Hello there. As a Malaysian I'm curious to how outsiders view my homeland and how it is portrayed by foreign press. Please leave your opinions about my country so I may understand them as I always wanted to know what foreigners think about us. Also, if you have any questions about Malaysia feel free to drop one down below. I'll be glad to answer it.
Your Opinion/View On Malaysia
I don't know too much about Malaysia. What do you think of the United States?
Malaysia is a country which terrorizes its Christian minority. It is among the better-off countries of the region, probably in large part due to its close proximity to Singapore and its situation along the highly important Strait of Malacca. Its reasonably well-developed economy is probably more sustainable than, say, that of Saudi Arabia as a result. However, that has not translated to a people who are tolerant of those unlike themselves. There is popular support for violent suppression of anything that falls outside of the norms of Islamic society. People have been captured on video cheering when gay men were publicly caned. There is also a great deal of xenophobia in Malaysia due to the fact that the primary drivers of Malaysian economic progress these past few decades have been Chinese and Indian immigrants. There is a significant degree of inequality in the country as a result, so it's not solely a matter of simple bigotry, but still.
If I were to visit the country tomorrow, I probably would not feel particularly unsafe as a tourist. I don't recall the country to have been war-torn. I once met a guy who'd immigrated from Malaysia and he seemed really nice. He was big into photography and had even served in the US military if I recall. I talked with him a good while in the hotel room at a convention for nerds.
As for most Americans, I suspect they could not find it on a map, and they probably know very little about it save that it's a "tropical jungle country" like the Philippines.
I did a research project on them last week lol
Very interesting country and I did enjoy my research
-They just got a new king
-Great healthcare system
-Batik, jegot, renda and traditional arts
-They just got a new king
-Great healthcare system
-Batik, jegot, renda and traditional arts
-Some foods are laksa, roti canai, satay, and coconut pudding
-Mothers usually plant placentas in pot
-Traditional Asian values with a mix of Western philosophies and Islam
the country still struggles with inequity too
Good nightclubs, very little else is good in the nation.
From what I could perceive as well as from the general media, the United States is a well developed country with many internal issues plaguing it. From border issues and security problems to racism and general infighting among Democratic and Republican parties alike. Also the US' rather aggressive president Donald Trump has been waging a trade tit-for-tat war with China, badly affecting my country's overall prospects due to economic turbulence presented from the US-China trade war. Also, the number of times shooting incidents happen in your country make it seem like my country is safer than the US. In fact, many of my friends are considering not to go to the US, or not staying longer than necessary in the US due to the turbulent state of America.
Malaysia is a country which terrorizes its Christian minority.
I find it hard to agree on this considering how they are treated in Malaysia. In fact, I go to a missionary school (of Methodist Christianity). The government has done nothing so far to actually terrorise the Christian minority or any other minority in that matter (Buddhism, Hindusim, Sikh etc). While there are minor racial tensions among races it is normally inflamed during election periods for politicians to gain votes.
There is popular support for violent suppression of anything that falls outside of the norms of Islamic society. People have been captured on video cheering when gay men were publicly caned.
This is, in fact, a isolated case. You see, during colonial times Western colonizers target the more Western side of Peninsular Malaysia due to its abundance in resources and close proximity to important trading routes (Penang, Straits of Malacca, Singapore). This has resulted in a more developed side of Malaysia, the western states compared to its eastern counterparts to be more developed technologically and socially. Such incidents are often detested in more developed areas of Malaysia. Due to the more outdated mindset of the citizens of its Eastern Coast, Malaysia's Muslim community has been long divided into two sides. One seeks a moderate use of Islam (UMNO and such) while the other seeks radical application of Islam law (or Shariah law) in all parts of the country (PAS political party for example).
There is also a great deal of xenophobia in Malaysia due to the fact that the primary drivers of Malaysian economic progress these past few decades have been Chinese and Indian immigrants.
Yes, this is one of the reasons of xenophobia occuring in Malaysia but is not one of the driving factors. Here are a few other rasons:
1) The main reason is that Western colonizers has been racially segregating each race into different parts of the community for centuries, thus creating discord between them and making them easier to control.
