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Racial tint to golf club membership

 | January 31, 2012

Kelab Golf Negara Subang is allegedly offering racially-different membership rates, although some say that this is merely a move to fill up the club's racial balance.

PETALING JAYA: A golf club in Subang is accused of charging new members according to race. The accusation is making the rounds on the Internet.

The membership price list first appeared on Facebook over the weekend. It showed differences in Kelab Golf Negara Subang (Subang National Golf Club – KGNS) membership rates, with RM35,000 to RM65,000 for Malays, RM45,000 to RM80,000 for Chinese, RM60,000 to RM80,000 for Indians and RM40,000 to RM50,000 for “Others”.

According to a source who took the photo, the membership price list came from a copy of KGNS’s official newsletter, Berita Subang, printed for the October to December 2011 period.

The source told FMT that he found it very “peculiar” that KGNS would practice racial policies in admitting members to the club.

“It is hard to believe that the club, being established by an Act of Parliament still practices somewhat offensive racial discriminatory policies in admitting members. This admission policy somewhat offends my ideology of what Malaysia is.”

“I would like to stress that I have no malice towards the club when posting the picture,” he told FMT.

Predictably the photo caused an outcry over Facebook, with many reacting in disappointment and anger over the racially-charged prices.

“Where goes the 1Malaysia concept (Where has the 1Malaysia concept gone)?” said a Md Farhad Rahman.

Another, only known as PuiSee Ch, said: “What’s in the minds of these pepps (people)? Now ‘race’ can be purchased? They gotta be kidding.”

Other comments were tinged with sarcasm. One Calvin Wong said: “Wow. I never knew Chinese and Indian (were) worth so much more.”

Aiman Baharum said: “Ahh, so good to be the cheapest one lol.”

Janson Chen said: “One day petrol is going to be like that too lol.”

Balancing the racial imbalance

One Facebook user claiming to be a KGNS club member said that the price list had little to do with racism, and more to do with the racial mix in the club.

“This isn’t racism. They’re trying to balance the number of races (there). Currently, there’s lots of Chinese and Indians but very little Malay club members. I know (this) because I’m a club member myself,” said Norman Zakaria.

“So in order to balance it, they charge higher for the Chinese and Indians so not many will apply, and charge less for Malays in order to promote membership to the Malays and increase the number of Malay club members.”

One of the names listed on the photo – who requested to be anonymous- told FMT that the membership payment was part of a United Overseas Bank (UOB) move to finance loans for potential KGNS members.

According to her, UOB had nothing to do with the price list.

“The price was fixed by KGNS according to their quota. We are not selling this (the membership) on their behalf … As a bank, we are running a campaign for the payment,” she said, refusing to elaborate further.

When contacted, KGNS refused to comment.


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