The “Migrants” word is extra sensitive when it comes to Malaysians given that we are a multi-racial country. Having that said, the “Non-Bumiputera are migrants” mindset is so deeply engraved within our society that from time to time, we’ve got the Bumiputeras reminding the Non-Bumiputeras of their origins.
Recently, the UMNO Subang Youth Chief, Alfie Zainal had made a controversial tweet in response to a netizen who claimed that equality had never existed in Malaysia. Nonetheless, he was being labelled by netizens as a racist following his tweets, which isn’t sure nobody knows whether his tweets are made with the wrong intention or just misunderstanding.
The whole incident started when a netizen, Sharifah Hani (@sharifahyasmiin) tweeted that Malaysians were proud of the Muslim couple who created the Pfizer vaccine despite being in Turkey and migrated to Germany.
She then continue saying the Malaysians would already have knew the outcome of the couple if they were being raised in Malaysia. She added that they would never have had the same opportunities to succeed.
“They came from migrant families and would’ve lacked access to education, discriminated against and ignored.” she said.
Meanwhile, Alfie Zainal gave some examples of Non-Bumiputera scholars, including the research associate Indran Mathavan (MOSTI scholar helping the world understand the germ war) and Dr Betty Kim Lim Sim (UM scholar researching Malaria), saying that those from migrant families have succeed in Malaysia too.
“Stop the irresponsible propaganda. Many other migrant families have become successful here.”
Indran Mathavan – Scholarship from MOSTI and now helping the world understanding how germ wage war on one another.— Alfie Zainal (@alfiezainal) July 22, 2021
Dr Betty Kim Lim Sim a UM product who is saving the world from Malaria
Stop the irresponsible propaganda. Many other migrant families have become successful here
His tweet then went viral on social media and Malaysians were quick to point out that the 2 scholars are Malaysians and the UMNO leader should have done his research before he tweeted.
After receiving those furious backlashes, Zainal then said that the when he said “migrant families”, he meant those whose grandparents were not the citizen of this country pre Merdeka and not those 2 Malaysian scholars.
“Growing up with that kind of ancestral lineage does not impede your chance to be succesful in Malaysia.” he added.
Good attempt by some to spin my tweet to sound racist. The people ive mentioned came from migrant families as a retort to the original tweet author. They received equal opportunities and given access to education, were never discriminated and definitely not ignored by the Gov.— Alfie Zainal (@alfiezainal) July 22, 2021
In another tweet, he said that his tweet had been taken out of context by netizens and he understands the word migrant is sensitive among Malaysians.
Nonetheless, he said the tweet author who had had propagated that those who came from a migrant background has no chance at all of being successful nor have the support the government is not true. He feels that the tweet author was irresponsible and this may influence others to lose hope of making it here in Malaysia.
Having said that, netizens continued to bash him for being a racist and for saying equality exists in Malaysia. Netizens do make a point when it comes to the quota system for higher education.
Hahaha— MikeyH (@mh9969) July 22, 2021
How many generations you going back now?
If we're going down that route, how many generations have your family been here?
And do we call you a migrant because of that?
I know I know….
You're the Umno head of Subang. So say whatever….won't matter.
Equal opportunity? what is the percentage? you only highlight non bumi who is successful? how about non bumi who didnt get the same opportunity as bumi even when they got better result..— FUCKT4 (@_iH4CK_) July 22, 2021
malaysians with citizenship are not migrants. Kalau ni tahun 1930 ye lah kau nak panggil family mereka 'migran'. Ni dah bergenerasi anak-pinak lahir sini bukan 'migrant families' lah. Benaknya ketua "PEMUDA".— 𓆉 suf 𓆉 | 🏴 (@histonomer) July 22, 2021
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!