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:
The list is terribly misleading, to say Malaysia is no 2 racist, should be utter nonsense ( if we are talking abt the people), if you are talking abt politicians, govt, political parties then its a completely different ball game,— Manivannan Letchumanan (@maniletchumanan) September 27, 2022
Another user also agreed, saying that their neighbours, colleagues and national leaders were good people, but it was the politicians who were racist:
Actually , Malaysia is not racist country but politicians. My neighbors and my colleagues and many National leaders are good.— Sebastian Stansilas (@sssyabas258) September 27, 2022
Others were of the opinion that places such as Australia and the UK were in fact less racist than Malaysia:
I was born in Malaysia, live in Australia and I have lived in the UK. Based on my personal lived experience, both are less (overtly and indirectly) racist than Malaysia, with the UK being more racist than Australia.— Sare Heid (@sareheid) September 27, 2022
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.
To not recognize how racist Malaysia is endemically, means you're a katak bawah tempurung— Palahniuk (@chuckmsia) September 27, 2022
Let’s hope we appear on more positive lists next time!
Image source: Unsplash via Patrick Langwallner, indexmundi.com