Friday, September 26, 2008

Ghana: Don't go to Malaysia - Malaysiakini

Malaysia: Not A Country To Go

In the wake of recent serial killings and severe discrimination of the Africans by mainly the Malaysians I wish to advice my fellow Africans who were made to believe that Malaysia is a “humble” destination for foreigners to consider Malaysia as “not a place to go”. Malaysia appeared to be a country of mixed races namely, the Malays, Indians, and the Chinese. One would expect that there should be high degree of racial tolerance. One would also expect that Africans or foreigners in general should be tolerated under normal circumstances. We once heard of our own Kofi Anan urging other countries to emulate Malaysia due to her racial harmony. I wish to tell him and all Africans that “she” cannot be our role model. We should not forget that a country that is racially harmonious must tolerate people from all walks of life. Malaysia is not such a place, this is due to the fact that (1) Africans are regarded as social misfits (2) we are not protected by the law and (3) we don’t have job security.

SOCIAL MISFITS

The African had been and continues to be a “nuisance” in the eyes and minds of the citizens of Malaysia, not excluding the police personnel. Do not be astonished if you realize that the moment they see any black color from Africa he or she is perceived to be a criminal. Their conclusion is that all blacks are criminals. This perception was long ago infused in their minds by the media. The media always portray the negative and the deplorable states as well as the conflict zones of Africa. The youth always refer to us as “Negros”. These very bad remarks ended in the painful death of many Africans in Malaysia. In the recent periods two Nigerians were poisoned in a restaurant, a Yemeni guy lost 3 fingers as he was trying to block a knife that was aimed at his chest, 2 Egyptians were asked by some locals to give whatever they have, when they refused, a fight broke out and all the locals at that area came to fight the Egyptians without knowing the reason!!! Another Egyptian was robbed of RM4000 and beaten up. In Melati Utama, bikers usually rampage the net cafes from time to time with knifes and baseball sticks frightening the people in it and taking whatever they have. These are just very few of the cases.

Let me give you a recent case in Wangsa Maju that has led to the untimely death of an African student from Chad. African undergraduate, HELP University College, Abdel Aziz Hassan Abdraman, 22, (his picture shown above) was brutally murdered just because of his color.

On Saturday, there was a mob attack by some 20 youths wielding metal rods, sticks and knives on 10 African undergraduates in Wangsa Maju which landed in his death and injured the rest, they were unjustly harassed and mocked by the youths for four consecutive days before the attack. The youths even went up to their Tar Villa apartment and demanded money and cigarettes. According to the students and as reported by the Malaysian Newspaper ”Malay Mail” the drama unfolded when three undergraduates were on the way to board the LRT to perform “terawih” prayers (long prayers by the Muslims after they have broken their fasting) at a nearby mosque at 8.30pm.

They were confronted by some 20 youths who were believed to have hurled abuse at them (they called them Negros) and demanded money.

When the trio ignored them and walked away, the youths, carrying switch blades, pursued them and struck one of them on the head.

The students took refuge at the LRT (Train Station) and sought assistance from their African friends living nearby.

Seven of their friends, including Abdel Aziz, went to their aid and together they went back to where the trio was attacked.

Abdel Aziz’s cousin, Abdraman Moussa Mohamat, 23, said: “We asked the youths who were seated at the stalls why they had attacked our friends but they came for us suddenly without saying a word.

“We ran for our lives when they began swinging metal rods, sticks and knives at us. In the fracas, Abdel Aziz was stabbed from the back.”

POLICE CONFIRMATION

The police confirmed that the victims had been regularly ridiculed by the youths who expressed their displeasure at the increasing presence of Africans in the neighbourhood.

BUT WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF THE POLICE?

Sentul district police Chief Assistant Commissioner Zakaria Pagan told Malay Mail that initial investigations revealed that the attack stemmed from the uneasiness of the residents over the behavior (increasing umber of students) of the Africans.

Therefore:

“We believe the youths who attacked the Africans wanted to teach them a lesson to behave themselves in public.”

What a shit?

WHAT ABOUT THE TAXI DRIVERS?

