Racism in Shah Alam
I will be warning all my friends from around the world to steer clear of areas such as Shah Alam when they visit KL
I am an Australian who is travelling around South East Asia and I was recently shocked to find a large sign in front of the entrance of where I was staying in Shah Alam for one week. I found this address on Airbnb, a popular website for travellers who want to stay in local areas as opposed to hotels. This is indeed a local area – but my intention was not to stay in a place where “foreigners are not welcome” (see attached photo). The building is called Alam Prima on Jalan Budiman 22/3.
I come from a country that welcomes over 100,000 Malaysians as a part of its population and my home town (Melbourne) has the largest Malaysian population in the world (outside Malaysia / Singapore). I am truly disgusted to see that a sign created by its building management can so blatantly show signs of racism. Although the message is not directed at me (it’s clearly meant as a protest against international students from less developed countries), I find this to be a very sad example of ignorance and prejudice.
I’ve noticed that this problem is predominant in areas such as this building, where nearly all the residents are of one particular ethnicity. I have seen similar examples here on public transport where one female staff member used such hateful language against an African passenger who was doing nothing wrong. Obviously I don’t experience any racism against me here because of the same level of ignorance – I’m white, I’m from a developed country and I’m not a foreign worker here. All the more reason to get annoyed by this double standard of what is clearly unacceptable behaviour.
I will be warning all my friends from around the world to steer clear of areas such as Shah Alam when they visit KL and to stay close to places that are more cosmopolitan (KLCC, Bukit Bintang, Damansara etc) where they can feel more comfortable. Feel free to use this picture for any future articles and I am available for comment if you require further details.