Sunday, December 04, 2005


I watched the MMS video of that woman who had to do ear-squats. The following thoughts were going through my head:
  • Wow, big boobs.
  • Who's the woman in the background? Didn't seem like she was a policewoman, considering the blurry video.
  • Where was the guy who took the video standing?
  • Did the victim really look like an illegal chinese national? Video was too blur to make out any distinctive features. Usually, you'd be able to tell Malaysian-Chinese, from China-Chinese, from Singaporean-Chinese, from ABC's from BBC's bla bla.
  • Do ear-squats really dislodge contraband items from the vaginal canal?
  • Video phones rock!
Really, besides all the underlying questions being already asked, and our stupid parliamentarians wanting to actually debate a softporn video, and article after article being written about so called human rights, police procedure etc, what is truly the core issue in this debate?

I play an online game where I receive a virtual football team. The objective is of course to be successful, no matter the individual definition. We also have a national coach, and an U-20 coach. About 2 years ago, we reverted to a system where only locally trained players who are still based in local clubs would be considered for the National teams. Reasons of which are purely tactical. However, recently, a debate came up in the forums where this policy was called xenophobic bordering on racism.

Calling us racist would be unjustified, as people from other ignorant parts of the world do not even know of the composition of the population, demographics etc. Some even referred to people in Malaysia as Malays (we know thats not true, but they can't care less). We can debate about the different races in Malaysia some other day, but what I'd like to ask is this. Have we, the world in general, become xenophobic?

From the moment anyone steps into an airport/seaport/port of entry, discrimination is immediately done based on nationality, whereby all foreigners are treated differently from citizens. Xenophobia? In the truest sense of the word, yes. Or do we call this preferential treatment for citizens? I guess in the great words of George Orwell, some are more equal than others.

Narrowing the scope to Malaysia, though many of us might not admit it, we associate crime with the rise in unemployment amongst the foreigners. In other words, we associate crime with the indons, banglas, burmese etc. I for instance, do not even remotely feel comfortable when in the presense of Indonesians, regardless of whether they mean harm of otherwise.Fear of foreign objects and foreigners? I think so. Others fear what the "Mat Salleh" 10,000 km away might say about us and our policies. Xenophobia? I think so. Then there was the general policy that we should shun all things imported, shun all values "western", reverting to BM as a medium of education and information dispersal etc. Xenophobia? I think so (though it might be argued that its instead nationalism. I think it goes in tandem. Nationalism plays a big part in xenophobia vice-versa.)

What people fail to realize is as borders are opened, there is still perception lingering in many that foreigners are invading our nations. We continue to feel uneasy as they come to take our jobs, or rights, or land, or economy. Yet we continue to be fully dependent on them for the very things we refuse to do ourselves. Why is it in a world of opening borders, we continue to place an emphasis on nationality and race?

We go back to the case of the victim of the ear-squat scandal. Why was so much emphasis placed on her being a citizen of china (later proved wrong), then her being a chinese woman? Why not just refer to her as a victim of questionable police procedures? Perplexing isn't it, how we take one step forward, and two steps back. As for me, I walk forwards with my head looking back. Ever "fearful" of the foreigner that will attempt to rob me of everything I have.

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