It’s okay to be black or white but not kurang ajar

“Gelap! Tak nampak!”

The ignorance and rudeness of our MPs have yet again cast a dark cloud over the sanctity of the Dewan Rakyat.

The racist remark by Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim on July 13 caused an uproar among his peers and Malaysians alike.

The remark was directed at Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto when she was speaking.

Abdul Azeez offered a lame justification. He said: “For two years I sat in the same spot and it’s dark there so we never get the attention of the Speaker. I meant the space. By God’s will I was also born dark and had no intention of calling anyone dark, and I apologise.”

Once again, such an ignorant and lame excuse.

But don’t just single out Abdul Azeez.

Nga Kor Ming, who quit on July 13 as Deputy Speaker, had in 2011 called then Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir “black metallic”. The Taiping MP later apologised.

Last year, Pasri Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman asked if the vibhuti on RSN Rayer’s forehead was the late Chin Peng’s ashes.

Rayer, the Jelutong MP, is no angel himself as in 2018 he used the words “kepala bapak” while in Parliament.

But these MPs don’t care what the world thinks about them. There’s the Bangsar Bubble, there’s also the ‘Saya ahli politik, saya berlagak besar‘ Bubble.

These people kiss and make up quickly.

Remember the incident between Tajuddin and Kuala Kurau MP Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said that almost turned into a brawl in Parliament in November last year?

Well, the two made up and gave each other a peck on the cheek.

In 2016, Tajuddin critisiced Seputeh MP Teresa Kok by saying: “This Yang Berhormat Seputeh kek, kek, kek, kek for what? The only woman with a ‘kok’ is in Seputeh.”

In 2007, Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Mokhtar Radin said: “Where is the leak? Batu Gajah MP also leaks every month.” – an unwarranted, uneducated and sexist remark.

A year later, Bung Mokhtar challenged wheelchair-bound Karpal Singh to “stand if you dare”.

In 2018, Bung Mokhtar uttered the words: “You nak gaduh sama saya. Anytime. F**k you.”

What these ignorant, rude and so-called “people’s representatives” fail to realise is that their actions in Parliament have repercussions.

If “leaders” can go around calling people “gelap“, insult a peer and even threaten to throw punches in the august House, what more then the ordinary Malaysian?

So it comes as no surprise why Malaysians still read about and see racist and thuggish-like attitudes.

“Mandarin speaking preferred” or “Malay/Muslim tenants only”. Or what about the aunty who speaks volumes about unity during her “good ol’ days” but when her grand daughter intends to marry a man who is not of the same caste, let alone the same race, all hell breaks loose.

There are also those who label babies as “wah so fair” or “why so dark, ah?”, as though it’s a sin to have a tan.

There was also an incident where I was labelled a ghost for being “too white” on a television show. Growing up being called “hak kwai” (black ghost in Cantonese), I could live with ghost – regardless black or white.

What I could not understand was the need to point out that I was sitting “with a bunch of Melayus”.

So? And? Point being?

Then there is the series of road rage incidents where people have no qualms inflicting pain on one another. If their “leaders” can shout and cause a commotion in Parliament, perhaps they believe they can also do the same on the road?

The hypocrisy is nauseating. But nothing will ever change.

Even as the world saw the consequences of racial profiling, how the Black Lives Matter caused riots in major cities across the globe and how some people kept chanting “Ubah, Ubah” prior the 2018 general election – nothing has really changed in Malaysia.

Malaysians need to understand that it’s completely fine to be black, white, yellow, blue or purple. Malaysians need to respect each other, regardless of gender.

And Malaysians must show that they can prove a point and convey a message with facts and figures, without the need to say “f*** you”.

What is not fine is being rude, ignorant and kurang ajar.

It starts with all of us – our parliamentarians, and you.