NGO concerned over racial profiling of criminals

Joseph said that racial discrimination has become a 'serious issue' in Malaysia. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Joseph said that racial discrimination has become a 'serious issue' in Malaysia. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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PETALING JAYA, March 21 — The “trend” of racialising criminality indicates increasing racial discrimination in Malaysia, a human rights group said today.

Pusat Komas was referring to the brawl at Low Yat Plaza and demonstration at Kota Raya last year, where incidents of mobile phone theft and cheating at the respective malls in the city centre had turned into racially charged issues.

"In 2015, a new trend of racial discrimination became evident when several incidents of criminal acts were used to justify racial discrimination and stir up unrest among different races," Pusat Komas said in its inaugural report on racial discrimination here today.

The Low Yat and Kota Raya incidents took place in July and December last year respectively, where Chinese traders were accused of cheating Malay consumers.

In the former, the arrest of a man for stealing a mobile phone led to rumours that a Chinese vendor had sold a counterfeit product, causing a brawl that left five people injured.

In the Kotaraya incident, a small group of “Red Shirt” demonstrators rallied at the shopping centre over reports that a man was forced to buy four handphones for RM10,000 that were initially offered for RM200 each.

Komas director Jerald Joseph said that racial discrimination has become a "serious issue" in Malaysia.

In its report, Komas highlighted more than a dozen racial incidents that happened in Malaysia in 2015 and said that those incidents violated international policies and frameworks on human rights.

"Malaysia had signed so many human rights treaties and in 2013 promised to make improvements upon recommendation by other United Nations countries," he said.

"But once back home, they are not keeping up to those promises," he added.

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