About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

People are People

People are people, help me understand what makes a man hate another man?

Below are just stories from Malaysia. What more stories from outside Malaysia. Some personal experiences are added below.

Ayu, a male-to-female transsexual, was seriously beaten by state religious officials who detained her while she was talking to friends at the Old Melaka bus station in Kota Melaka, Melaka (Malacca) state, southwest Malaysia at around 11.30pm on 30 July 2007. Ayu may be at risk of further abuse, and other transsexual people may also be in danger.

A Church in Malaysia has been fire-bombed in an attack that gutted its ground floor, church officials said on Friday, escalating a dispute over the use of the word 'Allah' by non-Muslims. A fire department official said all stations were on alert for more blazes at religious buildings, ahead of planned nationwide protests on Friday by Muslim groups angry over the use of the word as a translation for the Christian 'God.' The three-storey Metro Tabernacle church in suburban Kuala Lumpur was set ablaze in the attack which took place around midnight, said church leader Peter Yeow, 62. There were no casualties in the attack on the church, which occupies the corner lot of a row of shop houses. Anuar Harun, who headed the fire department operation, said that forensic experts were working with the police and a canine unit to probe the blaze. 'We are investigating the cause of fire. We cannot provide any more details,' he said when asked if it was a case of arson. 'We have asked all our fire stations to be on alert for such fires on religious premises.

Recently, two expatriate women (US and Canada) were attacked in the middle of the dance floor at Zouk nightclub in Kuala Lumpur. They described their attacker as an older Malay male (with bodyguards!) who claimed they were dancing "too close to the VIP area". The women, both teachers at International Schools in KL, were celebrating the end of the school year and saying good bye as the American teacher was transferring to a school in Buenos Aires. Sensing that this man may have been problematic, they moved away from the VIP area and continued to dance. What happened next brought tears to my eyes. Our Canadian friend said that the Malay man returned to the dance floor and began shouting at them to "Go back to where you came from" and called them a variety of choice names. He then grabbed the American woman by the ears and head-butted her in the teeth. Stunned, the American started after the Malay man as he stomped off toward the VIP area. The Canadian woman followed her, and was cold-cocked to the side of her head by...the bodyguard!! Meanwhile, Zouk's bouncers as well as the club- goers did nothing. It gets worse.The Canadian woman clears the stars out of her head to see the American woman being held - an arm by each bodyguard, while the Malay man kicked her repeatedly and savagely in the stomach - so hard, that she defecated on the floor. All the while, the Malay man uttered racial and sexist epithets against the women.Zouk's bouncers did nothing. After the older Malay man with bodyguards finished pummeling the American woman, the bouncers grabbed the two women and threw them out of the club.

A 22 year old Abdel Aziz Hassan Abdraman from Chad republic was gruesomely murdered in the full glare of the public and reportedly under the supervision of some police personnel. The incident which happened at Wangsa Maju, Selangor, Malaysia took place at around 9pm as widely reported in news especially the “The Malay Mail” of Tuesday, September 22nd 2008. According to the reports, the victims of the attack were on their way to the International Islamic University Malaysia to join the Tarawih prayer. While within the vicinity of the Wangsa Maju LRT station, some Malaysian youths numbering about twenty, and armed with weapons, swarmed at the deceased and his friends, inflicted them with severe injuries which ultimately led to the death of one of them – Late Abdel Aziz Hassan Abdraman (the other victims are still suffering from the pains of the attacks).

Some 50 residents enraged with the proposed relocation of a Hindu temple to their area staged a noisy protest with a severed cow's head this afternoon. The residents - from Section 23 in Shah Alam - who gathered after the Friday prayers, placed the head outside the gates of the state secretariat building for a short period before removing it. In another report, Section 23 residents action committee chairperson Mahyuddin Manaf said "We did a post mortem (on the protest) but could not identify the people who brought it," he told Malaysiakini. He should refer back to another statement made by his deputy. Addressing the crowd, Section 23 action committee deputy chair Ibrahim Sabri said: "If there is blood, you (the state government) will be responsible if you are adamant about building the temple. This is a warning. Relocate the temple to Section 22. This cow is a present to the state government. This is a gift from us," he added. Mahyuddin said that the cow head was likely brought by angry residents. This act of provocation, whether using a cow or a pig head, is insensitive and stupid.

There was a funeral, a wedding, and a misunderstanding over a broken van windscreen. These led to a full-blown racial clash in Petaling Jaya Selatan that left six people dead and scores others suffering from head injuries, slash wounds and broken bones. One of the victims, Vasu, 24, had both his hands hacked off by rampaging youths. Doctors managed to reattach his left hand but failed to save two of his fingers. There are several large stitch wounds on his forearm and on his wrist. There is also an unsightly wound on his palm. Another photograph shows a man with a 20cm healed wound from below the navel right up to the rib-cage. While a third shows a man with over 20 stitches on each wrist.

