MALAYSIA’S social media obsession today goes hand in hand with having to inadvertently scroll through hate literature that belongs in the dark ages.
For every other form of dissatisfaction among netizens, there seems to be a politically driven racial narrative, peppered with a sprinkling of religious extremism.
Against that backdrop, many Malaysians are left dumbfounded as to how the country has drifted into social interaction scripted by the political agendas of those who benefit from such narratives.
You merely need to pull yourself out of the echo-chambers walled predominantly by Facebook and Twitter, diluted further through Whatsapp group and chain messages, to find some sort of reprieve from what seems like impending chaos.
Call it reality or just your luck, but you might find Malays who actually laugh at the thought of Chinese looking to kick them out of the country or at the very least take away all their “rights” are perceived by the political narratives drummed up by certain quarters.
You will find Chinese or Indians who share that laugh with them.
What we hope to portray through this series that magnifies the unity that is perceived to be lost if you are addicted to the influences easily accessed through social media.
In reality, Malaysia merely needs to reconnect its unity that has been veiled as disunity through politically driven narration of social media content.
It is still there, as we find in humble individuals such as 37-year old entrepreneur Ng Chee Kian from Klang. (Watch the video above)
An avid endurance sports enthusiast, Chee Kian has taken to running in marathons to showcase to Malaysians what can be achieved by everyone if they just put aside the needless preoccupation with being embroiled in divisive dialogue and hate speech.
“We’re wasting a lot of time arguing over things such as race and ethnicity. These are menial things. No matter how much we argue, our race, background or skin colour is never going to change,” says Chee Kian, who also does triathlons and cycling.
He is not the star athlete lending his voice to the message of unity. Instead, he is the regular working class citizen who hopes to pull Malaysians’ attention to simple, more worthwhile efforts that would benefit the country, rather than divide it.
While also hoping to pull support for his Run For A Reason campaign in the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2020 (subject to postponement to a new date), Chee Kian points out the simple things we could do in life to make the world a better place, instead of ruin it through hate speech.
“I came about this Run For a Reason campaign, where we could choose a charity for which we could raise donations by running in the KL Marathon and I was immediately attracted to the Dignity for Children Foundation,” he said.
“I immediately saw that Dignity for Children was the charity I wanted to run for. It rings with my own passion as an educationist as well and it ticked all the boxes,” said Chee Kian.
“They are a needs-based charity that focuses on the needy regardless of ethnicity. And you can see their workforce is also formed by Malaysians from all races. It reminds me of what Malaysia really is, what it should be.
“They not only educate the children, but upskill them, providing training in all sorts of life skills, from culinary skills, to hairstyling to industrial skills and craft to give them an opportunity to contribute to the nation.
“If we just focus on such things, to do good and help each other, help the needy and give them a chance to have a better life, when we all do our small part, eventually the country will move forward.”
Chee Kian did not allow his disappointment with the destruction propogated by hate speech online, but instead found respite in the fact there was a lot of hope in institutions such as Dignity for Children.
“We just have to ignore the hate speech. They are just noises. There is a lot of good to be done. For me, I look beyond the exterior of people. You cannot just associate yourself with and stick to a certain ethnicity, you will go nowhere,” said Chee Kian, who himself is married to a Malay and is a Muslim.
To contribute to Chee Kian’s Run For a Reason, follow this link. https://tinyurl.com/raa2p4g