Singapore : "I Don't Want To Sit Beside A Malay"- How Would You Respond?

Racism– some see it as a cancerous tumour that sparks ridiculously foolish friction among racial groups; while some see it as a way of life. Those who see it as the problem it is, harbour hate towards those who practice it, while those who see it as a way of life; are oblivious to the emotional hurt and anguish from injudicious racial discrimination. A Malay man went to a cinema to watch the new, Star Wars: The Force Awakens when a Chinese kid who entered the cinema after him told his father that he did not want to sit beside ‘Malay people’. Instead of pouring his drink over the kid’s head, the Malay man held in his anger and ranted on Facebook instead of releasing his tempest onto the young boy’s face. 1 Facebook user Sani B Sarip recently encountered a racist- or rather, a racist in the making, when he was at a cinema to catch the new Star Wars movie. Sani_Sarip Instead of telling off the said racist like most people would- Sani responded in kind by dedicating a passive-aggressive post on Facebook to Madame Fairness, in honour of the holiday that she seems to have taken from South East Asia, and in recognition of the imposter that stands in her stead- Monsieur Racism.

Dear Chinese man, and his family,

I am that guy that was in the cinema theatre before you. I wanted to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but hated crowds, so I decided to watch later.

I am that guy who your son (who could not have been more than 10) didn’t want to sit beside, because he said: “I don’t want to sit beside Malay people”.

I am that guy who was shaking in so much anger that he could not enjoy the first ten minutes of the movie because there was a part of him that just wanted to go over and pour his drink over the boy.

You don’t get to tell me that “He’s just a kid”.

A kid should be thinking of the action figures he should get after the movie, and not caring who sits beside him.

You don’t get to tell me to “Let it go”.

You have never experienced racism in Singapore, at least not as much as the minorities do. Like I told to your face, if you sat down somewhere and someone says “I don’t want to sit beside Chinese people”, how would you feel?

I also said that he’s lucky he’s still young, because I would punch his face in if he was older.

Also, my wife is Chinese. The majority of my friends are Chinese.

If any of them were there with me, they would have probably told you off worse than I ever could.

As a parent, you should teach your child to respect others.

You bring them to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where the lead actor is not a White Caucasian male, but rather, a British man, born to Nigerian parents.

Star Wars, where the story is about beings of different races getting together to defeat an evil dictatorship.

And yet I was treated like a pariah, by a child. Speaks volumes about your character.

I chose to sit somewhere else not to pander to his (and by extension, your) racism, I chose to sit somewhere else because I am the better man.

I am that man who will come to your aid if sometime in the future you get beaten up black and blue because you decided to be racist, and the victims have less self control than me.

I will be that person who will call the Police, and the Paramedics (of which many are Malay, and Indian) to help you.

I will be that person who will stay by your side until help arrives.

I will do so because I was taught to not judge a person by how he looks, how he smells, or how he talks.

I was also taught to be the better man, in the hopes that one day, we can all be colour blind, and not judge each other based on race.

Dear Chinese man, and his family,

I am human first, Malay second. Maybe you should teach your family that too.

God Bless, That Malay Guy.

Sani’s Facebook post has garnered over 10, 000 shares and 26, 000 likes since it was first posted on Christmas and is now sweeping across social media like an unstoppable force of a flame; hellbent to right a wrong.

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It goes without saying that racism is a cancerous tumour that needs to be removed with surgical precision before it mutates South East Asia into a racially divided subregion.

“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel

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