All the taxi drivers categorically refused to pick up the boy when he was injured. Within 15 minutes all the taxis DROVE AWAY without even stopping. It was not a surprise since they always don’t want to pick up blacks. You may be at a taxi station waiting hours while there are taxis available but will refuse to go just because you are a black man.

It is clear in all material respect that Africans are treated like animals and must not live together with “them” in the society. Discrimination we acknowledge is everywhere but not to this extent. I could remember the very first time I arrived in Malaysia, right at the airport people distanced themselves far away from me as I approach them. I could not ask anyone for direction. It was a foreigner who rescued me. In the classroom, Malaysians sit far away from us unless they have no choice. Lecturers themselves who were suppose to be agents of change follow the same suit when marking our papers. We work very hard to achieve excellent results and they try very hard to making sure that we land in futility. They do not want us to outcompete the local students. We thank God, despite all odds we do emerge as the best of all in all.

INSECURITY

The security system in Malaysia is well designed and perfectly carved to protect the Malays. We foreigners have no security. Anytime we have a dispute it always goes against us. Any case reported to the police is discarded if the Malaysian is found to be guilty. “We believe the youths who attacked the Africans wanted to teach them a lesson to behave themselves in public.” You teach us a lesson by killing us? The police records will prove that about 99% of the reported cases were initiated by the Malays. Many were arrested for a crime they did not commit. The only misbehavior as they claim is that we blacks talk loudly thus disturbing them. Therefore, as the number of students increases they feel uneasy.

I urge all prospective students who wish to study here to reconsider their decisions. Malaysia is not a suitable atmosphere for education due to intense discrimination and insecurity. It has the entire physical infrastructure needed to facilitate learning but the student’s mind is constantly occupied by security concerns. Almost every month, if not a week, a student must die like an animal without any concern by the government of Malaysia. The worse of it all is that the African embassies in all these cases voiced not. We did not know before we stepped in. Now you know make a wise decision. Our lives worth nothing in the face of their security personnel. Some of us may not see our families and loved ones in the years to come if still in Malaysia. Some dropped their studies prematurely and went away just to feel secured.

JOB INSECURITY

For those who came here in the name of job and went back home within some days will bear us witness. It is very difficult to secure a job. Once you are through you could be dismissed anytime unnoticed. They don’t just trust foreign workers. Jobs that they consider as demanding, dirty, risky, and dangerous to their lives were those given to foreigners. Examples are working in the petrol shell, shopping malls etc. Just this month, the government came out with a decision to have a zero percent of foreign workers in these areas. Hence, the companies in the mentioned areas were told to terminate the contracts of all foreign workers since the Malaysians are now ready to work. On top of that, all foreign companies in Malaysia are now required to employ only locals with narrow space for the foreigner.

In fact students here face difficulties to getting companies for their industrial training. Not because of our academic inability. We have the potential. We usually turned back to our nations if affordable for the training. Master and PhD students in most cases have no choice than to teach in the primary and Junior high schools. The lucky ones may get senior high schools which otherwise they will not have accepted if at home. Exceptional cases may lead some of them to university level.

In a nutshell, let us not again risk our lives to travel all the way from Africa to Malaysia for education or in search of jobs. Let us stay where our dignity is respected, where our minds find rest, and where our blood will not be shed just because of our color. LET’S LOVE OUR HOME COUNTRY AND WORK TOWARDS MAKING IT A BETTER DESTINATION AS IT HAS ALWAYS BEEEN. STAY IN AFRICA… FOREIGN AFRICAN STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS SHOULD GO BACK TO AFRICA AFTER STUDIES TO SHARE THEIR TALENT.

African in Malaysia qarsumi@yahoo.com

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Look at your country first, your own backyard with ethnic cleansing sequel, prequel and reviews before demonising other country because of some isolated case. Well, we better off without you causing chaos in other people country.

Anonymous said...