2) World War 2. The Japanese sought Indian and Malay support. Indian support so that the Japanese armies can overthrow the British-occupied India, and Malays to ensure a smooth takeover from the Sultans themselves (also Malay). The Chinese, however, were badly treated due to the Sino-Japanese Wars 1 and 2 as well as resistance fighters by Chinese mainlanders with support from Malaysian Chinese during WW2.
3)Somewhat continuation from reason 2. After the Japanese surrender in 1945. Some among the mistreated Chinese community took arms and began witch hunts seeking and executing locals who had supported or helped the Japanese occupiers. They called themselves the Tentera Bintang Tiga, or roughly translated to 'The Three Star Army' and went on a rampage terrorising mostly Malay communities as it was those communities that ratted the Chinese out in the first place. These militants Wran amok for nearly 14 days before the British military arrived to settle things.
4)Also a continuation of reason 3. After the BMA (British Military Administration) arrived, many of the Three Star Army' fled to the jungles to become communists, leading sabotage attacks on infrastructure, assassination and ambushes on local police, military units and Westerner's property. It led to what is known as the Malayan Emergency, lasting for a long 12 years before finally being quelled. It took the cooperation of all citizens, Malays, Indians and Chinese along with British assistance to defeat the communist agenda, leasing to one of the few cases where a country has successfully defeated a Communist enemy on their own homeland.
But apart from above mentioned, most of what you said is true. There is xenophobia among Malaysians, there is still discrimination, the LGBT community is still treated poorly (in some areas) and there is simply a matter of internal politics which results in bigotry towards every other side except oneself.
Interesting read, however. Do the newspapers mention anything particular about Malaysia in your country?
Allow me to correct some of your points.
True. We are an Islamic country. However, unlike countries Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan we allow the practice and growth of other religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and other religions. Why?Probably because it means we can celebrate more public holidays. Lol.
-They just got a new king
Here's where you are slightly misunderstood. You see, Malaysia has NINE kings. (I know it's complicated, read Malaysia's history to know the full story). Every few years one of the kings is chosen to be head of the nine kings. He will be called Yang Di Pertuan Agong, or roughly translated, His Majesty King of Kings. A bit like England, we run a democratic constitutional monarchy, meaning like the Queen of England, he does not have much say on political and administrative matters. The Agong however does have a say in Malay religious matters (Islam) as the Agong is regarded as the protector of Islam religion in Malaysia
-Great healthcare system
Can't argue with that. We can get a basic checkup in many government hospitals for RM1 (roughly equivalent to 0.24 USD at time of writing). We also have some of the state of the art technologies regarding heart healthcare, resulting in the creation of what we call medical tourism in Malaysia.
Batik, jegot, renda and traditional arts
Batik is regional. Thailand has batik, Indonesia also has batik. I suppose we do have our own unique style of Batik. It is just not only exclusive in Malaysia.
Also, it is called 'Joget', not jegot. Joget is a Malay traditional dance, though I have never seen it with my own eyes.
Renda is merely Malaysian lace. Nothing worth speaking actually.
Other traditional arts we have include shape puppetry, silversmithing, and other dances.
Some foods are laksa, roti canai, satay, and coconut pudding
Actually it is had to say what is Malaysian food and what isn't. Malaysia is such a melting pot that all our culture's have integrated into one messy yet unique mass culture unlike anywhere else in the world.
Mothers usually plant placentas in pot
Outdated old wive tales. Easily dismissed.
Traditional Asian values with a mix of Western philosophies and Islam
True, our intergartion of both Islamic nationand Western ideas, technologies and philosophies during pre-colonial and during colonial times results in this.
Say that nowadays and you'll be laughed at. True we have an abundance of natural resources and a growing industrial power, but recent events have taken a turn for the worse for Malaysia. The recent switchover in government policies and parties has resulted in the slowing down of Malaysian economy. The China-America trade war isn't helping either. Many citizens here live quietly and sparingly. Hey, at least we aren't South Africa or Venezuela.
I enjoyed your answer. If you have any other questions regarding Malaysia feel free to ask.
And yes, we still struggle with inequity among races due to our rough history.
