Ridzuan condo – racism runs deep in Malaysia

Bad hats exist in any ethnic or nationality group. I know several people from Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania – they’re really nice, friendly folks.

Nicer people than many Malaysians I know, sadly. So, should we evict the Malaysian bad hats, too? If any action is to be taken, let’s address it individually and not lump all of these people into a group and take blanket action.

Malaysians also suffer some negative perceptions overseas – e.g. racist, poor treatment of maids – so do you want all Malaysians to treated poorly overseas?

Rojak: I don’t think this kind of issue can be dealt with by blunt statements on either side, whether it is “This criticism is racism and simply unacceptable” or “The people of such-and-such a culture do not know how to behave themselves.”

If there is to be any hope of progress, there has to be negotiation involving all residents. I know of one condo where a recent influx of tenants from a particular (Asian) country has disconcerted many residents because many of them behave in a manner which appears anti-social and uncooperative.

The result has been silent hostility between the newcomers and the othersm and nothing improves.

A better approach might be to build bridges – politely pointing out behaviour that most locals find unacceptable even though it seems normal to the newcomers, but at the same time making newcomers feel welcome as long as they make certain adjustments. No man is an island.

Awakened: I have a colleague who studied and worked in Japan for many years. He told me that the Malaysians were discriminated against in condominiums there.

The Japanese do not like Malaysians to be their neighbours because of our cooking and the strong ‘belacan’ smell.

Luckily, they have not resorted to a blanket ban on Malaysians. Otherwise, the Malaysians have nowhere to stay just because the Japanese do not like ‘sambal belacan’.

TheSilentMajority: This, like most other ills, is because the people responsible for ensuring only genuine students and workers come into the country have failed to do their job or have accepted bribes to allow non-qualified foreigners in.

I do not condone racism. We have enough on our plate trying to fight race-based inequalities. And yet the very people shouting ‘racism’ are here encouraging the very same.

Be careful as the hate you help stoke can consume you too. Find the right solution and don’t be lazy and go for an easy solution like banning a group based on the colour of their skin.

Not Confused: As an ex-chairman of a condo management corporation, the management council or joint management body (JMB) cannot force owners to ban Africans as tenants.

They can pass an AGM (annual general meeting) resolution, but cannot enforce it on any owner if they wish to ignore the resolution.

What they can do is to ensure that good behaviour and other conditions of residency are clearly stated in the condo’s by-laws, which must be approved by a special resolution at an AGM where a quorum of owners is present.

It is then possible to impose financial penalties on residents who abuse or ignore any by-law. This won’t of course ensure peace and tranquility, but it can hit the errant resident’s pocket.

Jasper: Having spent some time in Africa, I can say that the issue is mainly culture. Africans are more easygoing. If they are stretched out on a Rapid train seat, ask them to move and they will – they expect people to speak up if you are not happy with something.

But having said that, even my (non-Nigerian) African friends are afraid of Nigerians.

Star Wars: I have no liking for Nigerians but I disagree with any form of racial profiling. Such racial profiling has no place in Malaysia. Indeed, it is a dangerous move to allow such racial profiling in Malaysia.

Maybe they start off by excluding the Africans but if left unchecked tomorrow, they may even exclude the Malays, Indians or Chinese. This country is in a sad state not only due to bad government policies but also due to people with racist attitude.

I hope the exclusion of Nigerians are only due to criminal activity and not due to their race and colour.

It will be also interesting to see how the courts are going to react to such moves by the JMC to evict the tenants based on race if the matter is brought to court.

The JMC is not thinking straight and is threading on dangerous waters. The JMB must remember that they cannot impose any condition on landlord on their choice of tenant. The rented property belonged to the landlord and not the JMB. It cannot interfere with the rights of the owner.

ACR: This is a problem those staying in condos face and usually the owner-occupied units face the brunt of whatever nuisance a troublesome Nigerian tenant creates. Owners who do not stay at the condo but rent their unit to difficult Nigerians are oblivious to this issue.

At the outset, the government is at fault. How many Nigerians have come in as students, had brushes with the law and yet do not have their visas cancelled and deported?

We should be circumspect in granting visas to them. It is not right to tar the entire Africa in this regard and some of them from Africa are Asians ethnically.

Headhunter: Why are we surprised when even our own non-bumiputera students are treated the same way by their teachers and headmasters?

Racial profiling and bigotry run deep in our country all thanks to Umno, former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his skewed policies. Why do you think racist groups like Perkasa and their goons can run amok at the drop of a hat?

Touche: This problem has been simmering for some time. The trouble is both the PDRM (police) and Immigration have been sleeping on the job.

If only they take the trouble to organise checks and raids on condos popularly rented out to Africans on a regular basis not dissimilar to checking and raiding massage parlours and karoake lounges for sex workers, illegals, etc, the problem would have been solved.

Those Africans who have expired passes or fake passes should be rounded up and deported. These are the troublemakers. I am sure those Africans who are here as genuine students are good and have nothing to fear.

Versey: I share the same opinion with Touche. Our Immigration, the PDRM should have done a better job.

On top of that, should not our Education Ministry share some blame for failure to scrutinise those questionable education establishments which ‘conveniently’ enabling so many coming into the country under the disguise as students?

This bolehland of endless possibilities is indeed a paradise for any troublemakers compare to Singapore which enforces strict rules diligently. Those foreign students from Commonwealth countries cannot enter Singapore via Malaysia without applying for a permit from the Singapore High Commission.

Chee Hoe Siew: It is quite disgusting to see that after so many years on the receiving end of racial prejudice, we do the same to others.

I feel that it is not right that the management target a certain people because of their race. Can there be alternatives to this? Can the entitlement of stay base on certain principles and conditions instead?

Isn’t it possible to instead base on a set of rules and regulations to ensure proper behaviour within the premise, and warnings and eviction notices given to those who violate such rules?

Newday: Those who don’t live in or own Ridzuan condo can say what they want. Those who live there or own a unit can also do what they need to. We do not need a minister for African well-being.

Pemerhati: The people who support the decision of the JMB asking the Africans to leave the Ridzuan condominium are a bunch of disgraceful racists.

If Barack Obama were a student and living amongst them, he would also be included amongst the people asked to leave. The correct approach in this case would be to identify the people breaking the rules and causing trouble and then take appropriate action against them with the help of the authorities.

If the authorities shirk their responsibility then bring the matter up with the ‘wakil rakyat’ and/or publicise the matter in the media and/or tell Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan and see if he is able to solve the problem or is just good at talking.

Anyone who discriminates against a whole group of people because of their ethnicity is behaving like the Umno leaders.

But the Umno leaders are a bit smarter because even though their racism and discrimination is very much worse, they try and fool the people and the world by regularly proclaiming ‘1Malaysia’.

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