Wednesday 19 November 2014

Shunning Politics

Someone wondered why I don't seem to write anything remotely political these days.

The thing is, when I decided to write about my life in general, I didn't realise how little politics affect my life.

The Bumiputra quota in housing means nothing to me or my immediate family because none of us bought our homes under that scheme even though we are all registered as Melayu in our identity cards.

When the nons quibble about Bumiputra discounts, I find it irrelevant because we never bought our homes with the Bumiputra discount, not even our father when he bought his retirement home.

When people talk about the need for low cost housing - it makes no difference to me because none of us are qualified for low cost housing.

As for Malay Reserve Land except for a few acres of palm oil in Johor, the rest of our properties are not on Malay Reserve Land.

While the politicians get all excited about Malay first Malaysian second, it makes no difference to me whatsoever because I have always encountered racial discrimination at the workplace because I am considered a Malay first by my largely non-Malay employers and by-passed for training and promotions on the basis that I will get that training from trained seniors, who happened to be non-Malays.

That sort of justified the tag "assistant" in assignments even though I ended up doing the bulk of the work.

I heard one of the senior managers once said "we are transferring our skills to our Bumiputera colleagues" as if Malays were incapable of acquiring those skills themselves should they were given the training directly.

Has any politician said anything for the average Malay professional facing discrimination in organisations with largely non-Malay management?

It is really funny that I got more acknowledgement from the HQ in Britain than I did from the Malaysian office when it comes to ideas and job accomplishment.

My Malaysian bosses questioned why the departments from HQ offered all-expenses paid training to me directly instead of asking for their recommendations, when they had never considered that I was never sent by the office for training anywhere and yet expected me to "assist" the trained colleagues to complete their assignments.

They even refused to grant me time off for the 5-week professional license training programme offered at no cost to me by the HQ, while at the same time two others were given the go-ahead to attend the same programme and the office were willing to pay for it.

Once, I was also reminded by a senior manager not to wear baju kurung for a presentation because the client was not a government department, something that I never encountered when I was working in Britain.

Hilarious, considering my previous job in Britain required me to do a lot of site visits and meeting clients in various settings, even a boardroom presentation.

How's that for discrimination?

I was considered a rebellious upstart and not fit for grade promotion, but various department heads were offering me lateral movements into their departments, one even offering me a position at a reduced grade - to streamline with the others doing the same things in his department - while making it like he was doing me a favor.

And these are the kind of people in the pool of "top echelons of professionals" in that particular field being head-hunted by multinationals for ever increasing remunerations.

Some of them are even Malays.

Do politicians even care why Malay professionals in many non-Malay dominated organisations have always carried the stigma of being a Malay before anything else is considered, unless they embrace the so-called "corporate" culture that is practiced by the ruling classes within the organisation?

Does anyone care?


  1. As a non-Malay, your words tell me more about the racism that Malays face than the words of all politicians. Thank you.

  2. Malay are raciest , and they are color blinds .

  3. Chauvinism is as ancient as Cain and Abel. Just like Cain we tend to behave as if "our" sacrifice and "our" acts are worth more than the other guy's - in the sight of our Superior. Too few are as humble as Abel close to nothing.

  4. There's a hug difference between private companies being assholes and racist---and having a government with a policy of racial discrimination.

    If the housing policy means nothing to you--or your family--why does BN still insist on keeping it? How about UiTM, Maktab Sains, Matriculation, ASN/ASB---why do we keep that?

    1. You totally don't get it do you? Why don't you deal with your overwhelming self-pity and self-righteouness and start seeing things from a bigger perspective? Understand why this posting is titled Shunning Politics, will you?

  5. Any Malay that has worked in a non malay majority company would have encountered all of these issues. I have personally gone through all of these as well. My then Manager even told me out right that I am being overlooked for oversea job assignments because the other managers don't feel comfortable with a malay and would prefer an all chinese team. The way he said it made it sound like it was no big deal and also the norm. Sufficient to say, I didn't stay there for long after that.