Do Malaysians have a problem with xenophobia?


Xenophobia – what kind of migrants do we prefer?
By Zan Azlee

Malaysia has a thing about xenophobia. We fear cultures that are foreign and unfamiliar to us and are threatened by it. The best example is how we treat foreign migrants.

How many times have you heard someone say (or, said it yourself!) that Jalan Silang or Jalan Yap Ah Loy in Kuala Lumpur is dangerous because of all the foreigners there?

It’s supposedly very dangerous in these areas because there are no locals around and that all the shops and businesses there are run by foreign migrants.

Malaysians also complain that these areas are so overrun by foreign migrants that we don’t feel like a part of this country anymore since you hardly see any locals there.

We accuse these foreign migrants of stealing our jobs and running businesses that are supposed to be run by locals.

But basically, Malaysians are just complaining that foreign migrants are just changing the face of the country into something we don’t recognise anymore.

I, on the other hand, tend to see things differently. When foreigners flood a city that is not their own, it just means that it offers more opportunities than their own.

And when something like this happens, it just means that the economy of that particular city is starting to grow. And what’s wrong with sharing that growth?

What more, Malaysia being a developing country, we actually do need extra labour force (this includes blue and white collar).

Look at all the leading cities of the world – London, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong. These are cities that are so cosmopolitan that you feel like a global citizen living there.

It is also extremely unfair to generalise and stereotype a whole group or community. Are all Nepalese in Malaysia thieves? Are all Indonesians armed robbers?

Is the problem because these foreign migrants come to Malaysia and refuse to assimilate into local culture? Instead, they choose to remain amongst their own community.

Then, have we ever wondered how Malaysians act when they move to other countries? I’ve lived outside Malaysia before, and let me tell you, it’s exactly the same. [Click to read the full article at English.AstroAwani.Com]

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