My two-cent: Racism in Malaysia

Were we intended to be racist?

The people of Malaysia, is separated by many factor, of one is race. When filling any forms, there is always the requirement to state the race; either Malay, Indian or Chinese. The country is multicultural, multiracial, with over different languages and beliefs. However different each individual is or is brought up from, as a country that met independence over 50 years ago, it is shocking that the country does not refer to the people as only one, a Malaysian.

With so much diversity in a country, often racial issues causes a disruption in peace. The unforgettable May 13, was one irreversible event that sadly occur in this country (Vengadesan, 2008). Riots and death turned sadness into hatred causing countryman to further acknowledge their differences in race and beliefs, which ultimately led to distrust among Malaysians. Even today, Malaysians continue to act towards racial discrimination knowing it is hurtful. The infamous Kiki that went in rage over a minor car accident (Malaymail, 2014). Not forgetting the disrespectful headline by a national media, Utusan Malaysia that targeted the Chinese society (Sipalan, 2013). How it is that racism can be openly spurted without thought?

Looking further into racism among countryman, racism towards foreigners continues as well. Apart from locals who were born and lived here, the country is filled with foreigners from all over the world, living and working here (Yee, 2015). However tough the job is, these people work from construction towards house maid, adapting by taking up different language just to be able to send their wages home. Yet, despite their attribution towards this country, abuse (News, 2010) and torture (Jayamanogaran, 2014) occurs on them. How it is that racism is viciously attacked onto the people that contribute to the making of this country?

Can the people truly embrace modernization, when racism still exist among the people?

As a change, the country should embrace the notion of a lived experience as said by Sukhmani Khorana on “On being an ‘ethnic killjoy’ in the Asian Century” (Khorana, 2013). Rather than using the Malays, Chinese and Indian as an exchange commodity to define Malaysia as a multiracial country, or using it as a political token for economic benefits. The people should start accepting differences in culture, beliefs and background, to start living as one. Only then can the country truly modernize and respect others.

A true Malaysian, regardless of our skin color or mother tongue. A true Malaysian, respecting and accepting each other. A true Malaysian, and no longer a racist. That should be Malaysia.

Only in darkness, will people see the light that is unity. Don’t you think so?

References

Jayamanogaran, T., 2014. Abused maid recounts eight months in torture ‘chamber’. [Online]
Available at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/abused-maid-recounts-eight-months-in-torture-chamber
[Accessed 15 6 2015].

Khorana, S., 2013. On being an ‘ethnic killjoy’ in the Asian Century. [Online]
Available at: http://theconversation.com/on-being-an-ethnic-killjoy-in-the-asian-century-19833
[Accessed 15 6 2015].

Malaymail, 2014. Clip of woman road raging at elderly man blows up online. [Online]
Available at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/clip-of-woman-road-raging-at-elderly-man-blows-up-online
[Accessed 15 6 2015].

News, B., 2010. Malaysia accused of migrant worker abuse by Amnesty. [Online]
Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8584391.stm
[Accessed 15 6 2015].

Sipalan, J., 2013. Utusan revisits ‘Apa Lagi Cina Mahu?’, says Chinese ungrateful. [Online]
Available at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/utusan-revisits-apa-lagi-cina-mahu-says-chinese-ungrateful
[Accessed 15 6 2015].

Vengadesan, M., 2008. May 13, 1969: Truth and reconciliation. [Online]
Available at: http://www.thestar.com.my/story/?file=%2F2008%2F5%2F11%2Flifefocus%2F21181089
[Accessed 15 6 2015].

Yee, H. L., 2015. Illegal Workers In Malaysia: How Much Do You Know About The Dilemma?. [Online]
Available at: http://says.com/my/news/illegal-workers-in-malaysia-how-much-do-you-know-about-the-dilemma
[Accessed 15 6 2015].

It’s Her Fault… But Why Not His?

