Malaysia

The death of common sense

I am Chinese. My husband is Indian. Both of us are qualified in the medical field and teach at local universities.

Recently, my husband’s contract was not renewed. His speciality is quite rare in the region. He was replaced by a younger person.

Of course, he was disappointed but felt new blood was needed to bring in the latest methods and medicines into the picture.

But here’s where things get very scary: the new person cannot string a sentence in English, in a profession where results have to be transmitted clearly to its end-users.

His former colleagues call at night and he does the work for them on the quiet, minus the fee, so that the patients will have a fighting chance!

You see, dear people in authority, the moral majority in this country are keeping us going. Selfless people who take the humiliation and abuse and to ensure that there is a sense of balance and sanity still operating at critical areas.

One day, my husband entered a lift that was filled with professors of one race from a different department. After moment of silence, someone asked him, in a condescending tone, if he taught English at the University!

Without batting an eyelid, my husband replied: “Quantum Physics!” There was a jaw-dropping silence and an audible “aiyoo” coming from the rear of the lift.

We could not pin this scenario down to a lack of education. All of them were senior members of various faculties. And they were educated.

Instead, we have come to the conclusion that racism is not just institutionalised in Malaysia, but is a given. And that you must expect it as “normal” because it is encouraged from the top.

By purposely not taking action against such incidents, the message is clear: we do not want you here.

Today, as I write this, I am reading that another news portal’s office has been splashed with red paint, and a package with a duck carcass inside was left outside its office.

How can this happen? What is going to happen to those who strive to bring us the truth and the unbiased stories?

But we are powerless. The ballot box has been sabotaged. We do not have any avenues to vent our grouses, frustrations, and broken hopes and dreams.

We look to the next generation. But that is a big task. The young ones have imbibed the toxins of bigotry and racism, and do not know any other way of thinking.

Logic and common sense is as alien as Mongolian lamas and models.

How can we readdress the situation? There cannot be any short-term solution, unless there is a paradigm shift in the composition of those who are in power.

Thanks to web news portals like this, the silent moral majority can give voice to our pains. – February 27, 2014.

*Dr Janet F. Lee reads The Malaysian Insider.

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