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Religious Discrimination in Malaysia: Hindus Most Affected, Survey Of 3,238 Reveals

Religious Discrimination in Malaysia: Hindus Most Affected, Survey Of 3,238 Reveals

A significant finding from the ‘State of Discrimination Survey 2023’ reveals that the Gen Z demographic faced the highest level of discrimination, particularly related to ethnicity.

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Discrimination involves unfair treatment based on factors like religion, ethnicity, economic status, or gender. Regrettably, it’s a familiar issue in our nation.

A recent survey by Architects of Diversity (AOD) targeted 3,238 respondents aged 18 and above. Its objective was to provide foundational insights into the quantitative aspects of discrimination in Malaysia, especially concerning various identities like ethnicity and religion.

The survey, known as the ‘State of Discrimination Survey 2023’, discloses that 64% of respondents encountered some form of discrimination within the past year. This discrimination was associated with economic status (38%), age (33%), and ethnicity (32%).

Discrimination faced by respondents based on their identities. (Source: AOD)

Among these cases, 43% of respondents aged 18 to 24 (Gen Z cohort) reported experiencing discrimination linked to ethnicity, skin colour, culture, traditions, and native language or dialect.

In contrast, 34% of respondents aged 25 to 39, 23% aged 40 to 59, and only 2% aged over 60 felt similarly.

According to the survey, most instances of discrimination were encountered on social media (32%), during job applications (30%), and at the workplace (29%).

Hindus and the Indian Community Face the Most Religious Discrimination

When comparing religions, a higher percentage of Hindus (40%) reported experiencing religious discrimination compared to Christians (26%), Buddhists (22%), and Muslims (20%).

Simultaneously, the Indian community (60%) experienced the most discrimination related to salary, followed by Malays (56%), other Bumiputeras (51%), and Chinese (41%).

The Indian community also reported a higher incidence of discrimination compared to others when applying for jobs (51%), searching for housing (35%), and interacting with the police (21%).

Only 19% of Respondents Have Not Experienced Any Form of Discrimination

Unfortunately, only approximately 19% of respondents claimed they had never encountered discrimination, while 7% were uncertain about their experiences.

In May of the previous year, The Deloitte Global 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey found that 70% of Gen Z and 61% of millennials had faced disruptions and microaggressions at their workplaces over the past year.

The most frequently reported disruptions included aggressive emails or other forms of communication, repetitive derogatory comments based on gender, and unwarranted physical contact in the workplace.

AOD’s findings also indicated that 45% of respondents were somewhat or very satisfied with the government’s initiatives aimed at addressing discrimination issues, while 40% of respondents expressed some degree of dissatisfaction with these efforts.

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