History of hate between man goes back hundreds of years and still goes on until today.

While I was studying in US, I was racially abused in the small town of Stevens Point where I studied. The students were identified and were suspended from University and were apologetic but such incidents happened over years and were left unreported. I reported the incident, it appeared in the University paper, then in the town paper and later in the state's newspaper including Milwaukee Journal and Wisconsin State Journal. The story was relatively big and more and more people started coming out. While most of the faculty including the chancellors office and the mayors office were concerned, what was most disappointing was that the Foreign Student Office run by Prof Marc Fang was not. In actual fact, he called me to his office for a meeting and basically admonished me for making this public rather than sympathise with me. This is where I have to thank my host family James and Carol Cook as well as my lecturer Cindy Chelcun for standing by my side and being understanding.

After my graduation, I went to search for the great American dream in San Jose, California. While I was searching for this dream, I worked the late shift in Subway sandwiches. Every week, without fail, one Caucasian or another will come in and hurl racial slurs at me and ask me to go back to my country. A few would even waste their money and buy a sandwich and hurl that at me. But such is life in the big city and the country of dreams.

Among my first jobs was as a journalist in the Star and The Sun newspapers. I used to cover news and was sent to a lot of events where the top politicians were present. So, I have covered Mahathir, Anwar, etc many many times in those years. I remember one time when I was covering the DPM at that time and now the opposition leader, he clearly called me a Keling, which is clearly a derogatory way of calling a person of Indian origin. Now, do you think I'll ever vote for him or his wife or his daughter who happens to be the MP of the constituency I live in? In another incident, the Indian party president, thank God he is retired, asked me quite sarcastically what type of an Indian was I that I did not speak any Tamil. Tamil is a language spoken only pretty much by Tamilians who hail from Tamil Nadu and nowadays picked up by other Southern Indian states but definitely not a language that is spoken elsewhere where Hindi is more popular.

This blog could go on and on and on, about the KKK, about slavery, about Babri mosque incident, about Israel and Palestine, about Hitler and Jews and many incidents where people have hated other people.

Which brings me back to Depeche Mode's song People are People. So we're different colours, and we're different creeds, and different people have different needs. Relying on your common decency, so far it hasn't surfaced, but I'm sure it exists.

People are people, I can't understand, what makes a man hate another man? Help me understand.

Take care and be well.


shell said...

Racial discrimination is everywhere, including our company.

Nil said...

Racial discrimination in a multi national company, such horror. Personally, I think discrimination is not in the company but by a few individuals who think they represent the company. Whereas, discrimination exist openly in many nations and promoted within the government. Companies like Shell make a major effort on eliminating discrimination, unfortunately, there may still be a few bad apples everywhere.

Ser said...

Gosh, I didn't this country can turn out to be so sick...! (Am sure these are not isolated cases, just not reported especially if it involves certain VVIP or VIP or some royal & related families..sigh)..No justice.......

Nil said...

Ser, I could easily take similar examples from more developed countries like USA or even some European countries. This is about hate, everywhere in the world, so much of hate when there is so much abundance of love.

Frangipan said...

People are people, very true, all over the world not just in Malaysia. We have to be thankful that we can count these as unique incidents and that we are disgusted by and don't expect these things!

1SliperJoe said...

Racism and hate are just those type of thingd we truly should throw in the garbage! Its in the human nature beeing comnpetitve but hate on someone just because of their race, gender or whatever is just plain stupid. Just sayng...Cheers

Xal said...

Nil, I must admit I did not read your full article... but I did read the part of your own experience... it actually triggered memories of my own bad experience which I best not elaborate here... suffice to say I had a culture shock, after being brought up in Miri, where we have always had multi-racial exposure and in most instance tolerance & respect towards each other.

Nil said...

Frangipan n SlipperJoe, agreewith you. Zal, one day we'll share our experiences but in Sarawak, I did not feel the racism but issue there is sometimes gangsterism and taikoism but definitely do not feel racism.

William said...

Hate began when there were only two men... children of Adam and Eve. I think the root cause is jealousy, which led to undesirable action. The action of violent is simply the manifestation of this severe feeling of jealousy where the person dwell too much ....
Eh... your new neighbour?!

Joshua Hajok said...

racism comes maybe because of, or one of the factor would be when people try to bring justice/rights to their own race. I really won't be surprise when one of the majority race in Sarawak has the majority in the government, and would lead to biasness in policies and stuff. everyone wants to have a piece of the cake. in other cases, even sharing sincerely could be meant as pretending to be sincere.

for msian politics, we should start by discipline ourselves with integrity, and start to vote for the right representatives. no offense, but malaysia is lacking integrity.

for human race, lets just continue to make ourselves better. It starts with the man in the mirror. ;)

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