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Sunday March 9, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday March 9, 2014 MYT 7:15:29 AM
by wong chun wai
How well do we really know our foreign guest workers who help to keep Malaysia functioning?
SO it’s now official – Malaysia has a population of 30 million people. I guess this will include a lot of foreigners who are now an integral part of Malaysian life.
How well do we really know these foreign guest workers who help to keep Malaysia functioning? Are they just aliens to us?
Here’s a list of nine facts that we hope will clear the warped minds of many ignorant and confused Malaysians.
Fact No.1: The most famous alien of the week has to be Ultraman. He may be a superhero of possibly Japanese ethnic origin but, hey, he is still a foreigner, okay? With his tight, dodgy rubber suit, it would not have been possible for him to carry his documents around in Malaysia – and that would have been an offence!
He has fought Godzilla and a host of other monsters but he has met his Waterloo – he got floored, walloped and beaten by a Google Translate-minded translator. Ultraman is always on the side of law and order but to be equated as Allah and Elder would have blown him off!
An ignorant translator, a publisher with no permit and a fake address, and a really sharp-eyed censorship official – that would have been simply new to Ultraman. There are more surprises for him – there are also ultra right-wingers in Malaysia whom we would love him to meet.
And, of course, some of our officials are ultra-sensitive these days, preferring to use the sledgehammer approach in the execution of their duties. But we hope they won’t exercise their duties beyond their powers or, as the legal term which is often used, ultra vires. Not ultra virus.
But the worst of all is this ultra-silly translator who has literally carried out an ulta job – which in our local lingo is a lousy job!
All these may be alien to Malaysians and even to our illegal immigrants but, hey, this is Malaysia, okay? We love to laugh at ourselves; we love to be in the international news, even for the wrong reasons. Don’t try to alienate us, okay?
Fact No.2: Yes, many Bangladeshi men walk around Pudu and Bukit Bintang holding hands. I know you are shocked. Come on, confess. I know you think they have a certain sexual orientation. Okay, let’s blurt it out – you think they are homosexuals, right? A real man doesn’t hold another man’s hand, you think.
But the fact is that in Bangladesh and some southern Asian countries, holding hands, especially between men, is a sign of close friendship and brotherhood. It’s simply as innocent as that, you ignorant fool.
And your perverted, twisted and prejudiced Malaysian mind thought that besides cricket, our Bangladeshi friends have other fanatical passion – like holding hands. Hands up, those who want to confess!
Fact No.3: Not all Nigerians are conmen who cheat innocent Malaysian women into thinking that they are white Britons who live in big countryside homes. Not all Nigerians attempt to cheat you into sending them money by claiming they are corrupt generals. Not all Nigerians dupe you into making more money appear from nowhere.
Not all Nigerians who live in the Mentari housing estate in Bandar Sunway get drunk, party till morning and make a nuisance of themselves.
There are many God-fearing and God-loving Nigerians living among us. If you keep bumping into a Nigerian, it’s simply because Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa. It’s many times bigger than Malaysia. So you didn’t know and you thought Nigeria is just a pimple of a country. Shame on you for thinking that we are bigger than the universe because of your super Malaysia Boleh ego.
Fact No.4: Iranians are now the largest group among the Malaysia My Second Home participants. There are more than 70,000 Iranians studying, working or waiting for visas in this country. It isn’t true that all Iranians are Ayatollahs with beards, wearing turbans and flowing robes. In fact, they are coming into Malaysia in huge numbers because they like our easy-going multi-ethnic country.
According to a news report, many clubs in Kuala Lumpur now dedicate a day each week as “Iranian Night” featuring Iranian deejays and music.
Put simply, they love to party without fear of getting whipped by the moral police – and yet some of us want to turn Malaysia into something like Iran!
And, of course, by now we have learned that not all Iranians are angels and God-fearing, despite coming from a religiously puritanical country, after the arrest of many Iranian drug traffickers in Malaysia.
Okay, here’s the lesson you need to learn – Iranians are not Arabs. They are Persians and, in fact, they can’t stand the Arabs. Iranians are mostly Shi’ites while Arabs are predominantly Sunnis.
Aiyo, really Ah Boy, I am now really confused. All this while, I thought Iranians are Arabs. They all smoke shisha and eat the same food, what? All Muslims what, got difference meh? This is crazy lah, Ah Boy, so many foreigners in KL now.
Fact No.5: Not all Nepalese are Gurkhas. Gurkhas are the tough guys who served as soldiers in the Nepalese, British and Indian army, according to a report. They are the equivalent of Rambo, you may say.
