Posts Tagged ‘Racial Integration’

Race Relations Act?

September 18th, 2008
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What is Race Relations Act? I found a similar named Act in UK, the 1976 version which was updated in 2000:

The Race Relations Act 1976 was established by the British Parliament to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race.

Items that are covered include discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin in the fields of employment, the provision of goods and services, education and public functions.

The Act also established the Commission for Racial Equality with a view to review the legislation.

The Act incorporates the earlier Race Relations Act 1965 and Race Relations Act 1968 and was later amended by the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000, notably including a statutory duty on public bodies to promote race equality, and to demonstrate that procedures to prevent race discrimination are effective.

In 2003 additional regulations made certain forms of discrimination due to religious belief illegal also.

The Act (2000) is found here.

Back in Malaysia, MCA Youth proposed the setting up of the Act on 14th September, following the arrest of Sin Che journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, but the letting off of Ahmad Ismail:

The MCA has proposed to the government to draft a race relations act to strenghten relations among multi-ethnic Malaysians.

Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said such an act was relevant and necessary, in view of racial issues resurfacing and plaguing the nation, of late.

He said the proposed act could also reinforce efforts taken by the unity, culture, arts and heritage ministry to promote unity and solidarity among the people.

“We will propose to the ministry. Such act is needed to look into race relations, (and) how to engage a multi-racial community into postive relations and avoid discrimination.

“Some countries have in place, such an act, where you can’t discriminate or belittle other races,” he told reporters after opening The Federation of Malaysian Clans and Guild Youth Association’s annual meeting here today.

Barely 5 days after that, this is the response from Home Minister Syed Hamid (NST):

The Cabinet has agreed to enact an Act on race relations to prevent possible racial conflicts.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Malaysia still had to cope with sensitive issues relating to racial problems and relationships despite having achieved its independence 51 years ago.

Syed Hamid said his ministry would be working closely with the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry in formulating the Act.

He was also quoted on Malaysiakini:

Responding to queries, the home minister said Shafie Apdal’s ministry will be drafting the law after consultations with various groups.

The Home Ministry is tasked with giving feedback on the penalties if the law is infringed.

On the need for the act, Syed Hamid said: “Even in the European nations, a law governing race relations is now important as they too are becoming ‘rainbow’ nations. What more for us?

“But the law is still in the early stages of drafting and it will be take some time before it is ready to be looked at.”

The minister also said that the cabinet will look at other countries’ race relation laws before deciding on Malaysia’s.

Basically, such Acts are to avoid discrimination in services, employment, public functions etc. But in Malaysia, it may also incorporate clauses to ban questions special rights of Malays, nationality of citizens, economic allocations etc.

Race relations not healthy?

September 11th, 2008
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Interesting to note that PM Badawi said the race relations was showing “not so good signs” as discussed in the cabinet. It seems this is due to number of sensitive issues that were not discussed openly previously, but now being talked about everywhere. The sensitive issues covering economy, education, religion, social, etc all revolve around one key area – lack of equal rights.

“Issues that are not normally raised are being brought up and turned into issues. Matters that have never been discussed before are being discussed now and this is bringing about all sorts of reactions.

“All this while we have been able to control the situation and prevent any untoward incident. But we cannot allow a fiery situation to prevail as it could jeopardise the peace and security of our country,” he said after chairing a special Umno supreme council meeting.

Abdullah said the respective ministries had been directed to keep tabs on the situation, and act accordingly.

“We hope the people will understand that in a multi-racial, multi-religious country like ours, we need to take care so that there will (continue to) be peace and mutual respect among us. We need harmony so that the country can develop.

“We need to do what is best for the country. We need to save Malaysia from racial fights and tension,” he stressed.

