Tag Archives: malay

The Malays shouldn’t be a violent bunch


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The Malays shouldn’t be a violent bunch
By Zan Azlee

I don’t want to generalise, but there is this perception that Malays are a group of people who seem to be inclined to violence.

I am a Malay too because my father is one and it says so on my birth certificate, even though on my maternal side, I’m Chinese.

I don’t mean to criticise the ethnic group that I belong to. But I need to call out and say something is wrong when I see it. I take it as my responsibility (so self-righteous!).

And who else better to criticise the Malays if not a Malay himself (although technically, a half-breed!)? If anyone else from another ethnic group does so, he would be called a racist.

Now that I’m done with the disclaimers, let’s refocus on the point I am trying to make.

On Tuesday, a coalition of Malay NGOs led by one Datuk Jamal Md Yunos dressed up in red and started beating themselves up in front of the Sogo shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur.

It was a sight to be seen! Men were hitting each other with pieces of wood and smashing heavy roof tiles on their heads and backs to show how strong and tough they are.

It was like a big kungfu demonstration by Shaolin monks to show off their strength and mental abilities. Alamak! Wait a minute! Shaolin monks aren’t Malay!

The group’s leader reportedly stated that they are anti-Bersih, referring to the Bersih 4.0 rally this weekend.

The reason for the violent display of strength is to show that they will be ready to ‘defend’ themselves if any ‘problems’ were to arise between them and Bersih 4.0 participants.

I find it absolutely funny how this group of Malay NGOs can quickly jump to the assumption that problems would equate to violence. What would be their reasoning?

Bersih is led by a middle-aged woman and it’s icons are an old lady who walks around holding flowers (aka Aunty Bersih), and an elderly man who likes to write poetry (Pak Samad).

And this makes me wonder who is leading in the game of positive perception here? The saying goes, ‘fight fire with fire’. Not fight elderly people with pieces wood and huge roof tiles!

This is just one example of why I can’t help but entertain the thought that Malays are inclined to violence. Remember the Low Yat incident? The first people to arrive were Malay thugs.

And whenever Malay politicians talk about fighting and preserving Malay rights, they always seem to choose a weapon (the keris) to wave around for maximum effect.

As a member of the Malay community, I would like to say “Come on lah wei!”. What is wrong with you people? Can’t you learn to be more dignified and refined?

Bak kata orang tua-tua, “Buat malu aje!”.

[This article originally appeared at English.AstroAwani.Com]

Can’t we think of a better Malay name for Low Yat 2?


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Can’t we think of a better Malay name for Low Yat 2?
By Zan Azlee

So, one of our many beloved ministers has made a grand suggestion to solve the problem that was caused by the recent Low Yat brawl that happened in Kuala Lumpur.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the minister of rural and regional development, said that it would be a good idea to have a Low Yat 2 for Malay traders to do business.

Because his new Cabinet portfolio now has Mara (Majlis Amanah Rakyat) under its umbrella, Ismail is suggesting that this new place be located at the 3rd floor of the agency’s building.

I guess this is because he feels that the current Low Yat Plaza is being dominated by Chinese traders, so much so that the Malays are being oppressed (hence the brawl?).
As a little bit of reminder for those who might have forgotten, a shoplifting incident caused a racial scuffle outside of Low Yat Plaza on July 12.

Chinese retailers had apprehended the alleged shoplifter, a Malay, and turned him over to the police. Around 200 people, including Malay groups, gathered to protest.

There were strong racial sentiments that night. However, the police downplayed the racial element and insisted that it had nothing to do with race.

But back to the issue of Low Yat 2.

I can see the advantages of having a Malay-only Low Yat Plaza. First, it would mean that the Malays will finally have the opportunity to do business.

As we all know, the New Economic Policy (NEP) that has been implemented in Malaysia for the past 44 years did nothing for the Malays in terms of developing their entrepreneurial skills.

Name me one Malay or bumiputera company that is in operation in the country. See! Even I can’t come up with any. Looks like NEP has not done much.

Second, this initiative will disprove the popular urban myth that the Chinese are only good at conning customers when they do business of any kind.

When Low Yat 2 opens, we can look at it as a social experiment to observe if Malay businessmen will or will not con customers like how they claim their Chinese counterparts do.

But I bet they won’t. As we all know, Malays are subjected to being shariah compliant. Conning and cheating customers in business is definitely not Islamic.

And, since by being Malay you are automatically considered a Muslim, the non-shariah compliance issue logically will not exist.

Third, it would create healthy competition between the two Low Yat Plazas. Then we can really pit the two races against each other and see which is the better race.

So it really would be a good idea to have a Malay-only Low Yat Plaza at the Mara building. I can only see good things happening as a result if this comes into fruition.

The only problem that I see with this idea is that Ismail is referring it as Low Yat 2.

As we all know Low Yat is a very distinctive Chinese name. Can’t he think of a better Malay name?

[This article appeared originally at The Malaysian Insider]

Okay, sure. The issue of cinema couple seats is of grave national interest!


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Okay, sure. The issue of cinema couple seats is of grave national interest!
By Zan Azlee

This week’s most sensational news (yet utterly non-significant) is Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria’s call for cinema operators to create stricter rules for their audience.

This is in response to another piece of sensational news (yet utterly non-significant) about Lotus Five Star Cinemas in Seri Iskandar barring unmarried couples from occupying couple seats.

And since we’re already on this sensational subject (yet utterly non-significant), I thought, what the heck, I’m going to ride on the bandwagon and write about it as well.

Why not, right? It’s not like there isn’t any other more significant and important issues that should be covered in the news and discussed. Well, at least we have our priorities straight.

Couple seats exist in many cinemas and are two adjoining seats that have no arm rest in between them, basically making it like a (dare I say it?) love-seat!

