Saturday, March 31, 2007

What right do you have to be right, right?

Discrimination is an interesting issue. According to Wikipedia,

"it is action based on prejudice resulting in unfair treatment of people. To discriminate socially is to make a distinction between people on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit. Examples of social discrimination include racial, religious, sexual, weight, disability, ethnic, height-related, employment discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination and age-related discrimination."

Have you been discriminated? I can't recall the number of times I have been discriminated but like many, it has been ignored and carelessly shoved under the covers.

Today, in many countries, there are legislations formed to offer rights to individuals. Thank you to education and democracy, more people are stepping forward to demand their rights. The right to be treated as an equal. The question is, however, equal to whom? To the other being? To a child? To an adult? To the opposite sex? To a white? To a midget? To a millionaire?

I don't think so. There is a limit to equality. A man can never be equalled to a woman. Do the maths: 1 = 2? Based on the simple mathematical instruction, since 1 is never 2, 1 cannot be treated like 2. Vice-versa. However, 1 should be respected as 1 and therefore, be given the space 1 deserves. Do I make sense?

When I look at the equal rights offered here in the UK, I am always reminded of how it is hardly dealt with in Malaysia. Over here, one should never hesitate to ask for a prayer room (as an example) - be it at academic institutions or at the workplace. Back home, obliging to personal requests are often associated with having preferences. How much more professional can you get?

So, don't forget to pause and reflect, especially after this piece here:

Boss, to four of his employees: "I'm really sorry, but I'm going to have to let one of you go."
Black Employee: "I'm a protected minority."
Female Employee: "And I'm a woman."
Oldest Employee: "Fire me, buster, and I'll hit you with an age discrimination suit so fast it'll make your head spin."
To which they all turn to look at the helpless young, white, male employee, who thinks a moment, then responds: "I think I might be gay..."

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know you wannabe serious with this one but I smile - reading the last one..
One question, are you really comfortable getting around or simply being there? None of the racial discrimination experience when you go out & about? For simply being non-White?rad

Intan said...

i don't move in circles that might discriminate me, and even if i do go overseas, i don't notice it because i don't live there.

but recently, a fren of mine, who used to rave about the efficientcy and wonderfulness of a certain country, had the chance to stay in that country. After a couple of years, she was sooo disgusted and couldn't wait to come home because she was racially discriminated.

D said...

rad,
I had a hard time writing this entry because I wanted to pose a question without being too serious about it. Neither do I want to take sides here. The place I am in has people from diverse backgrounds so it's not too bad. But of course, one must always watch one's back!

intan,
no, it's never easy being away from home, especially when dealing with racial discrimation - the most obvious one. As the saying goes, "hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri, baik lagi di negeri sendiri". We observe and we learn...

Mama Sarah said...

Another point Malaysia should learn to deal more effectively is the support system they offer here. Even to SAHM.

mr froggies said...

i am a toad, does that make me a minority too?

*sigh*

mr froggies

kc said...

i agree with the saying hujan emas di negeri orang hujan batu di negeri sendiri, lebih baik di negeri sendiri.

MULAN said...

agree with kc.. kalau ikut hati memang nak balik, tapi cari makan punya hal, sabar je la.

D said...

mamasarah,
agreed. point taken. who's turn to take action?

mr froggie,
i'm sorry, perhaps you could look under 'animal rights'??

kc,
kalau hujan air batu? hujan asid? hehehe..

mulan,
bumi ini kepunyaan Illahi; di mana ada rezeki yang halal, di situlah tempat kita menenggek, betul tak??!

Helena said...

The experience of staying overseas is priceless. Esp for the kids. Just be positive and try to ignore the negatives.

Mr Incognito said...

i never felt people in the UK were really sincere with so called "equal opportunities". It's always about trying not to break any law or getting some grants. as unsatisfactory as it may be, at least in malaysia it's a case of "better the devil you know"

U.Lee said...

Hi D, wow, quite a post you have here. Like in UK, here too in Canada everyone is equal under the law (except the native Indians who don't pay taxes).
My isteri and I have been here 21 years and we have never had any uncomfortable experiences i.e. discrimination.
There are 127 different nationalities living here.
We came here with both eyes open and a prior knowledge of what to expect.
Actually I came here to work, fell in love with the 4 seasons and forgot to balek kampong.
Best regards, UL.

13may said...

ehemm ehemmm....:)

D said...

helena,
spot on!!!

mr incognito,
i guess when you HAVE the laws set up in such a way, you know there's discrimination already. It's just there to protect you. In Malaysia, the situation is probably not too bad (when we're not the victims) but it's taboo to even mention it!

uncle lee,
u forgot to balek kampung?? Never mind, the memories have certainly not been forgotten and even kept well-nourished!

13 may,
ehem.. sakit tekak ka??