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A Non-Malay View: “Reverse Discrimination - Why The Dec 08 Peaceful Assembly Is Important For The Malaysia

By Wong Jae Senn

When blacks in America say they're proud of Black Panther, people cheer that as a sign of empowerment and diversity. But if the whites cheer a macho white male hero these days, they will be slammed for supporting "toxic masculinity", "white privilege", and they will be called racists, rednecks, etc.

This is an example of reverse discrimination.

Similarly, when the non-Malays gather in large groups for rallies, when they openly curse and swear at the Sultans and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, when they demand for "equal rights" with them being more equal than the majority, they say this is part of civil rights; it's freedom of speech; it's fighting for rights and justice.

When the Malays get spooked with every area of their dominance taken away from them; when they exhibit anxiety upon seeing their culture, religion and race being belittled and insulted; and when they gather as a sign of solidarity with one another, or if they gather to show support for their preferred leaders who are not favored by the non-Malays; they will be labeled as racists, as narrow-minded, as village bumpkins, backwards, etc.

This, too, is an example of reverse discrimination.

When the Malays are worried about affirmative action being stopped and their special rights being taken away from them due to the urban-rural gap which is still quite large, some non-Malays will say that they're supporting Apartheid.

That's wrong. Apartheid, in the South African sense, was when the small minority of Whites dominated over the majority native population of Blacks.

When the non-Malays dominate the political arena, after we have already dominated the education and economic arenas, and have enough political power to decide what happens to the Malays, that's when something resembling Apartheid comes into fruition.

Some say that parts of the African-American community in the United States have a persistent victim mentality, or an unfounded sense of victimhood, because they're living in a country where they have far more safety, opportunities and rights than they do back in the land of their ancestors, but the ghetto-dwellers, hoodrats and gangbangers do not make good on these opportunities and instead indulge in crime, drugs and murder.

When these African-American criminals get shot at by the cops, they will claim that they're victims of a racist system, that they're second-class citizens. However, the sections of their community that do well will often get insulted by the hoodrats with names like "Uncle Tom", "House N*gger" and other such epithets.

In Malaysia, non-Malays have opportunities and rights that our diaspora hardly have anywhere else in the world besides Malaysia and Singapore. Vernacular education schools, vernacular-language radio and TV stations, vernacular-language prime time news and programs on national TV.. these are privileges that we can't find anywhere else. The private sector is dominated by non-Malays to the point where some companies can refuse hiring Malays. There are non-Malays who can live cradle to the grave in their tiny little ghetto without ever learning to speak the national language or mingling with another race besides their own.

But still, we complain about being "second-class citizens" and that we have no rights. Some have gone as far as perpetuating the myth that we have to embrace Islam and "become Malay" in order to get a shot to rise and excel in this country.

This is Malaysia's version of victim mentality. We, the non-Malays, have it extremely good in this country compared to most other places in the world, but we complain that we're second-class citizens with no rights.

So, who are the racists, really? And who are the victims?

This is a key part of the race and rights question that must be addressed. The anti-ICERD rally that will be held on Saturday is not a gathering of extremists, racists and bigots. It's a gathering of disillusioned Malay-Muslims who see that their culture and religion are increasingly being mocked by the liberals and republicans. It's a gathering of people who do not want to see our Constitutional monarchy and social contract being questioned and revised in any way. It's a gathering of mostly Malay-Muslims who are fed-up at what they see as the growing arrogance and intolerance of the non-Malays towards Malay sentiment and the traditional conservative Malay way of life.

As long as we are unable to accept and acknowledge their right to voice their concerns and anxiety by using ICERD as a trigger for an assembly of solidarity, as long as we apply double-standards towards freedom of expression and freedom of assembly to these folks just because we don't agree with them, we are just pushing the majority further and further into a tiny corner while expecting them to not explode.

We have to remember one thing - we, the non-Malays, have everything to lose if we do not find ways to exist with the Malays collaboratively; if we do not stand down from our antagonistic way of engaging the worried ones, the anxious ones, the offended ones. The Malays and Bumiputras will constitute approximately 75% of this country's population in 20 years' time.

Like it or not, we will have to work with them, not against them.

We will have to work with the majority of them, not a tiny "open minded" minority that we want to work with just because they are "less-Malay".

We will have to reassure them that we're in it together for the long run, not telling them that it's the survival of the fittest (and most ruthless).

Amidst all the fear-mongering that's being pushed out about the 812 rally and the partial-ridicule surrounding the counter-rally that is being done so-called for Human Rights, do we want to surrender to the divide-and-conquer narrative and fear this movement? Or do we want to be curious about it, engage it, take a look at it without judgment, and let them know that their voices can be heard and will be heard?

Wong Jae Senn works in a Canadian company in the telecommunication space and he supports BeNAR in its fight for Truth and Justice.”
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