SO yesterday was Malaysia Day. Unfortunately what dominated the headlines yesterday and today was the red shirt rally that saw several bouts of violence break out as well as many racial slurs and even taunts against the media.
Frankly, racism in Malaysia does not anger me any more. The years of being exposed to how our politics intertwines with race and religion have left a permanent sour taste in my mouth, but that is about it.
So yesterday’s racist rally was good for laughs rather than fits of rage.
A rally with so many daft objectives would attract daft behavior and statements. So when terms like “Cina babi” and “Keling” were uttered during a rally supported by Umno ministers, it would be rather foolish to be angry at them.
Action should be taken when going to the polls.
Today, it was reported that Umno man Datuk Jamal Md Yunos said the words “Cina babi” was not a slur as Chinese consume pork.
Jamal, the Sungai Besar Umno division chief, said the word “babi” was not a sensitive word for the Chinese but is for the Malays.
Let me then ask Jamal if he would be comfortable if we associated his race with chicken or beef or laziness. I wouldn’t because that would be equally laughable.
There were some heartfelt messages left on social media, from people who were utterly disappointed by these remarks, even more so that it was uttered on Malaysia Day, a day that should espouse unity instead of racial slurs.
One Sally Yeo put this up as a Facebook status:
“It’s Malaysia Day today. We should be celebrating our differences in unity. Instead we have people crying, this is our land, our ancestors were the ones who built this land & home together!”
“I tell everyone I see I am a Malaysian, I fill in forms proudly stating “Malaysian” as my nationality. I have been sidelined for university entrance because I am of Chinese origin.”
She went on to admit she was hurt by the derogatory terms and questioned as to why she was a “pendatang” (immigrant) when her parents and family were born in Malaysia. Or a “Cina Komunis” (Communist Chinese) or “Cina babi” (Chinese swine)
“I am shattered. What will my children and their children’s future hold for them in our own homeland? I am disillusioned,” she wrote.
Some Malaysians are extremely hurt and the rest are just numb. The sad thing is people are so used to this sort of racial provocation when it comes to political gain, but for how long can we protect the stupidity of it?
While the world is debating about minimum wage, climate change, refugee and immigrant issues, world economy, sadly Malaysians are going to the streets to dispute one race while glorifying another.
What is wrong with us?