Recently, Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham took to his Twitter to share a video of a stranded British YouTuber who has commended Malaysia for its efficient handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
What made netizens uneasy was the fact that Dr Noor Hisham shared the video with the intent to combat Al-Jazeera’s recent reporting about how immigrants were being mistreated in Malaysia.
He tweeted out, “Amidst with all the negativity in AJ news regarding Malaysia, listen to this impartial views from a foreign national being locked down, stranded and alone in Malaysia during this global pandemic crisis”.
Message from a foreigner to Malaysians.
Amidst with all the negativity in AJ news regarding Malaysia., listen to this impartial views from a foreign national being locked down, stranded and alone in Malaysia during this global pandemic crisis. https://t.co/iEPutEHSHW
— Noor Hisham Abdullah (@DGHisham) July 12, 2020
In the 8-minute-long video, online entrepreneur Darren Cronian shared his quarantine experience as a foreigner which began shortly after he arrived in Kuala Lumpur nearly five months ago. According to Malay Mail, Cronian, who has been to Malaysia before, had intentions of exploring the country as much as possible but the situation changed rapidly due to the pandemic, and the MCO came into effect.
The clip titled ‘A Foreigner’s Message to Malaysia’ was posted last Saturday and has been viewed over 100,000 times so far. Cronian stated that what Malaysia has been doing to curb the spread of Covid-19 is a model for the rest of the world.
He also shared his quarantine routine in the clip which included shadowboxing to the iconic Rocky theme, weightlifting with water bottles and spending lots of time looking out his window.
When Dr Noor Hisham shared the video on Twitter though, it simply backfired as many brought up the fact that comparing Cronian’s travelling experience to the experience of immigrants who have come to Malaysia to work, is unfair. Check it out:
Al Jazeera’s was a report on undocumentary immigrants now why would i want to compare a middle aged white man probably with a corporate executive level job and a migrant who came to earn his keep through grunt work. Why.😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐 https://t.co/HLHsikwFM9
— lisa weil in HTGAWM (@charsiew_) July 12, 2020
A white immigrant’s experience is a complete 180 to a brown/dark skin immigrant’s…and that’s on colorism and eurocentricism, babe https://t.co/bl67oxeoeV
— VIOLA DAVIS IS A BARB (@lilasianthiccie) July 12, 2020
Thoughts and prayers with the British white tourist man who had to spend his lockdown time weightlifting waterbottles and looking out of the window in Malaysia.
— Michelle Yesudas (@MichelleYesudas) July 12, 2020
Instead of comparing the experience of a white tourist, why don’t ask a brown immigrant who came here legally on their experience? This comparison is like apples & oranges. https://t.co/c6TY64fvI1
— nalisa alia amin (@nalisaaa) July 12, 2020
Bestnya jadi pelancong kulit putih yang tak dihumban ke pusat tahanan bila tamat tempoh lawatan sosial, yang selepas itu dijangkiti Covid19 di pusat tahanan dan kemudiannya maut. Bertuah sungguh! https://t.co/qvbh3UM0fq
— Numan Afifi (@NumanAfifi) July 12, 2020
Pengalaman expat dan rakyat juga berbeza. Kondo kita kolam dan gimnasium dipagar sepanjang PKP. Di kondo mereka dibuka tanpa halangan. Malahan boleh berjongging ramai-ramai dalam zon peribadi. But hey kita negara yang masih trauma dengan Tuan Tuen Puteyh. Harus dirawat.
— Effi Saharudin 🇲🇾👩🏼🚀 (@1Obefiend) July 13, 2020
A rich white expat has a more positive view of the government than a poor, exploited migrant worker from Southeast/South Asia. Shocking! https://t.co/mNDbFEiSP4
— Stay At Home Soybean Socialist ✊🏼 🏳️🌈 🏳️⚧ (@Natcromancer) July 12, 2020
All this shows is how differently we treat white folks with money vs brown folks without. https://t.co/V7cuIjQyZ2
— wes (@wesleythewong) July 12, 2020
Dr, I have great respect for the work you’ve done in leading our frontliners as Malaysia faced the pandemic.
But you have fuelled the engine of discrimination with this one.
You call this person a foreign national but you’ve labelled others as PATI.
Why the difference? https://t.co/TtIilQsssQ
— Jay Jay Denis (@jayjaydenis) July 12, 2020
I can bet you a thousand ringgit the foreign national in the video is illegally working in Malaysia while on a visitor pass.
But go ahead Malaysia, rescind the valid work visa of a Bangladeshi man whose sole offense is talking to the press about his terrifying conditions. https://t.co/T2zO0KLN4H
— Amirul Ruslan (@amirulruslan) July 12, 2020
Great. Now do a video asking how African foreign workers and students have been treated here in Malaysia 👎 https://t.co/Pk2SS9nwHq
— So I am confusion ✨ (@ShuckMyBhauls) July 12, 2020
This is like interviewing a Kelantanese in Hartamas to comment about the living conditions in Kelantan. https://t.co/v4Gj15S2z6
— Ahmad Arcana (@Ahmad_arcana) July 12, 2020
Oh thank GOD for this – I have lost so much of sleep the past few days worrying about the lack of input from a privileged straight white man on the challenges of immigration for vulnerable communities. Thank you and MANY thanks to this white man for your input https://t.co/Tg7RYaIUEx
— Pravind Premnath (@PravindPremnath) July 12, 2020
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