The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, says minister


PETALING JAYA: Salleh Said Keruak said countries that are touted as being more liberal and advanced than Malaysia have a higher incidence of racism and intolerance.

The communication and multimedia minister said this in taking to task Malaysians who often complained about the nation.

Muslims wearing hijabs in European countries such as England, France, and the Netherlands, he claimed in a blog post, had to deal with the fear of being discriminated, assaulted or attacked.

Salleh also said that unlike other developed nations, Malaysia did not have “millions of homeless people sleeping on the streets”

“Some Malaysians say ‘the grass always looks greener on the other side’ when they travel overseas and compare other countries to Malaysia. But it is not necessarily true,” the minister said.

He went on to say that foreigners who came to Malaysia tended to agree that the country was a “paradise”.

Some Malaysians, the former Sabah chief minister lamented, would cherry pick one particular thing just to condemn the country, and this included the rise in petrol prices.

Others, he added, would fall into the trap of constantly grumbling about the country, even when the government did something good. He labelled it a classic anti-establishment strategy to create dissatisfaction.

Malaysians, he added, needed to be rational and this meant giving credit when it was due.

“Some Malaysians should not sit around and grumble for the sake of grumbling. It is time to move forward to help build a better nation.”

He added: “We need to look at Malaysia as a whole and not pick one item every day to grumble.”