(I spent more than 5 months in West Africa – culturally it is very challenging but interesting. In the same manner, foreigners in Malaysia need to adapt to the local culture and respect the law too. When that does not happen, we have a problem. A member of a scam syndicate caught operating in the country – image source: The Coverage)
I don’t support racial profiling and negative profiling on any race is even worse but after recent “close” encounters with some of the Africans in Puchong over the weekend, I think it is high time that the growing number of “students” from African & Middle East countries need to be closely monitored.
Are they really genuine students or they are public menace (or criminals like here and here) in disguise?
This is what Malay Mail reported last year:-
The Cabinet has set up a task force to deal with the large number of Africans coming into the country and this has resulted in an increase in crime and social ills. According to the source, the task force was a result of complaints from many quarters over rising crime that included black money and drugs. Immigration figures made available to The Malay Mail show a rising trend in arrivals from the African continent.
From 51,383 arrivals in 2001, the figures jumped to 111,805 in 2008 and, as at Oct 31 this year, 99,769 arrivals from Africa were recorded. The figure includes both tourists and students. Africans found to be involved in criminal activities were mainly Nigerians, the source said. They are known throughout the world for dabbling in black money and using foreign women as mules to carry drugs in false baggage compartments.
Among the 153 Africans arrested for various crimes this year, 69 were Nigerians, while 25 were from Sudan, 16 from Botswana, 14 from Algeria and 10 from Zimbabwe. Seventy-five per cent of the offences were for overstaying, and, up to Oct 31, 38 Africans were prosecuted and 124 were deported. The source said because of lax monitoring, many African students used this privilege to stay in the country and carry out illegal activities.
Over the years, the growing presence of Africans in many urban areas has created panic and uneasiness among residents. The locals complain of fights, drunkenness and rowdiness among the Africans.
African communities have sprouted in apartments and condominiums in several areas, including Damansara Damai, Kota Damansara, Puchong, Cheras and Balakong. It is believed that the next target would be Indonesians, who form some 65 per cent of the 1.2 million foreign workforce and are largely blamed for house break-ins.
Not only are Africans a problem in neighbourhoods but local higher institutions also face problems with Africans but many choose to keep mum.
Let me tell upfront – not all Africans in the country are public menace – there are good ones like one in my cousin’s place (they are friendly, helpful and keep very low profile) but there are ones who still think that they are in their own country and law & public order means nothing to them.
Last weekend I went over to pick up my aunty near Pusat Bandar Puchong and drove past Jalan Wawasan when I saw about 10 Africans gathered in front of the shops (those staying at this area would know this place – the Africans often regroup at the same place on daily basis).
Seeing a large group of foreigners in front of the shops is nothing new. I have seen Indonesians and Bangladeshis doing the same on the weekends or on their day off but my aunty who stayed nearby suddenly remarked that this group of men often drinks alcohol, throw empty bottles on the ground making a huge mess and then fight among themselves.
And this happened on a daily basis until to a point the neighbours could not take it and decided to call the police. The police came in one day and rounded all these men up and for almost 2 weeks, there was peace in the neighborhood. Now the group is back making the place dirty and dangerous with occasional fights and reckless throwing of empty beer bottles onto the road. She wished for regular police patrol to keep this group of men away.
After I picked her up, I decided to return home to get some items for the function. On the fast lane, there was this white Myvi driven rather slowly. Couple of cars high beamed them but nothing moved them. The white Myvi stuck on the fast lane and forced other faster cars to overtake them from the left. When I overtook the Myvi, I saw the problem – 2 Africans driving as if they own the road.
I say “problem” is because this is not the first time I have seen Africans hogging the fast lane – every time I see an African on the highway, he is hogging on the fast lane or moving into the fast lane creating a crawl on the fast lane (seen different times and on different cars). Perhaps this is why we get accidents like this:-
The four students killed in the traffic accident on the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) just after midnight yesterday have been identified as Africans. The fifth student injured in the rented Toyota Vios was in stable condition at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre. According to police, the students were travelling from Kota Damansara to Bandar Sunway in the middle lane of the LDP.
At Km11.3, near the Kelana Jaya LRT station, they tried to move into the fast lane but knocked into the rear of a Proton Iswara already in the lane.
What it is with the Africans and the fast lane?
Things then got really nasty. It was late at night when I was driving back from a wedding dinner function in Klang. There was less cars on LDP when reached Puchong. I reached an overhead bridge when I noticed the car next to me was the same white Myvi with an African driver. Not knowing what this driver would do, I decided to slow down.
At the corner of the overhead bridge, I counted my luck when I noticed this driver cuts from his lane into mine and then back to his lane without any signal or indications. If I had kept my speed, the driver would have bumped into me. I was angry but from what I heard on how Africans react to accidents caused by them, it was not worth chasing this driver. I just drove away from this driver.
I also noticed a growing number of Africans near my housing area but unlike the rowdy group at Jalan Wawasan, this group has been rather polite, be part of neighbourhood, high respect others and so far kept to themselves. That was when they started to move in. But now they have started their ruckus but it is still at a manageable level.
There are some foreigners who have forgotten that they are in another country and do not act accordingly. They end up becoming public menace or danger to others. Some of the locals are not innocent but that does not mean it gives the right for foreigners to do the same.
We had always welcomed foreigners to come to Malaysia for holidays, business or get their higher education to better themselves and their country. However we do not want criminals in disguise as students to come over and start creating problems and commit serious crimes here. Just as we expect Malaysians abroad to respect the local cultures and respect the law, we expect the same from the foreigners who are in the country.