Welcome...to my world.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I saw this on D's blog, and as a fellow Malaysian and ex-Taylor's student...this issue is one of the many that I cannot leave untouched - especially since something akin to it had been discussed in class earlier today.

Other fellow Malaysians who actually still care for your country, please, join in with this - and know that while I never had these lecturers teach me during my time in Taylor's, they are not the kind to lie about things as serious as this.

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Foreigners Assaulted and Looking for Answers
March 30, 2009

I write today because I was assaulted this weekend by a deadly weapon, watched a female colleague of mine get hit by a man, and I feel as though it is my responsibility to make sure similar events do not take place again.

Living in Malaysia for the past ten months, I have seen a lot of ‘Malaysia boleh’. Most people here are friendly, helpful, and live peacefully. I have met wonderful people from each of Malaysia’s dominant ethnic groups (Malays, Indians, and Chinese) and seen harmony in practice between this country’s main religions (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism). Lecturing here, I have met many Malaysian students who symbolize this country’s potential for a ‘bright future’.

On the contrary, I have heard many stories of racial tension, hatred and violence. Daily I hear negative things about another race or religion. People from one group will talk about ‘the other’ as the problem, confiding in me like I agree, or think similarly. Everyday people treat me (tall, white, Canadian male) well. I am greeted as ‘sir’ or ‘boss’ with utmost respect, and kindness. However, I sometimes question whether this treatment is ‘superficial’ or ‘fake’. If I were not a tall white Canadian male, would people treat me this well?

This Friday, I sadly became the focus of a ‘group’s’ hatred, jealousy, and racist feelings. I attended a local club at Sunway Pyramid called Bar Celona with three of my colleagues from the college. After we had been there a couple of hours, the shift manager came over and accused us of drinking an extra jug of beer, saying that we needed to pay more money. This was a false accusation, and they would not leave us alone, telling us to pay them more. They started pointing in our faces calling us liars. I asked them if it was a race issue; the only foreigners in the bar being picked on and harassed. One of the bouncers asked me if I wanted to fight, and if I did we could take this outside. I did not want to. We were the only foreigners in the whole bar, and right from the start these workers seemed to want to fight us.

All of a sudden I was hit on the top of my head with a bottle by one of the bouncers. At least five of them had surrounded me and I was bleeding profusely. Another bouncer hit me again in the head with another bottle. Neither bottle shattered as I am guessing they were full. When I opened my eyes, one of the big bouncers punched me in the face. I was afraid for my life and realizing they were trying to kill me, I punched him back. My female colleague was being held back and my other two friends were still in discussion about this petty money issue at another end of the bar. After I threw my first punch the bouncer tried to throw me down the metal escalator. Had I not caught myself on the way down, I surely could have died. Once at the bottom they kept pushing me; ten to fifteen bouncers were following me.

The female colleague of mine tried to hold one of them back, yelling to them to stop. She was met with a punch from the bouncer. This man attempted to punch her in the face. Luckily he only brushed her face and ended up punching her shoulder. He grabbed her and tried to pull her to the ground, knocking her personal belongings out of her bag. They never actually asked us to leave the bar.

I was standing on the street with the bouncers coming up to me, putting their fists in my face, yelling and giving me the finger. At least one hundred pedestrians were watching, passive and surely thinking that I am some tourist looking for a fight, or starting one in the bar. I was covered from head to toe in blood as we got in a taxi. Although I received sixteen stitches for the two giant gashes on my head, and a brain scan to look for glass pieces in the wound and any internal damage, the main thing that has been hurt is my confidence in Malaysia.

I have always been positive and optimistic about this country and the people. I have given 100% to my students and the local community. As a social science teacher I teach a course called ‘Individuals and Families in a Diverse Society’. My job is to promote acceptance, unity and harmony amongst diverse peoples. This event crushed my confidence in Malaysia. If this country is ever going to be truly ‘developed’, the focus cannot be solely on the economy. Acceptance and equality of different genders, races, religions/non-religions, abilities and interests are also important components to ‘development’. Diverse peoples must find a way to get along.

With development and globalization comes ‘foreign peoples’. These people do not and should not expect to be given preferential treatment. Everyone regardless of race, religion or nationality should be respected, treated fairly, and given their basic human rights. This weekend workers employed by the establishment Bar Celona tried to kill me with a weapon and assaulted a female in front of their bar. This is not acceptable behavior and cannot be passed off as part of the ‘Malaysian experience’. Bouncers are in a bar to protect the patrons, not to assault them.


Written by: Colin Shafer
Mr Colin is a lecturer from Taylor's University College.
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To Mr. Colin, while I do not really know you or have you teach me before, I wish you a speedy recovery.

To the stupid pub that did something like this... get a life. No, seriously. Malaysia Boleh? You have got to be kidding me.

P/S: I HATE HTML.

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