Disclaimer: This piece involves the discussion of race and religion. It reflects the compiled opinions of the writer and others on the subject matter. It does not reflect the opinions or beliefs of WORLD OF BUZZ.
Malaysia is full of people who are willing to help others however they can. For some, it’s as simple as donating food to those who cannot afford a meal. For others, it’s donating motorcycles so that the people in need can make a living for themselves.
However, it seems as though these acts of kindness have been interpreted to some as actions that were taken with ulterior motives.
Recently, Bukit Mertajam member of parliament, Steven Sim Chee Keong shared how he bought a new motorcycle for a delivery rider who was using a borrowed broken bicycle to make deliveries. Many platforms, including WORLD OF BUZZ, shared Sim’s act of kindness as inspiration to the masses to try and help others in their own ways.
But, it appears that not everyone took it that way or was happy about it.
Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, a professor from Universiti Utara Malaysia, shared that the ‘Christian Chinese’ such as Sim, were only posting about their good deeds towards Malay people as a means to get publicised, as implied in an article he wrote titled ‘Beza Antara Bantuan Melayu Islam dan Bantuan Cina Kristian (The difference between the help of Muslim Malays and Christian Chinese)’.
In his article, he shared two examples, one of Sim’s act of kindness mentioned above and the other, a similar act where Pendang member of parliament, Datuk Awang Hashim, had also bought a motorcycle for a delivery rider.
He pointed out that the first difference was the racial and religious contrast between the two givers.
“What is also different is that one only briefly states the facts of the incident along with official photos of the aid, but the other narrated at length using verses meant to provoke emotions, linking it to Ramadhan, accompanied by detailed photos deliberately planned from the beginning for publicity purposes,” he wrote.
He also highlighted that Sim’s posting garnered much more media attention than Datuk Awang’s.
“So, the Christian Chinese person is praised for his kindness even though this was all a plan for publicity to fulfil a specific agenda. It’s not that there are no Chinese people or other Christian Chinese people who live in poverty, but why are Muslims selected to be sensationalised?”
“It’s not that there are no Muslim Malay people who can help other Muslim Malays who live in poverty, but why are Christian Chinese people selected as the ones who receive these complaints? Let us think and reflect,” he added.
Sim has since responded to Dr Kamarul’s claims, sharing that he is saddened by the allegations involving the discussion of race and religion.
“I am deeply saddened. Before this, they attacked Dato’ Lee Chong Wei for donating laptops to underprivileged children through one of the programmes organised by my office, and now, there are some who are dragging race and religion into issues of welfare. Why do they really want to divide Malaysians? Why inflame racial and religious sentiments?”
He added that he intends to continue helping wherever he can.
“Although I was deeply affected by the slander and ridicule hurled, I will not stop serving. I will still help everyone regardless of race and religion. This is my first pledge when I was elected as the people’s representative,” he added.
When it comes to the welfare of others, especially when they’re struggling to survive, we believe that race and religion should NEVER be an issue when it comes to helping them.
And we genuinely hope that anyone who is hungry and requires help will be open to asking for it without the consideration of race and religion.
The writer has since reached out to Dr Kamarul for comment but has yet to hear back from him.
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comment section.
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