Connect with us

Social Stories

Local TV Station Apologises After Calling Kamala Harris ‘Daughter Of An Illegal Immigrant’, Malaysians Enraged



Pjimage 2020 11 09T204210.463
Source: Buletin TV3 & Associated Press

Follow us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest stories and updates daily.

Many rejoiced when Senator Kamala Harris became the US Vice President-elect on Sunday (8 November) and by doing so, became the first female to hold the position. News portals across the globe covered this amazing feat as Harris became a symbol of inspiration for women everywhere overnight. Additionally, Blacks and South Asians worldwide rejoiced at the news because Harris is also the first Black and South Asian to assume the role.

A major local TV station also congratulated Harris in their afternoon news telecast, but viewers noticed a major blunder they made.

In the 1.27 minute long clip, the news anchor reports about Kamala Harris’ speech which said that her being the first female Vice President is definitely not the last and that this is a victory for little girls everywhere.

The reporter also gave a little insight into Harris’ family background which is where the unexpected blunder happened.

“Kamala, 56, made history when she became the first woman to be Vice President. She also made history for being the first Black and South Asian descent to hold the second-most important position in the country. The daughter of a Jamaican couple and an ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT mother from India, she broke the stigma when she became the first black-skinned woman to serve as the attorney-general of California.”



Well, Kamala Harris’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was an immigrant but NOT an illegal immigrant. A biologist who worked in breast cancer research, Gopalan arrived in the United States from Tamil Nadu, India in 1958 to pursue a masters programme in nutrition and endocrinology at the University of California.

Shaymala became a scientist for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and her research led to advancements in the knowledge pertaining to breast cancer.


Kamala harris with her mother, circa 2007

Given these circumstances and the general stigma surrounding the word ‘pendatang’ in Malaysia, the station’s reporting did not sit well with Malaysians who felt that this comment was not only disrespectful to the Vice President-elect but also discredits the achievements of her mother, Shyamala Gopalan.

In an update, the news segment of the station uploaded a video today (9 November) rectifying their mistake while also apologizing for their error.

RALAT | Pembetulan Latar Belakang Kamala Harris

RALAT | Pembetulan Latar Belakang Kamala HarrisMerujuk kepada laporan Buletin 1.30 semalam, kami ingin memohon maaf atas kekhilafan mengenai Naib Presiden Amerika Syarikat yang baharu, Kamala Harris.#BuletinTV3 #Buletin130 #KamalaHarris

Posted by Buletin TV3 on Sunday, November 8, 2020

In the video, the reporter apologised for their error about Kamala Harris. “She’s the daughter of immigrant parents from Jamaica and India, unlike what was reported yesterday. We regret the oversight made on her background,” she said.

However, this did not sit well with Malaysians as netizens called out the channel for their insensitivity and inaccurate reporting and felt that the usage of the word “pendatang” was extremely degrading to the renowned scientist.



Even Senator S. Vell Paari commented on the issue saying that the TV station should “check Wikipedia” and questioned the love some have for the word “pendatang”.

Radio personality, JJ, also made a short video addressing the issue and corrected the statement made by the newscaster.

Wait what?!? … Indian people are not a pendatang by default ok..

Posted by JJ on Sunday, November 8, 2020


Mistake or just…racism?

As what the Senator said, being in Malaysia, everybody is aware of the stigma that goes behind the word pendatang asing tanpa izin (illegal immigrant) and especially its impact during the pandemic. Reducing an accomplished scientist to a mere illegal immigrant is what angered a lot of Malaysians and even felt that it was a deliberate move by the station.

You could ask, how does Kamala’s issue relate to us Malaysians? Unfortunately, despite the call of “1 Malaysia”, some Malaysians tend to freely and wrongly use the word pendatang on fellow Malaysians and this is often accompanied by “go back where you came from”. Some believe this is deep-rooted racism that has become a habit amongst Malaysians.



Some also questioned that if a major television station can make such an uncalled-for mistake, can we really blame the common Malaysians if their thinking is backward. On the other hand, there was also a small part who felt like this was an honest mistake and since they’ve apologised, bygones should be bygones.

Tell us what do you think of this in the comments section!


Also read: Post-Merdeka: Here’s What We As Malaysians Can Do To Stand Up Against Racism

Page 58

Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook

Follow us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest stories and updates daily.

Just In

Kj Ft Kj Ft
News1 min ago

Walk-in Vaccinations For 40yo & Above Available in Klang Valley Starting 2 August

As for the second dose of your vaccine, please stick to your second dose appointment.  According to the Minister of...

Scientist Found Real Life Spongebob And Patrick In The Atlantic Ocean Scientist Found Real Life Spongebob And Patrick In The Atlantic Ocean
News1 day ago

Marine Scientist Discovers Real Life SpongeBob SquarePants And Patrick Star Deep In The Atlantic Ocean

A majority of us can almost immediately answer this question, “Are you ready, kids?”, loudly as we probably would have grown...

Saudi Arabia Donates Vaccine And Medical Stuff To Malaysia Saudi Arabia Donates Vaccine And Medical Stuff To Malaysia
News1 day ago

Saudi Arabia Contributes Over 1 Million Doses Of AstraZeneca & Medical Supplies Worth About RM21 Million To M’sia

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein shared on his official Facebook page today (30 July) that Saudi Arabia has donated...

My Post 2021 07 30T170530.366 My Post 2021 07 30T170530.366
News1 day ago

Local Activist Released After Arrested Without Warrant In Connection With The #Lawan Movement

20-year-old activist, Sarah Irdina, was arrested under Section 4(1) Sedition Act and the Communication and Multimedia Deed, following a tweet...

My Post 2021 07 30T142321.567 My Post 2021 07 30T142321.567
News1 day ago

Report: Unemployed Fresh Graduates In Malaysia Increased By 22.5% In 2020

The Covid-19 outbreak has turned almost every aspect of our lives, country and economy into pandemonium. The implementation of various...

My Post 2021 07 30T095247.145 My Post 2021 07 30T095247.145
News2 days ago

LRT 3 Construction Iron Scaffolding Collapses In Klang, Kills A Worker & Injures Four Others

A Bangladeshi construction worker was killed after the scaffolding at the Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang, Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT...

Badminton Ft Badminton Ft
News2 days ago

China’s Chen Long Defeats Lee Zii Jia In Nail-Biting Match To Advance To Quarter-finals

We’re still proud of you no matter what, Zii Jia!  Malaysian badminton player, Lee Zii Jia faces defeat after losing...

Live Now Lee Zii Jia Vs Chen Long Live Now Lee Zii Jia Vs Chen Long
News2 days ago

LIVE NOW: Lee Zii Jia vs. Chen Long Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Lee Zii Jia is playing against defending champion Chen Long in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics round of 16 to secure...


Latest Videos