Thursday, May 10, 2007

JJ and Sheela/Sheena Moorthy in California: Racism and the Shallowness of Skin Colour

Dr. Sheela Moorthy, a Malaysian residing in California USA lodged a complaint against Jamaludin Jarjis (from now on, JJ). An apology was demanded from racist minister (02-May-2007). Mr. Lim Kit Siang has an entry in his blog on this as well.

As a Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, they met in a gathering organised by the Malaysian Consulate. His job was to address issues for Malaysian students studying in USA.

Dr. Sheela is currently supporting her sister's (Sheena) education in USA. As a proud Malaysian, initially she was proud to be able to meet a fellow minister from her home country.

She was dearly surprised and angered when JJ used words such as "high class", "low class", "buruh kasar" (hard labour), "dark skinned", "light skinned" to describe fellow Malaysian Indians in his speech.

Dark was associated with "low" and Light was associated with "high".

Such unkind remarks! I can understand why she is angry. Malaysia have racist ministers ! Bravo to Sheena and Sheela for speaking out.

Purportedly, they wrote a letter and addressed to MIC president Samy Vellu. It is strange that there is no known comments or actions from him yet. Isn't it strange? Isn't he an Indian? Isn't he supposed to represent all Indians in Malaysia?

Some blogs call for JJ to be sacked


Apparently on 09-May-2007, Rocky's Bru reported that JJ has apologised to Sheena.


I wish to make a HIGHLIGHT on what was being said in the article above:
.... that he had said some things in jest; nonetheless, he wished to apologise to "the student in LA" if he had offended her, an aide told me on the phone.

First of all I would like to state that at least JJ has taken some effort to apologise to Sheena, which is somehow good, considering the fact that the rest of the politicians do not do so. Please take note that I used to word "somehow" before "good".

However, the problem here is the way the apology is conveyed. Is that a "real" apology? Is that so-called apology "an apology"? Let's analyse.

1) Bear in mind that JJ mentioned the word "JEST" in his so-called "apology".

2) Is he saying that he is only JESTING(joking) with his horrible words and not an intention to hurt people of Indian parentage?

3) Is he saying that he was only JOKING using such horrible words but he was "Sorry" that Sheena/Sheela took it seriously?

4) Is he justifying those horrible words are not appropriate if taken seriously but "OK" if said in JEST?

I ponder, if there are tokens of "Yes" for those questions above I would say that is an INSINCERE "apology".

I am not sure whether Jamaluddin Jarjis really meant it this way (below) but in my opinion it sounds like:


* * Does that mean Sheena/Sheela is the person who is the wrongdoer here, taking jokes seriously and make a big issue out of it ? * *

Saying certain people in races as being "LOW CLASS" and "HIGH CLASS" is an insult, regardless whether it is a JOKE or otherwise! Those words are Horrendous, Terrible and should be Condemned.

Why can't the apology be direct like this:
"I am sorry for offending people of Indian ethnicity. Words as such should not be uttered in any form, jesting or seriously."

Is that so-called "apology" sincere?

You decide !

Thank God I am not Sheena/Sheela.

P.S. Sheena/Sheela has not replied to the apology made by Jamaluddin Jarjis as of this moment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately racial "jesting" is a bumiputra privelege!!!

Mat Salleh