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Indians = barbers, says Radzi January 18, 2008

Posted by Tim in Malaysia, News.
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Yesterday’s Star had a gem in page 3 that I haven’t seen anyone in the blogosphere mention.

Titled “New insurance for maids“, it goes on with this tidbit:

[Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad] said the groundwork on the terms and conditions of the insurance scheme was ready and that all questions would be answered during the launch of the scheme.

The ministry will also propose to the Cabinet the segregation of foreign workers according to nationality and sector, as a way of reducing the number of foreign workers in the country, said Radzi.

He said certain sectors would also be reserved for Malaysians, adding that the proposal would be submitted in two weeks’ time.

For example, if we stipulate that barbers should be from India only, then other nationalities will not be permitted to work as barbers,” he said, adding that the Cabinet would make the final decision.

Foreign workers in Malaysia, numbering nearly two million, come from 12 countries, he said.

More ingenuity from our ministers! All Indians must be barbers, all Bangladeshis must be construction workers, all Chinese must be nightclub “entertainers”.

Doesn’t it sound awfully familiar with the “Indians=rubber tappers, Chinese=businessmen, Malays=officials” segregation by the British? It’s sad to see that racism and prejudice is so ingrained in the minds of our ministers.

Let’s hope that other countries don’t follow their brilliant approach to managing foreigners; at this point I really don’t want to know what Malaysians would be labelled as.

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