When we think about ourselves, it is evident that often, what makes us female or male is based on the characteristics we have. Females are often associated with weaker traits. Loving, patience, have compassion, affectionate and be submissive are something which we often see the media portrays. Even elderlies advised their female offspring’s to be more ladylike, in which some traits are to be polite, gentle, soft-spoken and so forth. Men however are often associated with stronger traits such as having power, strength, intelligence, discipline and confidence. Often, we hear lines such as “don’t be a girl” or “that is such as girly thing to say/do”, yet, what makes it so wrong to behave or be a female?

Stereotypes should not begin at a young age, it will cause discrimination don’t you think?

Living in our society today, children growing up are adhere to a set of gender roles with fixed concepts about what is a “boyish” or “girlish” thing to do. Children are born into a society where feminine and masculinity is set upon each female and male to follow as they grow. Those that comply are deem as a good child while those that do not are labeled as social outcast. This mindset that is establish by society has affected the people to conform and confine within this boundaries, the social norm they call it. A potential threat is thus seen as one when any child is not in compliance with this frame of mind.

Looking at the happenings today, it can be seen that woman are still seen as the weaker group and should be restricted in order to avoid misfortune. This is significant in the case of India. India has been in the spotlight since the 2012 rape and death of a young physiotherapy student on a public bus (Khan, et al., 2013). Even before, the 2011 book titled “Why loiter? : Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets” disputes onto why women’s right into public space is of concern (Krishnan & Sengupta, 2013). The incident of Pandey and Shakti Mills gang rape (Staff, 2014) demonstrates how a female, even in the presence of a companion is vulnerable to the danger of men. The book demonstrates how even in a public space women are exposed to danger, implying that women should be responsible not to provoke by strolling the streets. A public space should be both available to male and female regardless of gender issues. It is free, and should be open to both genders without discrimination and concerns of safety.

In short, these happenings further demonstrate a question of why is it that women are the ones to blame for the rape, the murder, and the injustice? Why should women confine to the fix concept since young to avoid getting into danger? Most importantly, it should be highlight that both men and women, bears the responsibility of their actions regardless of gender yet why in society this concept is not rightfully applicable?

Men and Women are both equal, yet this image exist in the world today. Don’t you think it is wrong?

References

Khan, S., Phadke, S. & Ranade, S., 2013. Where Can We Have Some Fun?. [Online]
Available at: http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/where-can-we-have-some-fun-/1207755/
[Accessed 1 6 2015].

Krishnan, K. & Sengupta, S., 2013. The Anti-Rape Movement -The Political Vision of ‘Naari Mukti/Sabki Mukti’: Kavita Krishnan. [Online]
Available at: http://kafila.org/2013/12/15/the-anti-rape-movement-the-political-vision-of-naari-muktisabki-mukti-kavita-krishnan/
[Accessed 1 6 2015].

Staff, F., 2014. Shakti Mills gangrape: State takes care of high profile survivors, ignores the poor. [Online]
Available at: http://www.firstpost.com/living/shakti-mills-gangrape-state-treated-two-different-victims-1627605.html
[Accessed 1 6 2015].

Creative Klang City

  When I was a kid, growing up in Klang was exciting. It was undeniably the most comforting memory I had. Early in the morning, the air was fresher and sound of birds chirping can be heard. In the afternoon, housewives would be cooking in the kitchen and the scent of curry would linger in the air. When evening came, kids would be running outside playing catch or cycling up and down the street. Then in the night when the moon is up, family chatters and the sound of drama series playing on television can be heard throughout my neighborhood. My suburban neighborhood was the safest and happiest place I know.

Today, Klang is no longer the same as it used to be. My hometown, is currently filled with almost a million people, multiracial and of different nationality, it is no longer the same as it was 10 years ago. The city without a doubt developed well over the years. As the time goes, so does the infrastructures within. High rise building started to increase, high ways begun to cut across town and cars of all kinds started pouring in. Ironically, as all these man-made structures grew, natural resources like trees became increasingly hard to spot. The air was no longer fresh, scent of cooking in housing areas no longer lingers and kids nowadays are inside than out. More so, as cars and people increase, kids no longer are safe to play outside as crime is rising today (M.Mageswari, 2015).

