AS retired DAP supremo Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang reiterated that the Federal constitution does not bar non-Malays from being a future Malaysian Prime Minister (PM) – although with the caveat that this will not happen during his lifetime or even 100 years from now – don’t be surprised that Bangladeshi descendants, too, may be in contention for the post of PM.
So claimed a Bangladeshi man in a video that has been making the rounds on social media. Believed to be a long-residing migrant worker in the country judging from his rather fluent spoken Malay, the unnamed individual made his bold prediction by highlighting that Malaysia’s wealth and progress was built on the blood, sweat and tears of migrant workers.
In the clip lasting three minutes and 43 seconds, the individual railed against the perceived racial discrimination faced by his compatriots in the country. He was scathing in his attacks on the selective persecution faced by Bangladeshi business owners who were subject to frequent raids unlike their Thai and Indonesian peers.
He called out a certain “Ustaz Sophian” who is believed to be the Penang Surplus Welfare Association president Mohd Sophian Mohd Zain.
It is said that Ustaz Sophian is well-known for his stance against illegal business practices in Penang by foreign workers. The Bangladeshi man then questioned why Ustaz Sophian did not run any inspections on shops owned by Indonesian and Thai nationals.
The visibly upset narrator also accused Malaysians for being arrogant after becoming wealthy and ungrateful to foreign workers toiling in the plantation and sanitation industries.
This was when he made the ominous declaration that one day the Malaysian PM would be of Bangladeshi descent which would be “a justified reward for the hard work of migrant workers unlike ‘lazy Malaysians’.”
No action against errant foreigners
The video has been re-posted on various platforms, including YouTube which as expected elicited many responses from locals. These include complaints that the authorities are not doing enough to stem the issue of illegal migrant workers:
Needless to say, the ugly head of racism inevitably raises its head when there is a discourse on the subject.
Given the barely disguised comparison between the Bangladeshi migrant worker with that of the original wave of Indian and Chinese migrant workers, maybe Malaysians need to stop and ponder about their own roots before dismissing the original poster’s grouses.
His prediction also touches a raw nerve because the issue of a non-Bumiputera PM was recently touched by Kit Siang who holds the track record as Malaysia’s longest serving Opposition leader spanning 29 years on three separate occasions.
The Chinese and Indian communities should perhaps stop and take stock before joining in the chorus of Bangladeshi-bashing. This is because the current Bangladeshi workers face many of the same issues that the Chinese and Indian migrant workers faced many moons ago.
Perspective and context are always vital ingredients when discussing touchy subjects such as race relations and migrant rights in this country. – Dec 4, 2023
Main pic credit: Berita RTM