Nightclubs? Pah. Nothing as grand as Las Vegas or the like. Just ordinary. And yes our country is measly and relatively poor in global standards. But we do have our perks.
One, as a foreigner Malaysia is one of the cheapest countries to retire to. Two, we don't have frequently occuring natural disasters. Free except from tsunamis, tornadoes and volcanoes and such (except the occasional monsoon flash floods). That one earthquake in Sabah/Sawarak does not count, as that fault line has been inactive for centuries and is treated as a extremely rare occurrence. Three, your currency (as long as from a Western country) can be traded for a lot in Malaysia in local money. Move over here and you'll be rich as heck. Four, Malaysia is ranked one of the most easiest counties to set and develop a business.
Our crime rate is relatively low as long as you use common sense and walk the proper streets. The people here are mostly laid-back and friendly to outsiders (unlike to their own citizens due to racial issues). We also have one of the highest literacy rates among citizens and highest English speaking rates in Asia. It's not much but it is something worth mentioning.
Also the US' rather aggressive president Donald Trump has been waging a trade tit-for-tat war with China, badly affecting my country's overall prospects due to economic turbulence presented from the US-China trade war.
I don't like tariffs.
Also, the number of times shooting incidents happen in your country make it seem like my country is safer than the US.
An effective way to reduce homicide and crime is to encourage good people to arm themselves to prevent the bad ones from committing homicide. Every country with over 1 million people has annual murder in it. When shootings happen in the US, it tends to make the news. The Left leaning news outlets point all their attention at school shootings and ignore the much more serious murder that happens in Chicago, which has tough gun laws.
In fact, many of my friends are considering not to go to the US, or not staying longer than necessary in the US due to the turbulent state of America.
Are they potential immigrants or tourists?
Well, the incidents still spook us. My country has extremely tough gun laws and it is rare to see a normal civilian to be armed with a gun.
As for my friends, they are high school students-cum-potential college students who see America as a suitable place to migrate to study, but then all this nonsense occuring in the country just puts some of them off.
but then all this nonsense occuring in the country just puts some of them off.
While the gun violence is evil, it can be prevented or reduced by arming teachers to defend the classroom against crazy shooters who wish to do harm. Also, most school have never been shot up by a shooter. Over 99% of schools have never been shot up, and I have yet to hear of a college that has been shot up. Your friends would be safe if they came here to study.
Why does Malaysia put so many plastic straws into the ocean? Now I can't get a plastic straw in any Democratically run community.
I don't know what to tell you about my country and its history with plastic straws, apart from being ranked the eighth worst plastic polluter in the world. beWe Probablyhave a bad causeplastic pollution problem due to it being easily assessible the lazinethroughout ofthe nation ssas we have quite a large plastic industry. The problem is probably worsened by the laziness of the citizens and the lack of proactive measures by the relevant authorities to curb the situation that resulted in such a ranking. However, the Government is going ahead with the plan to ban plastic straws in certain states in 1 July 2019, followed by the ban of plastic straws around 2020, and ending with the complete banning of single use plastics by 2030. So there is hope.
Will plastic recycle plants be banned as well?
Hard to say. Malaysia has multiple plastic recycling plants to meet the high demand of recycling plastic waste often shipped from developed countries. In recent news my country lambasted Canada for sending shipments of non-recyclable plastic alongside recyclable plastic containers. It is illegal, but with no one solely responsible for the act all we could do is send the rubbish back to Canada. The high demand for recycling plants in Malaysia shot up due to the ban of recycling plants in China, one of the largest dumping grounds for recyclable waste. This caused a major surge in the establishment of recycling plants in Southeast Asia, which desperately need the money to fund themselves, Malaysia included. The banning incident has also caused a number of illegal recycling plants to pop up out of the blue in remote areas, giving the government a major headache. But will these recycling plants be banned? Possibly, but not in the near future. As countries like Germany, Canada, USA, Great Britain and France pay good money to us to deal with their trash.
It's really sad. They ban straws in their "developed" countries because they worry about ocean pollution, yet still send their recyclables across the Pacific Ocean to Malaysia, knowing full well that nimby attitude is the cause of the problem.