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Contemporary Malaysian Issues - Racial Unity

Essay by   •  January 13, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  2,110 Words (9 Pages)  •  175 Views

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Page 1 of 9



  • Guideline of Preparation        2
  • Introduction        3
  • Segment        4 - 5
  • Review of Point        6 - 8
  • Personal Experiences, Thoughts and Lesson Learnt        10 - 23
  • References        24 - 25

1.0 Introduction

Racial unity is coming together of all races. It means all citizens of country that come from the various races and religions can join forces and lives in peace as one united nationality. Malaysia is a very unique country in Asian as we are formed in different races. The main races of Malaysian citizens comprise the Malays, Chinese, Indians and the richer ethnic diversities of Sabah and Sarawak such as Kadazan, Iban, Bidayuh, Dayak, Melanau and Bajau. After Malaysia gained independency, racial unity has been the challenge faced by the government. Cultures and customs of different races may create conflicts, so Malaysian citizens have to tolerate and understand these differences to live in harmony. Racial unity can reduce quarrels, conflicts and bloodshed events that occur among difference ethnic to enhance the stability of Malaysian politics. Furthermore, political stability and multi-ethnic culture can attract the interest about Malaysia of foreign tourists and investors. Eventually, this can increase the income of the country. By seeing all the advantages of having racial unity, we can conclude that moderate attitude among Malaysians and the willingness of all races to share power and the country’s wealth were among the key reasons for the nation’s success.

However, Malaysia Racial Discrimination Report showed that there is an increase in racial discrimination in Malaysia in 2017. Racism is rearing its ugly head even more now with Muslim-only or Chinese-only sentiments becoming more pronounced, according to a report by human rights group Pusat Komas. There are few example serious cases happening in Malaysia has create the issue of racial discrimination. In 11th August 2017, Muslim and non-Muslim students at Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Puteri in Ulu Langat were made to drink from separate cups. This might give a negative impression to the rest. It's as though Islam is too rigid a religion. In 26th September 2017, a self-service laundromat in Malaysia has come under fire for implementing a policy to bar non-Muslims from using its services by using a sign proclaims: “Due to hygiene factors this shop only accepts customers who are Muslim. We regret to cause any inconvenience.” All the cases above has strongly create conflicts and chaos among all races in Malaysia. Therefore, the government need continuously to solve issues and problems arising from the complex nature of the multiracial background of Malaysia and promote the concept about racial unity to the Malaysian citizens because racial unity is very important for Malaysia's development especially politics and economy.

2.0 Segment

We selected racial discrimination as a topic of review due to the following reasons.

Racial discrimination is one of critical issues in Malaysia. This particular issue is generally root from the fact that Malaysians are largely divided into two major categories: Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera. The consequences of racism and racial discrimination in official policies are plain for all to see, the victims from these would generally be the minorities who are not ‘Bumiputera’, includes the Orang Asli of peninsula Malaysia. The country remains divided and the dominance of Bumiputeras in civil and armed services had gone way beyond the pre-1969 era. One of the examples of racial discrimination is observed in the public sector institution Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), where non-Bumiputera students are not allowed for admission, despite the fact that it is majorly built and maintained by the taxpayers’ funding. Besides, the government oriented tertiary education requires a pre-university certification from either STPM or matriculation. Unfortunately, aside from sheer academic and co-curriculum performances, admission into matriculation is also subjected to priorities. For instance, the Bumiputera will be given a certain degree of priority as viewed statistically, since there will be a larger quota of admission reserved for the Bumiputera, only then the rest will be filled up by non-Bumiputera.

Next, the government now is trying hard to promote racial unity. According to the Malaysia Racial Discrimination Report 2017 that prepared by Pusat Komas Malaysia, there is some primary school that segregated drinking cups of Muslim and non-Muslim students. The drinking cups were labelled “Murid Islam” (Muslim students) and “Murid bukan Islam” (non-Muslim students) and were placed next to a water dispenser. The Deputy Education Minister has ordered the schools to rectify the decision. He further claimed that the ministry will be always sensitive to the multi-racial composition of students in schools and stated that such acts should not have taken place. Following the incident, the Selangor Education Department investigated the matter and ordered the labels to be removed. Not only that, nowadays The laundry industry is growing in Malaysia. In the Klang Valley alone, there are said to be more than 1,000 laundry outlets offering a variety of services, ranging from general washing to dry cleaning and ironing. Within the 1,000 laundry in Klang Valley, we can see that some of the outlets that are stated ‘Muslim Only’. But the word ‘Muslim Only’ will probably give rise to a lot of controversy, especially racial issues. Despite being a sensitive issue, classifying laundries into “muslim only” does not necessarily impacts the whole Malaysia society in a positive way, as there will definitely be a portion of non-muslim would perceive this as being discriminated and down rated.

3.0 Review of Points

Malaysia is a multiracial country which consists of different races and religious. However, multiracial always come with racial dispute. Malaysian had been through many racial disputes which the worst was including bloodshed only to a peace society, and it normally caused by diversity and politics of race and religion.

In the lecture notes, one of the sentences say, the rise of the religious would not bring peace and union among all races, or to this society.

Our group do agree that the rise of political and religious extremism is an obstacle to attain racial unity in Malaysia. The extremism or radicalism will never have a thought of bringing racial unity to this society unless they had unified the race and religious, then they will be only one type of race and religious in Malaysia. The reason behind this move is because those extremism or radicalism belief that society needs to be changed, and that these changes are only possible through revolutionary means. But the way they want to change the society is based on their desire, not the society needs. Extremism and radicalism would like not to respect other races’ traditional or culture, they will judge, disagree or even damage the traditional. For example, there were some Malays played around and take indecent photo in Chinese’s graveyard and there is also a news that stated they destroyed ‘Datuk’ god which on the street side. However, those extremism and radicalism would like to dominate all races, to force other races to follow their culture and rule which only exist in their race.



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