However, people still go about doing their work and make a living. All races still work together without any problem. If any problem, money is the ultimate cure. Just push some ringgit and everything can be settled – Malaya will be brothers with Chinese, Indians will be anne-thambi with Malays, etc. (NOTE: I’n not advocating bribery here, but just stating that it is one of the possible tool for racial harmony). Oh ya, forgot to add – Bangladeshis, Indonesians, Nigerians, Pakistanis, etc., all also can become brothers. Money makes wonders come true.

The problem here, as I see it is that for quite some time, things have been pushed under the carpet or discussed by the political parties behind doors. In this era of openness and freedom of information, it is futile to be doing so. Secondly, the issues more often that not favored the majority race rather than minorities. Maybe the minorities feel that this has been going on for too long and they have been pushed to a corner. This could not go on forever, and the time is here now. Looking at the responses from people from all walks of life, can we say that the last 50 years of administration failed to instill proper harmony and brotherhood feeling?

The newer generation (born after 1970s) are not much into historical sacrifices now. Only those that are indoctrinated by the education and political machineries on race supremacy, and those who come from political lineage families, still tend to hold on to the ideas that Ahmad Ismail exhibited. The current generation want things to be fair and square. They really can’t see the idea of discriminative policies, especially on a global scene. 30 years ago, maybe things could be easily explained. Not now and not in the future.

What is patriotism?

May 26th, 2008
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The short article below ties patriotism to the word’s by the minister on youths questioning the “social contract”.

I’m curious: is questioning things like “social contract” deemed unpatriotic? Do we view this from legal aspect? From logical aspect? From natural justice aspect? From emotional aspect?

And how does one verify the answer to the question above?

THE level of patriotism among Malaysian youths was not as high as expected, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri said. Quoting the minister, Malaysia Nanban reported that the current index on patriotism among youths was only at 68.2%. He said many of them still questioned the social contract with which the country achieved its independence.


Indian Muslims demand for bumiputra status!

February 27th, 2008
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Great move by PERMIM! With 600,000 members, they practically telling UMNO to give the status or lose a number of votes! Checkmate? Hmmm…if want to consider the 5.2 million UMNO members and not to mention more than 10 million Malays’ feelings, then maybe the ruling party will forgo 600,000 votes in order to salvage at least 5.2 million votes! Would the Malays accept the Indian muslim? Or will the leader of PERMIM end up like HINDRAF 5? » Read more: Indian Muslims demand for bumiputra status!

putera MIC global ambassador Vighneswaran

January 3rd, 2008
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Vighneswaran on journey of a lifetime

By K.

KUALA LUMPUR: At 9.35am today, Vighneswaran Vithiatharan will begin a journey that may make him the most travelled Malaysian.

The first Putera MIC Malaysian Global ambassador will go on a 12-month tour that will take him to 93 universities in 69 countries.

This works out to an average of eight universities in six countries a month for the 28-year-old, who is working on a doctorate in economics at University Malaya.

He will also promote Malaysia besides trying to change the global perspective on Malaysian Indian students.

"My objective is to conduct a fact-finding mission to lay the groundwork for education and career development opportunities for Malaysian Indian students," he said after the launching of the Putera MIC Malaysian Global Ambassador programme yesterday.

He will also promote cultural exchange and educational development by initiating talks with student bodies and universities in the Asian, European and American regions.

Vighneswaran has been allocated slots at all the universities to talk about unity and racial integration. "The response has been good from Fortune 500 companies, where I hope to initiate student exchange and apprenticeship programmes for Malaysian students."

Among the universities on his itinerary are Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, University of Teheran in Iran, Kiev University in Ukraine, University of Geneva in Switzerland, Oxford University in England and Harvard University in the United States. His first port of call is Chennai, where he will apply the plans that he has pored over for months.

He has invested RM16,000 in the project, "with the rest coming hopefully from individuals or organisations". Vighneswaran, from Pontian, Johor, expects his travels to cost RM120,000.

Putera MIC national co-ordinator P. Kamalanathan said Vigneswaran would not only create opportunities for Indian youths but also dispel the belief of racial unrest in the nation. For more information on Vighneswaran's mission, visit