaped by our upbringing, environment, society and whatnots are finally hidden behind our very masks we wear daily. The thickness levels of our masks, the frequency where we wear them and the irritability level to remove them, also varies individually.
Lastly, with due respect to everyone, I may add a bit more to individuals who are more susceptible to bring up racial hoo-hahs: sensitive and overprotective.
see? its all in the mind. You can show them a painting of a Malay farmer and they will come up with complicated notions of racism and class.....bored minds are constantly in search of stimulants of brain activity.
anyway I've blasted this Chinese guy who received 3 top uni offers on my blog.
Hell, I am chinese too.
sort of like the jews making protests when passion of christ was released.
i say what these people deserve is for it to become self fulfilling.
g3ni3 : All those people were just picking a fight - thats it.
ridz : While it is true that everybody is slightly racist in a way, there are limits for tolerance. Equating some SPM results to a person's race just shows a fanatical hate to the other party.
anonymous : Oh...that's really 'far-sighted' of them alright. They choose to see what no one else sees.
lyn : While what you said about bored minds is true, these guys aren't bored - they are just fucked up.
keng : Joking or not, that is a good point.
metalrage : Yeah, its always the insecure assholes who think that everybody is against them.
yuenli : Ignore? Yes...this is just a vent to release frustration.
stoolx : Most of them were just stupid - Cina Babi - stuffs like that. One of the more creative ones actually spelt out my name V.I.N.C.E.N.T. and came out with a word for each letter. 'C' apparently stands for Cina Bodoh, or something along those lines.
the outcome is a bloody pointless race to talk about who is more racist. (Hey race and race can mean two different things.)