Rant Back

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Racism II

bantalburuk, it's not the point that no offence was intended. The point is, the term is offensive in itself. Try calling a black man "orang hitam." See what reaction you get. Calling a white man white has never been offensive. Try calling a black man "nigger," and try to argue that you didn't intend for it to be offensive. I bet if you say that in Harlem or Hackney, you'd get into a lot of unwanted trouble.

Trial, here I've only listed racial problems concerning derogatory terms and prejudice. I haven't even begun to explore systematic racial discrimination. I didn't say Bruneians have an agenda to degrade non-Malays. What I'm saying is that in some people the racism is more deep-rooted, and sometimes even subsconscious. It may be not as bad as Malaysia, whose government system favours Malays much more than the other ethnicities.

And if you only hear people even use the word 'kedai kaling,' then I guess I must know more racist people than you, sadly. Even the term 'kedai kaling' is still offensive. Yes, 'a little racism is still racism.'

Yes, most of the racism in Brunei is verbal. But then that shows that racism is indeed a trait in some. If we let it be and don't do anything about it, then this racism will evolve into something worse. Physical, systematical abuse even. It'd be extreme to say we'll have a Malay KKK. I don't think it'll come to that. But it can come to the point where someone can be - say - overlooked for a promotion because he's not Malay. I know, it's not as bad as some countries. But it's still bad.

And the difference is in UK, even though a minority do that, it's a shocking thing for them. When they hear someone is being abused racially, there's a national outcry. People condemn it publicly. It's unacceptable. A few years back in the news, someone said the word 'nigger' on live television in the UK. It caused nationwide condemnation. A teacher says racist things to a student, and it will get on the news.

In Brunei, such things don't even get a mention. If someone in a group is being racist, the most typical reaction will be to dismiss it as funny or intended to be inoffensive. Any racism is in nature offensive.


After a bit of researching, I found the word ghaz in the time of the Quran was written did not refer to gas. Ghaz was derived from the word gas. It was an arabicised word. The word gas itself came from a Dutch (?) scientist.

I am sensible enough to point out when one fact is wrong.

Don't celebrate yet though. I've still got the other ones right:

[1] the fact that earth and smoke (or heavens) was never together at the beginning, since Earth existed only millions of years after the Big Bang. Even earth to mean soil is inaccurate, because there were no rocks, no ground. Not even matter.
[2] the abundant use of that imagery even before the Quran was written. The Quran could've gotten this imagery from a variety of sources
[3] the wrong assumption that there are only two entities, the earth and the universe


  1. I think I generally agree with you. Someone told me about your site asking me to so-call argue your points but mistakenly I myself agree with your views. Funny isn't it how things go? But aside from all these things I must say I'm impressed with what you yourself have achieved at such a younger age than I am. I've had several friends myself, don't mind me, I may not be atheistic but I am agnostic. In some points I'd say science actually is made to be tested repeatedly to know whether they are falsified or not, are you doing sociology/anthropology or philosophy? A good friend of mine was rather nihilistic and approached it in the tenor of Friedrich Nietzche, I have some of his books though. Although, being a pre-anthropologist myself I have my doubts about being against most things...I'm not sure you see things the way that I do. Why don't you read into some ethnographic works, one of my lecturers told me because I had a classmate whose chinese and very racist against darker skinned peoples but although she's born and bred racist I have to say at some point that she was also a very kind and generous person despite the racism that she rants about...I suppose things are not always what they seem. You can check out the social problems that I have detailed out and some works that I have written in my website. www.thebrownestskin.blogspot.com, I'm Liyana and I wish you all the best and looking forward to see you in the future through more detailed works with proper references.

    Yours sincerely
    oh yeah you can add me on your msn as well us1npacah@yahoo.co.uk
    don't worry I'm not out and about looking for partners (lol) I'm married with children it's just interesting to find someone open enough to work the way that you do (and hopefully you will do something about social problems at some point in your life)

  2. sorry, its brownestskin.blogspot.com

  3. Point is, racism is not a big deal in Brunei. We are no more racist than the Malaysians, Kiwis, Aussies, Vietnamese, etc. The average Malay Bruneian (the very one you label racist) loves Bollywood and would kiss Shah Rukh Khan's black arse the moment he lands in Brunei. That's fact. So you dont have to make such a hoo haa about it.

    Now if you think that the govt practice racist policies that's different. But don't blame the general public about it. We don't elect the govt. Do you feel you been subject to these policies? Tell us about it. Maybe we can offer sympathy or maybe we can make you feel more miserable. Poor sod.

    I love my bantalburuk. MMmmmmm.

  4. To be honest, I'm quite a nihilist. An optimistic nihilist, to be exact, though some people would think the two terms are quite contradictory. It's worked for me so far.

    And I'm more of a linguist/literary person, really. And I get my dose of philosophy from books and plays.

    One playwright that has always interested me is Samuel Beckett, who questioned the meaning of life, but mocked himself while doing so. Absurdism is what excites me the most. The absurdity of life, and trying to put meaning into it, it's fascinating to me.

    And yes, I agree with you. Science is indeed not a fixed monolith. It's not something to be believed in blindly. Theories and even existing taken-for-granted facts are constantly being tested, and if found to be incorrect, it is amended and a better, more accurate model is achieved. Which makes science more reliable.

    I don't actually believe in the concept of fixed truth. Or rather, there is no way we can ever expect to find the truth for everything. That is why I think religion is very naive in trying to give all the answers in one package.

    I'm sorry I can't add you on MSN. I don't have MSN on my JB account, only because I take my anonymity very seriously. I would've like to, though.

  5. Bantal:

    To worship a celebrity doesn't mean you're not racist. I mean if you like 50 Cent, doesn't mean you're not racist towards black people.

    It's naive to just let this kind of racism that's just bubbling under the surface left unquestioned. If we don't stop it before it gets to the point where people, say, start throwing eggs at minorities, then racism will get worse, and will get worse very quickly.

    Casual racism is still bad, even though it's not as bad as actual hate crimes. In fact casual racists if left to be, will think it's okay to be racist, and think they can get away with worse.

  6. I suppose you would have to take your anonymity pretty seriously, although in my case I didn't need to practice any anonymity especially I deal with academic circles. It is a good means of expression. At least you're I presume male I think it is easier to deconstruct the whole ideology using feminism and Marxism, so yes I am a hint of Marxist feminist. You can use some of my methods of deconstruction. Particularly Michel Foucault, and this one's my favourite I named my youngest son after him, Edward Said, although he was a Palestinian Christian who protected the Moslems and I know you might despise Muslims as I do (that could be because we are surrounded by them and therefore the criticism comes from the fact that we are part of a Muslim community inherently), but I suppose to some extent it is true, Muslims and Christians and Jews are a misguided peoples. Oh well I will check your blog from time to time :)