Malaysia’s Covid-19 patient No.1580 is a female who did not self quarantine after returning from Italy, and her non-compliance was subsequently instrumental in igniting a chain of 37 novel coronavirus infections in Kuching.
This Chinese woman who had tested positive as #Case 1,580 was rained with curses by Malay netizens, according to Sinchew Daily deputy executive editor-in-chief Tay Tian Yan writing in his column yesterday, following five deaths from her cluster.
In the understanding of the Malays, ”the wealthy Chinese manageress went to Europe for holiday and transmitted the virus to her low-income employees, bringing disaster to the victim’s entire family”.
Sinchew’s Tay surmised that the fierce, aggressive and tremendous outcry arose because the super spreader is a Chinese while the five deceased were all Malay.
The hostility however extended beyond just that one Kuching individual alone. “While tossing curses at the manageress, Malay netizens also hurled hostile allegations against her ethnic community,” wrote Tay.
There is a peculiar yin-and-yang balance in the mutual recriminations. “When the tabligh gathering at Masjid Seri Petaling spawned a massive infectious cluster in the country, many Chinese netizens cursed not only the participants, but their race and religion as well,” Tay pointed out.
He observed that when times were good, the “negativities” (racial prejudices and distrusts, discrimination, repulsion) had been largely tolerated between Chinese and Malay communities.
Today in our time of coronavirus, it is a different story. The current public health crisis and its resultant economic pressures has caused a dip in the tolerance level, he noted.
BELOW: Only one Chinese full minister in the whole Muhyiddin cabinet — click to enlarge photo
Inter-communal frustrations and hatred that were previously repressed somewhat are now starting to surface, cautioned Tay citing a recent survey on Twitter hate speech that discerned a sharp upward spike in the prevalence of racially-charged comments aimed at other ethnicities.
These racist remarks can then morph into a form of verbal violence, he feared, as people begin to target their wrath at convenient scapegoats, especially in a scenario where interracial relationships are already as taut as violin strings.
“If this is allowed to go on, it will develop into a time bomb over time, especially if the [virus] outbreak gets intensified and the economy deteriorates as a consequence,” warned the Sinchew veteran newsman.
DAP set out to kill MCA and Gerakan, and they succeeded spectacularly as the Muhyiddin cabinet photo (above) testifies. MCA has only 2 MPs vs DAP’s 42 MPs; MCA has 2 Aduns vs DAP’s 106 Aduns.
Having obliterated MCA and other BN non-Malay representation in parliament and DUN, the DAP Chinese leaders have repaid their voter base by being as silent as church mice when it comes to non-Muslim issues.