It has nothing to do with the skinny and bored security guards at your apartment reception or the guardhouse.
The only thing in common between the skinny guard and the macho looking ex-army man is that they are both Nepalese. They eat the same food and probably enjoy watching the same Hindi movies. That’s where it ends.
And I am not sure Nepalese men are really that tough. Come on, I haven’t come across any Nepalese doing construction work, have you?
Ah Boy, I already told you. I will say it again, okay? So many of these security guards are so skinny, they cannot even take care of themselves. I am really worried each time I walk to my car. Can the skinny guards fight off the rapist?
Fact No.6: China is a big, big country with over a billion people. Don’t lump everyone together. Not every Chinese woman wants to skip classes in our local colleges, okay? Not every Chinese woman wants to steal the husband of her Malaysian counterpart, okay? Not every Chinese woman is a China doll. Many actually look quite frightening.
Not all Chinamen are rich and wealthy with super connections with the Communist Party of China’s (CCP) political politburo. And, for sure, not every Chinaman is selling fake precious stones in Pudu.
But here’s the fact: more and more mainland Chinese have signed up for the Malaysia My Second Home programme. They are also the biggest foreign investors in Johor’s Iskandar project now.
Yes, the Chinese are coming and many are wealthy! And because we are investor-friendly, realistic Malaysians, we do not care if they are CCP-card carrying members. Who cares? As long as they have money, we welcome them! Huan ying! Huan ying! (welcome in Mandarin).
Fact No.7: It is surely not true that all Vietnamese eat dogs or cats. It is probably propaganda by the US army against the Vietnamese during the 1960s war. The Americans were probably mistaken or intentionally confused when they heard that Vietnamese love eating pho – the delicious flat rice noodles aka koay teow. Pho, as some of us may not know, rhymes with the word “fur”. That’s when the confused American marines, who were already going insane with the fighting or just high on drugs, thought it was these furry animals or men’s best friends that these Vietnamese were eating.
I mean, if you are a country simpleton from the mid-West who cannot tell the difference between Vietnam and India, how would you know the difference between pho and fur? That’s how the myth of the dog-eating Vietnamese probably started.
So if you are living in Klang or Balakong, where there are many Vietnamese, please do not accuse our Vietnamese friends of anything if your dogs don’t come home.
Fact No.8: Not all South Americans are in town to join our football teams or to teach zumba, rumba or salsa in dancing schools.
Many South American crooks have found Malaysians easy targets because some of us cannot imagine that there can be Caucasian-looking criminals. If anyone of them can speak Spanish or, even better, sing like Julio Iglesias, then he has to be a lover, surely not a fighter or a thief.
So more and more South American criminals are making their way into our homes – and stealing our belongings.
The Polis DiRaja Malaysia, when contacted, could not confirm nor deny accusations that Latinos often sing Quanta La Mera – the Spanish words for “in the” – when they are “in the” process of stealing from us.
Fact No.9: You cannot talk about illegal immigrants and foreign workers without talking about crooked policemen. They all seem to go together for some strange reasons. It may sound alien or foreign to you but it’s the truth – unless you are putting on blinkers or living in another planet, which makes you an alien, for sure.
Well, there are enough accusations from many foreigners that they are often picked on by rogue cops who want bribes and even cigarettes if they can’t prove their case.
That’s really horrible if these stories are true as it is simply unacceptable to see foreign workers being bullied. That’s a foreign and alien culture.
We are Malaysians. If they are illegal immigrants, round them up. If they have refugee status, let them be. If they have proper documents, let them work without fear.
But we are sure that not every cop behaves like this. We have read of cops being bashed up or even killed by illegal immigrants.
There are many other real stories of policemen who put their lives at risk to protect us against crooked foreign criminals.
But whatever said and done, these foreigners certainly love Malaysia. They get arrested, deported and, hey, they are back again in Malaysia – until the next operation by the authorities! What a forgiving lot we all are!
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Opinion, columnists, On The BEat, Wong Chun Wai
How well do we really know our foreign guest workers who help to keep Malaysia functioning?
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Wong Chun Wai began his career as a journalist in Penang, and has served The Star for over 27 years in various capacities and roles. He is now the group's managing director/chief executive officer and formerly the group chief editor. On The Beat made its debut on Feb 23 1997 and Chun Wai has penned the column weekly without a break, except for the occasional press holiday when the paper was not published. In May 2011, a compilation of selected articles of On The Beat was published as a book and launched in conjunction with his 50th birthday. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star.
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