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

[Letter from A Malaysian Hawker's Son to Salient Volume 40, Number 4 March 21 1977]

Dear Editor,

I am very disappointed with the Malaysian Sketch' put up by WMSA. As a Malaysian I feel duty-bound to express my strong protest to the promoter of this highly distorted 'typical scene' of hawkers life. At the same time, I sincerely hope all my fellow patriotic Malysians/Singaporeans will register with Salient their discontent over the humuliation of our fellow country men. Tell me, honestly my fellow mates; don't you get hurt when a kiwi friend tell this to you; "We have too many idiot overseas students here. Look at the Malaysian Sketch, how can they come to universities with that civilization".

Regarding the 'Sketch' I can only sum up the following points.

1.It has been a deliberate attempt to [unclear: portrav] a highly distorted and exaggerated picture of the hawkers life at home. It reveals not the true life of the hawkers but the snobbish attitude of some intellectuals who always despise the underprivileged.
2.Everyone knows the hawker's life in Malaysian has been hard and strenouous. To make a good laughing stock out of them is an insult not only to them but to all Malaysians/Singaporeans, and that includes you, my ingenious sketch promoter.
3.By presenting the 'typical scene' without explaining the grievances under which they earn their negligible income in doing a terrible injustice to the hawkers. We the 'lucky ones' are able to come overseas. Come under the expense of our country men the hawkers, the workers, the farmers etc. As a sensible Malaysian, we should sympathise with them instead of stabbing their backs.
4.Cutting the tourists' throat by charging excessively and using force to threaten the tourists are never the practice of the majority of the hawkers. As a matter of fact tourist always finds it incredibly cheaper to eat off the street than at the high-class restaurants.

In view of this bad impression and distorted picture portrayed to oar kiwi friends, I would, together with all other fellow mates demand a public apology from those MSA sketch promoters. In addition they should assure no more of this sort of stupidity is repeated.

A Malaysian hawker's son