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Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University of Wellington Students Association. Vol. 40 Number 4. March 21 1977

[Letter from Malaysian Student to Salient Volume 40, Number 4 March 21 1977]

Dear Editor,

Five people standing around a dining table

On the "International evening", WMSA put forward a sketch which claimed to depict the "typical scence" of Malaysian's hawkers' life. I think this sketch have misled our Kiwi friends and other overseas students. Certainly the performance did not reflect the "typical" and true hawkers' life in [unclear: M'sia] objectively.

What is the "typical scene" of hawkers? The detenorating economic situations (together with rampant inflation) had caused the hawkers' life even more miserable. That is why the hawkers had to toil day and night but their income and standard of living still had not improved at all. They earn a living in insecurity and suffered constant harassment from the random checking from the police and gansters. All these constituted the real life which the sketch didn't even bother to give a thought on it. As a Malaysian, I think we should love and respect our people, and try to understand their grievances, because we come here at the expense of them instead the sketch made a mockery of them. I was really hurt after seeing the sketch.

We Malaysians come from a place which has abundant natural resources, but our hawkers still have to toil like hell in order to survive. Where has our wealth gone to?

60% of our country's economy is controlled by foreign investors. For instance, British alone each year siphoned 220 million pounds from our country. This constituted the root cause of our people's poverty and that is why our hawkers had to compete for customers. (The Sketch had shown it in a very exapperated manner).

Apart from this, I was completely lost by the last act in which the hawkers called for 'berjaya...etc' which I think was completely irrelevant to the scene. May the producer of the sketch please explain what was it all about.'

Lastly, WMSA as a representative body for M'sian students in Wellington and in NZ general ought to think twice when representing an event in such a big occasion as the 'International evening'. My stray criticism about this sketch was that it gave an totally false picture of the common people and their culture in M'sia.

Malaysian Student.

P.S. Announcer for the WMSA please try to learn to announce better before coming out for such an occasion.