Monday, May 14, 2007

JJ and the Moorthy Sisters: Ministers Should Think Before Speaking

I would say that, as a 'Minister', who is also a Member of Parliament and representative of citizens, one should always be careful with his choice of words.

Words of a blogger may account for the views of the person alone which may bring no major impact. The public views the words of a minister as a stand and policy of the government.

If the public perceives the words of a minister as threatening or offensive, it will be no surprise to witness an outcry.

Let's analyse...

1) I believe indians who may be from 'other (be it higher or lower) caste' (than Samy Vellu's) but have low income do not want to be discriminated.

After all, caste is not supposed to be recognised in the Malaysian Constitution.

From what I recall, government's stand is to help a person based on his/her income level regardless of caste.

Does JJ mean, those from Samy Vellu's so-called lower caste would be helped? The higher would not? Only people who know Samy Vellu will be helped? Class = Caste? I am not sure.

Perhaps, everyone should read this and judge:
"Incident 3 – After saying he is going to get MARA to help the Bumiputra students, he looked at her and asked “How many Indians are here?” Sheena did not keep track of number of Indian students so she mentioned that in the room there were two (pointing to another Malaysian Indian friend, who is fair skinned) and Jamaludin looked at him and asked “Oh. You are an Indian? Which means you are an upper class Indian and she is the lower class one” (pointing at her). Jamaludin went on to say that, “Oh, I am not going to help upper class Indians, I only help the lower class ones. They are the ones that need it’."


2) It is still rude and wrong to stereotype anyone who is lighter skinned as higher class and darker skinned as lower class.

If I were to mention that the Europeans are higher class than the Chinese because of skin colour, would the Chinese like that? If I were to say that the Chinese are higher class than the Malays or Indians because of skin colour, would the Malays or Indians like this statement?

The answer is obviously 'NO'.

3) I am sure no individuals, in any sense would like to be associated with the phrase 'low class'. It is simply degrading. I believe, even 'lower caste' people would not like to be called such.

Continued in JJ and the Moorthy Sisters: Should We Accept JJ's Apology?

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