Hornbill Unleashed

July 16, 2012

Racism rears its ugly head in comic strip

Filed under: Politics,PRU 13 Election — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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FMT Staff

The comic booklet distributed at a taxi launch has discriminatory remarks against dark skinned foreigners

A coalition of non-governmental organisations want the Home Ministry to ban and initiate action against the publisher of a comic booklet entitled ‘M1-Malaysia – Majalah untuk rakyat’, as the magazine contains “highly crude and discriminatory remarks” against dark skinned foreigners.In a statement the Working Group on National Ratification of International Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said the booklet is a distorted propaganda publication bearing the 1Malaysia logo and was widely distributed at the 1Malaysia People’s Taxi programme launch on 25 June, this year.
“We strongly and collectively condemn the discriminatory cartoon in the comic booklet entitled “M1-Malaysia – Majalah untuk rakyat”.“The irony is this degrading comic book was actually given to the thousands of tax drivers who were being heralded as the “tourism ambassadors” of our country,” the coalition of NGOs said.It said the comic book made highly crude and discriminatory remarks on a group of dark-skinned foreigners, referring to them as “Awang Arang” (Mr. Charcoal).

“This negative depiction of any race or nationality based on skin color is a violation of basic human rights. Sadly this embarrassing document obviously contradicts the spirit, sentiment and principles of “1 Malaysia” as espoused by PM Najib’s government.

“Respect, unity and tolerance for all are not values only to be enjoyed by Malaysian Citizens but they are universal principles applicable for all human beings on this earth!

“This “Xenophobic” behavior or the ridiculous and unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners is truly embarrassing for our nation and our multicultural population. It is a total contradiction to the common claim that Malaysians are very sensitive to each other despite racial and religious differences, and we have achieved the delicate balance of “unity in diversity”,” said the strongly worded statement.

The working group also said the negative and racist depiction by the comic book will only create more fear and prejudice among ordinary Malaysians, “god forbid if these racist materials get into the hands of school children!

It reminded Malaysians that the International Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination convention which had been ratified by 175 countries, is yet to be ratified by our very own government.

“We strongly urge the Malaysian Government including all responsible agencies to immediately investigate this matter. In the meantime to immediately stop the distribution of this insidious book. We also strongly urge the Home Minister to take appropriate action against Blue Pipe Studio Enterprise, the publishers of this comic book.

“It is high time Malaysia undertake drastic and strong measures to stop prevent racial propaganda or instigation amongst peoples of different ethnic or racial origin,” it said

Members of the Working Group are  Bar Council Human Rights Committee, Lawyers for Liberty, Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM), Tenaganita, LLG Cultural Development Centre, Institute of Ethnic studies (KITA), PROHAM with Pusat KOMAS acting as its secretariat.

 

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