I am considered dead already in Malaysian "film industry". Even better!
But this is a serious issue, bigger than me. It's the destructive attitude of a country that's heading towards a "high-income nation" status that's quickly replacing our humanity and respect for each other, thus the widespread culture of humiliating others.
The humiliation culture is getting more staggering in the Malaysian media. Specifically at the portrayal of Malaysian Chinese Male demographic group. (That's also why Jimmy Choo was smart not to be based here.)
I happened to catch a Caltex TV commercial on AXN channel. This Chinese guy was trying to feed a banana to a monkey, accompanying behind him are his two Pan-Asian looking friends: one boy and girl at the zoo. After failing in his attempts to get the monkey's attention with a banana, the Chinese guy throw the banana on the ground in frustration and turned his back. Suddenly a banana was thrown back at him.....by the monkey! The monkey gave chase to him and his friends. When they're in their both separate cars, only the car driven by the Pan-Asian looking girl and boy managed to start and sped off - escaping the monkey. Guess who's left inside in his broken down car - the Chinese guy.
I, myself, comes from being the harsh target of this type of humiliation culture too ever since my Malaysian Idol performance. I was naive at that time - and how was I exploited by the TV station. After 10 years being an Actor, another reality TV show representative approached me (again) on Facebook recently to audition for their reality show - SuperStar Me. The rep from the show approached me by writing on how much she was entertained by my Malaysian Idol performance. (like I care?) Are you kidding me? How can Malaysian TV industry be so limited and shallow in their outlook for after 10 years, they still think I want to join their mini version of the Asia's Got Talents? It's like they are somehow stuck in their limited mentality and thought others like me would just be like them - stuck. That's why I stopped watching this type of shows anymore. It intentionally humiliates others to gain ratings. And what does the humiliated get?
|My Facebook response|
Sorry, I have moved on!
The reason for my hesitation was that I have the funny suspicion that these type of reality TV show producers are trying to put me as the centre of their humiliation culture again. Thank goodness, I have the good manners to write back in a polite manner and REJECT their "offer". If I'm not the polite sort, I would scream "where's the money?" After the Facebook chat, no reply anymore. Sorry, my credentials are too big for your small mini shows. I already know just my mere appearance would draw in millions of viewers. Lessons learned.
What you can do:
If you flip through any casting pages, you will read what type of characters are given to the Malaysian Chinese Male talents. For commercials, it's almost always certainly have the "Nerd", "Geeky" description on it. For local Malay drama series, the typecast is even worst. If you're a Malaysian Chinese Male talent, please don't sacrifice your dignity just to be seen on screen. Things haven't change much 10 years ago.
And it won't change, until you do something about it. For me, I simply identify which brands, TV shows or movies that exclude, humiliate and stereotype a Malaysian Chinese male. Which is a lot! Then it's my choice to BOYCOTT these products totally and never watch these shows and movies again. Be careful how you spend your money and attention. That's what these producers and advertisers want from us - the consumers. Don't give in to their deception and brain-washing of what success means. Now, I simply have more time to read my books instead of watching thrash.
How about in the political arena? Tony Pua, the MP for PJ was being labelled as "soft" and "pondan" (a Malay derogatory word for effeminate) when he was trying to debate rationally and professionally based on facts. This form of humiliation culture is common when politicians choose to debate based on self-concocted notions instead of facts. I truly salute Tony Pua for standing his ground in the midst of this embarassing public humiliation of labels in front of so many law-makers at the Parliament. Certain Malaysian pyschopaths are spewing deragotary words at people in the LRT train too. They are no different from the law-makers who used ugly labels on Tony Pua. Especially at KL Sentral when I have to take my night flights, this skinhead Indian guy in his office attire would be cursing at me when unintentionaly we crossed paths! I don't even know him! I've reported him to the police before. But still, he roams around there freely between 8-10pm preying on his victims. First-class infrastructure inhabited by third-world psychopaths.....in professional-looking attire! Dangerous.......
This type of humiliation culture is why there's a racial divide in our country today. Enough of all these 1 Malaysia propaganda when such TV commercials like Caltex are allowed to air. Enough of boasting we have a world-class education system when our politicians are throwing labels at each other based on race, religion and who's-more-macho instead of debating real issues supported by evidence that really affect the nation as a whole and not just supporting one particular race only. Enough of all these local movies portraying aspirational titles like CEO or pilot, drama series, hyped-up reality TV shows and unreal artiste lifestyle magazines at the newsstands. You're only humiliating yourself on how shallow you've become when you pay them any attention at all. The worst is you'll become delusional in your own hyped-up self.
I have already moved on.
Why haven't you?