Is it possible that as the city grow well and prosper, the basic aspect of a city such as safety and comfort are sacrifice for the sake of richness and fortune?

Coming to terms, Klang can be labeled as a creative city. It was learnt that in general debate, this term is associated with neoliberal globalization strategies (Pratt, 2011). It is how and what ways a city can be sold either its people or culture to attract investments. Looking at Klang, the increase development of houses, hotels, shop lots and highways are definite  (Muthiah, 2014). Yet, the people of different cultural background and heritage remains unchanged. Even the food are well known with Bak Kut Teh, a Chinese cuisine of meaty pork in broth infused with spices and herbs (Tan, 2015) and Banana Leaf Rice, an Indian cuisine of rice and vegies served on banana leaf   (Lifestyle, 2014) as one of the must eat in Klang. Both the development and the culture of Klang caters to what creative city is meant for, to provide a spot for tourist to travel at the same time maintaining the cultural aspect of the city.

Hence, with Klang growing by day, safety should be a main concern. With the town transforming into a creative city that caters to tourist, even local residents should be ensured that it is a place that is safe to visit or stay. What do you think?

Is this right?

References

Lifestyle, S., 2014. Banana leaf rice: Hidden gems in the Klang Valley. [Online]
Available at: http://www.thestar.com.my/Lifestyle/Food/Features/2014/08/06/Star-Peoples-Food-Awards-Banana-leaf-rice/ [Accessed 3 6 2015].

M.Mageswari, 2015. Sex abuse against kids rising in Malaysia. [Online]
Available at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/crime/sex-abuse-against-kids-rising-malaysia [Accessed 1 6 2015].

Muthiah, W., 2014. The royal town of Selangor. [Online]
Available at: http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/12/11/The-royal-town-of-Selangor/ [Accessed 1 6 2015].

Pratt, A., 2011. The Cultural Contradictions of the Creative City. City, Culture and Society , 2(3), p. 123–130.

Tan, J., 2015. Under-the-radar food finds in Klang. [Online]
Available at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/eat-drink/article/under-the-radar-food-finds-in-klang [Accessed 3 6 2015].

Journalism Vs Development In Technology

The advancement of communication technology, such as the internet which has allowed quick and easy access to news and information online has potentially affected traditional media. The ability to report instantly, as well as technology convergence in gadgets that has allowed photos and videos to be spread almost immediately is something which traditional media largely lacks. Despite that, traditional media and the advance technology both aims for the same thing in journalism, which is to report and inform.

In this digital era, research has suggest that technology impacted journalism in terms of performance, content, structure and relationship of the organization and public (Pavlik, 2000). Being said, innovation is not always a threat that can’t be fixed. John V Pavlik suggested four principles that can act as a guideline for ensuring the innovation of journalism in news media continued to be viable in todays’ technology (Pavlik J. V., 2013).

Firstly, research is vital in any business. As reliability is key to news reporting, the need to evaluate all sources ensure that factual news and information are able to spread among channels especially online. Secondly, the freedom of speech must be assured. To express and devote loyally to news reporting requires the need to write freely without worrying about censorship or harassment. Thus, allowing news media to perform with ease and the public to feel valued. Thirdly, it is dedication to pursuing the truth. Often, the truth can cause organization, and sometimes government to plummet in disgrace. However, news reporting should focus on maintaining trust as that is the job of a journalist. Lastly, it is ethics. As new technology arises, boundaries should not be crossed such as hacking into phone or gadgets of individuals in the name of truthfulness. Privacy policies must be imposed to further ensure trust and confidence into the people.

The principles serves as a guideline to ensure that journalism is not lost and overpowered due to technology. Advancement only meant that the world continue to evolve to strive for effectiveness and efficiency. Thus, in journalism, reporting onto mainstream media and postings on social media is both valued and needed. What do you think?

Do you think Innovation and Journalism could co-exist peacefully?

