I refer to the statement by former Kelana Jaya MP and MCA leader Loh Seng Kok justifying the blanket ban on African tenants by the JMB of Ridzuan Condominium.
“Living in a multiracial country, Malaysians in general oppose any form of racism. However, given that the residents at the Ridzuan Condo AGM had voted for such a measure, it would be contradictory and ironical if Malaysians are to be accused of racial discrimination.”
Ironically, it appears that Loh is contradicting himself here.
The ban is clearly a blanket ban on all Africans as a community. By any standard it would be deemed as racist.
Racist policies can be introduced through democratic means. Apartheid policy was introduced in South Africa after the party advocating for it won in the 1948 elections. The White Australia policy that discriminated against non-white immigration to Australia from 1901 to 1973 was similarly enacted through democratic means.
Since our early days as a nation under our first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaya and Malaysia played a leading role in opposing racism particularly apartheid and Zionism. Tunku was the first to walk out from the Commonwealth Ministers meeting in London in 1960 to protest against apartheid.
Furthermore, MCA’s statement was released exactly 50 years after Martin Luther King’s historic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech where the American civil rights leader spoke out against racism in the US:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Judging someone by their ethnicity as opposed to the content of their character is racist.
I am the State Assemblyman of the area. I am aware of the problems faced by the residents. But no matter what the problems are, the way to solve the problem is to deal with the crimes and social ills, which cuts across ethnic lines.
The fact that it was passed by the Condo’s AGM does not mean that it is enforceable let alone immune from challenge in a court of law.
There are existing laws that can be better used to overcome the problems faced by the residents without being discriminatory or racist. We can even consider new legislation or bylaws. As I have mentioned earlier, I will contact the JMB of the condo to arrange a dialogue with the necessary authorities such as MBPJ, the Commissioner of Buildings, police and immigration to find ways to overcome the problem of crime and social ills in the area.
We need to leave behind our obsession with race in order to move forward as a nation to the 21st century.