While I was in the States, i met a cab driver who was an ethnic Chinese American originally from Taiwan.
When I entered his taxi, he asked me in typically American accent : you a Chinese? I answered: Chinese Malaysian. Then he said that I must be able to speak Mandarin, and from then onwards we conversed in Mandarin.
He said he was originally from taiwan, and among his university classmates, there were many Chinese Malaysians, and that is why he knew that many Chinese Malaysians could speak Mandarin.
He migrated to the states more than a decade ago, mainly because he was fed up of life back home, among them the amount of corruptions taking place. He is happy with his life as a cab driver, earning a decent living, and in the States, every profession is respected as long as you put in a decent effort to earn your living.
Then we talked about Malaysia. He said what he has read about a case, a woman who was whipped for being caught drinking, and asked me how we can live in such conditions where no entertainment and drinking is allowed.
I told him he was misinformed. I told him that it was true that the woman was sentenced to be whipped but she was pardoned. I told him that Malaysia, at least in the cities, is as advanced as any modern nations, and we even have a casino in Genting, which , even though is smaller than those in Vegas, shows that Malaysians are actually free to do a lot of stuff , same as the Americans.
Only certain religion disallows certain activities, just like in some Christian sects , certain rules have to be observed strictly.
Then he mentioned that he heard that corruption is bad in Malaysia. I have to admit that, and he even knew about the French case, and the Mongolian lady. I have to defend my country so I said that even Taiwan has its “Ah Bian”. But when he mentioned that Taiwan has a very free press, which can report on any wrong doing, and thus effectively acts as a public watchdog, I have to concede that Malaysia still have a long way to go. I have to conced that even if Malaysia has a “Ah Bian”, the probability is high that he would go scott free.
That is how negative some people view Malaysia..This is a view from a common person on the ground, and he has lots of friends in Malaysia.
While we also have made some snail paced reform, with ISA being replaced by certain other law, our press is still not free.
Worse, as things go, there will be more and more restrictions even on the online media. The new Evidence Act is a killer. It is meant to stifle freedom of expression on the net. It is something akin to some criminals, who committed a crime in your house, and while the criminals escape, you as the owner of the house is being held responsible.
Say someone came in and robbed patients sitting in my waiting room. while the robber got away, I would be held as responsible for the robbery happening onthem. It is ridiculous, and no one would agree to that. Extrapolate this to the Evidence Act, and it is actually the same thing.
While the proof of guilt should be the responsibility of the authority , it is now reversed and it is now guilty until you can prove yourself innocent.. How on earth can someone do that without the resources of a enforcement force and its availability of crime-solving methodology and technique.
It is like there is no more common sense up there anymore.
And news of government considering another round of handouts? News of accusing those who attended Bersih as receiving money? I was there among the hundreds of thousands, and I do not see anyone who came because they received money.. What an insult to the 200,000 people that day, and million others who had stayed at home but in their quiet way, supported Bersih.
How disconnected they are with the people on the ground, and yet they still think Big Brother knows best?