While Malaysians pride ourselves on being part of a melting pot made up of different races and cultures that lend to the diversity of the nation, just how prevalent is racism in our country? This sensitive question is one that can’t be answered simply as everyone may have different viewpoints on it, depending on their background and experience.

Index Mundi, which is a data portal that gathers facts and statistics recently carried out a survey that definitely pressed some buttons.

The ‘Racial Discrimination Survey’ according to the website, is ‘to measure how much racism exists in a given country as perceived by its residents.’

Respondents were required to answer the question: ‘How big of a problem is racial discrimination in the country where you live?’. There was no further elaboration on the question.

When the results were out, Malaysia ranked second on the chart amongst 76 countries, just behind South Africa at number one and with Guatemala ranking third. Meanwhile, our southern neighbours Singapore ranked no.73 and Indonesia ranked at no. 14. This is not the first time that we’ve ranked on the list, as Malaysia also placed no.2 in 2020 and 2021.

Some Twitter users were upset, as they said that it was those like the politicians and government who are racist, while the citizens are not:

Another user also agreed, saying that their neighbours, colleagues and national leaders were good people, but it was the politicians who were racist:

Others were of the opinion that places such as Australia and the UK were in fact less racist than Malaysia:

One user chimed in that those who don’t recognise that Malaysia is racist must be a ‘katak di bawah tempurung’, a Malay proverb which refers to an ignorant person with a limited outlook.

Let’s hope we appear on more positive lists next time!

Image source: Unsplash via Patrick Langwallner, indexmundi.com