Thursday, 11 December 2008

Why Do Malaysians Discriminate Africans?

I was reading this newspaper article in The Star today: Hostile reception pushes Bostwanian students to the brink of suicide.

And this evening I saw with my own eyes discrimination against Africans.

I was queuing for a cab at the Ampang LRT station. There were two African guys who were also in queue a few places in front of me.

Many taxis came and picked up passengers. When it was the African guys' turn, the driver drove by slowly, took a look at them and drove off. Those poor guys could only look helplessly as the cab drove off. Luckily the next cab picked them up.

This was the first time I'm seeing discrimination happen in front of my eyes.

These blatant discriminations against Africans have gotten quite rampant these days, especially with the increasing number of African students in KL.

Now, Malaysia being a multiracial country has accepted many foreign workers like the folks from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam Myanmar, Nepal, etc. Apart from foreign workers, we've also gotten used to the rising number of folks from South Korea and the Middle East.

We have gotten so used to all these foreigners that we don’t bat an eyelid when we see them on the bus or at the mamak stall. We have accepted them as part of our society.

Of cause there have been cases of discrimination against these foreign workers, but these are isolated cases, and not so deliberate compared to discrimination against the Africans.

The question is why are Malaysians able to accept other foreigners but blatantly discriminate the Africans? Is it because of the way the Africans look? Or the way they talk?

As a frequent cab user, let me share with you two stories involving Africans told to me by the cab drivers:

  • One driver picked up a group of Africans. After dropping them off at their destination, his cellphone was missing.
  • Another driver told this African guy he picked up to get out of his cab because the guy was kurang ajar (misbehaved). After reaching the destination, the guy asked the driver to go to another destination instead. After the third change in destination, the driver lost his cool and told the guy to get out of the cab.

I’ve also encountered and heard other stories like these:

  • I was sitting in the bus when this African guy shouted "mother fu*ker" in a friendly gesture at his friend who got off the bus. His voice was deep and loud, almost shattered my eardrums.
  • A girl got molested by a group of African guys in my apartment lift. They gained access into the apartment compound by following their friends who were staying there.
  • A group of African guys observed the girls at the apartment and where they lived. After a report made by girls claiming that these guys were knocking at their doors to get to know them, the building management decided to ban all Africans from entering the compound unless they are staying there.

The stories I've shared are only a handful in the numerous negative cases about these Africans. There are numerous others like the black money and internet scandal. Maybe the culprits only come from certain African countries but for Malaysians, all Africans are the same cause they look the same.

After all these incidences, it's not a wonder why Malaysians are discriminating the Africans. It could be a case of cultural differences, but many Malaysians see the Africans as troublemakers out to do no good. And Malaysians are hostile towards them because of their intolerable behaviours.

I’m sure there’re many genuine and good Africans in KL, but the bad ones outnumber them. This is truly a case of one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch.


Salt N Turmeric said...

Bad ppl comes in all shapes and color and in cases of those african ppl in Msia, most of them acts like thugs and a few good ones would have to share the results. Lebih kurang macam case maids lah.

Julie Lim said...

Salt N Turmeric - Yes, sometimes kasihan the good ones cause they are discriminated for something that is not their fault. But what to do ...

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