Reference

Pavlik, J. (2000). The Impact of Technology on Journalism. Journalism Studies, 229-237.

Pavlik, J. V. (2013). Innovation and The Future Of Journalism. Digital Journalism, 181-193.

Public Sphere: The Blurred Line

The internet has always been a platform where people communicate with each other. In terms of how the media reports headlines onto their websites, to friends conversing over Facebook chat, this channel is likely a new platform where information is sent and received effectively. Over the course of years, it has affected society’s behavior in communication. In short, the public sphere and private space today is blurred due to the constant changing of discourse through the internet.

An actual public sphere, according to Habermas, is groups of only middle class males on par with aristocrats in the 18th century that comes together at a physical space to discuss about issues (McGuigan, 2005). The ideal public sphere however is of both males and females that aims for equality and freedom of expression which was not present during the 18th century. Nevertheless, a public sphere is a concept of an ideal space for the occurrence of a group of people exchanging ideas and information. In addition, the public sphere derives from private issues that moves into a public domain. With that being said, a private space is much more personal that the public sphere. However, how does one distinguish both of this evidently today when the private space has shrunk dramatically with the advancing of internet?

Looking at the case of infamous Vivian Lee and Alvin Tan (Singapore, 2012), a couple who posted pictures and videos on their nudity, came under fire with the officials. It was found that initially, these photos were for private use but was later uploaded onto their personal sites for whoever that came across. Personally, it is hard to understand how a personal matter came to light when it was meant for mere self-expression. Why did such personal matter entered the public sphere with such harsh discourse?

Everything considered, it is clear that the internet as a platform has alter the way people communicate. It has also affected how the public sphere and a private space is distinguish with the presence of the internet, which the blurred line is still unclear.

What do you think?

Can the Private Information Online Private or Has it Turn Public?

Reference

McGuigan, J. (2005). The cultural public sphere. Cultural Studies, 427-443.

Singapore, S. (2012, 11 2). Alvin And Vivian Sumptuous Erotica. Retrieved from My Fat Pocket: http://www.myfatpocket.com/gossips/alvin-and-vivian-sumptuous-erotica.html

Is Social Media Causing Vanity?

  In the new media today, communication between individuals have evolve drastically. Using social media, people are able to communicate with one and other through posting of messages, uploading photos and videos. With a click of a finger, each one is able to know what the other is saying, doing, living. Social media has given convenience, but at the same time it has affected the way people express themselves.

One way is through selfies. According to Jerry Saltz (Saltz, 2014) the era of selfie is here. Selfies are self-portrait taken with a smart phone device that are spontaneous and unplanned, which means that if a person felt like taking a selfie, it could be done without a hassle. Also, Vlogs (Video-logs) are another way of people showing what they do or how they look like to whoever wants to. It allows people to record themselves and let others view, share and comment on the video. With selfies and vlogs, deeply personal photos and videos are shared without concern of how others would react to it. Michael Welsh stated that vlogs could stimulate people to show who they really are (Welsh, 2009). However, is who they are on camera real matters or what we see of them matters more? Perhaps to better understand this, is showing off a million dollar car vain, or is it vain because we assume it is, as we generally conform to social norm?

The truth is, social media attracts narcissistic people who wants to show off their glorious lifestyle with constant bombarding of selfies on Instagram and videos showing their luxurious day off on a yacht. On the other hand, there is those who wants to keep up or compete with others as pressure of social hierarchy causes them to achieve an impractical image. Therefore, are these people vain? Or are they just drawn into a social media delusion that the others’ lives is the life they need? What do you think?

Food for thought: Does Social Media really changed the way we communicate with one another as seen in the comic?

References

Saltz, J. (2014, 1 26). Art at Arm’s Length: A History of the Selfie. Retrieved from Vulture: http://www.vulture.com/2014/01/history-of-the-selfie.html?mid=twitter_nymag&utm_content=buffer18f61&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Welsh, M. (2009). YouTube and You: Experiences of Self-Awareness in the Context Collapse of the Recording Webcam. EME, 19-34.