I, always knew when they smile at you it was not deep down from the heart...
The Indians are poor, dubious and criminal minded ready to die for their women they can not satisfy...
The Chinese are just whole heartedly wicked and full of ego, all they care about is money and themselves...
And the Malay well they are just confused and lazy, they have not decided on following western culture or the middle east...
That sums up the my Malaysian experience so far and least I forget they all hate each other this underlining hatred is visible in government, schools, malls, and on the streets who ever mentioned they had racial tolerance?...
I cannot wait to finish my masters and leave this hostilities to civilisation if I was pre-warned I would not have made such a grave error, the worst part is they have devised a lovely way of marketing the country so sad!
As for the anonymous comment above...have you ever travelled out of Malaysia to Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Europe and Austrailia, you just sit in your racist safe zone where the government spoon feeds you with loans blinding your eyes from the real life, you are in bondage and the earlier the Malaysians realise it the better it going to be and mind you it is not an isolated case it happens everyday you only read what is interesting for you...
I would not blame some Africans who perpetrate such choas when u have been pushed to the wall for so long the only option is to face the enermy!

Anonymous said...

If what you said true then it's a bad destination to come and god helps our brothers there.Don't worry I'll revenge in my country from these Savages.We have alot of then over here

Anonymous said...

This is not isolated case, it is general case, we know how often it occurs, many of us are carried away by the fact that Malaysia is an islamic country, not knowing that it is just by name, The people are never accomodative. Most of us are very comfortable in our countries and the culture of travelling in search for education to US, UK Europe and Africa has been long existing not because of our own backyard but for international exposer and exchange of ideas.

Anonymous said...

mr or mrs look at ur country first, i am a student in malaysia, presently living in gombak and i know what i face here, when i entered bus, no one is ready to seat near me because they say we blacks smell, this was even said in an international conference by one of their professor last year. no taxi driver is ready to pick you, you pay extra for whatever you want to buy and many others...so what are you saying, you are not here and we here knows better, its not a place to be....just finish your education and get out...if one is lucky to be alive

Anonymous said...

In as much as I try to refrain from generalization, I cannot but agree totally with the main article. In fact, going through it, I felt like reading my own written experiences in Malaysia in the past two years.

RACIAL TENSION IS GLOBAL:
Yes, racial tension is a global challenge. Continuous education and exposure is one of the remedies. Malaysia is not alone in this, other examples can be found in the so-called “Western Countries”. In Vancouver in Canada and also in Australia, the locals are reluctantly complaining over the overbearing life styles of the immigrant Chinese. Furthermore, immigrant Indians are considered threats in Uganda and many other countries in Africa, let alone in Europe and North America. The irony is that, the uninformed members of these two world largest immigrant races (1st-tier - China and India) are themselves intolerant of foreigners in Malaysia.

The 2nd-tier immigrant countries in the world include Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Vietnam, Philippines and Nigeria. Common factors with these countries are large populations’ vis-à-vis economic challenges.

In the “western countries”, the term "race" is highly volatile and usually avoided by learned people. So, we need to give the Asian countries time to evolve and build their own egalitarian society. No race or ethnic nationality is superior to others.

MALAYSIAN CASE STUDY
We foreigners in Malaysia need to continue to exercise patience. Malaysia, like most countries have their own racial or ethnic issues. Some of the Malaysian inhuman treatments of Africans are simply transferred aggression. Due to their prolong suppression by the Malay-dominated government policies such as the ongoing 30-years Affirmative Action, Malaysian Chinese and Indians knowingly or unknowingly extend their grievances to foreigners, particularly Africans. The effrontery and arrogance of some Malays can be understood when you consider the fact that the majority Malays enjoy the affirmative action benefits that rightfully belong to the minorities and indigenous people in Sabah and Sarawak – the “Orang Asli”, or "Original People". This is the reason typical Malays cannot survive outside Malaysia.

SUGGESTIONS FOR AFRICANS
While it is pertinent for Africans in Malaysia and other parts of the world to return home to help in nation-building, we need to organize and equip ourselves with survival strategies during our studies or stay overseas. Every case of unfair treatment should be followed-up to some logical conclusion. The Malaysian government earns a lot of revenue from the tuition and living expenses we pay and yet deprive us of ordinary industrial training while studying, let alone a job, unlike it is in most other countries. To make matters worse, the uninformed Malaysian touts form gangs to attack us at will. They had better be informed that a typical reformed confraternity student from an African university or a former civil war soldier in Africa, now studying in Malaysia is far more deadly than the worst of Malaysia highway robbers. If Malaysia (government, police and people) continue to remain bias, we will soon begin to teach them our own lessons –an eye for an eye.

