Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Are there any Malays in the audience?

Undoubtedly, many Singaporeans have seen the above message. It is doing the rounds on social media.

Am I alone in believing the message is offensive? And I am not even Malay.

"Do not provoke the Malays people."

I guess it is fine to provoke Malays in normal times but not these days. However, if one feels aggressive then go ahead and provoke the Chinese. It seems they will not react to unnecessary provocations!

"Be friendly and keep a distance from them [Malays]."

If one happens to be a Malay Singaporean (odds are about one in seven) planning to visit family in Malaysia to celebrate Hari Raya, cancel your visit immediately. There is no telling what these fanatics might do – best to just stay at home and spread rumours instead!

"Malays are string [stirring] members and are planning a rampage to slaughter the Chinese becos of the LowYat incident."

So if you happen to be a 'normal' [aka non-Malay] Singaporean don't visit JB or any other part of Malaysia during the coming long weekend. It's not violent crime that should worry us; it's the possibility of being slaughtered for being Chinese.

I am normally not one to give credence to conspiracy theories. However, even if the message is well intentioned - which I suspect is not the case - it is alarmist, racist and certainly falls prey to negative stereotyping. It may create ill-will among Singaporeans.

Perhaps I have yet to come to terms with being a minority living in a Chinese majority (multi-racial) Republic? Or perhaps I am simply overreacting to an otherwise innocent message?
Imran is a business and management consultant. Through his work at Deodar Advisors and the Deodar Diagnostic, Imran improves profits of businesses operating in Singapore and the region. He can be reached at