Commentary by Ravin Palanisamy
THE Indians have gotten it again! A distasteful advertisement mocking Indians, made by a pharmacy chain, was yet another slap in the face for the community.
This goes to show that despite years of living in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society, some still ignore others’ sensitivities.
Yes, the pharmacy company apologised for the promotional video that sparked outrage online. But again, that was just another “sorry”.
Again and again the Indian community has been ridiculed, but all is expected to be forgiven after mere apologies.
Not long ago, prior to the August 12 state polls, Kota Anggerik assemblyman Najwan Halimi made a racist remark in a WhatsApp group against Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and Sivaranjani Manickam, PSM’s Meru candidate.
Najwan had sent a message to a PKR group, calling PSM an “Indian estate party”.
Despite uttering the slur, Najwan was defended by PKR president and Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who brushed off the matter as a “mistake”.
Najwan said “sorry”, too.
Despite his insensitive comments, Najwan was still allowed to contest the seat, which he won. He did not face any disciplinary action.
This was despite PKR advisory council chairman Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and party vice-president Amirudin Shari saying the disciplinary board would decide what to do about Najwan.
I guess they felt “sorry” was enough for the Indians.
Earlier this year, independent Muslim preacher Wadi Annuar Ayub irked the community after he said Hindus who participate in Thaipusam procession were “worshipping Satan”.
Wadi Annuar, who has more than a million Facebook followers, was commenting on a viral clip of a Thaipusam procession, which included Malays.
The Kedah-born preacher later apologised to the Hindu community for his insensitive remarks.
Despite several police reports against Wadi Annuar, no action was taken.
With the preacher being an online sensation, with his sermons usually aired live on social media platforms, even the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission failed to act.
I guess “sorry” was once again deemed enough to placate Indians. It did not even matter that they were hurt by the incident.
Before that, influencer Fatin Amyra Lee, who had over 118,000 Instagram followers, said she was dizzy listening to “keling” songs at an A.R. Rahman concert and demanded to hear Hindustan songs by Siti Nurhaliza instead.
In April, Cheras police chief Zam Halim Jamaluddin said investigation papers were sent to the deputy public prosecutor’s office, but there has been no update since.
Looks like another one got away scot-free.
However, a national hockey player did get suspended for uttering a racial slur during the same concert..
But for that one punishment, many others were let off without action. Those in power did not even bother using stern words against offenders, or show that they care.
It just goes to show the local Indian minority is still other races’ punching bag. With every hit, it is made to settle for a simple “sorry”.
This is the “sorry” reality we live in. – October 29, 2023.