Anonymous said...

In as much as I try to refrain from generalization, I cannot but agree totally with the main article. In fact, going through it, I felt like reading my own written experiences in Malaysia in the past two years.

RACIAL TENSION IS GLOBAL:
Yes, racial tension is a global challenge. Continuous education and exposure is one of the remedies. Malaysia is not alone in this, other examples can be found in the so-called “Western Countries”. In Vancouver in Canada and also in Australia, the locals are reluctantly complaining over the overbearing life styles of the immigrant Chinese. Furthermore, immigrant Indians are considered threats in Uganda and many other countries in Africa, let alone in Europe and North America. The irony is that, the uninformed members of these two world largest immigrant races (1st-tier - China and India) are themselves intolerant of foreigners in Malaysia.

The 2nd-tier immigrant countries in the world include Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Vietnam, Philippines and Nigeria. Common factors with these countries are large populations’ vis-à-vis economic challenges.

In the “western countries”, the term "race" is highly volatile and usually avoided by learned people. So, we need to give the Asian countries time to evolve and build their own egalitarian society. No race or ethnic nationality is superior to others.

MALAYSIAN CASE STUDY
We foreigners in Malaysia need to continue to exercise patience. Malaysia, like most countries have their own racial or ethnic issues. Some of the Malaysian inhuman treatments of Africans are simply transferred aggression. Due to their prolong suppression by the Malay-dominated government policies such as the ongoing 30-years Affirmative Action, Malaysian Chinese and Indians knowingly or unknowingly extend their grievances to foreigners, particularly Africans. The effrontery and arrogance of some Malays can be understood when you consider the fact that the majority Malays enjoy the affirmative action benefits that rightfully belong to the minorities and indigenous people in Sabah and Sarawak – the “Orang Asli”, or "Original People". This is the reason typical Malays cannot survive outside Malaysia.

SUGGESTIONS FOR AFRICANS
While it is pertinent for Africans in Malaysia and other parts of the world to return home to help in nation-building, we need to organize and equip ourselves with survival strategies during our studies or stay overseas. Every case of unfair treatment should be followed-up to some logical conclusion. The Malaysian government earns a lot of revenue from the tuition and living expenses we pay and yet deprive us of ordinary industrial training while studying, let alone a job, unlike it is in most other countries. To make matters worse, the uninformed Malaysian touts form gangs to attack us at will. They had better be informed that a typical reformed confraternity student from an African university or a former civil war soldier in Africa, now studying in Malaysia is far more deadly than the worst of Malaysia highway robbers. If Malaysia (government, police and people) continue to remain bias, we will soon begin to teach them our own lessons –an eye for an eye.

Anonymous said...

As a foreign student in Malaysia, I have usually been treated with respect for the past 4 years.
There exists a degree of racial discrimination in Malaysia but that is not the reason for such displays of violence as mentioned by the writer.
The fast flow of foreign students to Malaysia in a few years has left some Malaysians unadjusted to the vast cultural differences.
This article is biased and emotional!

Anonymous said...

It's indeed regretable that racial discimination is still an issue in Malaysia, a predominantly muslim country that should ordinarily know the gravity of the offence under Islam. I think we need to prod our Governments to use diplomatic channels to bring to an early end the despicable events in Malaysia and indeed many other nations that accomodate such bizzare happenings.
Meanwhile may I appealto all and sundry to adopt a more civil and dignified approach when reacting over the episode so as to refrain from swifing condemnation of innocent people who otherwise are equally pained by such dastardarly events.
Lastly, may I suggest to AU, African Governments and ofcourse the Government of Chad to protest the cold blooded murder and demand for full compensation else they consider,among other measures,serverance of diplomatic and trade relations with the Malaysian nation.