Thursday, 8 May 2014

As Singaporean fume over red Vespa “ang moh”, here is the Malaysian story

Mark Franklin flashing his middle finger, pic courtesy of TRS
It is the second time this year that Singapore netizens piled their resources to expose so called arrogant “ang moh” or foreign talent, a term normally referred to foreign expatriate that insulted Singaporeans in a way or another. Coincidentally, both cases involved British expatriate that work in the Lion City. The first was the case of Anton Casey snub that refer to those travelling on MRT in Singapore as the poor people and that he need to wash off the stench from his body after travelling with his son in one.  Despite his apology later on, the stockbroker was later fired from his job and last spotted travelling on economy class to Perth with his Singaporean wife and son. 
The second case is now another foreigner, Mark Franklin, the Managing Director of Piaggio Asia Pacific whom office is located at Suntec City. Mr. Franklin, who was riding a red Vespa, was captured on a camera installed in the car of a Mr. Tay, flashing his middle finger and hit Tay’s car just because Tay tapped his horn (once) when the motorcyclist did an illegal U-turn. The video has since gone viral but so far neither apology has been offered by him nor any action has been taken against Franklin. Looks like Singaporeans are not letting him off. Will he join Anton Casey to be second foreigner to be sacked f their arrogant and untoward behavior in the Lion City?
The case of these two expatriates behaving haughtily does not only happen in the office, on the road or among the social sphere in Singapore. It is happening in Malaysia too. However, in Malaysia, when being bullied by the likes of Anton Casey or Mark Franklin, Malaysians normally just let them off the hook, partly thanks to the couldn’t be bothered much (tidak apa) attitude. Although not all expatriates are like them, but I would dare to say that most of them have the superior mentality in them. They still carry the thought of imperialism with them and also what we call the “white men’s burden” that they are here to educate the inferior Asians.
Throughout my political career, I’ve had many encounters with some foreign reporters based in Kuala Lumpur whom mind seemed to have been set with the stereotype that Malaysians are all stupid, agreeable to corruption and that if we are connected to so and so, we can get what we want – get away with the law, get government contracts, get the road in-front of our house paved nicely and basically, everything. 
Ah yes, get protected – as was asked by a foreign reporter to Malaysia’s Defense Minister cum acting Transport Minister. And of so many, I like Jonathan Kent, the former BBC correspondent in Malaysia who did not ask me “stupid” questions and he did not act that he is the superior one serving as the messiah to enlighten Malaysians or the Asians.
More than often, our road users are subject to abuse by these foreign expatriates too. In return, when on the road, they behaved as if that they can get away with the law. They don’t stop at traffic light, they make illegal U-turns, and they speed and honked and flashed their headlights as if they are in hurry to a meeting with some very important people in town. Showing of fingers by them are just too common in Malaysia. They will not hesitate to wind down their window to yell at you if you are in the wrong or on an occasion, a friend was yelled “moron, why are you making an emergency break!”
These “ang moh” made lousy neighbor too. They tend to complain about everything in the neighborhood and if they live in the condominiums (as most do), they will complain even the slightest noise coming from next door. I have some firsthand experience on this because my neighbor’s Italian wife a.k.a Complain Queen from Italy is so well known among the guards and the management office for all sorts of complains and lessons on how to manage the building.
Once I had an argument with her over some noise coming over from my unit when I have visiting friends. Flabbergasted, I told her that if she is not used to the noise here, it is either she move back to her country bumpkin lifestyle in remote Italy or she move out from the condo. She’d also had arguments of any sorts with all neighbors on our floor.
While I do not agree with some Singaporean drivers who tend to honk at cars with Malaysian number plate in the Lion City, I am amazed with the co-operation of Singaporeans who’d managed to track down Anton Casey and Mark Franklin and stand up to them instead of keeping quiet when being bullied by the “ang moh”. I hope that Malaysians will do the same too when similar thing happen to either one of us.
Let these haughty foreigners know that we, Asians, Malaysians in particular are not the inferior race that they thought of. We’d had enough of them via colonization and we do not need further more humiliation by them. We welcome them here as a tourist and to work, and they are paid to do their job that comes with its duties and responsibilities, not coming here to lord over us.

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