With the culture of humiliation comes the sub-culture of false blaming. I was at the Maybank ATM at LRT station, waiting behind this strange head-wrapped woman in her jacket and jogging pants. The reason why I described her strange was because of her behavior of constantly looking at me while we were queing. I felt a strange uneasiness with her stares and turned my back towards her. After her turn at the ATM was finished, she walked off to the side nearby and I walked in front of the machine to insert my card. I waited for the screen at the ATM to display the ready signal for me to insert my card, when suddenly I heard a cluck sound at the card inserter. Then I placed my card inside, punch in my numbers and suddenly that strange Malay woman shouted that she cannot find her card anywhere right at that moment. Then she came to me and accused me of using her card! I told her that her card must be swallowed by the machine, recalling that I heard the cluck sound. That tudung woman refused to listen to reason and continued shouting her accusations at me that I was using her card! She then demanded I followed her to the ticket counter while still continuing her shouting accusations that I used her ATM card. I shouted back at that blady bitch and told her off to not make such accusations. She told the counter that she wanted to see the police - in which I happily obliged. The police came and took our details. After explaining my situation, the police finally recognised this bitch as the one whom earlier had caused another scene at the station by blaming another person for stealing. She had the gall to cause a scene because firstly, she thinks she's a Malay with her religious tudung (the fair, wrinkled and 40-ish) - therefore the police would listen to her story more.
Be aware of con women like this.
Why the Humiliation Culture?
There's a very selfish innate reason why certain people refuse to move on and remain stuck to the behavior of humiliating others. Let me warn you, ANYBODY can be humiliating others unknowingly and not neccesarily the known bullies sitting at the producers' chair or their high corporate offices. Like the ad agency who created that offensive Caltex ad. The reason why such culture permeates this staggeringly is because NOBODY takes a stand to speak out. When this silence happens (it is happening already), these humiliators become even louder, more delusional and bolder.
Firstly, it makes them feels more superior. It provides a mental illusion that they're better, and therefore everybody wants to grab the opportunity created by them. Take for example that rep who Facebooked me to join that silly reality show. Makes me want to laugh.
Secondly, they failed to see beyond their own selfish gains and find any kind of short cuts for instant validation. I used to have friends like this. He or she will be quick to criticize, complain and judge others. But what have they actually achieved really? And what makes them any different from that crazy tudung woman who accused me at the ATM machine?
Thirdly, and most importantly - people who humiliates others in public have no real achievements of their own. Don't even boast about your university degree or PhD - it makes you even worst. Therefore, they seek to become a parasite to take advantage of other people's perceived "weakness" and become their self-proclaimed "strength" or "solution".
Below are the characteristics of people who humiliates other people:
* No real achievements of their own.
* Talk loud, only can act as aggressive bullies
* Stuck in their own limited worldview of "I have to be more superior"
* Accuse others blindly for their own benefit
The truth is, everyone has been humiliated in one way or the other in their life. Some take their past humiliations too personally and stays silent in fear. This type of people are too sensitive to ever become artiste of any kind - they only seek fame. Others act out in anger and become the humiliators or bullies themselves. But these are the extreme two choices to being humiliated. The correct way is the middle way - become neither! Speaking from experience, you have to take it like its just another small matter and move on. Be bigger than yourself. But you still need to speak out so others will know and take actions on it. Race and religion doesn't solve anything.
The best way is NOT to take part in any of this type of humiliation culture to show that you have some self-esteem in yourself. Do not mistaken your self-esteem with your religion, race or sexual orintation - you'll only become more of the opposite in the end. See others neither above nor below you. Because that is the truth. We all share the same problems as fellow human beings. When you know this, you'll find all these public humiliations means nothing. The humiliator is in fact, the humiliated. And you and I, the perceived victims, are in fact, the victors.
And we'll live longer, happier lives too. Below are some actions you should take to counter any type of "humiliation"
* Achieve something for the common good of humanity (there's really no greater achievement than this)
* Speak up when you know you've been wrongly accused or portrayed unfairly
* Open your mind to new ideas that's not solely based on race or religion
* Be humble and know that you are not always right....and it's fine!
For my commentaries on CURRENT ISSUES:
* The Power of Joyful vs Joyless
* The Violent Nature of Malaysian Society
* Zaman Gemilang Ma-Lu-Gua
* Why a Chinese person should eat at Chinese restaurant
* The Great Malaysian Tragedy
* 5 Foibles Committed by Political Leaders
* Street Protests
* The Age of Haters
* The Over Emphasis of Hardware over Software
* How My "Friend" Make Plus-sized Looks Bad
* City Folks' Sitting Culture (BM)
* How to Identify Monsters Anywhere
* Habits of Local Talent (BM)
* Lessons learned from "Friends"
* Malaysian "Mega-Structures" Hits and Misses