Today, as our beloved Malaysia struggles to combat a global pandemic that has taken the lives of 6,385 Malaysians and have put millions out of work, we are facing another pandemic which is an escalation of racial discrimination in Malaysia’s labour force.
Malaysia prides itself as a multi-racial country, but seems to be contributing to the country’s alarmingly high young unemployment rate. According to a research done by the Centre of Governance and Political Studies (Cent-GPS) titled “Racism in Recruitment: A Study on Racial Bias for Entry Level Jobs in Malaysia,” ethnic-Chinese fresh graduates were more likely than other races to be called for job interviews in the business and finance sectors, even when all other factors were equal.
Indexmundi, the Racial Discrimination Survey has ranked Malaysia as the second most racist country among the rest of 76 countries in the world.
Who is being affected the most in the 21st century Malaysia?
Certainly, the Malaysian Indians are being affected the most and they have been getting such cold shoulders over the years. It’s saddening to see the authorities not being attentive on this issue to date.
A recent issue blew up on social media platforms Instagram and Twitter after a Malaysian citizen shared an awful experience he went through while seeking a job at an A&W restaurant.
Check out the Instagram post below:
The A&W restaurant has landed in hot water after Malaysian netizens came together by raising their dissatisfaction towards the said employer.
“Sir, Asyraf tak nak India”.
A part of me wonders, how long is this going to go on?
The minority suffers from every nook and corner as some have lost jobs or been furloughed during the pandemic. Like it or not, this kind of discrimination is impossible to get rid of in our country as it has been deep-rooted in the minds of the racists out there to not employ a certain race.
I still remember the controversial death of George Floyd in the hands of police enforcement on May 25th, 2020, which prompted outrage and protests across the United States, and with people from other nations and countries coming together in voicing their support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement via social media as well.
Surprisingly, Malaysians did not remain silent either, they participated in the condemnation of the discriminatory policies in the United States that discriminate against African Americans and minority groups including Asian Americans and Asians living and working in the US.
Well my question to fellow Malaysians, if we can manifest all our energies to fight racial discrimination for other countries, why not we do the same for our nation?
Certain people continue and do have time to criticise other countries on their discrimination acts and policies, yet in the blink of an eye, we are also part of the discrimination.
Let’s delve into Malaysia’s Labor Legislation which was implemented by our beloved government:
In Malaysia, Article 8 is the cornerstone of Constitutional protection of the rights to equality and non-discrimination. Article 8(1) states that: “All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.
- 589 Article 8(2) states that there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the grounds of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in an administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment.
- 590 Article 8(2) offers a limited protection from discrimination, in terms of the types of individuals which it seeks to protect, and the scope of protection it offers to those it does protect.
As cases of discrimination continue to rise in the country especially amid a pandemic, the law is certainly not being enforced. It’s just there, merely existing. Being the minority in Malaysia, they are not seeking any preferential privileges or protection. The minorities request to not be persecuted or discriminated against based on our racial differences.
It’s important to bear in mind that our diversity should complement rather than contradict one another. The world would be a better place to live if people express love, understanding, patience, and tolerance towards each other.