Recently, a video that was produced by a Muslim NGO, IKRAM Malaysia Foundation (IKRAM) was taken down after they received a furious backlash from netizens who perceive the video to be racist, perpetuating stereotypes and seditious in nature.
The video titled “Mak, Dah Siap!” or “Mom, It’s Done!” was published on Sunday (22 August) and it was originally intended to promote unity among Malaysians but it backfired after they showed some sensitive content.
The minute-long video showed a Malay family spending some quality time at home, with the father surfing the Internet, the mother working on some chores, and their son working on his homework at a nearby table.
While scrolling through the various videos, the father asks himself “What is wrong with these India keling? They are always fighting. What is happening to Malaysia?”.
@DrThanussha what’s your view on this Merdeka advertisement? pic.twitter.com/SElbAoOgc6— krishna (@krishster) August 24, 2021
“These Cina bukit are the same. Always driving drunk and running into others. What is wrong with them?”
His wife then rebukes his claims, saying that “Islam does not teach us to say things like that”.
Following that, the son then rushes to the mother while telling her he had finished his homework, which the drawing showed a Malay, Chinese and Indian, with the Malaysian flag in the background.
Initially, she praised her son’s drawing but as soon as she have a closer look at it, she was shocked that her son had written words “He is keling” and “He likes gangsters” under the Indian character named Mutu, and the words “He is Cina bukit” and “He likes to get drunk” under the Chinese character named Chong.
The video the ended with the boy saying “I was not born racist, but I was taught”.
Meanwhile, they also threw in the hashtag #MerdekaBersama and wished Malaysians Selamat Hari Merdeka (Happy National Day). In addition, they also included a disclaimer at the top of the video that says “The racist words observed in this video are for filming purposes only and should not be practised at all.”
At the same time, the logos of the logos of Ikram, TV Ikram and the Sinar Harian newspaper were displayed at the end of the video, but the Sinar Harian insists it had no role in the video, according to FMT.
Despite the video being taken down, netizens managed to save a copy of it and they began discussing on the video’s intended message. Some agreed that the video was offensive and promoted racial stereotypes, while others argued that the video is exactly what’s happening in Malaysia today.
It may be harsh but the message is accurate.— Dr Thanussha 🏴🇲🇾 (@DrThanussha) August 24, 2021
Racism is taught. No one is born racist. https://t.co/I03evtysJb
I humbly think it was wrong to use the derogatory terms. You can still get a strong message out without resorting to the very terms people find extremely offensive.— Phillip Karuppiah (@PhillKar) August 24, 2021
Those derogatory terms are real harsh but necessary to reflect the truth. One day, a united Malaysia insyaAllah— sarrrius (@suri200000) August 24, 2021
Shortly after the incident, IKRAM wrote an open apology, addressing Malaysian’s concerns and explained that the video was originally meant to reflect real-world situations that exist within Malaysian society and instil patriotism.
They said that the main message conveyed in the video is to show the current reality that exists within some parts of Malaysian society that tend to label other races with negative acts or behaviors.
They also stressed that this stereotype needs to stop and they are playing their part to convey the message across.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!