Caveat: Content below probably not suitable for you to read if you are likely to be offended by discussions (rantings, really) about Malay Privilege by a Chinese girl.
Met this amazingly clueless person today. Amazingly, annoyingly *clueless* excuse of a person. I sat next to her during my corporate induction today. Corporote induction as you know, is held for new recruits for the company or old-ish recruits like me who just didn't manage to get around to attending the first few sessions.
So we were at the MoD's corporate induction yea, listening to talk about talent management in the company and other boring HR-related things which made me glaze over because I never did well with a full stomach and a powerpoint presentation after.
Anyway, we were discussing headhunting and Speaker was recounting his experiences when Woman who Is Amazingly and Annoyingly Clueless (WAAC) piped up commenting about MoD's talent sourcing.
Before I go on, I just want to say that I did find WAAC annoying on that morning itself. Just one of those ladies who would go on and on talking about themselves or anything else, for that matter with this air of *knowing* - dunno lar, just turns me off la, people who can't appreciate the wonders of Silence
. (Haha, ironic for me, no?)
So! WAAC started mentioning about MoD's talent sourcing management and I was wondering what on earth she was about - she was rather roundabout getting to the gist of her argument. This was what she said:
WAAC: You know, I noticed something about the talent here in MoD. We should do something about diversifying our talent pool, don't you think?
WAAC: You know, MoD has a reputation out there, people talk about it.
Me: *thinking* What is this woman *on* about?
WAAC: In fact, before I joined MoD, my friends were asking me, "you're joining MoD? It's predominantly Chinese, you know,"
Speaker (who is Chinese) and everyone in the room (who really was Chinese, just her, a Malay lady and another indian dude): *looks at each other* Huh.
Which was of course dumb of me not to realise but duh, MoD has *such* a Chinese-centric population, come to think of it. It just seemed so normalised, which should not be ok because one should always be aware of these things.
I realised that but it was also dawning upon me that, "Wait a minute, is this woman, this Malay woman actually advising a room full of Chinese people on positive discrimination *towards* having more Malays in MoD"? Because she felt uncomfortable of the fact that she, was the only Malay lady in the room and the handful in the management organisation in comparison to le Chinese? Christ
Well, well, well. Look around and feel uncomfortable like you're the only one standing out, that other people are somehow intrinsically different from you? Look out into the sea of faces and just realise who you are and how you're different from everyone else?
Welcome to the life of the handful of Chinese and Indians in local universities everyday. Welcome to representing the Chinese and Indian minority in pretty much every government department in Malaysia. Welcome to the Polis Diraja Malaysia and our national army. Welcome to the daily working environment of my brother in Media Prima.
Only, here in MoD, we are better than these organisations. We don't reject job applications and put you in career limbo to fulfill our own racial quota and agenda. We don't hire someone above you who lacks the skills, qualifications and experience in answer to our political and racial machinations. We don't actively work to keep you out based on the colour of your skin.
Let's be frank. We're the Big Evil. We allegedly kill millions of people a year with lung cancer and every year it's getting harder to sustain the business because we sell sticks of death. The Ministry of Health ain't our best buddies. *Any* leverage is good leverage and having a nice robust Malay management *and* non-management workforce? Is fantastic leverage in the eyes of the government.
I remember having a conversation with E one day about his job application process for MoD. I was then interning in HR and remember the Talent team all esctatic that they finally found another Malay management trainee candidate who could make it through the assessments. E was all amused yet bewildered at the attention.
"I felt I was like Neo!" he said.
If there is any reason why we're not getting the Malay number pouring in, WAAC should know that it could be because of our reputation - of being too 'Chinese' - a cultural drawback, that many feel working with MoD is unethical (certain local unis - ripe with Malay talent refuse to allow MoD to conduct career fairs because of this), possibly even because many fantastic Malay applicants know that they have their pick of very good jobs in most MNCs with higher pay and a better work-life balance.
Why should positive discrimination be granted to those not discriminated in the workforce or forced to endure a low glass ceiling in terms of pay and career prospect in companies of the same level?
Rid yourself of this notion that we should try 'harder' to hire Malay staff to 'diversify' the talent population. Why on earth should we be privileging the privileged?
Still think we should? Good. Let's start first with the entire list of government bodies I mentioned above. The *government* - people who represent Malaysians, instead of a private multinational corporation setting up base in Malaysia.
When you see these government bodies and their workforce, you just see people like you. When the non-Malays see government bodies and their workforce, we see loss work opportunities because we were born with a different last name than you. The playing field is not level. There is no fighting chance.
So if you don't like the hiring culture in MoD, tough. This is what meritocracy is like in the outside world, honey. If you're good and you get through the assessment process, you get through. No qualms about it.
The air sure smells different, doesn't it?
(I have no more energy left to hash out the truly appalling comments WAAC was ALSO saying about sexual harassment in another Induction session. Trust in the fact that they were vile and remarks were made about possibility of women using our 'womanly wiles' dress provocatively and bring about sexual harassment charges. By *men*)