The Mufti’s reasoning is that it encourages immoral acts and destroys the faith of Muslims. He stated that couples went to the cinemas not to watch movies but to ‘make-out’.

He added that going to the cinema is already an immoral act, and to have couple seats only encourages them to indulge in more immoral acts.

Yes, we need to curb immoral acts like ‘making-out’ in cinemas by unmarried couples. I guess this is a huge sin that trumps all other sin. So we definitely need to address it immediately.

It is also fascinating to see that the rakyat has given much intellectual thought into the issue as seen on social media, where all kinds of suggestions have been made.

Some individuals have suggested that all cinemas segregate men and women. And taking a cue from the Mufti, they say that people go to the cinemas ‘not to watch movies but to make them’.

Others say that we should just listen to the Mufti because as Muslims, we shouldn’t question anything that is against the religion. We should just accept it whether we like it or not.

Another bright idea on social media is for the cinemas to install night vision cameras in the halls and if any ‘making-out’ sessions are spotted, to project it on to the cinema screen for all to see.

Of course, we shouldn’t get the intentions wrong. This is not an attempt to be voyeuristic, but more to deter these unmarried couples from ‘making-out’.

I am happy to see all this happening because it gives me hope that the country is in good hands. These hands have shown their capabilities in leading the nation forward.

And of course I am very happy to see how our religious authorities are handling social ills and making sure that Malaysia and Malaysians are always syariah compliant.

Yes, observing and writing about this issue has satisfied me deeply. It has been time well spent seeing that there isn’t anything that is more important that this. Let’s do this more.

[This article was originally published at English.AstroAwani.Com]

Lemah berbahasa Inggeris menjadi benteng menimba ilmu


I gave a lecture to a group of students at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2012. It was fun and we had a laugh!
I gave a lecture to a group of students at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2012. It was fun and we had a laugh! They all spoke English.

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Lemah berbahasa Inggeris menjadi benteng menimba ilmu
Oleh Zan Azlee

Saya ingin berkongsi pengalaman saya sebagai seorang pensyarah yang mengajar kebanyakkannya pelajar ijazah. Walaupun ia lebih anecdotal, saya rasa ia tetap relevan.

Saya pernah mengajar di institusi pengajian tinggi swasta (IPTS) dan juga awam (IPTA). Di IPTA, saya dapati lebih kurang 70 peratus pelajar saya yang tidak mahir dalam Bahasa Inggeris.

Secara teknikalnya, seseorang itu tidak boleh dianggap kekurangan daya pemikiran analitik dan kritikal semata-mata kerana tidak mahir dalam sesuatu bahasa. Tetapi dari pandangan reailtinya, ia memang mempengaruhi cara pemikiran seseorang, terutamanya kalau bahasa yang tidakk dikuasai itu adalah Bahasa Inggeris.

Dari pemantauan saya, kebanyakkan pelajar saya yang kurang kebolehan Bahasa Inggeris tidak seluas pandangan dan pendedahan mereka berbanding pelajar yang lebih mahir.

Saya mengajar pelajaran yang berkaitan media, kewartawanan, siaran dan penjenamaan. Dan walaupun banyak sumber rujukan saya adalah asal tempatan, lebih banyak lagi yang dari dunia antarabangsa.

Pelajar yang mahir Bahasa Inggeris lebih terdedah pada sumber dan bahan rujukan antarabangsa dan mereka boleh berfikiran kritikal apabila kami mengadakan perbincangan.

Hakikatnya, kebanyakan maklumat dan ilmu pengetahuan yang terkini di serata dunia disampaikan dalam Bahasa Inggeris kerana ia adalah bahasa pengantar utama.Jika seseorang itu lemah dan kurang memahami Bahasa Inggeris, ia tentu sekali menjadi satu halangan untuk mereka menimbal ilmu dan juga memperluaskan pandangan mereka.

Mereka ini akan seolah-olah lebih tertutup dunia mereka kerana tidak dapat akses kepada maklumat yang dalam Bahasa Inggeris. Ini adalah satu kelemahan.

Memang benar, kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia, perlu mengutamakan bahasa kebangsaan. Tetapi ia tidak bermakna kita lupakan terus kebolehan Bahasa Inggeris.

Dan memang benar juga terdapat negara di mana rakyat mereka boleh dianggap lemah dalam Bahasa Inggeris tetapi jauh lebih maju seperti Jepun dan Korea Selatan.

Tetapi, kalau kita lihat, jelas bahawa mereka cekal membuat kajian dan pembelajaran mereka sendiri sehingga berjaya menjadi peneraju dalam sesetengah bidang seperti teknologi, internet dan sebagainya.

Dan kerana ini, ia membuat masyarakat luar pula yang sanggup mempelajari bahasa mereka supaya boleh mengambil kesempatan untuk menimba ilmu dan memperluaskan pandangan.

Adakah Malaysia sudah sampai tahap itu? Bukanlah lebih elok bagi masyarakat kita kalau kita memperkuatkan kemahiran Bahasa Inggeris?

Kita harus sedar bahawa Bahasa Inggeris adalah bahasa global atau universal yang sangat penting pada zaman sekarang.

Adakah kerana ego yang tinggi kita seolah-olah tidak mahu mengiktirafkan fakta ini sehingga kita sanggup membina benteng ilmu untuk masyarakat kita?

[Artikel ini pertama kali disiarkan di KopitiamEkonomi.Com]

The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 56) – News gets trolled by an “NGO” and people troll the concept of racism


The Fat Bidin Podcast (Ep 56) – News gets trolled by an “NGO” and people troll the concept of racism

News agencies were pranked by an NGO with little to its name last week. Zan and Aizyl also discuss the “racial” side of the Low Yat incident and what it means.

Listen to more Fat Bidin Podcasts here.