For Rent With Racist Prejudice

FEB 20 — 1 Malaysia or a Malaysian Malaysia.

That’s the choice we’re being offered on a political level which, interestingly enough, are both equally ambiguous. Both promote policies that scream unity regardless of race and religion. But of course, like all mottos, no mention of unity regardless of gender and sexual orientation. The latter being taboo, and the former is more of a punch-line in Parliament where lewd jokes go unpunished.

However, regardless of politics, Malaysians are not as racially integrated as we think. Heck, if anything, the current populous is more towards promoting racial tolerance. We tolerate one another and frankly, such attitudes annoy me.

A few years back, during the whole MyKad conversion exercise, I was peeved when I saw a Chinese guy being harassed by a civil servant for his inability to speak Bahasa Malaysia, and I actually made this part of my dinner conversation with my own ‘political strategy and advisory board’, informally known as my mom and dad.

“How can a citizen of the nation not speak the national language?” was Dad’s standpoint.

“Yes, but they should be more sensitive,” was Mom’s.

Of course, then Dad said something that has been proven true.

“Do you think that they would speak in our language if they were the majority, or in a position of power?”

Now at that time, I was willing to let it slide. However, recent events have made me believe otherwise.

You see, I, like many soon-to-be 27-year-olds in a relationship, was looking for a place to rent. So of course, the two of us went online and started looking for either a room or cheap apartment to rent. The target areas were Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya or even Subang Jaya.

Now before I go any further, my partner and I are both Malaysian Malay. And of course, we were both rather psyched to move out and get a place for ourselves. However, let me quote some of the conditions I’ve seen on rental ads online.

Chinese only. Chinese ‘speaking’ only. Indian only. Malay Muslim female only. Expat only. Malay only. Chinese ‘preferred’. Muslim only. Non-Muslim only.

And of course, my personal favourite, single, non-smoking, Chinese PLU only.

These are just a few of the multiple stress points that drove my blood pressure through the roof. Doesn’t help that it caused me to increase my intake of cigarettes to 3 boxes of 20s a day.

So, fellow Malaysians, whatever the hell your race is, are we truly less racist, or are we just covering up that fact.

We constantly point out the inconsistencies and unfair treatment that the government bestow upon us with their affirmative action quotas. But are we any different by putting ads such as this either online or in the daily newspaper classified sections?

Sadly, we’re not. And even more annoying is the fact that this is blatantly happening with no one giving a damn about it to the point that it’s spread even to the small/medium enterprises in their wanted ads.

What the hell does ‘Chinese speaking only’ have to do with the selling and operating of a mobile phone store or even an Internet service provider kiosk in Subang Parade?

This, in itself, is exactly what Malaysia is. We’re a racist nation.

A ‘nephew’ of mine went for a dinner with a group of Malaysian Chinese friends who spoke Cantonese, and to his surprise being the only Malaysian Malay there, they didn’t even bother to speak in either English or Bahasa Malaysia to keep him in the conversation.

This happens all the time in this country that is supposed to be united yet can’t even bother to include everyone into a conversation, won’t give everyone equal opportunities at work or even in renting a place.

So if the people themselves can’t even bother to change their racist ways, then would the government, being their representatives, change as well?

They’re doing exactly what we’re doing among our fellow men and women.

So all this rhetoric about uniting the masses without racial preference is a dream that cannot and will not be achieved unless the people change themselves. And this is also why parties like Umno thrive. It’s the racial actions that is so unfair and so divisive that make race based parties actually have a following.

Are we ready to legislate a law banning such adverts? Charge them and punish them for their racist, sexist and even religious preferences in tenants and employees? Or are we just going to close one eye and ironically state that ‘Malaysia Boleh’?

So the next time you people think Umno, or MIC or MCA will be doomed to failure because Malaysians are not into racist politics, think again.

Our actions speak otherwise and sadly, this empower them.

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